The Downsides Of Over-Consuming Cannabis, From A Daily Cannabis Consumer
By: Max Simon
Every day, I take cannabis to manage my ADD. I also run the world’s largest cannabis education company – so I’m obviously in the pro-pot camp.Yet even as a cannabis believer, I’ve also had periods where I’ve been an over-consumer. In those moments, I’ve been foggy, off my game and less sharp than desired. While the downsides of this haven’t been nearly as bad as the sensationalized media that surrounds it, I do think it’s time that we start discussing what happens when people over-consume cannabis, and how to avoid that from becoming a commonplace practice. Below are five aspects of over-consuming cannabis that most people aren’t talking about. These points will help you understand overconsumption of cannabis and how to prevent it.
#1) Respect the Potency of Cannabis
The first and most important golden rule with cannabis is: “Respect the potency of this plant.”
For example, when I was building the Chopra Center products division, we were working with an enormous suite of natural substances and herbal supplements like ashwagandha and amla berry. With some of this stuff, you could take 1000 mg, and you wouldn’t notice any adverse effects. Contrast that with cannabis. Even 10 mg can be an extremely potent experience on the mind and body, especially for somebody who’s new to the plant. Take 50 mg, and you’ll be entering an entirely different universe in the cosmos. I fully support a person’s freedom to do what they want with their body, but I also think that we have a responsibility to be conscious and mindful cannabis consumers.
#2) Too Much THC
When we talk about overconsumption of cannabis, we’re usually talking about THC and its mind-altering properties. These psychoactive experiences can be fantastic at the right place and time. But when someone is too high, all day, every day, it’s likely that you will begin to experience some of the negatives of overconsumption. For example, THC affects your working memory and parts of the brain that are useful for everyday functioning. So, if you’re consuming too much THC, you might find yourself being more forgetful, or making silly mistakes. Heavy consumers may develop a tolerance to these effects, but that doesn’t make them go away.You need to get really honest with yourself about your habits and pay attention to how your consumption impacts your daily performance. Once again, these side effects can be mitigated by consuming a little bit less.
#3) When Cannabis Becomes a Crutch
Cannabis can be great for whenever you’re feeling stressed, anxious, uncomfortable or bored. However, when you’re constantly using it as your go-to solution in these moments, it can also become a crutch. This isn’t to say that cannabis doesn’t have mental health applications as a tool to better manage depression or anxiety or simply to relax. However, are you using cannabis to lean into life or to numb out? If you lean on the herb a little too hard and a little too frequently, it can trap you in a loop of complacency, where you’re comfortable zoning out from problems or challenges in life instead of addressing them. Too much cannabis, too often, can rob you of your motivation or your courage to face difficult situations or better your circumstances. Using less can still help with anxiety or depression without that side effect of trapping you in your comfort
zone. So ask yourself: “What is that big thing you want to do in life, and how can cannabis better serve you as a tool rather than a crutch?” I believe a happy and successful life is about growth and development, which requires facing an element of discomfort.
#4) The Biphasic Effects of Cannabis
It turns out that there is already some solid science behind why it’s better to avoid over-consuming cannabis. The biphasic effects of cannabis come into play when we’re training professionals on how cannabis consumers can best optimize their dosage levels.For example, I use cannabis for my ADD. Up to a certain point, it helps. However, if I take too much at the wrong time, it will actually make my ADD worse.The same thing is true no matter what you’re using cannabis for – diminishing benefits after a certain dosage threshold has been exceeded.Once you pass that threshold, you will get fewer benefits with cannabis and more side effects (such as fatigue, anxiety, mind-racing, and paranoia).This can also be the case over the long term when the cannabinoid receptors in your body are flooded and down regulate because they simply don’t need anymore. Instead of being cannabinoid-deficient, you have swung too far the other way and your body is now cannabinoid-saturated.The name of the game is balance. This is why a lot of heavy consumers – once they develop enough courage and discipline to take a break – usually feel surprisingly fresh and more energetic. Those who cut back also find that lower tolerance levels allow them to get by with much less.
#5) Do a Cannabis “Check-In” with Yourself
If you want to experience the maximum benefits from cannabis, it’s important to make sure that it is adding value to your life as a tool and a wellness substance. Regular cannabis consumers need to look in the mirror every so often and be honest. Are things on the up and up? Or do you need a break or cut back a little? Right now, the world is paying very close attention to cannabis and its benefits and downsides. The world should see the value of this plant and the benefits this plant can provide.