Saturday September 25, 2021

By Paul Barach

Someone starting out a window alone with post-lockdown social anxiety Health/Science

The pandemic isn’t over, but thanks to vaccinations and masking we’re now looking towards a post-lockdown phase. While some are getting back into their routines (for better or for worse), others are having a hard time getting back to normal.



If you are one of those people, you are in good company. For over a year, everyone you came in contact with could potentially be carrying a life-altering virus for you or your loved ones. Time with friends, family, and co-workers moved to screens. Dating became way tricker than it normally is. Going to grocery stores, house parties, bars, or restaurants were all big risks that many avoided completely. Even if you came out of the worst of the pandemic relatively unscathed, it’s ok to feel more anxious or depressed. Having trouble getting back to “normal” is normal at a time like this. 

One thing that has helped a lot of people get through the worst phase of the pandemic has been cannabis (if state-wide dispensary sales are any indication). The year 2020 created a lot of new cannabis consumers, and 2021 doesn’t seem to be slowing down either.

With this in mind, PotGuide is here with some advice for the socially anxious on how to best include cannabis into your new, post-lockdown world. 

Table of Contents:

  1. Try Microdosing with Cannabis
  2. Mix in Some CBD to Help With Anxiety
  3. Switch Up Your Strains For More Effectiveness
  4. Change Your Consumption Routine
  5. Take a T-Break (Tolerance Break)
  6. The Wrap Up

Try Microdosing with Cannabis

Out of all the cannabis products available during the pandemic, edibles were the clear favorite. They were an easy entry point for newer users, lasted longer for those looking to stretch their budget, and were a safer option for anyone concerned about their lungs. If your lock-down experience can be summed up as “Stoned Alone,” your THC tolerance is probably high and your social skills probably aren’t. Edibles are great for doing chores around your spot, zoning into a game, or just chilling on the couch with a screen or some music. However, 10 mg (or however much you take) can make navigating social encounters a little harder, especially if you’re out of practice.

Taking a lower dosage of edibles can still provide relief, without being too high. photo credit

Luckily, plenty of edible companies are starting to make low-dose options. You can also just cut your favorite edibles into quarters and see where it leads. A 2.5mg dose can give you that subtle uplift or chill as you’re re-introducing yourself to a social life without the THC taking over the conversation. If your place of work is ending their telecommuting option, a microdose can help you get back into the office or onto the floor. 

Mix in Some CBD to Help With Anxiety

High-CBD flower and 1:1 CBD edibles have been around for a while now, and for good reason. CBD is great for relieving stress and anxiety. If you’ve been on the THC train for a while, but aren’t a fan of where it’s been going lately, mix in some CBD. Thanks to the entourage effect, CBD and THC can be far more effective together than consumed individually. If edibles are your thing, try a 1:1 gummy or chocolate bar.

CBD flower
CBD can help to diminish some of the negative effects that are typically associated with THC, such as anxiety.

You’ll still get the uplift of THC, but with the CBD helping take the edge off. Seek out some high-CBD marijuana strains or concentrates at your dispensary and either smoke them on your own, or mix them in with your favorite strain before heading out to the bar or party. 

Switch Up Your Strains For More Effectiveness

Many things have changed in the post-covid world, and one of them might be your tried-and-true strains

Before Covid-19 popped up in the news, sativas might have been your jam. Maybe Sour Diesel was your ticket to a great concert, Durban Poison made you the life at a party, or Strawberry Cough gave a first date that extra spark. Here in 2021, you may find that sativas now just clam you up as your brain runs through all the things that are, can, or will go wrong. Instead of being a social butterfly, you can’t wait to cocoon up back at home.

Someone holding a new strain of cannabis
Try smoking a strain you usually wouldn't smoke to see if your preference has changed.

On the other hand, indicas might have been your go-to in social situations. If being around people has drained your social battery, a light kush strain or a heavy edible may have helped you switch off your worries or lower your barriers as you navigated your way through. But after all that 2020 put you through, you might be fog-headed when you’re stone sober and lost in the doldrums once those indica-leaning terpenes and cannabinoids take the wheel.

Switching up your strains could be an answer. Instead of ordering the usual, ask your friendly neighborhood budtender what else is on the menu. A milder sativa, indica, or a hybrid could give you that lift instead of a nose-dive around people. Or try something completely new.  If indicas now fog you up, a sativa might clear your head. If sativas now make you jumpy, an indica could help you settle down. Try new hybrids, buy a variety of grams. Try them out both at home and while out and about. Lower THC, different strain profiles, or more subtle effects could help you get back.

Change Your Consumption Routine

Pre-pandemic, you may have greeted each morning with a wake-and-bake dab, got back to level with a noontime toke, or wound down your workday stress with an evening gummy. Now everything’s been thrown off-kilter. A wake-and-bake isn’t as soothing if you’re scattered from lack of sleep and an evening gummy does no good if you’re too stressed to wind down. If the old ways aren’t helping like they used to, start experimenting with when and how much you consume. Maybe a morning gummy can help you glide through your workday so that you don’t need a wind-down, or postpone your wake-and-bake until you’ve shaken the cobwebs out. 

Someone smoking with a vaporizer
Changing when you consume or how you consume may be able to help you get out of the post-covid funk.

Additionally, your body primes itself for any routine, including cannabinoids, which means it’s already got a firm opinion on the THC by the time it arrives in your system. Switching up when, where, and how you consume can help reintroduce THC to your system when it has more of an open mind to it.

Take a T-Break (Tolerance Break)

If cannabis isn’t helping get you back on your social game no matter what you try, it might be time for a hard reset on your tolerance. Consuming too much of any substance can exhaust your biochemicals, making both them and you less effective, and that includes cannabinoids. Taking a couple of days or weeks off for your body to come back to level will help you dial in the best dose, strain, and time of consumption to help you get back on your social game. Medical cannabis patients might want to explore if there is any room to lower their dosages for a while (while still remaining within a comfortable range for their health).

The Wrap Up

The pandemic has been intense and it isn’t over yet. Cannabis has been helping a lot of people cope with this enormous, frequently tragic disruption in all of our lives. If THC isn’t giving you that TLC that it used to as you try returning to normal life, switching up your routine or your strain can help. Adding in some CBD or lowering your dosage of THC may help turn the volume down, and taking a short break from cannabis completely can help you reset your levels. 

However you’re getting through this new phase of the pandemic, remember to be kind to yourself. It may take some time to emotionally recover, and it may never feel like it was before the pandemic, but you will recover.


How has cannabis helped you get back in the swing of things?

Photo Credit: dangrytsku (license)


Paul Barach Paul Barach

Paul Barach is a Seattle-based freelance writer, editor, and author with experience creating well-researched, edited web articles covering cannabis news, culture, history and science. Paul is a regular contributor to PotGuide and has also contributed to publications such as Medium.com, SlabMechanix, Litro, and The Trek. He prefers to spend his free time outdoors and most recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. So far he has only fallen into the La Brea Tarpits once. You can follow him on Instagram @BarachOutdoors and stay up to date professionally through his LinkedIn page.



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