What Are the Side Effects of High-THC Cannabis?
Like virtually all medicines, cannabis can induce its own unique set of side effects. Although not everyone’s experience comes with a side of adverse reactions, it’s worth knowing what you may be at risk for, especially if you’re a new user. Keep in mind, these cannabis side effects are caused by its main psychoactive ingredient, THC (we’ll get to the side effects of other cannabinoids in future articles). Although this list doesn’t include all side effects of THC, it cites the most commonly experienced.
How to Avoid the Unappealing Effects of THC
There are a few ways to help you dodge the not-so enjoyable effects of THC:
- Try a strain that is high in CBD, like ACDC, Cannatonic, Harlequin, or Canna-Tsu. CBD is not psychoactive in the same way as THC, and it can help curb the side effects of THC for a more relaxed, mellow experience.
- Start with a very low dose when using high-THC strains. Adverse side effects tend to set in with continued or heavy consumption, so start with just a puff or two and see how you feel. You’d be surprised how much fun you can have with minimal amounts of cannabis.
- Consider using an oil-filled vape pen if you’re sensitive to smoking or edibles. These allow a great deal of dosing control with mild effects, which has made them incredibly popular choices among newbies and older generations jumping back into cannabis.
- Start with a 5 mg dose of edibles if you’re unaccustomed to THC. From there, you can slowly and responsibly work your way up in dosage if the effects are mild.
- Drink lots of water while using cannabis. Hydration is key to avoiding many unpleasant side effects.
Potential Side Effects of High-THC Cannabis Strains
Here’s a breakdown of the potential side effects associated with high-THC cannabis strains.
Paranoia and Anxiety
One of the worst side effects of THC is anxiety and paranoia. Though small amounts of THC are likely to only induce mild paranoia or social anxiety, edibles and large doses can cause exaggerated side effects (just ask the guy who ate an edible and called 911 because he thought he was dying). THC is known to relieve anxiety in smaller doses and increase it in larger; this is due to its biphasic effects, meaning it can have two opposite effects in high doses. Furthermore, some people are genetically predisposed to experience anxiety with cannabis as a result of brain chemistry.
If you do find yourself susceptible to cannabis’ anxious effects, definitely give some of the above tips a try – CBD strains are amazing anti-anxiety solutions, even after the fact ! It also helps to only consume when you’re in a comfortable place, such as at home or with friends.
Better known as the dreaded “cottonmouth,” high-THC cannabis can also make your mouth drier than the Sahara Desert. Believe it or not, there are cannabinoid receptors in our saliva glands. THC mirrors a naturally occurring chemical called anandamide, which binds to these receptors to decrease saliva production. THC, with its high affinity toward these receptors, exaggerates that effect much to our dismay.
Remember to dose low and keep plenty of water (and maybe some chewing gum) on-hand in the event that cottonmouth strikes.
Dry, Red Eyes
Not only does THC cause the mouth to dry out, it can also cause dry, red eyes. It’s the classic, telltale giveaway that has made eye drops a natural companion for discreet cannabis consumers. But what causes it, and are eye drops the only cure?
It may be, in part, due to the fact that smoke can irritate the eyes, but other consumption methods can also cause dry, red eyes. THC is known to lower blood pressure and dilate blood vessels in the eyes, leading to redness. Though less likely, an allergy to cannabis can also cause red eyes.
To counter these side effects, pump the water and stay hydrated. Eye drops can be helpful if your eyes are irritated, but avoid relying on these every time, as some brands can actually cause dryness afterward if used continually.
Hunger and “Munchies”
Unless you have an underactive appetite, you might consider the munchies a nuisance and side effect of THC. Because it stimulates areas of the brain associated with appetite, THC can jumpstart a fierce hunger that may or may not motivate you to order the entire left side of the Taco Bell menu.
Sleepiness and Lethargy
Once again, this “side effect” is seen by some as a therapeutic benefit as THC fights insomnia and promotes rest. However, if you’re looking to stay active while using cannabis, bear in mind that some strains can induce naps, lethargy, or an early night’s sleep.
