For even the most seasoned veteran, using Cannabis may sometimes lead to a temporary ‘paranoid’ sensation. Fortunately, there’s already a simple and quick fix: a dash of pepper.
Neil Young broke out this little secret during an interview on the Howard Stern. Stern admitted he hasn’t smoked marijuana in a while because “it made him paranoid.”
“Try black pepper balls if you get paranoid,” said Young. “Just chew two or three pieces.”
How does this work? The answer lies with Terpenes and how they interact with cannabinoids. Specifically, pepper terpenes (beta-caryophyllene) and THC both bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain, producing a chemical reaction that results in a calming effect on the mind and body.
Ethan B. Russo’s article “Taming THC”, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, gives us further insight into how it all works. He calls this synergy a “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effect,” which helps the user cope with “pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.”
Neil Young isn’t the only one who knows this secret. Peppercorn know how is documented throughout the ages, even dating back to Natural History, Book XXIV by Pliny the Elder (AD 77-79):
“The gelotophyllis [‘leaves of laughter’] grows in Bactria and along the Borysthenes. If this be taken in myrrh and wine all kinds of phantoms beset the mind, causing laughter which persists until the kernels of pine- nuts are taken with pepper and honey in palm wine.”
On the flip side, myrcene terpenoids found in mangoes are proven to increase THC’s potency. The effect is best felt when eating a mango about an hour before using cannabis. Much like the peppercorn remedy, this effect of mangoes had been based only on word of mouth. Due to scientific advances stemming from state-by-state legalization, we’re uncovering the truth behind the testimony.
By quantifying cannabinoids ratios and tailoring strains to a per-need basis, the brief paranoid experience will be a thing of the past. In the meantime, if a strain leaves you feeling a little nervous, a little pepper goes a long way.
(Feature Photo Credit: cannabisdigest.ca)