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By Luke Sumpter

Can you remember the first time you lit up? Some describe it as a meaningful moment, whereas others swear they felt nothing at all. After this initial experience, the body and mind start to become familiar with weed and its constituents. Once acquainted, for the following few months, or years, many users experience euphoric, consciousness-altering highs that boost the mood and ignite creativity.

While some cannabis users continue to feel this way indefinitely, others—at some point—start asking themselves the question: “Why can’t I get high anymore?”. Frustration sets in when you suddenly can’t access that elevated place. Something doesn’t feel the same. You’re not euphoric, your creativity and motivation aren’t surging, you're not as talkative, and music and food just don’t hit the same as before.

So, what happened? Well, there are numerous potential reasons why you can’t get high. These range from smoking poor-quality weed to selecting high-CBD buds and building up a tolerance to THC. Below, you’ll discover all the key culprits behind your cannabis conundrum—but don’t fret, we’re not focusing on the doom and gloom. We’ll offer a solution to each issue to ensure you feel elevated again in no time.


First of All — Are You Actually Smoking Weed?

Are you smoking weed?

First things first; you need to take a good look at what you’re smoking and the way you’re smoking it. Are you a cannabis purist? Do you pack nothing else but freshly ground bud into your blunts, bongs, and joints? Then it might come as a shock to you that many weed smokers mix their flower with an assortment of different fillers, including several species of herbs and tobacco. While doing so helps a stash last longer and introduces a slightly different effect, it can also mess with your high. If you roll joints using a lot of tobacco, you need to make sure you’re putting in enough weed to feel a noticeable effect.

You’ll also need to determine if the weed you’re smoking… is actually weed. It sounds ridiculous, but black markets often give rise to con artists, or, as they’re also known, oregano salesmen.

✔️ Solution

Ease off the tobacco and smoking herbs. Before you lay down a mattress of dried plant material into that joint, consider aiming for a ratio of at least one part cannabis and one part tobacco/smoking herb. Plus, to ensure your green herb is actually weed, you need to do some observing. Your stash should arrive as sticky, aromatic buds, not a degraded powder that smells suspiciously like your kitchen cupboards. But also be wary of weed that looks too good to be true; other, more dangerous adulterants can be used to make buds appear like the movie prop version of the real thing.

You’re Smoking Leaves or Stems

Stems Leaves

Millions of weed users are now living in territories that have legalized, or at least decriminalised, the possession, purchase, and cultivation of weed. Good for them. But millions of others are still living in the dark ages. This results in having to buy cannabis from dealers and subpar growers, if you don’t grow your own (and risk going to prison for doing so).

Don’t get us wrong; some black market cannabis hits the spot. Certain growers genuinely strive for quality, and have upped their game to produce thick, luscious buds using an organic approach. However, others have less of a passion for growing and more of a desire for easy money. This results in bad weed and bags made heavy with leaves and stems. Though these parts of the plant may contain some cannabinoids and terpenes, the amount will pale dramatically in comparison to buds.

✔️ Solution

Not every cannabis user gets to choose what they smoke, especially in countries with particularly harsh laws. However, if you can, try seeking out a new dealer with better goods. If you’re really stuck for options and want to risk it, set up a small micro grow to obtain better buds. You want flowers coated in trichomes, as these are the glands that excrete high levels of those precious cannabinoids and terpenes.

Moreover, if you do find yourself building up a stash of leaves and stems from subpar dealers, consider condensing it all into cannabutter, which you can then use to make potent edibles. Instead of smoking harsh plant matter that won’t really get you high, turn lemons into lemonade, or, cannabis into cannabutter.

You’re Smoking Old Weed or Bad Hash

Bad Hash

How old is the weed you’re smoking, really? The longer the chemical constituents inside cannabis are exposed to air, high temperatures, and light, the further they degrade—especially when stored in poor conditions from the onset. If you’re smoking weed that’s pretty old, you may feel a very light psychoactive effect that isn’t as euphoric or intense as usual. This is chiefly because most of the THC has degraded into CBN, which doesn’t induce the typical cannabis high.

What about bad hash? Finding good hash poses a challenge, especially when purchasing on the black market. Some products contain additives—including beeswax, solvents, and even coffee—that taste awful and lessen the desired psychoactive effects by diluting the cannabinoid concentration.

✔️ Solution

Know the signs of good bud, and store your weed properly. Well-dried and cured flowers maintain their freshness much longer; the THC doesn’t break down into CBN as readily. These flowers look vibrant, smell great, and feel sticky and resinous. Though you can’t control whether the stash you bought was dried and cured properly to begin with, you can do your best to store it in airtight glass containers with humidity regulating packs. If you grew the weed yourself, it’s on you to take the time to dry, cure, and store thoughtfully.

And when it comes to hash, avoid anything that seems rock-hard or gives off dark, acrid smoke when combusted. You want hash that gives to the pressure of your fingers and smells floral and herbal, not chemical.

You’re Using a Low-THC or High-CBD Strain

thc percentage

The cannabinoid profile of each strain forms the core of its potential effects. Buds high in THC produce a classic high that leads to euphoria, munchies, giggles, and good times. However, not every strain possesses enough THC to get you high. Modern cannabis breeding has led to the creation of strains with sky-high levels of CBD and almost no THC at all. These buds look completely identical to those packed with THC, but won’t get you stoned. Other varieties contain equal quantities of both cannabinoids. These will get you slightly elevated, but the effects of CBD will counteract those of THC to some degree, curbing the psychoactive potential.

✔️ Solution

Aim to grow or acquire buds with a high THC content. If you’re a cultivator, you’ll find details of the cannabinoid profile of each strain in the data sheets provided by the seed bank you’re purchasing from. If you’re lucky enough to have access to dispensaries and coffeeshops, the budtenders will inform you of the effects of each variety. If you only have access to black market products, you can use home testing kits to measure the cannabinoid content of your flowers.

You’re Not Smoking Enough

Not Smoking Enough

If you’re new to cannabis and you’re not getting baked, you likely need to smoke more. What a tragedy! Small doses of THC have a subtle effect, but you might need a greater amount of the cannabinoid to really experience that quintessential high.

✔️ Solution

This is an easy solution, at least compared to the other issues. Roll bigger joints, opt for strains with a higher THC content, and hit a bong bowl instead of taking small tokes from a spliff. But you don’t have to go all out—start by smoking the same amount as usual, and then take it a few steps further to push the envelope a bit, while still avoiding a bad experience.

Bad Technique When Inhaling

Inhaling

If you can’t get high, you might need to learn how to smoke weed properly. Remember when the shady character known as Bill Clinton insisted that he smoked weed but “didn’t inhale”? Yeah, don’t do that. Many a new weed smoker has claimed that joints just “don’t get them high”, but trust us, if you smoke them right, joints can get you seriously blazed.

✔️ Solution

Inhale the smoke into your mouth and then further into the lungs; the cannabinoids will enter the alveoli and swiftly pass into your bloodstream. If you’re new to smoking or vaping, it’ll feel harsh and unpleasant at first, however, the more you do it, the more your body will turn off the warning signs and realise it's about to get treated to a dose of THC.

Your Mind Doesn’t Let You Get High

Your Mind

Stress affects the mind in mysterious ways. Science understands many of the physiological and psychological impacts of stress, but much about this state remains concealed. We do know that stress changes hormone production in the body, makes us tense, and sends adrenaline and cortisol levels through the roof. Deadlines, bills, and personal issues can change our baseline state and make it so weed doesn’t hit the same.

✔️ Solution

Try to unwind. Before you blaze, go for a walk or run to get your own feel-good endocannabinoids circulating. Consider meditating for around 10 minutes pre-joint to bring down your stress levels and relax. Alternatively, talk it out. Sit with a few close friends, pass around a joint, and take the emotional weight off of your shoulders.

You’re Eating Too Much Before Blazing

Eating

If you’ve ever blazed a lot on an empty stomach, while your blood sugar levels are dwindling, you’ll know how hard THC hits. Conversely, eating too much can help to tame the cannabis high, so much so that experienced smokers sometimes scoff down a hearty meal before a heavy smoking session to minimise the chances of greening out.

✔️ Solution

You should eat before getting high, but go for something light. Opt for a snack or low-carb meal; a protein source with a side of greens will fill your body with nutrients without causing a massive elevation in blood sugar.

Other Drugs are Cancelling Out the Effect

Booze

If you can’t get high, try smoking weed in isolation. Mixing in booze, caffeine, and nicotine can influence the cannabis high to some degree. In fact, you can get so drunk or stimulated that you barely discern the effects of weed at all.

✔️ Solution

Smoke weed, and take nothing else. Replace coffee with herbal tea and lay off the booze and stimulants before a smoking session to experience weed in all its glory.

Your Tolerance Is Too High

Tolerance

Over time, inevitably, your body gets used to the effects of cannabis, which means you’ll need bigger doses of THC to feel the same effect. THC binds to CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system to produce its psychoactive effect, and in an attempt to adapt, the brain prunes away some of these sites. This means the compound won’t affect you in the same way with chronic use.

✔️ Solution

Smoke more weed! If that fails, opt for more potent products, such as dabs or even moonrocks. You can also try your hand at edibles to really elevate the experience to new heights and prolong your high. Still not getting high? Then you need to reset your endocannabinoid system by taking a tolerance break for a week or two to enjoy weed like it’s new again.

Yes, You Can Still Get High

Chill for a second! Next time you find yourself wondering why you can’t get high, you’ll know how to find the answer. Perhaps you need to smoke stronger stuff, or maybe you need to switch out the CBD for THC. In some cases, you’ll need to lay off the sugary snacks before a smoking session. If these don’t work, simply give yourself a break. It’ll suck at first, but it will pay dividends in a week or two—we promise!

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