Do These Foods Get You Higher?
Companion foods are thought to enhance your cannabis high.
Many people believe that certain foods can get you higher if you eat them before, during or after consuming cannabis. These weed-enhancing treats are called companion foods.
According to experts in the cannabis wellness space, there are at least 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. One of these factors is whether or not you ate any companion foods.
What Foods Get You Higher?
Jointly supports 12 companion foods:
- Green Tea
- Black Tea
- Dark Chocolate (at least 72% cacao)
Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that allows you to set wellness goals for your cannabis use and record how well a cannabis product helps you achieve your wellness goals.
When you report your cannabis consumption on Jointly, you can record whether you ate any of these companion foods.
Does dark chocolate improve your experience when you use cannabis to enhance intimacy?
If you eat thyme-crusted fish for lunch and then take a few puffs of a sativa strain, does it boost your focus and creativity more than your regular lunch?
If you fill out enough reports, you will get data that show how your favorite companion foods affect your experience.
Our data indicates that Jointly works best when you report at least 10 cannabis sessions. If you only fill out a few reports and then stop, you won’t have enough data to start to see trends and improve how you consume cannabis.
Why Would Foods Get You Higher?
The companion foods fall into roughly three categories: foods that contain terpenes, foods that interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), and foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids.
We will briefly look at why each category of food might enhance your high.
Terpenes are chemicals that create the scent, taste and coloring of many common foods and plants. The smell of pine trees, lavender and citrus fruits all come from terpenes.
Terpenes serve various purposes for plants. They can help deter predators or attract pollinators. They can protect plants from heat during photosynthesis or drive off bugs and herbivores that feed on the plant.
When we eat foods with these terpenes, they may exert physiological effects. Inhaling terpenes also may create beneficial effects.
Interestingly, it is thought that the reason children with asthma benefit from “forest bathing” (walking around in a forest) is that they are inhaling terpenes released by the trees.
Various preclinical trials in animals have shown that terpenes can have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-depressive and pain-relieving effects.
Cannabis contains high levels of terpenes. Myrcene is the most common terpene in cannabis, followed by limonene, linalool, caryophyllene and pinene.
The idea behind combining cannabis with companion foods containing terpenes is that you will increase the concentrations of terpenes in your body, allowing you to intensify or change your high.
This idea is also behind the concept of the “entourage effect,” which is typically defined as the synergistic effect of THC, CBD, terpenes, flavonoids and lesser-known cannabinoids found in whole cannabis flower.
Pinene is a terpene found in cannabis, sage and thyme.
Pinene is named after the pine tree because this terpene is responsible for the refreshing scent of pine sap. This terpene is also commonly added to cleaning products to give them a bright, clean scent.
Pinene exerts a range of biological effects. According to a 2019 article published in the scientific journal Biomolecules, pinene has anti-coagulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-tumor, anti-malarial, antioxidant and pain-relieving effects.
As Jointly discussed in Does the Quality of Your Diet Affect Your Cannabis Experience, chronic low-grade inflammation is linked to depression and anxiety.
Perhaps consuming sage or thyme with cannabis could reduce inflammation and produce a more positive cannabis experience. Or the synergistic effect of cannabis and pinene-rich foods could be due to a different factor.
Myrcene is a terpene found in cannabis, as well as broccoli, mangos and nuts. Myrcene is described as having a pleasant, earthy smell.
Other studies have found that (at high doses) myrcene may have some sedating and muscle relaxing properties and may reduce inflammation.
More studies are needed to determine how eating myrcene-rich foods like broccoli or mangoes affects your cannabis high. But until then, the best option is to try them with cannabis and record your experiences on Jointly.
Foods That Affect Your ECS
When you consume cannabis, THC and other cannabinoids interact with your cannabinoid (CB) receptors.
But some foods can also interact with your CB receptors.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is made up of the CB1 (cannabinoid receptor 1) and CB2 receptors and the endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG) that bind to them.
Broccoli, green tea, black tea and dark chocolate all have compounds that can interact with your ECS. If you eat or drink any of these companion foods alongside cannabis, it could potentially change your experience.
This terpene is found in black pepper and cinnamon and is responsible for their spicy scent. This compound is also found in broccoli. Unlike the other terpenes mentioned above, beta-caryophyllene has been shown to interact with the ECS, specifically CB2 receptors.
Studies have shown that beta-caryophyllene interacts with CB2 receptors to produce anti-depressive and anti-anxiety behaviors in mice. Perhaps eating foods rich in beta-caryophyllene could have a mood-boosting effect in humans.
It is possible that if you eat broccoli before or after consuming cannabis, the beta-caryophyllene in the broccoli could improve your cannabis experience.
Catechins in Tea
They have potent antioxidant and microbial activity and were frequently used in traditional herbal remedies.
Green tea has higher levels of catechins than black tea, but both are significant sources of these compounds. Catechins have been found to interact with both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Beyond catechins, tea contains caffeine and L-theanine.
Caffeine is a stimulant that could potentially alter your cannabis experience. And theanine is an amino acid uniquely found in tea that has been shown to increase levels of serotonin, dopamine and GABA in the brain.
There are a variety of compounds in a cup of tea that could potentially alter your cannabis experience.
Anandamide in Dark Chocolate
Cacao and dark chocolate contain one of the natural cannabinoids found in us: anandamide.
When you exercise, levels of anandamide in the blood increase and contribute to the “runner’s high”.
Chocolate also contains two other chemical compounds that inhibit the breakdown of anandamide.
Despite the presence of these compounds, there is no evidence that eating chocolate can affect your circulating endocannabinoid levels.
That said, many people swear by chocolate as a companion food. Chocolate (like tea) contains many other compounds that could alter your cannabis experience like caffeine and theobromine.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Your ECS
Fish, eggs, avocado and nuts all contain healthy fats.
As Jointly discussed in Should You Take Cannabis on a Full or Empty Stomach, when you orally consume cannabis with fats, it increases the amount of cannabinoid that your body absorbs.
If you take an edible with these companion foods, it might make the effects stronger.
There is no data about how dietary fat affects cannabinoid absorption when smoking or vaping.
As we explored in Does the Quality of Your Diet Affect Your Cannabis Experience, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are the precursors to the endocannabinoids that your body makes.
That means that dietary intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids directly affects endocannabinoid levels in the brain.
In general, diets high in Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with less depression, anxiety and better mental well-being. Diets with too little Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with less synaptic plasticity in the brain, as well as a higher risk of anxiety and depression.
While there have not been any studies on how Omega-3 fatty acids affect your cannabis experience, it is possible that the health-promoting and mood boosting effects of these foods could enhance your experience.
There are no studies about how a multivitamin could affect your cannabis experience, but many people believe multivitamins are a companion food.
We encourage you to experiment for yourself and record your experiences with cannabis and multivitamins on Jointly—and let us know what you find!
Getting Answers with Jointly
Curious about tracking and optimizing how you use cannabis or CBD?
Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that allows you to track and record your cannabis and CBD consumption, including your dose, time of use, composition of the product and various other factors that can influence your experience. When you look up cannabis products on Jointly, we will only show you legal, licensed products that you can purchase at your local medical marijuana clinic or cannabis dispensary.