Have you ever experienced being stoned after taking cannabis that you can hardly move, talk or even think? These are just some of the symptoms of what users call a couch lock effect. Experts say that the origin of the couch lock is still unknown and although this is considered a negative effect, some users say that it is something that they would rather avoid.
We are here to help you manage and prevent the couch lock effect. Remember that most side effects that come with taking cannabis MAY BE AVOIDED. Cannabis does not have any life-threatening effects so don’t worry. By getting to know the side effects of cannabis use will you be able to avoid any disadvantage.
What is a couch lock effect?
As the name says, couch lock refers to the powerful side effect of certain strains of cannabis which will leave you glued to the couch. This is being stuck on the couch; you can’t move and sometimes you can’t even talk.
Different users have different descriptions of a couch-locked effect. Some consumers describe being couch-locked as being glued to the couch. You will feel as if your body is melting and filling the gaps and seams of the couch. There are some people who say that they are stuck to the couch as their spirit hovers on top; they can see their bodies from above.
But no matter what a couch lock means, most users say that it’s a frightening experience. It’s something that they would rather avoid than enjoy. But expert cannabis users say that a consumer can use a couch lock to their advantage. They can take any cannabis strain and enjoy a couch lock effect safely.
Why do you get a couch lock effect?
But why do users get couch-locked anyway? Before, studies about the effects and side effects of cannabis have revealed that certain compounds may cause the effects of cannabis. These compounds don’t act individually but work in a combination of other compounds.
The two most common compounds in cannabis are CBD or cannabidiol and THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD is the compound that is responsible for cannabis’ therapeutic effects. CBD has medicinal effects but has no psychoactive properties.
On the other hand, THC also has some medicinal effects but is more enjoyed as recreational cannabis. THC has potent psychoactive effects and thus its use.
Strains with high THC tend to have a lower CBD while some strains with high CBD have lower or very minimal THC. Experts say that the two compounds tend to balance each other so for a strain with a good mix of recreational and medicinal qualities, you need a strain with balanced CBD and THC.
Now, different users have different responses to cannabis compounds. Some are very sensitive to THC that even a small amount can cause a very powerful mind and body effect. On the other hand, there are also users who are very sensitive to CBD and thus, even a balanced strain or a strain with minimal CBD can still trigger a couch lock effect.
In other words, any strain can cause a couch lock effect and this depends on the body chemistry of the user. Other factors may also contribute to this powerful effect.
- The dose or the amount consumed
- If you take a higher dose than what you can tolerate, you
- A user’s tolerance to cannabis
- A user’s last intake
- The type of strain used
- The mode of consumption
How to prevent couch lock effect?
Couch lock is indeed scary especially when you are new to taking an overpowering strain. But you can greatly prevent suffering from this side effect with the following strategies.
Identify the strains that can cause couch lock The very first thing that you must do to avoid this undesirable effect is to get to know the different strains which can cause it. There are hundreds of different cannabis strains that can cause couch lock and most of these have either a high THC or CBD.
What are the strains that can cause couch-lock effects?
- MK Ultra
MK Ultra is a strain named after a secret CIA mission named MK Ultra. It has earned this name because it has very strong and quick-acting effects.
The effects of MK Ultra are similar to a trance. You will feel as if you are enveloped by a warm, thick blanket and hence you won’t be able to move and be locked in your couch. MK Ultra’s effects uplift your mind, giving you ultimate relaxation.
- Hash Plant
Hash Plant is an indica-dominant strain that will give you a full-bodied high just like smoking hashish. You will experience a stoned high because of its 20% THC buds. These are sticky, dense flowers which are as heavy as a block of delicious resin.
Hash Plant has a couch-lock high that you will feel from head to toe. Thus, it’s best to take the Hash Plant during days when you don’t have much to do.
Another good quality of the Hash Plant is that it has potent stress and anxiety reliever. It can also relieve pain especially headaches, muscle pain and strain, back pains and chronic pain. You will feel its instant relief while enjoying its potent effects.
- OG Kush
Another strain that causes a couch-locked effect is the OG Kush. This is an indica-dominant hybrid strain that is popular among smokers locally and abroad. It is a favorite among recreational cannabis users as well as medicinal cannabis consumers. This is because of its mixture of euphoria and relaxation that encourages you to stay on your couch.
Take note that the couch-lock effects of OG Kush are not just felt by first-time users. This is also a favorite of seasoned consumers because of its moderate THC amount of 19%. It is also a multi-awarded strain and this is because of its potent and relaxing effects.
