Help me get less high
July 17, 2014 4:31 PM   Subscribe

After a 30-year hiatus, I smoked some legal pot. I wouldn't exactly say I Dowded myself, but it was definitely a way more intense experience than I was looking for. The thing is, I did everything I possibly could to ingest the smallest amount possible, but it was still too much. Maybe you can help?

I went to a legal pot store and explained to the very helpful budtender that I stopped smoking in the 80s because it got too strong for me and I just wanted a very light, happy high like I remembered from the 70s, where you laugh your ass off and get the munchies. I was sent my merry way with a gram of Dutch Treat and a glass pipe. My understanding is that so far this is technically correct, it's a comparatively low THC strain and smoking is the least efficient method in terms of maximizing THC ingestion.

Got home, put a tiny shred in the pipe, and got just a wisp of smoke. Wait fifteen minutes. Nothing. Tried again, this time just a very small actual hit that I held for maybe two seconds. Three minutes later, BAM. Huge panic-inducing head rush, probably an hour of being really worried with brief intervals of panic/paranoia, followed by an hour and a half of total paralytic couchlock, and then and only then, an hour of feeling like I wanted to feel in the first place.

Yesterday my doubting husband tried. He took one hit that he immediately coughed out, and while he definitely wasn't as high as I got, he was like "holy shit, you weren't kidding." And is still feeling kind of stoned today.

We're both after the same thing--we want a high equivalent to two beers, and the kind of high that makes you happy and into doing things, but still together enough to cope with anything that might come up. How can we get this?
posted by anonymous to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not a big smoker but when I was in Australia I hung out with a bunch of Brits who smoked spliffs. Basically a little pot mixed with tobacco in a hand rolled cig. It seemed to be a much more maintainable buzz.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:40 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Honestly, that first high after a long break is always pretty intense. Just keep taking one tiny hit each time. Ease into it. You might go back to that shop and ask if they have anything less strong.

I don't like mixing with tobacco. The effects of the tobacco negatively impact my high, IMHO. Especially the rushy anxiety the OP has expressed.
posted by humboldt32 at 4:48 PM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

My friend recommends that you look for strains that are higher in CBD, lower in THC. More info in this thread.
posted by porn in the woods at 4:52 PM on July 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

Mod note: This is a response from an anonymous answerer.
First off: drug tolerance is a thing. If you haven't smoked weed in 30 years, it's probably going to hit you pretty hard no matter what you were doing. Serious stoners sometimes take "T-breaks" (quit using for a couple of weeks) just to reset their tolerance.

Secondly, even though smoking is chemically "inefficient," that mostly means that you're wasting some of your pot, not that you can't still get super high on what you are burning. I recommend vaporizing - I have an MFLB and (while it takes a bit of practice) it's much easier to "take sips" and gradually moderate than with a pipe. A nice bonus is that your weed will last about twice as long.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:57 PM on July 17, 2014

Another vote for vaporizing. It is tricky at first - since no actual or very little smoke should come out as you exhale. Your guide is whether or not you can "taste" the weed as you inhale.

The buzz is lighter (unless you inhale too much). I'm not sure studies have been done, but people seem to believe it is also better for your lungs.
posted by Milau at 5:37 PM on July 17, 2014

Dutch Treat is a really THC-heavy strain that's pretty strong and mostly used for medical patients (I'm a medical user/WA). It's always been described to me as a "head" high (vs "body" high). Its available now and then at some of my co-ops and I've tried it on several occasions - it's VERY cerebral.

That's great for some (most?) people, but it can be anxiety-inducing and unpleasant for others (myself included), particularly if you suffer from anxiety, depression, ruminations or other mood-related disorders.

So it sounds like what you're after is a high CBD strain (vs. a high THC strain). Sativas and Sativa-dominate hybrids (like Dutch Treat) are THC-dominate and notorious for the "head" high (and rush). So you'll want to consider Indica, or more ideally, Indica-dominate hybrids, for the "derps and munchies" (as I like to call them). Purple Arrow and Blue Moonshine are Indica/Indica-Dominate and two of my recent favorites for a silly, couch-locked high. However, even they may still be too intense for you; strains today are simply stronger than they were 30 years ago.

