Every smoker knows what couch lock is. It’s that funny feeling that comes when you’ve smoked way too much, and your body stops working. It’s a sensation that’s somewhere between sedation and paralysis. While you’re certain that you could move if you needed to, the tendency once reaching this state is to sink as far into your chair as possible.
While some smokers love couch lock, as this is a form of deep relaxation that’s essentially inaccessible without herbal assistance, many smokers avoid couch lock as much as they can. Whether they find it uncomfortable to sit still for so long or just don’t like being that stoned, it can be unenjoyable for many. RYOT is here with a collection of tips to avoid couch lock and enjoy your high to the fullest.
What causes couch lock?
The cannabis community lays the blame for couch lock at the feet of a terpene called myrcene. Though there’s little hard evidence to substantiate the claim, the conventional wisdom is that myrcene is primarily responsible for the heavy sedative effects that cannabis can occasionally induce. This earthy, spicy-scented terpene is one of the predominant compounds in cannabis and can play a prominent role in how a strain will affect its user.
While some strains are selected for particular effects, including sedation, the relative amount of the compounds responsible for these effects can vary widely, both between strains and even from plant to plant. Ultimately using cannabis still means dealing with nature, so no two bowls will ever be the same. However, a few strains are known for their potent sedative effects.
How do I avoid it?
1. Avoid these strains
Afghan Kush, Northern Lights, and Sour Diesel are each renowned for their couch-locking effects. Not only that, they are popular strains that have been used for breeding countless substrains. If you are looking to avoid their effects, it’s best to avoid their genetic descendants. Instead, look for strains that are promoted with words like “mind high,” “energetic,” or “creative.” Some dispensaries and websites even allow you to filter out prominent terpenes like myrcene. Doing a little research ahead of time will keep you from sitting on the couch in your underwear all night.
You can avoid couch lock even with strains that are specifically bred for body relaxation. All you have to do is not smoke so much of it! Try to take it easy and smoke slowly to find the line where the negative effects outweigh the fun. Once you reach that line, take a break, put on a movie, get a snack, or try whatever else keeps you from falling into the cushions. One hitters are a great tool to use with strains you’re uncertain of. A fat bowl or thick blunt encourages you to smoke more than you might otherwise, either to avoid wasting weed or to avoid appearing impolite when a friend is smoking you out. A one hitter allows you to take it one toke at a time with nothing wasted in between.
3. Mind your location
The environment you smoke in has almost as much effect on you as the weed itself. One way to avoid couch lock is to simply get off the couch. Have you tried smoking outside in the sunshine? Portable vaporizers and cigarette one hitters are the perfect way to get out and hit that zaza without wasting the day away. Getting out and active seems to create euphoric, cheery highs as we get a natural pick-me-up from the sunlight. Even just a short walk outside or into the light of a bright window can help you get the boost you need.
4. Get a snack
Weed isn’t the only thing we can put in our bodies to change how we feel. Sometimes when the highs get too high or we feel ourselves locking up, adding something else can break us out of it. A sugary or carb-heavy snack can give us a little energy boost, as well as a simple activity that will keep you moving your body. We find that snacks with a strong sensory component, such as a cold drink or slush, sour candy, warm soup, etc., work best to break us out of weed’s spell.
You may also consider something with a little kick, like coffee, tea, or an energy drink. A little caffeine can counteract the sedating effects of myrcene. Be careful with this tip, as using uppers and downers at the same time, even harmless ones like weed and coffee, can have negative effects. If you overdo it with caffeine, you may find your sleep cycle disrupted. This can cause a cycle where you smoke to go to sleep, then use caffeine to wake up, then repeat the cycle ad nauseam. You can avoid that by using the smallest effective doses of both and remaining mindful of your normal sleep schedule.
CBD isn’t just for epileptics and moms who don’t want to get high. It’s also a great way to stave off the effects of too much THC. A few drops of a CBD tincture can help mitigate a high that’s gotten out of hand and help you break out of the couch. You can also try keeping a high CBD strain around the house and switch over to it whenever you find you’re getting a little too stoned.
One last tip…
Discuss your preferences with your local budtender or cannabis professional. They can help you select a strain that fits your preferences and tastes. They can also provide you with a wide range of stoner tips, tricks, and hacks to help you have the best possible experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, as the only thing cannabis professionals like as much as using cannabis is talking about cannabis.