Indica strains have long been associated with sedative effects, so we recommend sativa or high-CBD strains for daytime use. You may also consider trying a cannabis-infused coffee or tea, or pairing them to help lift out the lethargy.
Although memory impairment tends to be less of a problem for those well-accustomed to new consumers, it can be an annoying affliction to many. Luckily, memory impairment associated with cannabis appears to be temporary, but even short-term effects can get in the way of a productive afternoon and cognitive tasks.
Once again, high-CBD strains are a wonderful alternative for anyone looking to keep their memory and cognition intact. Supplements like gingko biloba and B vitamins may be helpful in countering these side effects, but your best bet for maintaining cognition is dosing low and slow.
You may experience a number of other side effects with cannabis such as headaches, dizziness, and respiratory difficulties, although these are less common. It’s always a good idea to communicate your cannabis consumption with your doctor in case it interacts with another medication you are taking. Because its side effects tend to be mild, many patients prefer it to other medications, but familiarizing yourself with any and all risks is the best way to ensure a good experience for yourself and the loved ones you’re enjoying it with.
Shelled Hemp Seed Side Effects
Hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts in their hulled form, are a trendy health food that's actually been around for centuries. Whether you sprinkle, stir or eat them straight, these tiny, nutty-flavored seeds have powerful properties. Contrary to what you might think, though, instead of getting you high, hemp seeds can help get you healthy. Like other plant foods, they have many nutritional benefits, but there are also a few hemp seed side effects.
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What Are Hemp Seeds?
Shelled hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, come from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. While it's related to the marijuana plant, this variety is grown for industrial and nutritional uses. The seeds of the Cannabis sativa L. plant have extremely low levels of THC, so they don't have the psychoactive effects of recreational marijuana.
According to a March 2018 review published in the journal Phytochemistry Reviews, hemp seeds were one of the five grains of ancient China. They were an important part of Chinese diets until about the 10th century. Other old-world cultures also recognized hemp seeds' nutritional benefits. In Europe, whole hemp seeds (including the hulls), were eaten during times of famine. Today, they've been rediscovered as a powerful source of nutrients and phytochemicals that have health-promoting benefits.
Hemp Seeds Nutrition
It's no wonder that hemp seeds were a staple food back in the day. These tiny seeds are packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals. In fact, the National Hemp Association touts them as being more nutritious than any other edible plant food grown on earth.
Technically a nut, hemp seeds' nutrition content surpasses that of many other nuts and seeds. According to the USDA, a 3-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds provides about 10 grams of protein, 15 grams of healthy omega-rich fats and 3 grams of carbs. Hemp seeds' nutrition profile also includes magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, calcium and fiber. In addition, they have been identified as a source of various antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids and flavanols.
The Protein in Hemp Seeds
Hulled hemp seeds are rich in protein, and they're especially high in the amino acid arginine, according to a still often-cited 2010 study in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Unlike many other plant foods, the protein in hemp seeds provides all nine of the essential amino acids, so they're considered a nutritionally complete protein source. In addition to their excellent amino acid profile, another bonus is that the protein in hemp seeds is easy for most people to digest.
The 10 grams of protein in a 3-tablespoon serving of hemp seeds is about the same amount you'd get from 1 1/2 ounces of peanuts, 2 small eggs or a little over a half cup of lentils. Hemp seeds are an especially easy way to boost the protein content of your meal if you're trying to cut back on meat, because they pack a lot of protein into a small serving. Try sprinkling them on cereal, yogurt or a salad as a delicious and nutty-tasting garnish.
The Fats in Hemp Seeds
Most of the calories in hemp seeds come from fat, but it's the good-for-you unsaturated kind. Hemp seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids — fats that you must eat because your body can't make them. These include linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid, and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Hemp seeds also contain a more rare type of omega-6 fat called gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Because they are high in fat, hemp seeds can also be high in calories. According to the USDA, a 3-tablespoon serving of shelled hemp seeds contains 166 calories. Even though they're healthy calories, they can add up quickly if you overdo them.
Hemp Seed Side Effects
According to Michigan Medicine, most people tolerate hemp seeds without negative side effects. In fact, because of their nutrients, hemp seed side effects may be positive rather than harmful. The healthy fats in hemp seeds may be helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation and preventing platelets from becoming too sticky and forming plaques.
Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of their GLA, hemp seeds may also improve symptoms associated with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
Sometimes foods can interact with medications, but according to Michigan Medicine, there are no known interactions between hemp seeds and medications. However, because the fats in hemp seeds have anti-platelet activity, eating large amounts may increase the risk of bleeding if you take blood-thinning medications.
Another potential hemp seeds side effect, especially if you eat them in large amounts, is loose stools or diarrhea. One additional rare, but possible, hemp seeds side effect is the small risk that they contain higher than expected amounts of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.
Risk of Hemp Seed Allergy
It's not very common to have a hemp seeds allergy, but it certainly is possible, and it may be one of the more serious hemp seeds side effects. An article in the February 2016 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology detailed a case series of five patients who had a hemp seeds allergy that resulted in anaphylaxis after eating the seeds. If you have a hemp seeds allergy, be aware that they may be used in commercially baked products like bread, cereals, crackers and snack bars, so always read food labels carefully.
Who Should Eat Hemp Seeds?
Anyone without a hemp seed allergy should be able to eat them and enjoy various health benefits. Research published in October 2018 in the journal Food Chemistry showed that the antioxidants in hemp seeds have the ability to fight oxidative stress and protect cells from damage — something everyone can benefit from. The authors suggest that hemp seeds should be considered a functional food because of their wide range of health benefits.
Sprinkling some hemp seeds into a meal is an easy way to bump up your beneficial fats, protein and fiber. Their omega-3 and essential fats may also reduce the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, help keep your brain sharp and your weight in check.
What Is Shatter? The Dangers and Side Effects
Shatter is a new illegal drug hitting the streets at speed in the United States.
What is shatter? It’s the street name of one of the latest, more potent forms of cannabis or marijuana concentrate, better known as Butane Hash Oil or BHO.
It’s called BHO because it utilizes liquid gas called butane to remove terpenes and cannabinoids from marijuana plant matter. That produces an incredibly potent concentrate or hash oil that gives you a much greater effect when you want to get stoned.
As with most new drugs on the scene, shatter is rapidly gaining popularity, particularly in areas where marijuana has been legalized. Young people, drawn to the color, mood-altering influence, and ritual of breaking the brittle substance before smoking, have indeed been intrigued by it.
Here is a straightforward overview of its dangers and side effects, including an in-depth look at shatter and how dangerous it is.
Shatter Definition: What Is Shatter?
Some people call shatter the “crack of marijuana.” While this analogy may or may not be precise, people have recently expressed genuine concerns about its existence on the streets and in schools.
Shatter marijuana is also known as BHO. It is a hash oil concentrate produced by the use of butane solvent to derive high THC levels from the marijuana plant.
What Does Shatter Look Like?
Shatter refers directly to a finished product that looks like a slab of toffee or maple syrup chip. Some types are comparable to wax or honey. That is why the names budder or honey oil are used on the streets.
Cannabis concentrates are usually labeled depending on their color and texture. Shatter is an orangy color and derives its name from a transparent glass-like surface that “shatters” as it’s split to be used.
How Is Shatter Made?
Contrary to common opinion, shatter’s transparency does not imply its purity but is instead the outcome of how it is made.
The process of producing shatter is relatively simple. It entails soaking marijuana buds and trimming them with liquid butane to separate the trichomes from the plant. The resultant mixture is then extracted and heated to eliminate as much butane as possible.
The removed mixture is then left to rest and stabilize to form a thin layer of extract. The finished product resembles a honeycomb-like glass sheet.
