For all the benefits of cannabis, consuming too much of it can be a challenging experience, even in the short term.
One of the most irritating negative effects of cannabis consumption is the groggy, clouded feeling known as “brain fog” or “fogginess.”
At times, the grogginess can feel impossible to shake. It’s especially noticeable when you’re trying to participate in social situations.
Brain fog can feel as though you’re always a second or two behind everyone else, a bit “slow on the uptake,” or that your attention span now rivals a goldfish.
The good news is these effects are temporary (and also avoidable). Below are some ways to settle your mind and get back on track.
Drink a Soda, Some Juice, or Coffee
Boosting your blood sugar is a good way to increase your alertness. A sugary soda or juice can give you that extra energy surge that can right your ship. Some light snacks may also do the trick.
If coffee is more your jam, a nice hot cup of java (or an iced coffee on a hot day) can put you back into the swing of things.
Just don’t drink too much. Few people want to be groggy and jittery at the same time.
Friendly disclaimer: if you’re dealing with any chronic pain or chronic inflammation, you may want to avoid processed sugar entirely because it’s an inflammatory agent.
Smoke (or Vape) High-CBD Flower
Inhaling cannabinoid smoke or vapor (in this case CBD) is the fastest and most efficient way to cross the blood-brain barrier. The benefits can take as little as 5 minutes to experience and can reach maximum effect in 20.
CBD’s anti-anxiety and calming effects can help with any social stress your fogginess is causing, which may add to your distraction.
It has also been shown that small doses of CBD can increase wakefulness and promote energy, which may help bring you back to a more desirable level if you're feeling groggy.
More importantly, CBD has a synergistic effect with THC that can help modulate unwanted side effects, in this case drowsiness.
In addition to inhalation, a CBD tincture or CBD edible may also do the trick.
Drinking water is a healthy thing to do anyway, and it can make a big difference when your brain is running a little behind schedule.
As shown in a study published by Physiology & Behavior, even minor dehydration can impair cognitive functions.
Since cannabis use has been shown to decrease saliva secretion (even without causing dehydration), drinking more water can help clear your mind while also satiating your tongue.
Go For A Walk
Getting more oxygen into your brain is a great way to combat a sluggish mind. The brain uses 3 times as much oxygen as the muscles do and even a small decrease in oxygen can affect mental function.
Going outside for some fresh air will fill your lungs with more oxygen than resting on a couch, and getting blood pumping can invigorate you, making you more alert.
A change of scenery can also increase your mental stimulation, taking in different sights, smells, and sounds.
If it’s dark out or you’re unable to leave, even taking some deep breaths can make a big difference.
Take A Nap
Sometimes, no matter what you do, clearing out the cannabis cobwebs simply becomes a waiting game.
Finding a quiet, dark place to lay down for a quick snooze can help speed time along. You’ll wake up more refreshed and with more of the cannabis processed through your system.
How To Avoid Brain Fog
The best way to combat brain fog is to not get it in the first place.
Before you consume cannabis, it’s a good idea to know the dosage you’re consuming, whether it’s flower, vape, or edibles.
Lowering the dosage amount is one of the first considerations.
Second, try a different product. For example, a higher CBD strain of cannabis may lead to a clearer mind than a higher THC strain. Same with strains high in terpenes like a-pinene for example.
If you experience brain fog regularly, it may make sense to keep a log of the strains that you consume. Record things like time of day, strain, dosage amount, delivery format, and any other info you can along with how the experience made you feel.
This will help you better dial in a cannabis regimen with maximum benefits and minimum side effects.
Cannabis contains over 100 different terpenes and cannabinoids, all of which cause different effects in different people, depending on the strain.
Knowing which strains and even which terpenes don't agree with you can help prevent negative effects in the future.
However, if you do find yourself a little groggy after consuming, the best thing to do is to remind yourself that it isn’t permanent. Give it a little time and you’ll be feeling more yourself before you know it.
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