WASHINGTON: You may be hearing about people celebrating 420, or April 20th. The term 420 means smoking weed, pot, marijuana or eating cannabis-infused edibles. Sort of like St. Patricks day is an excuse to drink Jamison Whisky and beer, regardless of your ethnicity.
Rolling Stone recalls the story of 4-20 as:
“In 1971, somewhere around harvest time in California, a group of San Rafael High School students, known as “the Waldos” because they liked to congregate outside class against the wall, inherited a map. It allegedly led to a crop of abandoned cannabis plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station, just up the coast from San Francisco. The friends planned to meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to see if the map was real. For weeks, the Waldos gathered at 4:20 and hopped in a ’66 Chevy Impala, smoking joints the whole way out. The Waldos never actually found the hidden treasure, yet the term “420” became embedded in their dialogue, referring to their favorite plant while teachers and parents were conveniently left in the dark.”
When thinking about Marijuana, think about wine
Marijuana, like alcohol, has different effects on different people. Just as alcohol Alcohol by volume (abbreviated as ABV, abv, or alc/vol) is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage, marijuana also has potency levels.
And you need to know how to partake.
No one wants to be a Dong (clip from teenage comedy Sixteen Candles):
Leafly is a fabulous source for information on marijuana and the ‘strains’ and their effects. Every strain of pot, ever crop that is harvested has different terpene, a class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers. Each terpene offers a different benefit and profile to the strain. The aromatic oils that add color to cannabis also create distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine.
Created by Blue Ridge Hemp the following chart explains how the different terpene affects the plant, and therefore the high, of the person who either smokes or consumes the strain.
As you can easily see, Linalool is found in lavender. As we drink lavender tea or use lavender essential oils for anxiety, linalool in marijuana has the same effect. If a strain has a high percentage of Myrcene you can expect that after use, you will find yourself sedated, sleepy. As Myrcene is also prevalent in hops used to make beer, you can expect a similar effect to how you feel after drinking a tall cold one.
People who rely on cannabis as medicine, medical marijuana, understanding Terpenes, and their effects become a layman’s science as medical science has yet to complete their research.
One strain is not like the other
- Indica strains are believed to be physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a nightcap before bed.c
- Sativas tend to provide more invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.
Think about it terms of wine – you have reds, whites, and champaign. With cannabis, you have Indicas, Sativas, and hybrids – where a Sativa and Indica strain has been cultivated into a strain with elements of two or more strains.
Cannabis strains each have their own classification.
- High-THC, low-CBD (more euphoric)
- High-CBD, low-THC (more clear-headed)
- Balanced CBD and THC (mildly euphoric)
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, as defined by Live Science, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. CBD oil (Cannabinol ) does not have the same psychoactivity as THC, meaning it does not deliver a high, CBD oil is being used to treat neurological disorders in adults and children including epilepsy, non-defined seizures, Parkinson’s and Alzehiemers.
From a personal point, I am using CBD to treat my dogs’ thyroid cancer after she started reacting badly to chemotherapy. However, science has not tested the effects of CBD for the treatment of cancer in canines or humans.
So how does THC work in the body? Going back to Live Science:
“It acts much like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
THC stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine, creating euphoria, according to NIDA. It also interferes with how information is processed in the hippocampus, which is part of the brain responsible for forming new memories.
THC can induce hallucinations, change thinking and cause delusions. On average, the effects last about two hours, and kick in 10 to 30 minutes after ingestion. Psychomotor impairment may continue after the perceived high has stopped, however.
“In some cases, reported side effects of THC include elation, anxiety, tachycardia, short-term memory recall issues, sedation, relaxation, pain-relief and many more,” said A.J. Fabrizio, a marijuana chemistry expert at Terra Tech Corp, a California agricultural company focused on local farming and medical cannabis. However, he said, a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that other types of cannabinoids, as well as terpenes (compounds that produce flavor and fragrance in plants), can modulate and reduce negative effects.”
If a commercial edible, read the label. From Leafy
“I had a friend who had a cookie with a big bold ‘10mg’ on the wrapper. Okay, no problem, he says, and eats the whole cookie. While he’s hanging out waiting for it to kick in, he reads the info on the back of the label: ‘10mg per serving. Servings per cookie: 12.’ Oops.”
