Even the most dedicated stoner will readily admit that there are good and bad aspects to smoking the good kush. On the one hand, cannabis will help you relax, remove any pain or tension and make you feel remarkably calm and happy; on the other hand, weed can and does cause symptoms like confusion, poor concentration, and even problems with short-term memory. These effects often lumped together under the convenient term “brain fog,” aren’t necessarily disastrous, depending on what a user plans to do while high, but they can be annoying, especially if you are hoping to use cannabis as a medical treatment while you go about your regular life.
Fortunately, there are ways to radically reduce brain fog, both in your likelihood of experiencing it and in the fog’s intensity should the symptom arise. Here are some de-fogging tips for your next weed experience:
Choose the Right Weed Strain
Though the differentiation of strains using the terms “Indica” and “Sativa” isn’t exactly based in science, researchers can confidently say that different strains generate different effects within users. Effects vary likely because of cannabinoid content and terpene profiles — in other words because the compounds within different cannabis varieties are slightly different.
Users should experiment to find which exact weed strains don’t result in disruption of cognitive processes. However, in general, you should gravitate toward strains with a higher CBD content, like Harlequin and ACDC, as well as strains that have a citrusy aroma.
Opt for Short-Term Consumption
Brain fog is often the result of a minor THC overdose. Though the term “overdose” might seem scary, you should know that while possible, cannabis overdoses are not inherently life-threatening the way other drug overdoses are. Usually, when you overdose on THC, you will experience irksome symptoms like confusion, paranoia, and nausea; at worst, your heart rate might increase, or your blood pressure could drop.
Still, dosing properly is important if you want your high to be pleasant and productive instead of brain-fogging. The best strategy is to take smaller doses and expect to be high for shorter periods of time. Then, you are unlikely to accidentally experience negative overdose effects, and you are likely to maintain a clear head.
Use at the Right Time of Day
Anyone’s brain will feel foggy when they are high in the middle of cognitively demanding activity. Smoking weed simply isn’t conducive to tasks that place high demands on your sense of logic or reason. Thus, it is important to use weed at the right time of day, so the substance won’t interfere at all with your ability to think through a difficult issue. For example, you might reserve your reefer session for after work if your job is an intellectual one, or you might wake-and-bake if you like to play strategy-heavy games at night.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration is the main contributor to bad alcohol hangovers — and it can cause you to develop a weed hangover, replete with brain fog. You need to give your body enough water to flush out unnecessary cannabis compounds, which will help keep your mind sharp. In truth, your unique lifestyle determines how much water is the right amount, but here’s a good rule of thumb to help you gauge whether you are drinking enough water throughout the day: You should be peeing around seven times per day, and your urine should have a pale-yellow color.
Develop an Overall Healthy Lifestyle
The stronger your bodily systems are outside of cannabis consumption, the stronger they will be while you are high. You should maintain an overall healthy lifestyle that bolsters both body and brain; this means eating primarily whole foods, like whole grains, fruits, and veggies, and exercising your mind and body on a regular basis. Though being healthy won’t necessarily prevent brain fog, it will make your systems better equipped to process cannabinoids and your mindless likely to get overwhelmed.
Sleep It off
If you do experience brain fog, it is important to react to this symptom appropriately to give your mind the right space to relax and prevent the fog from persisting. You might be able to combat relatively minor bouts of fog with water and physical movement, like a walk around the neighborhood, but if your brain fog is intense, the best course of action is to go to sleep. A nap or a full night’s rest should provide enough time for your body to burn through the excess cannabinoids, reducing your high or ending it entirely.
Weed is great, but brain fog can be terrible. Fortunately, with the right lifestyle choices and a few tweaks to your stoner habits, you can have your cannabis and think straight, too.