Have you ever noticed that the same cannabis product can produce different effects (or side effects) from one day to the next? Or that a weed strain that consistently makes you focused and creative has a totally different effect on your friend?
How is it possible that the same product has such varied effects? And what factors can you track and control so that you can enjoy a consistent and reliable cannabis experience every time? Unfortunately, due to decades of federal prohibition, there is not much scientific research into factors that affect how cannabis makes you feel. However, experts in the cannabis wellness space believe that there are at least 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. Jointly enables you to track those 15 factors so you can optimize your results. And it works: Jointly users who have created at least 10 reports are improving their results by an average of 38%.
To understand why these factors might impact your cannabis experience, it is important to understand the role that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays in the human body and how cannabis interacts with this system. The ECS is made up of the CB1 (cannabinoid receptor 1) and CB2 receptors and the endogenous cannabinoids that bind to them. The CB1 receptors are found in the brain, nervous system, peripheral organs and tissue, while the CB2 receptors are found primarily on immune cells, although they are also found on bone, spleen and liver cells. The ECS modulates a wide range of biological functions like mood, sleep, pain perception, glucose metabolism, the hormones produced in the gut, cognitive function and more.
THC mimics your body’s endogenous cannabinoids and binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. THC can interact with many of the biological functions that the ECS modulates, and can produce a wide range of effects and side effects as a result. For example, cannabis affects insulin and hunger hormone levels and cannabis can improve brain health in seniors. Low doses of THC can relieve stress or anxiety, but high doses may cause anxiety in some people. That is why dose is one of the most important factors to dial in when optimizing your cannabis experience. Whenever you try a new product, it is important to start with a small dose to establish the potency and add more as needed. If you find the minimum dose you need to create the effect you want, you save money and decrease your risk of side effects. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to the CB1 or CB2 receptors, but rather increases concentrations of your body’s endocannabinoid levels. As a result, the scientific literature indicates that for some purposes like healing bone fractures, it is better to consume CBD for an extended period of time to harness the cumulative effect of CBD on your body’s endocannabinoid levels. While CBD and THC are the most studied cannabinoids, cannabis contains over 500 chemical compounds, including lesser-known cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes, many of which have biological effects. For example, terpenes can affect neurotransmitter levels. Different cannabis products, strains and product types (concentrates versus edibles versus flower) will contain different levels of these compounds and produce a range of effects. You can filter products in Jointly's cannabis and CBD catalog by product type, cannabinoid profile, flavor and more. You can also see how Jointly users rated products that are available in your local cannabis dispensary. Think of Jointly like a cannabis club where everyone is committed to living better, naturally.
We have established that cannabis can produce a wide range of effects due to the complex role that the ECS plays in the human body. We have also explored why different cannabis products, product types and strains can produce different effects. However, your body is also in flux, and the effects of cannabis may differ based on your biology in that moment. Some of these fluctuations are regular like your circadian rhythm, which is “an ongoing neurochemical ebb and flow from morning to night.” For example, cortisol (stress hormone) is elevated in the morning to wake you up, but at night cortisol levels fall and levels of melatonin (sleep hormone) rise. This cycle allows you to fall asleep and wake up. If you consume the same cannabis product in the morning versus at night, your neurochemical and hormonal state is different, and cannabis or CBD might produce different effects or side effects. If you figure out how the time of day affects your cannabis experience, you can use this data to adjust how you consume cannabis and improve your results. Other biological fluctuations can be caused by our immediate environment. For example, if you are in a stressful social situation, your cortisol levels may rise. If you consume cannabis in that stressful situation, you might experience negative side effects like anxiety. Or you may find the opposite: that, for you, consuming cannabis in a stressful social situation makes you feel more relaxed and social. Diet, exercise, companion foods, how hydrated you are—all these factors alter your biological state and could potentially change the way cannabis affects you. If you dial in these factors, you can harness the power of cannabis to improve your well-being and achieve your wellness goals.
Purposeful cannabis consumption starts with the question: why do you use cannabis? The next question is: are you achieving that goal? As the saying goes: if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. With Jointly, you get to measure how each cannabis product affects you and how well it helps you achieve your wellness goals. As you can imagine, everyone is different. We have different biology, work schedules, life stresses, dietary habits and sleep hygiene. The best way to find out what factors impact you and your cannabis experience is by setting goals for your cannabis use, recording your cannabis consumption, tracking the factors that can impact your experience, and reporting on the effects and side effects in real time. Through this process, you will gain meaningful data that you can use to adjust how you consume cannabis so that you can enjoy your ideal experience every time.
Purposeful cannabis consumption is a journey to live better, naturally. And Jointly is here to make your cannabis wellness journey a whole lot easier. Over time, your average product ratings should go up as you optimize how you consume cannabis and CBD. Use the Monitor Your Progress feature to make sure your results are improving over time. Download the Jointly app today and start accomplishing your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD!