Have you ever wondered if the effects of weed change as you get older? Well, the answer is yes, but it’s different for everyone.
A combination of cannabinoid receptors adapting over time, previous experiences, and outside influence can all impact our changing relationship with cannabis. We delve into some of the reasons why below.
Turns out smoking weed can feel different as you get older, it’s impossible to predict, but it all depends on your individual make-up.
Nikola Djordjevic is a physician and medical advisor for the online cannabis guide LoudCloudHealth. The changing effects of weed is something she’s seen anecdotal evidence of for a long time.
“I have heard from many patients and colleagues about this phenomenon of cannabis affecting them differently over the years,” describes Djordjevic. “It ranges from ‘nothing’s changed’ to people experiencing full-blown panic attacks and increased anxiety out of the blue.”
Changing responses seem to be different depending on the person. For some, where weed used to chill them out, the older they get the more it causes anxiety. Yet for others, it’s the complete opposite. Where weed might have once made them anxious and paranoid, as they get older they are pleasantly surprised to find those negative effects have gone away.
Bonni Goldstein, a physician and medical director of Canna-Centers Wellness and Education, says that the most common change that people experience is an increased tolerance to THC. This results in less intense effects.
“Tolerance happens when the cannabinoid receptors detect too much THC over time, causing the receptors to withdraw into the cells, basically ‘hiding’ from the THC in the bloodstream,” Goldstein explains. Unfortunately, another outcome of this is increased anxiety.
Yet, for people who experience less anxiety, their cannabinoid receptors could be becoming desensitised, leaving them feeling more relaxed.
Whilst it’s impossible to know how your body might respond differently to cannabis throughout your life, if you start to feel like your reaction is changing in a negative way there are ways you can adapt.
In contrast to THC, another familiar compound known as cannabidiol (CBD) – increasingly used for medical purposes – partially blocks cannabinoid receptors. This results in a calming, anti-anxiety effect. You can try switching to a higher ratio of CBD over THC for a more relaxing experience.
Alternatively, researchers agree that your overall mindset plays a big part, so if you have high levels of stress in your life, this can affect your experience with weed. Sometimes, going into it with the right state of mind can make all the difference.