By Luke Sholl

Couch lock can go one of two ways. You’ll either find yourself in a place of stoned bliss that you want to last forever, or a place of unwanted lethargy that you want to end as soon as possible. Regardless of how you view couch lock, the tips below have the potential to transform it into a pleasurable, and even desirable, experience for all.

What Exactly Is Couch Lock?

Things seemed normal; you went about your routine of grinding buds, packing bowls, and taking hits. Suddenly, you felt yourself getting far too comfortable. One by one, your muscles gave up the will to contract, and refused to keep bending to the demands of your central nervous system. You sank so deeply into the couch that you essentially became a part of the furniture. You’re used to getting high, but usually experience euphoric and energising effects. So, what happened here?

Well, you experienced couch lock. While not always this dramatic, anyone who experiences this state typically feels an irresistible urge to lie down and take a time out. The key characteristics of this phenomenon include:

  • Heavy limbs
  • Feeling extremely relaxed
  • Sluggishness
  • Tiredness
  • Reduced motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
Couch lock

There are many different factors that contribute to getting so overly stoned, including strain selection, your physical and mental state at the time, your unique biology, and how much weed you consume. Below, you’re going to find out everything you need to know about couch lock, including what causes it, and how to avoid it if you’d rather stay alert and functional.

Is Couch Lock Bad?

It depends. Some cannabis users actively seek out this effect, while others prefer to keep their distance. It all comes down to your personal preferences.

Whether you induced couch lock purposely or by accident, set and setting play an important role in how the situation pans out. If you’re at home or over at your buddy's house, you’ll have no issues mellowing out for a while, chomping down a few snacks, and letting the sleepiness pass. However, if you popped out for a smoke on your lunch break and found yourself sinking into your office chair, you have a whole different scenario to contend with.

Couch lock can provide a rather pleasant experience, but it depends on the person and their surroundings at the time of onset.

What Causes Couch Lock?

Rather unsurprisingly, there aren’t many peer-reviewed studies on the phenomenon of couch lock. Therefore, the exact cause of the stoning and sinking feeling remains elusive. However, it’s fairly obvious that cannabis phytochemicals are the main culprit. As the principal psychoactive component in cannabis, THC forms the core effects of the cannabis high. Yet, both stoning and energising strains contain THC, so what makes them hit so differently? Terpenes.

These aromatic hydrocarbons are responsible for the unique aromas and tastes of each cultivar. They also directly impact the subjective effects of each. Some of these compounds are uplifting, whereas others are notoriously stoning. Strains high in the following terpenes are more likely to induce couch lock:

  • Myrcene: This terpene produces an earthy and musky aroma. Early research shows that myrcene helps THC to cross the blood–brain barrier, resulting in more intense effects.
  • Linalool: Researchers are probing this compound for sedative and anti-anxiety effects.
  • Beta-caryophyllene: This physically soothing terpene produces flavours of pepper and wood. Scientists are testing it in models of inflammation and pain.
Myrcene, Linalool and Beta-caryophyllene

Aside from phytochemical content, the other main contributor to couch lock is dose. Even with characteristically uplifting and invigorating strains, if you smoke a ton, you’re still likely to find yourself deeply stoned at some point—so always keep dose in mind.

Which Weed Strains Cause Couch Lock?

Whether you enjoy the effects of couch lock or you’re looking to avoid it at all costs, then you need to become aware of the strains mentioned below. As well as plenty of THC, these varieties are packed with the aforementioned couch-lock-inducing terpenes resulting in a heavy, stoned sensation. Get to know these fine examples of couch-lock weed:

Special Kush 1
23_genetic background_1 Afghan x Kush
33_Yield indoors_1 425 - 475 gr/m2
31_plant height outdoor_1 60 - 100 cm
25_flowering time_1 7 - 8 weeks
29_THC_1 THC: 17%
28_Type Blend_1 Sativa 20% Indica 80%
34_yield outdoor_1 500 - 550 gr/plant
32_plant height outdoors_1 200 - 270 cm
27_harvest period_1 Late September
22_Effect_1 Heavy, Physically Relaxing, Stoned

Buy Special Kush 1

How to Deal With Couch Lock

Are you feeling the effects of couch lock starting to set in? If you induced this state intentionally, then sit back and enjoy the ride. However, if you have things you need to accomplish in the next couple of hours, or simply don’t enjoy the feeling, then know that there are several things you can do to shorten its duration or stop it in its tracks. Check out the tips below to keep yourself from sinking into the couch.

Tips to deal with Couch Lock

Drink a Sugary or Caffeinated Beverage

First things first; grab yourself a drink high in sugar, caffeine, or both substances. Sugary drinks, including fruit juice, pop, and tea with plenty of added sugar, will help to elevate glucose levels in your bloodstream. This results in an increase in alertness and energy that will keep your mind sharp. As a stimulant, caffeine will also counter the effects of couch lock by increasing wakefulness and decreasing fatigue. Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee or crack open an energy drink to reap these effects.