How Do You Use Shatter?
The substance is used by taking a small quantity of shatter, putting it on a hot surface, and then inhaling the smoke. Shatter drug merchandise is similar to crack pipes. But, you can also use vaporizer pens or add them to marijuana food products.
What Is The Difference Between Shatter and Wax?
There is no major difference except for appearance. However, there are some subtle differences:
- Shatter is more complicated to produce
- Shatter lasts longer and is more stable
- Wax is normally easier to manage, weigh, and use due to its consistency
Like shatter, wax is a BHO concentrate that has the texture of coconut oil and looks like ear wax. Like shatter, wax begins as an amber liquid resulting from butane removal.
How Does Shatter Affect You?
There is a suggestion that it has the same psychoactive qualities in marijuana in the form of THC.
Shatter is more powerful than marijuana in its conventional form. It contains more than 60 percent THC compared to about 20 percent THC in marijuana. Shatter drug users get a high quicker, and the effects of shatter are more intense and intoxicating.
Is Shatter Dangerous?
A single ingestion of shatter provides THC and other cannabinoids equal to up to 10 medicinal cannabis inhalations, depending on the potency. The risk lies in the fact that doing shatter slams your brain with that intense high in one fluid motion.
When shatter is bought illegally, it comes from makeshift laboratories where it may not be manufactured correctly. In the process of manufacturing shatter, butane gas is removed by heating the plant mixture. However, if it is not heated for it is possible that some of the butane can remain.
That can be particularly harmful to people who smoke or “dab” shatter. While overdose of marijuana is rare, adverse side effects such as hysteria, delusions, anxiety, and hallucinations can occur.
What Are the Side Effects of Shatter?
The precise side effects of ingesting shatter are still unclear. Shatter may have similar side effects to cannabis flowers but will be more severe due to higher amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Shatter has the following side effects:
- Heartbeat and blood pressure increase
- Potential infections, including sinus infections, bronchitis, and asthma
- Airway pain that causes narrowing and spasms
- Sore throat
- Immune system weakening
- Bloodshot eyes
Shatter can also affect the mood of a person, causing them to feel overly anxious or panicky. Shatter may affect the brain, making it harder to focus, weaken the capacity to recall information, and reduce coordination.
Though overdose is not normally lethal, the potency of shatter can cause users to faint or enter transient drug-induced psychosis. It can also cause extreme anxiety.
Withdrawal Symptoms From Shatter
A few individuals can become emotionally dependent on shatter. They may believe they’re not in a position to control the need to use the drug.
Physical dependency on shatter may lead to addiction. That means that you will require higher and more intense levels of shatter to experience the same effects.
Possible withdrawal symptoms include:
- Feeling frightened, nervous, and anxious
- Feeling excited, stressed, uncertain, or irritable
- Difficulty with falling asleep and staying asleep
Heavy shatter use can cause the brain to decrease its production of anandamide. That may create problems within the brain signaling network that uses these receptors in the endocannabinoid system. That system plays a vital part in the nervous system.
Interfering with the nervous system can have severe side effects. This includes modifying parts of brain circuits that enable people to remember, create new memories, and shift their attention.
Treatment of Shatter Dependence
People with severe withdrawal symptoms can benefit from an inpatient treatment program. Inpatient or residential care may include the counseling resources required when someone is going through a shatter withdrawal.
There are presently no approved drugs to help treat marijuana dependency. However, a mixture of treatments such as detoxification and behavioral therapy can help people break their shatter dependency.
Shatter Marijuana: Shatter The Habit!
Several states in the US have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and a few for recreation. Because it’s made of marijuana, shatter use is on the rise amid debates about safety and labeling.
So, what is shatter? Shatter is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly.
If you, a family member, or a friend uses shatter, more severe problems may be at stake. When it comes to potential drug use, it is always good to get more knowledge and, if necessary, get help.
Are you prepared to take a step towards getting your life back and safely detox from drugs? Contact us today!