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Cannabis Affects Everyone Differently: Here’s Why

Have you ever wondered why people seem to have different reactions to the same strain of cannabis? There’s way more to cannabis than strain type and potency. Here are some other factors that will make your experience unique.
20A-Cannabis Affects Everyone Differently
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The varying side effects of cannabis between individual users are notorious. While you might feel tired and lethargic after a session, your smoking partner could feel the exact opposite.

Most users understand that particular strains will affect them in specific ways. Still, few people are aware of the underlying factors that can make their marijuana experience different.

While the varying side effects have long been known, we’ve recently figured out what’s behind this phenomenon - here’s what makes people feel different even when smoking the same strain.


Individual genetic traits play the most significant role in how users feel after consuming cannabis. Numerous genetic mutations can make THC more or less effective.

For example, some people naturally produce large amounts of cannabinoids. These people are usually less likely to consume and enjoy Cannabis. With an abundance of natural cannabinoids, there isn’t the need to add more to the system.

Your genes will play a role across the entire spectrum of Cannabis use. Here’s a look at some known Cannabis effects that can vary depending on your specific genetic makeup:

  • Impairment after consumption
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Increase/decrease of appetite

It’s tough to know precisely how Cannabis will affect you when first starting; that’s why moderation is stressed for beginners. As your tolerance builds and you become familiar with its effects, you’ll be able to consume more frequently or higher potency products.


It might seem obvious, but your experience with Cannabis will change the more you consume. As your body receives more cannabinoids, you’ll be less sensitive to their effects and likely need more to feel the intoxicating effects.

Starting with products that have less THC is recommended for first-timers. Try smoking flower with a pipe or taking a small amount of an edible, and be sure to give it enough time to kick in.

Experiment with different strains categories including indica, sativa , or hybrid. Each will have a different therapeutic effect.

Most bad experiences from cannabis are caused by consuming too much product. As you learn how your body and mind react, you can start increasing dosage and potency.

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Cannabis also affects men and women differently. THC and estrogen work in harmony, making women more sensitive to the cannabinoid. As estrogen levels fluctuate throughout the month, females may find their THC tolerance fluctuates, as well. Women can typically use Cannabis for pain management more quickly than men because of this increased sensitivity, making a little bit go a long way.

Health and Diet Factors

Your overall health and diet can also play a role in the effects you feel from cannabinoids. Like the ones required for medical cannabis, specific medical conditions will make the experience different from what recreational users seek.

Instead of intoxication and impairment, cannabis can provide the feeling of normalcy for many with these conditions. Be sure to consult with a physician before self-medicating with Cannabis to make sure it’s the best option for your specific needs.

What you eat is another factor in how marijuana will make you feel. THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids require fat to break down and enter your system. If your diet is low on fat, you might not feel much when consuming Cannabis.

The relation to fats is why many recommend consuming fatty foods when consuming edibles. As the food is digested with the edible, there’s more for the cannabinoids to bind to, making it easier to feel the effects - this is also why chocolates or edibles already containing fat are extremely popular.

Everyone has specific traits that make the cannabis experience unique to them. Whether you enjoy Cannabis or don’t see what all the fuss is about, it goes far beyond your method of consumption or favorite strain. Now that you know what causes the varying effects, you might be able to find new ways to enjoy all that cannabis has to offer.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Revive Cannabis for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.