Does weight impact marijuana high and tolerance?


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A few weeks back, we came across this particular question: will being overweight make me less high?

Apparently, it’s something a number of weed smokers want to know. One helpful pothead postulated that yes, weight does have some impact on getting a marijuana high. According to him, he has a friend that weighs 10 to 15 pounds heavier. The same friend takes 2 bowls to get high versus the 1 he has to take.

But is it true for everyone? Or just one of those different folks, different strokes scenarios?

Before we can answer that, let’s first discuss how marijuana actually does get you high, shall we?

How Weed Works

You’ve probably heard of it before. You inhale marijuana smoke, it travels through the bloodstream to the brain and then it begins to affect you.

The next thing you know, you’re mellow and relaxed. Maybe a little hazy and light-headed, too. Your eyes may be dilated. Colors appear more intense. Your other senses are enhanced. Of course, later on you might also experience paranoia and panic. All these are because of the way THC, marijuana’s active component, interacts with your brain.

Pure THC is an organic (carbon-based), non-polar compound that’s colorless. It’s mostly made up of carbon ad hydrogen. Because of this, THC cannot be dissolved in water. Why did we need to mention that? Because THC is fat and organic-soluble.

When weed is smoked, THC attaches into various protein cells. But just as quickly, it’s also absorbed into your fat cells and that’s where it likes to stay. Whether you’re skinny or fat, there are millions of fat cells to carry THC everywhere in your body. Of course, being heftier means more fat cells to absorb THC. Logically, that also means less THC is transferred to the brain. And that’s why fat people are often said to require greater quantities of marijuana to get high compared to their thinner counterparts.

But here’s another question. Could it really just be a higher tolerance to marijuana instead of fat?

Tolerance vs Weight

Scientists have long been baffled how some people can consume large quantities of weed and show very few ill effects. Potheads actually have an explanation. And that’s tolerance.

Ask any pothead. Using marijuana frequently often results to the reduction of side effects like loss of coordination. Supposedly, it also lessens the risk of dependence. Sure, many critics argue that statement is proof of dependence itself, but science has actually proven the potheads right.

Tolerance is not an indication of danger or dependence.

Here are the categories of the effects of marijuana:

  1. modest physical effects (ex. blood pressure and body temperature change) – tolerance develops with regular use
  2. depressant effects (ex. coordination) – tolerance depends on quality of weed, amount consumed and frequency of use

Scientists have noted that frequent smokers learn the limits of how high they can get from the stimulative effects of weed. The really interesting thing, however, is how the limit can only be exceeded by lower consumption.

What does that mean?

Perhaps there’s truth to weight being a factor towards how fast a weed smoker can get a high. But it’s also true that regardless of weight, tolerance to marijuana can be developed. So it’s not impossible to see an overweight pot smoker get as high as a skinny one off the same amount of weed consumed.

So maybe that question really shouldn’t be debated so much, right? After all, there’s still this even more pressing concern: if smoking weed gives you the munchies, shouldn’t you be worried instead that a high will affect your weight instead of the other way around?

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