You will love OG Kush’s relaxing, euphoric and stress-relieving effects combined with a piney, citrus, spicy and herbal aroma and taste that will surely linger for a long time.
When you consume Crystal, expect that you won’t be getting up from your sofa soon. This strain is a combination of a Northern Lights and a White Widow and comes with THC as high as 25%. This impressive THC content is very overwhelming especially for first-time users therefore extreme caution is recommended.
The cerebral effects of Crystal make this a good strain for daytime use. It will relax you but won’t make you fall asleep. Crystal has intense effects making it the best strain if you want to experience a total couch lock effect.
- White Rhino
White Rhino was so named because it looks like a Rhino when the plant matures. The White Rhino’s effects can be felt slowly but once you are under its spell, your body will feel that familiar tingle.
This strain comes with a THC of 20% and because of its sativa genetics, you won’t feel that overwhelming heady high. Thus, this can be used as a way to relax and destress. While the sativa genetics makes this stimulating, its indica genes will help you relax, perfect when the day is done.
Some users say that the couch lock effect brought about by White Rhino can make you feel tired but there are people who say that this is not a bad thing at all. Use this to wind down especially when you are just too tired.
- White Strawberries
White Strawberries is available in different phenotypes and each one has different effects. The indica-variety is popular for its couch lock effects and has the floating-on-a-cushion effect.
White Strawberries has a rich strawberry flavor and high THC at 20%. These are just some of the reasons why this is a very popular strain among recreational and medicinal users.
Always take note of the phenotype of White Strawberry you are taking or else you’re risking a couch-lock effect. If you’re not careful you’ll sink further into your couch but you’ll remain relaxed, happy and contented.
Afghan’s roots may be traced to the traditional hashish production done in the Middle East. This is a landrace strain with heavy-resin buds. It will give you a smooth, heightening effect that will soon become a potent wave of pure relaxation. Because of its powerful effects, you can use Afghan to relieve anxiety and stress.
Afghan users will instantly find their minds preoccupied with something deep but comfortable feeling. This is expected of a sativa strain. It comes with a high CBD content, therefore, you can use this as a medicinal strain.
The genetics of Afghan has been carefully cultivated over the years. And even if it has been combined with other strains, the offspring of Afghan still retains its couch lock and potent relaxing effects.
- Gorilla Glue #4 S1
The Gorilla Glue #4 S1 is a reversed self-pollinating counterpart of the GG#4. This strain comes with a very potent couch lock effect despite having different phenotypes. The sativa phenotype offers a purely cerebral experience and a heavy high which is unable to overpower the strain’s powerful indica effects.
The effects of Gorilla Glue #4 S1 affects the mind and body. Users who have consumed this strain before say that the couch lock effects of this strain make you feel as if you and the sofa are one!
Gorilla Glue #4 S1 is not for a novice user because of its very powerful effects. It is recommended for people who have consumed this kind of potent indica before, and have lived to see the light of day!
Just by the name of this strain, you can already tell that it will give you a very potent couch lock experience. Rocklock can cause relaxing pulses all over your body and even your mind. The stoned effect of this strain may be described as an all-body experience that will keep you on the couch for hours.
With these effects, Rocklock is effective for days when you’re tensed or stressed out. You will be zoned out but happy and euphoric when you are under the influence of a very potent strain like Rocklock.
- Black Widow
Black Widow is like a venomous strain with towering THC levels at 28%. This strain is one of the strongest strains ever known to man.
Black Widow will lock you in your couch and never let you go for hours. This impressive high makes it a good strain for conditions such as pain, stress, and anxiety. You’ll find yourself settling in on a wonderful relaxed feeling while your mind remains focused and euphoric.
Black Widow is not for a novice user because of its extreme body and mind effects. The strong couch lock effects may be too overwhelming and will only cause increased anxiety and stress. As for seasoned smokers, control your intake and exercise moderation to avoid side effects.
There are more strains which can give you a potent couch lock effect. Take note that if you are using cannabis for a medical condition, you can consult your doctor if you have concerns about experiencing couch lock effects.
Assess your limits
Take note of your limits. If you are new to taking cannabis and you are still getting used to the effects of different strains then you might be better off with a lower dose. If you are still new to strains with high THC or CBD, use a balanced strain instead.
For medical cannabis users, your doctor will assess your condition and find out if cannabis is the right treatment for you. He will also determine your dose according to your symptoms, your age, weight, and other factors.
