First the mind lifts, you feel lighter, and then a heavy warmth blankets your body. These are classic marijuana effects. A feeling of relaxation is common and often desirable. When the effect is so strong that it feels almost impossible to move, that’s when it crosses over into couch lock. As marijuana effects go, this one has more critics than fans. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its uses. By learning more about the effect, you can make choices that are right for your needs.
What causes couch lock?
Common wisdom says indicas glue you down, sativas get you moving. This doesn’t tell the whole story. There are some sativas, especially in high dosages, that can cause couch lock, and indicas that won’t leave you stuck to one spot.
More research is needed to pinpoint the cause of couch lock. Currently, it’s believed to be part of the “entourage effect.” Cannabis has cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that all interact to produce different effects. Sometimes the whole of the effects they create is greater than the sum of the parts.
With that in mind, there are two somewhat reliable ways of encouraging this deep relaxation. One is picking a strain that is known to cause couch lock for lots of patients. The other is consuming a high dosage, regardless of strain. The higher you feel, the more likely feeling unwilling to move becomes.
Benefits of couch lock
There’s a time and place for even the heaviest of couch lock effects. For some, they might simply enjoy the feeling of melting into their surroundings. For others, it can be helpful in coping with common problems. It is most powerful against stubborn conditions like insomnia. As the mind and body relax, these feelings can help ease you to sleepiness. Especially if you’re already in bed. Pain relief benefits can be boosted, especially if movement leads to more pain. And muscle relaxation can be a big relief for stress and tension.
Strains known for couch lock
There are some strains well-known for couch lock that we grow here at Flora Farms, including Northern Lights, OG Kush, and Original Glue. Our favorite, however, is Grand Daddy Purple.
Grand Daddy Purple (indica-dominant hybrid)
This strain’s potent effects are clearly detectable in both mind and body, delivering a fusion of cerebral euphoria and physical relaxation. While your thoughts may float in a dreamy buzz, your body is more likely to find itself fixed in one spot for the duration of GDP’s effects. Medical marijuana patients turn to this strain to combat pain, stress, insomnia, appetite loss, and muscle spasms.
Other strains we love include Northern Lights, OG Kush, and Original Glue.
Downsides of couch lock
There are no two ways about it. If you have plans, things to do, couch lock will shut that down. It’s hard to be productive if you feel stuck in one place. That’s why strains known to create this effect are also the strains most commonly recommended for nighttime use. Plus, being couch locked doesn’t feel relaxing if it makes you feel trapped. These are common reasons why patients work to avoid the effect. The good news is that there are ways to combat getting glued down.
How to avoid couch lock
If you want to avoid couch lock, there are some steps you can take. Start by asking your budtender about energizing strains. Some of our favorites at Flora Farms are Chemmy Jones, Sour Tangie, and Durban Poison. Strain choice has a huge influence on what you can expect. Next, go low dosage and take it slow. The low and slow strategy is especially helpful when trying new strains until you learn how they affect you. Lastly, keep moving! Continuing to stay active reduces the likelihood of getting stuck in the first place.
If you do end up trapped on the sofa, no need to panic. There are things you can do. Drink a caffeinated drink like coffee or soda. The boost of energy from the drink can help balance the stuck feeling. And finally, you can try CBD. There’s evidence that CBD can reduce the psychoactive effect of THC. It’s a common remedy echoed by patients, too. If all attempts to get yourself unlocked fall short, stay calm and wait it out. Try putting on some music you like, call a friend to pass the time, or just curl up with a nice blanket and take a well-deserved nap.
So are you a couch lock fan or critic? Either way, by learning more about this effect, you have more control over it affecting you.