Why Some People Just Can't Get High The First Time
2 min

Why Some People Just Can't Get High The First Time

2 min
Getting high for the first time often forms the basis of some hilarious memories. But what happens when you feel nothing on that nostalgic first smoke?

We've all been a victim of that 'first smoke'. Trying cannabis for the first time and ending up a little too high, much to the delight of our friends. If you haven't, then your bound to know someone that has. What if there were a select few who were immune to such embarrassments? Or even the prospect of not getting high at all on their first smoke? This cannabis phenomenon is happening all around us and to more first time users than you think. Before people start calling out Illuminati confirmed, could there be a more logical explanation for this 'insta-tolerance' experienced on that iconic first smoke.

Whilst there are many convincing, and feasible theories there is nothing concrete. We get high as a result of cannabinoid receptors in our brain being receptive to the THC contained within cannabis. Like all matters concerning the brain, its never a simple explanation as every individual is unique.

Why Can't We Get High?

Not Inhaling It Properly

Not as silly as it might sound. As a first time user your bound to be nervous. Given the legality of cannabis in many parts of the world a quick few puffs at the bottom of your mates garden, is all too often the reality of our first smoke. The effects of cannabis are better felt taking in deep breaths and holding the THC-rich smoke in your lungs. Shorter, rushed puffs are clearly going to have less of an impact, as your body cannot absorb as much of the THC but to the point of not getting high at all? While this scenario may be plausible in a very few niche situations, there are user reports claiming even consumable cannabis products left them distinctly lacking in the enjoyment of getting high.

Not in the Right Frame of Mind

THC alters your state of mind, but to enter an altered state of mind you need to be aware of this state in the first place. Now bare with us here, simply put if you don't know what getting high feels like then how do you know your high? Slightly far fetched I'm sure you'll agree, but like all psychoactive substances your mind can alter the effectiveness they have depending on your mood. Many users claim the best way to enjoy cannabis is sat back in a comfy chair with your favourite chill out music playing. In this situation, your body and mind are already relaxed with the logic being that your brain is more receptive to the cannabinoids and their effects. Being nervous, uptight or stressed can all lessen your enjoyment of getting high and your ability to feel high, as your mind is focused on other things.

Your Brain isn't Ready

Now for the science behind our ability to get high. Getting high involves our CB1-receptors binding with the psychoactive THC contained within cannabis. The feeling of euphoria often associated with smoking cannabis comes from these receptors being present in the areas of the brain that relate to psychoactivity, stimulus and reward. It's perfectly reasonable that in certain individuals they may possess a low density of CB1 receptors, making them unable to feel the full effects of the THC and the other cannabinoids. Considering the effects of cannabis and the way our brain is receptive to cannabinoids is still an expanding field of research we are unable to say for certain if this is a determining factor. Given the complexity of the brain and the myriad of external factors that can affect it, there is never going to be a one size fits all explanation.



Written by: Lucas
Lucas is a part-time writer and full-time visionary. An anonymous psychonaut blending into society with his suit and tie, he works to bring evidence-based rationality to the masses.

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Miguel Antonio Ordoñez
Miguel Antonio Ordoñez
With an AB Mass Media and Communications degree, Miguel Ordoñez is a veteran writer of 13 years and counting and has been covering cannabis-related content since 2017. Continuous, meticulous research along with personal experience has helped him build a deep well of knowledge on the subject.
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