Take a moderate dose
Use only a moderate dose. If you are used to taking 100 mg of a strain, use a fourth of the dose and then slowly increase this according to your needs. Take special note that a moderate dose for some may not be for another. You could already be feeling high with just a minimal dose if you are new to taking cannabis or you hardly feel anything because you’re a seasoned user.
So as much as possible, take a moderate dose and wait for at least an hour to get to know the effects or side effects. Afterward, take another dose and again, take note of any untoward effects. After this, you may increase your dose in small increments until you are okay with the effects and side effects.
Use an appropriate mode of intake
Some cannabis method of intake is more efficient than other methods. Smoking and vaping are known as the fastest ways to consume cannabis. This is because you are burning the dried leaves which quickly release THC. Still another fast method of taking THC is by placing the liquid under the tongue. This area has a large number of blood vessels that will instantly absorb THC and other marijuana compounds.
Meanwhile, the slowest way to experience the high in cannabis is through consuming edibles. An edible is any kind of cannabis form that you eat or drink. An edible takes a long time to take effect because this has to pass through your stomach and to your intestine before the compounds may be absorbed by the blood.
But there’s a catch in taking edibles. This is food and therefore hard to resist. A bag of chocolate chip cookies edibles, for instance, can have 10 mg of THC per cookie. It can take around 30 to 40 minutes before an edible can take effect and who can resist taking another cookie for 30 minutes? This is why you need to wait and be patient. If you continue to eat and eat edibles, you might end up with a faster high and a very scary couch lock effect.
Consume in a familiar place
One of the best ways to avoid the frightening side effects of potent weed is to consume it in a place where you are more comfortable with and preferably surrounded by familiar people.
Those who enjoy a good smoke prefer to use weed at home or in the comforts of a friend’s home. Consider that some strains can cause anxiety, slight paranoia, and other side effects, it would be better if you are in a familiar safe place.
Don’t smoke high THC or high CBD strains in a party or in an event. In case of a couch lock, you might end up suffering from a terrible high which may include anxiety, stress and other side effects.
Have someone to watch your back
This is important especially when you’re smoking new strains. Try the strain first or have a friend consume it first so you two can better gauge the effects. Never smoke alone. If you are in a party or 420 events, resist taking a smoke if you are alone or you don’t have people to watch your back.
In events especially in 420 celebrations, it’s common to pass a smoke or being offered with a joint or strain that you’re not familiar with. Again, resist the urge to get high even if you have a friend with you. Remember, you don’t know what kind of weed is inside this joint.
You don’t know if you’ve smoked this before or if you’re new to the strain. As much as possible, bring your own joints or buy only from a reputable retailer so you don’t have to worry about dangerous side effects.
Eat food before you get high
This is true for edibles. If you have had a meal or had a hearty beverage, chances are high will come a bit later and sometimes milder. Your digestive system will absorb the food first before it will start to process the edible. This is why expert users prefer to consume cannabis edibles in an empty stomach. This will let them enjoy the high better and faster.
How to get over a couch lock effect?
Now that you know how to prevent a couch lock, it’s time to learn how to deal with it. Sometimes, a couch lock effect is inevitable especially when you’re taking new strains. But you can better control the high with the following techniques.
Just ride the high
The “high” is any kind of psychoactive effect that brings about anxiety and stress. Riding the high is just letting this negative experience pass and there are many ways to do so.
You can simply laze around and do nothing. Just let euphoria and relaxation take effect. This is why users prefer to use a potent strain in the evening or during the weekend when there’s nothing important left to do.
Some users prefer a potent strain for stimulation. They need this kind of strain for creativity, to help them focus and to get energized. So instead of waiting for that couch lock effect, users tend to focus on more productive activities and tasks.
Still, other ways to ride the high include listening to music, playing video games, watching movies and eating.
Avoid stressing yourself out
Stop stressing yourself, you will only make things worse. Don’t worry, no one has died from couch lock before unless your ceiling suddenly falls on you!
But it’s easier said than done. Stressing is all about worrying about what will happen next if you live to survive the high or you are spiraling out of control. To avoid stress, consume cannabis in the comfort of your home or room.
Don’t consume cannabis in an unknown place or from someone else’s home. You’ll end up feeling more stressed when you are unsure about your environment.
Should you take cannabis and drive? Although cannabis won’t get you intoxicated, surviving a couch lock while driving can be lethal as well. You are more likely to drive slowly and have slower reflexes when you are high. You can also suffer from the confusion which can make driving worse. So as much as possible, never get high and drive.