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Is Weed An Upper or A Downer? Why It Matters

You may have heard the terms “upper” and “downer” to refer to a variety of drugs and other substances. But what do those terms actually mean? And is weed an upper or a downer? Depending on the strain, it can actually be both. We’ll break down the different effects, and how to get the ones you want from your own cannabis.

The Ins and Outs of Uppers and Downers

The terms “upper” and “downer” refer to the effects a substance has on the body and mind. Stimulants, or “uppers” have an energizing effect. Using a stimulant may also make you feel more focused or motivated. Depressants, or “downers,” may sound like they’ll make you feel sad, but they actually just make you more relaxed or sleepy, and they often help with pain relief.

The effects you feel are caused by the compounds in the drug interacting with your nervous and respiratory systems. In marijuana, the primary chemical that does this is known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

So is weed an upper or is weed a depressant? Well, that depends on a number of factors. The strain, the method of use, and your own body’s response can all influence whether weed provides a stimulant or depressant effect for you.

Weed as an Upper

If you’re looking for cannabis with a stimulant effect, start with the strain. People often get the upper effect from sativa strains, however indicas and hybrids can also be energizing for some people.

Stimulant effects from weed often help improve focus or motivation. Physically, you may feel an increased heart rate or breathing. It may make you feel happy, even elated.

For some people, there are also downsides to uppers. They can increase anxiety, especially in those who already struggle with anxiety or panic attacks. The stereotypical paranoia some associate with cannabis use is also associated with the stimulant effects. Overindulging can also make these symptoms appear or worsen, even if you don’t typically get them.

Weed’s stimulant effects can be highly beneficial if you need to get things done, or you just need a mood boost. Those who deal with chronic fatigue, depression, or poor executive function often find stimulant strains are just what they need.

Weed as a Downer

Weed is often used for its depressant effects to help users relax. Strains with this effect can help relieve anxiety, reduce muscle tension or pain, and even help you sleep better. Generally, indica strains have more downer effects, though some sativas or hybrids can also help you feel relaxed.

There are also downsides to the downer side of weed, of course. Depressant strains are more commonly associated with short-term memory loss. As it represses your nervous system, it can also make you feel dizzy or nauseated. And although it can be very helpful for treating temporary insomnia or anxiety, it can become habit-forming — the longer you use it, the harder it can actually become to sleep or relax without it.

If you’re looking for that “couch-lock” kind of high, you probably want a depressant strain. Those who struggle with chronic pain or insomnia often choose depressants to help them feel better.

Weed and Hallucinations

Some people also get a hallucinagenic effect from cannabis. Although this is a much less common effect, it can appear in some unexpected ways.

For example, time dilation or time blindness — perceiving time as flowing more slowly, or having little to no awareness of time at all, respectively — are technically a form of hallucination, since they alter your perception. You may also have more typical hallucinations such as seeing or hearing things incorrectly or that aren’t there at all.

Weed hallucinations are more common with higher doses or overindulgence. But whether or not you experience hallucinations with your cannabis use, and how much you have to take to get them, varies from person to person. The only way to know how any strain of marijuana affects you is to try it.

What To Expect With Weed

It’s hard to know what to expect with any cannabis product until you’ve actually experienced it. However, there are some general experiences many people have with weed. The typical experience includes a feeling of happiness or relaxation. You may feel more creative or like your mind is more free.

If you’re trying out a new strain or imbibing in a way you normally don’t, such as tinctures or vaporizers, start slowly. Even an experienced user can occasionally be blindsided by the effects of an unfamiliar product.

Controlling the Effects

When it comes to controlling the effects of cannabis, there are a few things you can do. Start by learning your tolerances and limits. Until you figure out where your peak is, start slowly and work your way up. Take a single hit or one edible and wait until it’s fully kicked in before adding to it.

You can stick with familiar strains so that you know how they’ll affect you. But if you plan to try something new, read up on the typical high people get from that strain. You can even compare it to the expected high of a strain you’ve tried before to see how the effects might differ or be similar.

Settle down in a comfortable environment while you indulge, and if you’re smoking with company, make sure they’re people you know and trust. This will help you have the most relaxed experience you can.

Get the Weed You Need from VidaCann

Though the only way to know exactly how a strain will affect you is to try it, an experienced budtender such as the ones at VidaCann can point you toward the ones most likely to have your desired effect.

Whether you need the energy and motivation to finish a project, or you just want some pain relief and relaxation for a while, VidaCann has the strains to make it happen. We offer a wide variety of medical cannabis products, so you’re sure to find something you’ll like. Stop in to one of our 14 convenient Florida locations and talk to our budtenders, or place an online order for a quick pickup.

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