Something that may also be useful for you then are edibles. YMMV, but for me, regardless of strain, edibles provide a slow, long-lasting, mellow high that knocks out pain, relaxes me, yet doesn't KO me. Given that you can eat as little or as much of it as you want, you can start out with a tiny bit, then gradually dose up until you arrive at the level you want. IMHO, this is probably the only way you'll be able to get to the level of high you're after without exceeding it.
posted by stubbehtail at 5:38 PM on July 17, 2014 [4 favorites]

You might try some manner of edible as long as you prepare it yourself. It's a lot easier to control the dosage that way since it's far easier to separate out a forth or an eighth or whatever of a gram from an 8"x8" batch of brownies than from a bag of the herb. You also don't have to try and figure out how to effectively smoke a few flakes of the stuff, the effects last a lot longer, it's WAY easier than smoking, and it's more cost effective.

The downsides are that it takes a bit of work (here is a good guide on the process) and it takes quite a bit longer for you to feel the effects.
posted by VTX at 5:41 PM on July 17, 2014

I have had the same experience. I can't use cannabis anymore, because I get The Fear. I think it also may be because I just don't enjoy the experience of being stoned anymore. Too many worries as an adult.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:56 PM on July 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh, I wanted to add that, even though I have/use a vape - beware of vaping - even if it allows you to 'sip' hit. Vaping releases THC easily, but does a much poorer job of releasing CBD. This is because the heating element in a vaporizer never comes into contact with the flower, and the flower is therefore not exposed to extremely high temperatures (as with fire). This is an important distinction to point out because THC is released at a temperature roughly 30C degrees lower than CBD.

So, if you're going to vape, don't take the first few hits - or let your vape preheat some of the THC out so you're left with a bowl of low-THC, high-CBD goodness. Then sip at your leisure.
posted by stubbehtail at 6:03 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

The other downside with edibles is that if you do eat too much, it will take much longer to leave your system than if you'd smoked it. So you really have to be conservative with how much you eat, and force yourself not to do the "Oops I don't feel anything better have another nibble" thing.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:12 PM on July 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

We use cookies and I haven't really noticed any difference from smoking other than it takes about 30-40 minutes to feel the effects. It's also easier to ingest too much, which is unpleasant.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:55 PM on July 17, 2014

From an anonymous commenter:
I have to really disagree with the people who are recommending edibles. They last forever, if you're making them yourself you don't have any guarantee that the active ingredient is evenly mixed, and it takes a long time to peak so it's very easy to do too much. If you absolutely must do edibles, since you have access to legal weed, buy the pre-made kind where the dosage is clearly printed on the label and start out with 10 mg THC or less (and by "start out" I mean "take that amount and don't increase the dosage at all until your next session" not "take that amount and then take some more later if you're not feeling it") -- this is probably a lot less than the recommended serving size on the label. Ignore the recommended serving size, it is designed for people with heavy tolerance. Your store might also carry tinctures that (like storebought edibles) allow you to dose really precisely but (unlike edibles) take effect super fast like smoking does.

If you try vaping, be careful with which vape you pick, my local store tried to sell me a pen vape (they're very popular these days), which as I learned later online only works with concentrates and probably would have been way too strong. The Pax, which is also popular and sexy and has the beginner-friendly looks of an Apple product, is also known for giving strong hits. Something like the MFLB recommended above is probably a better choice.
posted by taz at 11:16 PM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

> start out with 10 mg THC or less

I'm a regular user and 5mg is enough. Kiva bars come in 180mg and 60mg of THC and one bar is 4 doses, so 15mg/dose for the "weaker" ones. I break one of those into thirds (smash & weigh shards until I have about 4g). Novice? Try 1/4 "dose".

And, yeah-- decide on a dose, take it & if it doesn't work, that's it for that evening's experiment. Try more *next* time.
posted by morganw at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I agree, edibles is the wrong suggestion here. Way too easy to get too high, for too long.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:52 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

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