How the Sun Affects Your High

Have you ever wondered why so many people in warm weather locations, like India, enjoy drinking hot tea? Do they really prefer hot tea over iced tea? Or is there something about a hot drink that can help keep you cool in hot weather?

If so, are there other things like hot peppers and cannabis that could help keep us cool under the sun?

– Gif from: Giphy

Before we get to that, it is important to point out that the effects of cannabis will be different for everyone and will depend on many factors – including your metabolism, your tolerance, and the potency of your cannabis. 

The Best Way to Medicate with Cannabis Is Different for All 

Certain effects that might feel ideal for someone who has medicated with cannabis for years, may not be right for someone new to it. The same applies to the sun and the heat. Warm conditions that might feel right for someone from South Florida, could be too hot for someone used to living in a cooler climate.

Keep in mind that the information provided is intended as a general guide to what most can expect when partaking under the sun – but everyone’s experience will vary.

Strain Type May Not Tell the Whole Story

When it comes to general guidelines, or rules of thumb, it’s important to consider that they may not always tell the whole story. 

One example of this is a somewhat outdated guideline for determining the potential effects of various strains of cannabis. It was previously thought the general effects of cannabis could be determined by identifying if it was an Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid strain of cannabis.

Today we know that although strain type can give you a general idea of the potential effects, a lot more goes into determining how it will impact each individual.

The types of terpenes found in each strain, along with the way those terpenes interact with your endocannabinoid system, could be just as important in unlocking the therapeutic potential of your cannabis.

If after reading this content, you have any questions about the best ways to medicate with cannabis, please do not hesitate to give a Bloom Medicinals dispensary near you a call to schedule a free, one-on-one consultation – and we’ll be happy to help you identify the methods that are right for you. 

Can Partaking Outdoors Impact the Effects of Your Weed?

Two things that can go a long way in determining your experience with cannabis is the environment in which you enjoy it and your mindset going into your cannabis session.  

Let’s start by talking about the differences in the environment when you enjoy your cannabis indoors and when you take your session outdoors under the sun. 

When we partake indoors, we are usually in a familiar setting – like our living room – where our mind has already processed much of the stimuli in that room. But when we venture outdoors, there are so many things around that can stimulate our mind and senses.

The Added Stimuli of the Outdoors Could Enhance the Effects of Cannabis

From sunlight and the sounds of birds to the smell of flowers – there are so many things for our brains to process when we venture outdoors. Plus, when we consume cannabis, our brain’s ability to process information can slow down a bit.

So, if our ability to process information slows down after we consume and we step outside and are overloaded with an abundance of things to process – this could stimulate your brain and boost the psychoactive effects of your cannabis.

This is one way that enjoying your cannabis under the sun could enhance your high.

The Endorphin Boost

Another way the sun could boost your high comes down to the endorphins that are released when we are exposed to sunshine.

Endorphins are hormones that are released when we feel pain or stress. They can also be released by our bodies during pleasurable experiences like exercise, eating, acupuncture, getting a massage, or sex.1

Endorphins – Not to Be Confused with Endocannabinoids

The word endorphin is a mix of two words. The first word is “endogenous” – which means within the body. The second word is “morphine,” which is an opiate pain reliever.

So, endorphins are chemicals that are naturally produced within our bodies – that can relieve pain and put you in a positive state of mind.1

In that way, endorphins are similar to endocannabinoids – which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced within our bodies. In fact, there have been instances where certain feel-good experiences have been incorrectly attributed to endorphins – when they were actually caused by endocannabinoids. 

Is Runner’s High Caused by Endorphins?

One feel-good experience that has been incorrectly attributed to endorphins is the feeling known as runner’s high. Runner’s high is the temporary feeling of euphoria that some people experience during or immediately after a run or workout.

Well, it turns out that it’s actually endocannabinoids that produce this temporary state of euphoria after exercise. Specifically, the endocannabinoid known as Anandamide – which was named after the Sanskrit word for bliss or joy.2

Click here to learn how CBD Oil with THC can help you make the most of the effects of anandamide and other cannabinoids.

