By Petar Petrov, Staff Writer forTerpenes and Testing Magazine
Over the years, cannabis has been a symbol, pretext, fuel, or uniting force of many different subcultures: hippies, rockers, rappers, artists, activists, creatives, intellectuals, loners, party animals, and probably many more. It’s hard not to notice that those are some very different groups of people, some even borderline opposites.
Sure, alcohol will always draw a wider variety of people than cannabis. However, for something that has started as a staple of counterculture and spread to pop culture, despite being more elusive and psychoactive in nature, cannabis’s wide-spanning allure is bound to spark more curiosity, especially considering how different its implications can be.
You can’t help but wonder if there’s not some sort of a common denominator between cannabis enthusiasts after all; how cannabis accentuates or tones down specific personality traits, and if there are any particular cannabis varieties and approaches to cannabis use which are better suited for specific types of people.
Cannabis and Introverts
For so many, cannabis and some “me time” is synonymous with idyll. Many believe this is often the case with the creative and artistic types who can dive headfirst into their ideas and manage to reach their core only with lungs full of cannabis smoke.
True as this may be, not all introverts are creatives, and many of them are happy simply binge-watching their favorite shows in cannabis’s company, as well as many other types of activities. A famous study by University of Kentucky psychologists Timothy Deckman and C. Nathan DeWall sought to understand how cannabis affects introverts altogether. The research explored different Americans’ levels of loneliness, feelings of self-worth, and how their cannabis use or the lack thereof came into the picture.
“Marijuana use buffered the lonely from both negative self-worth and poor mental health,” the researchers wrote.
What drove them to this study was a previous paper by DeWall which examined how acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) reduced the negative effects of social rejection and existential anxiety. Acetaminophen affects brain regions abundant in cannabinoid 1 receptors which are also activated by THC, which was the reason why DeWall and Deckman decided to delve into their later study.
Indeed, arguably one of cannabis’s sweetest properties is the way it can spin the same situation and offer a new angle from which loneliness becomes reflective, intimate, even poetic. Strictly “me time” you wouldn’t share with a single person in the world.
There are introverts for whom cannabis is, in fact, a way to break out of their shell, loosen up and become more sociable. Of course, introverts vary as much as cannabis varieties; however, generally speaking, it can be argued that the self-reflective state of mind cannabis induced in introverts can expand in a reflective state of mind altogether. After all, it’s hard to know oneself without not knowing anything about the world one is part of. Furthermore, the divergent thinking which cannabis is often associated with makes for a rich source of topics and conversation which are generally the lifeline of most social gatherings.
Cannabis Varieties for Introverts
As introverts tend to be, generally speaking, less energetic than extroverts, at least in the traditional sense, cannabis plants which boost energy and induce a more euphoric state of mind are preferred. In other words, the stereotypical attributes common to some sativas.
The balance between THC and CBD is also important as too much THC can sometimes lead to anxiety which introverts are generally more susceptible to, especially in social situations. For that, a healthy portion of CBD is good as a safety net to protect from THC-induced anxiety and balance things out. Plants labeled as Cannabis indica typically contain higher concentrations of CBD.
Some of the introverts’ varieties of choice are: Cannatonic for its good THC-CBD balance; Blue Dream for its euphoric, yet well-rounded profile; Durban Poison for its energizing properties; AC/DC for its high levels of CBD against excessive spacing out; Cabbage Patch for its uplifting power which translate into improved social skills and laughter; and last but not least, the legendary Pineapple Express, for its long-lasting supply of creative flow. Given the desire for uplifting effects, yet, potentially higher CBD concentrations, hybrids of sativas and indicas might be a sound choice for the introvert.
Cannabis and Extroverts
Then there are those for whom cannabis is a social drug, a great party and conversation starter. People who enjoy the collective experience cannabis creates. People like the hippies in the 60s or like Snoop Dogg today.
Even More Energy
The thing about extroverts is they often go in groups, at least compared to loners. In such cases, the dopamine boost can become the catalyst of an explosive mix of uncontrollable laughter and wild talk which in pop culture constitutes the flower’s most signature and coveted magic abilities.
Furthermore, cannabis might also stimulate extroverts to explore some things on a deeper level, whether those are topics and ideas to be shared with others, or private thoughts and feelings which otherwise such people might rarely try to truly ponder.
Cannabis Varieties for Extroverts
Attributes common to some indicas might be better suited for extroverts since they can help them tone down rather than going overboard, at least in bigger social gatherings where different kinds of people might be involved. Furthermore, a more relaxing body high which still makes for a mental buzz can help an extrovert’s mind wander without the body following it.
For example, Orange Bud is not too strong compared to other plants, especially nowadays, and has only 16% THC. Even though it’s predominantly a relaxant, it tingles the mind, generating mild energy that is ideal for someone looking to have nice, fun, meaningful conversations without laughing like a mad man or falling asleep mid-way through. Again, some cannabis hybrids, like Orange Bud, can provide a nice amalgamation of the desired effects.
The Happy Medium
Since the general rule of thumb is that balance is always good, cannabis is usually best used in ways that helps introverts become a little less introverted and extroverts become a little less extroverted.
This can be tricky for introverted people since many of them believe that cannabis, by default, caters to their self-reflective inclinations to the extent that its company becomes better, easier and safer than those from social interactions. For some extroverts, on the other hand, there might be a case of cannabis turning from the pretext of social gathering to the entire reason for the get-together in the first place.
Nevertheless, keeping those “dangers” in mind and choosing the right occasions, approaches, plants, and most of all, quantities, can help both introverts and extroverts celebrate their individual peculiarities and unique relationship with cannabis while still catching a glimpse of the others’ world.
And this is arguably what makes cannabis one of the only shared passions between so many diametrically opposite people – it makes their normal state of mind feel natural, yet special and personal, whatever those might mean to the specific individual.
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