Keep Your Mind and Body Busy

You can also wriggle your way out of a state of couch lock by occupying your body and mind. To keep your brain busy, play a fast-paced video game, cook a meal, or head out into your garden and tend to your plants. Forcing your body into action will also get your blood pumping and release feel-good hormones that will boost wakefulness. Commit to completing maximum reps of bodyweight squats and push-ups, and feel yourself become wide awake.

Try CBD Oil

Many cannabis users enjoy weed strains that contain equal amounts of THC and CBD for a more balanced effect. Ongoing studies are exploring if CBD can help to curb the effects of THC and prevent common side effects. So, the next time you feel couch lock coming on, place a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue and hold it there for a couple of minutes. This way, the cannabinoid will gain near-instant access to your bloodstream and help to level out your high.

How to Prevent Couch Lock

You’re now aware of how to counter couch lock when it begins to rear its head. But you don’t have to wait to feel the early signs of the sensation to take action. There are several steps you can take to prevent couch lock from occurring in the first place. Continue reading to discover some easy ways to ensure that you remain awake and energised throughout your entire smoking session.

Eat Some Food Before You Smoke

Before you start hitting blunts and bongs packed with stoning strains, treat yourself to a large and hearty meal. Although not a cure-all, filling up on calories before a big smoking session will help to regulate your blood sugar levels. Also, drinking a couple of glasses of water before you reach for your lighter will keep you hydrated and therefore more alert. Feasting prior to smoking will also help to reduce the intense munchies that usually accompany bouts of couch lock.

Switch to a Different Strain

If you’re finding yourself stuck to the couch more often than you’d like, consider changing up what you’re smoking. Chances are, you’re selecting strains that are more likely to induce lethargy. Lay off varieties that are particularly high in myrcene, and opt for those higher in terpenes such as limonene and pinene, which clear the head and invigorate the body and mind. Stick to high-energy strains to keep your body off the couch.

Learn to Pace Yourself

As mentioned, couch lock is more likely to occur when cannabis is used in larger amounts. You’ll even find yourself becoming lethargic when smoking energising strains if you don’t pace yourself. Take things low and slow. Take a hit, then put your pipe, bong, or blunt down until you feel the effects level out. Remember, smoking weed isn’t about ego and outdoing your friends; find your sweet spot and stick to it.

How to Take Advantage of Couch Lock

Whether you desire to feel couch lock or not, you can still weave the experience into a good time. Some of the methods above will help to minimise the effects, but you’ll have to simply ride out the residual sensations.

However, after trying out some of the activities below, you might find that you thoroughly enjoy being in this state. Distract the mind enough, and the feeling of being stuck to the couch will transform into a feeling of being hugged by a nice warm blanket.

Watch Movies

Even under sober circumstances, movies transport the viewer to a whole new world. Put on one of your favourite films while feeling couch locked, and you’ll feel more immersed than ever. Whether you prefer romcoms, thrillers, fantasy, or documentaries, you’ll completely lose yourself to the plot while in your stoned state. Take in all of the sounds, colours, and narratives that come your way.

Listen to Music

Music feels great just about all of the time. Tracks that you resonate with never fail to send shivers up your spine and produce a dopamine surge in the brain. Now, combine that feeling with boatloads of THC and stoning terpenes, and you’ll find yourself in a different place. Add some high-quality speakers and headphones to the equation, and you’ll feel the bass send ripples through your soul.

Play Video Games

Playing video games while dealing with couch lock comes with two key benefits. First, it’ll keep your mind active and aware. Anything from a slow-paced open-world exploration to an intense first-person shooter will help you banish lethargy.

Second, many cannabis lovers find that getting deeply stoned actually assists their abilities. If you haven’t pushed yourself over the edge, you might experience a laser-like focus that will cause distractions to autumn by the wayside.

Video games couch lock

Couch Lock: Friend or Foe?

Couch lock—you either love it or hate it. For those who aren’t keen, there are plenty of preventative measures to make the experience less likely to occur. If you love the feeling, or accidentally find yourself there, then why not make the most of it? Play some vibey music, head out to the garden, or venture into your favourite video game for an experience that you’ll want to relive, again and again.

Promoting Responsible Cannabis UseRQS emphasizes the importance of responsible cannabis consumption.

While many individuals use cannabis frequently without complications, some may be susceptible to developing adverse behaviours. We believe the herb should enhance one’s life, not hinder it.

Responsible use involves limiting consumption to adults only, refusing to operate cars or machinery while under the influence, and making an effort to resist abuse.

Stay Cultivated.

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