How Sunshine Can Enhance Your High 

As we mentioned earlier, two things that can greatly influence your high are the environment in which you enjoy your cannabis, and your mindset going into your high.

Well, here’s some good news for sun lovers. The UV rays associated with sunshine can help to release endorphins.

A study conducted in 2014 found that when we are exposed to sunshine, the sun’s UV rays can increase endorphin levels in our bodies by 30 to 50%.3 

So, when you combine sunshine with cannabis’ own feel-good cannabinoids, like anandamide, it’s possible that the mix of these feel good chemicals could result in an elevated state of bliss and euphoria. 

Before we move on, let’s clarify something important. Just because sunshine could help to boost feelings of euphoria during your high, that does not mean you should throw caution to the wind and get as much sun as possible when you consume. 

Too Much of Two Good Things Can Be Bad

When mixing two things that can have a big impact on how we feel, it is essential to proceed with caution. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the effects of your cannabis safely under the sun: 

  • Be aware of the potential dangers of overexposure to heat and the sun – which include sunburn, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke
  • Have a plan for getting out of the sun and enjoying some shade once the temperature starts to rise
  • Bring water, coconut water, or other electrolyte drink to stay hydrated
  • If you feel like the sun or heat are getting too strong, head indoors to enjoy some A/C and cool off

Speaking of ways to cool off, did you know that cannabis could actually help with that? 

How Cannabis Can Help Keep You Cool

Research conducted back in the early 1980s found that cannabis use can help lower body temperature. The study was conducted on rodents and determined that there was a connection between cannabis use and a lower body temperature.4

There are two researched theories as to why cannabis can help cool us down.

First, cannabis could influence body temperature due to THC’s interaction with the hypothalamus. The study’s authors stated that THC may be able to alter thermoregulation in mice by interacting with the thermoregulatory centers of the anterior hypothalamus.4

Another theory about why cannabis might help reduce body temperature is that it activates receptors that initiate a cooling response in our bodies. These receptors are known as Transient Receptor Potential channels of the Vanilloid subtype (TRPV1) and they help to regulate feelings of heat and pain.

To help us understand the role these receptors play, let’s consider the millions of people who live in warm weather climates and enjoy drinking hot tea or eating spicy foods – knowing it’s going to make them sweat. 

Can Hot Drinks and Spicy Food Help Cool You Down? 

The heat from a hot cup of tea or coffee activates TRPV1 receptors on our tongues that detect heat and activate a cooling response that can reduce your body temperature more than the hot drink heats you up.5

This cooling response is similar to when you eat spicy food and start sweating. When we consume hot peppers, it activates the TRPV1 receptors that tell your body to start sweating. And, as the sweat evaporates, this helps to cool you down.

The key is that your sweat must be able to evaporate. If your sweat collects on your clothing, this can cancel out the cooling potential of your sweat.

So, if you plan on using hot peppers or cannabis to help cool you down, it is best to do so in moisture wicking clothing that allows your sweat to evaporate. Something else to keep in mind is that your hot drink does not need to be excessively hot. The last thing you want to do is burn yourself when you are trying to cool off. 

Cannabis, Hot Drinks, and Spicy Foods – Be Smart to Stay Cool

So, there you have it. Consuming cannabis outdoors under the sun could enhance the effects of your cannabis. But, you must do so responsibly and have a plan to stay cool and hydrated so you can avoid the potential dangers of overexposure to heat and the sun.  

And, as counterintuitive as it might seem, hot drinks, spicy foods, and cannabis can help to keep you cool in hot weather. But as we mentioned earlier, the best way to maximize the therapeutic potential of cannabis will be different for all. 

Let Bloom Help to Identify Which Methods Are Best for You

Instead of focusing exclusively on whether you should medicate with a sativa or indica strain, it is just as important to identify the strains with the terpene profile that works best with your endocannabinoid system.

By striking the right balance of cannabinoids and terpenes, you can be on your way to enjoying the quality-of-life enhancements that are possible with cannabis. 

If you have any questions about what might be best for you, please feel free to give a Bloom Medicinals  dispensary near you a call today to schedule a free, one-on-one consultation.