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8 Variables that Influence Your High

8 Variables that Influence Your High

8 Variables that Influence Your High

Have you ever wondered why sometimes you have a different experience even when smoking the exact same cannabis strain? Why a strain that previously gave you a manageable high suddenly knocked you on your ass? Or vice-versa? There are many factors that play a part in how cannabis affects the mind and body. These variables can create a vastly different experience between one smoke session to the next. Here are the main determinants influencing your high:

Cannabinoid and Terpene Profiles

A majority of cannabis on the market today has been laboratory tested for several criteria such as pesticide residue and THC/CBD percentages. Some companies also test complete cannabinoid and terpene profiles as well. What all this testing has shown is that not all cannabis strains are exactly what they say they are. Due to a multitude of variables during growth, even cannabis plants in the same crop may have different levels of cannabinoids and terpenes and with the proliferation of hybrids, strains with the same name may share very little in terms of genetics. An OG Kush at one dispensary may not have anything in common with a strain labeled OG Kush at another. It’s one reason to get familiar with the people growing and selling your cannabis. Many professional cultivators take genetics very seriously and you can count on getting the strain you paid for.

Even with genetic commonality, cannabis profiles are influenced by growing conditions; everything from soil acidity to humidity plays a part in a plant’s unique makeup. Outdoor cannabis is especially susceptible to changes thanks to terroir, a term that encompasses all the environmental factors involved in outdoor cultivation like wind, soil, light exposure and so on. In greenhouse operations, most if not all these settings are tightly controlled so that all plant growth conditions are identical.

All of this goes into explaining why you could have very different experiences when enjoying a familiar strain.  But what if you have a different experience with cannabis from the same batch?

Setting, Mood and Body Chemistry

There are both internal and external factors that might explain why the strain you smoked yesterday affects you differently today. The first is the atmosphere you’re in. Did you smoke with friends in a social setting and now it’s just you in a relaxed environment? The energy of your setting can have a lot to do with what type of high you experience, as can body chemistry. Millions of processes are happening in our bodies all the time. The chemicals controlling everything from mood to alertness fluctuate throughout the day. Smoking or dabbing in the morning versus late afternoon or evening could give you different experiences. Anything from variances in daily nutrition intake to dehydration or activity levels could also play a part.

Dosage and Delivery Method

cannabis stay in system

Both the dosage and delivery method can affect your high. Sometimes smoking too much of a strain can produce the opposite effect of a much lower dose. Naturally, your high can also be altered by mixing up the delivery method. Edibles take longer to take effect but provide a powerful, long-lasting high, likewise a few puffs of a joint won’t be the same as dabbing or even taking a huge bong rip. If you’re trying a new delivery method, take it slow until you understand how it affects you!


Sadly, as with most substances taken on a regular basis, the body can build up a tolerance to cannabinoids. If you find it’s taking more and more to reach your desired level of dosing, it might be time to reset your cannabinoid receptors. The good news is that all it takes to restore your brain to factory settings is a 48-hour break from cannabis. If you can last two whole days, your tolerance will be back at zero so make sure you take it easy the first time you get high after a reset, especially if enjoying THC-rich cannabis!

As you can see, there are so many factors that can influence your high, it’s actually pretty unusual for someone to have the exact same experience every time they indulge!

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Have you had wildly different experiences with the same strain of cannabis? Share your experience, and what influence you may have had in the comment below.