So what to do if someone gets too high?
The first thing is to not freak out. Unlike alcohol poisoning, too much TCH be unpleasant, but it is not lethal. Getting through it requires some common sense.
Start with a small amount and stick with the dose that works for you. If an edible, ask what the mgs of THC are and stick within small doses until you know your tolerance.
If you wish to partake in a communal bong, take a moderate inhale and wait 20-30 minutes before another. Remember each successive hit will take effect faster and harder. Moderation in all things, including moderation.
Too high? Try these Leafly remedies
What I heard from a lot of people who’ve tended to an overly high friend was this: Stay with them, calm them, talk to them in a soothing voice, encourage them to lie down, give them a comforting pillow and blanket. Continue to assure them that they’re safe and the high will pass in time.
Dr. Julie Holland, a psychiatrist and the author of The Pot Book, one of the classic resources on cannabis, spent nine years working the psych ER at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. She advises holding or hugging your friend (within appropriate and consensual boundaries, of course), or stroking their upper arms in a technique known as Havening. “These actions will increase oxytocin, which will help put their parasympathetic nervous system in ‘tend and befriend’ mode instead of ‘fight or flight’ mode.”
Other tactics: Breathe, sing, or chat together with your troubled friend. “Practice exhaling longer than inhaling,” says Holland. “Close your mouth and breathe in and out through your nostrils, or through your left nostril only.”
One remedy that Neil Young swears by is chewing two or three black peppercorns. And science seems to bear it out. A study in the British Journal of Pharmacology by Dr. Ethan Russo, director of research at the International Cannabis Institute in Prague, found that there’s synergy between cannabis and black pepper. The terpenoids in pepper and the tetrahydrocannabinol in cannabis work together in the brain to create harmony—in medical terms, “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effect.”
Our experienced amateurs offered other measures of counsel.
Denise: Go home, lie on the couch, and watch comforting sitcoms. “I got too high on edibles one time on my way to an Oakland A’s game. I ate them on an empty stomach. On the way to the stadium, I couldn’t even look out the window. I was hiding in my seat. Finally I said to my friend, ‘I cannot go to a stadium. I have to go home and sit in front of the TV and watch Friends until I feel normal again.” And that is exactly what she did.
Melissa: “Lemon water and crunchy pepper crackers always work best for me. Plus a little quiet.”
Lora: Offer soothing distraction and reassurance. “I worked for a bit in the ‘bad acid’ tent at Woodstock. With one patient, I held her and rocked her and told her she was loved. She finally fell asleep. With another, I distracted her with some wildflowers. Once she began to adore the flowers, we started singing, and eventually walked back to the concert area together.”
Create a Cozy Nest
Amanda: Talk your friend into a comfy little nap nest. “A friend of mine ate too much of an edible before boarding a plane home. She texted. ‘Should I get on the plane? Am I just too high?’ We talked her onto the plane and told her to create a little nest for herself in her seat. ‘Remember that you are a little fish and you are now safe in your nest,’ we told her. She made it home safe and sound.”
Kevin: Focus on breathing together. “Slow, deep, controlled and deliberate breathing. Inhale and exhale.”
Cathy: Calm your friend before she calls an ambulance. “Years ago, my roommate decided to eat an old pot cookie tucked away in the freezer. She got so spacey that she called herself an ambulance. Later she told us she had to move out because she was so embarrassed that all the neighbors saw her taken away on a stretcher.”
Nature Works for Some People
Larry: If your friend is an outdoor person, get them into nature. “Years ago I was losing my shit in LA, high as fuck. A friend took me into the Angeles National Forest. Calmed me right down. True, I ate six pounds of bark. Worth it.”
And finally we have this advice from Tim, who counsels all who are not too high to read the situation and improvise to help the too-high friend.
Tim: “I don’t recall if it was brownies-induced paranoia or acid, but one time an athlete at Reed College freaked out and sprinted across the big lawn toward a busy street. His out-of-shape classmates couldn’t catch him. But one was smart. He shouted, ‘Greg! You have no legs!’ Greg looked down, crumpled to the lawn, and was rescued and comforted.”