Some people like weed and some don’t. Some people used to like weed, but now they don’t. Some people used to hate weed, but now they smoke.
So what gives? The folks at Leafly have recently synthesized years of cannabis research and claim that your proclivity for cannabis depends on three basic factors: age, opioid receptors, and CB1 receptor location.
22% of adults experience anxious and/or panic after consuming cannabis, according to one study. But adolescents are much less likely to catch bad vibes from puffing as their adult counterparts.
Another study got a bunch of rats high on THC, both adult and adolescent rats. Adults got stressed and even avoided the rooms in which they had experienced their bad highs.
Adolescent rats, on the other hand, proved three times as sensitive to THC in their hippocampus, the area of the brain which regulates mood and memory. As a result, they didn’t mind their THC experience at all. This greater sensitivity might also be related to why cannabis cna have more lasting long-term negative effects on adolescents than on adults.
The opioid and cannabinoid systems have a little bit of cross-pollination. That’s partly why cannabis can be used to treat pain and even replace opioid painkillers in some cases. It’s also why a person’s opioid system partially determines how they respond to THC.
The human body has two kind of opioid receptors: μ-opioid receptors, which make you feel good when they’re activated, and κ-opioid receptors, which can make you feel not-so-hot when activated.
Since THC also activates these receptors, a greater presence of μ-opioid receptors can make you euphoric while a higher quotient of κ-opioid receptors can make for more adverse effects. One study genetically engineered mice to make them incapable of producing κ-opioid receptors and, according to Leafly, the “mice seem to really enjoy it!”
This is a little more common sense, at least once you look up CB1 receptors and realize that CB stands for cannabinoid. Studying some more high mice, scientists found that the location of CB1 receptors can vary from body to body. If the CB1 receptors were mostly found on “inhibitory brain cells,” then THC would cause a party in the mice’s brain. If CB1 receptors were found on “excitatory brain cells,” then the mice experienced dreaded “aversive properties.”
So if you don’t like weed, it’s just because you were built that way. But if you don’t like weed, you probably wouldn’t be reading Dabs Magazine, so nevermind.
Photo via Flickr user Stace DaPonte