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Top 9 Ways to Counteract The Negative Effects of Cannabis

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

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This is the stack that I use to quickly recover from cannabis. All of the methods have been vetted by me and they work (on me at least). I experimented with these because of the underlying mechanisms made sense and they worked quite effectively.

Every one of these recommendations uniquely counteracts an area of physiology that is negatively changed by cannabis and can quicken your recovery.

I initially figured these out by simply paying attention to the changes in my brain and thinking what chemicals would counteract it. It’s kind of like when a cook imagines what added ingredients would go well with a recipe.

Once I noticed they were helpful, I started looking into why they were helpful.

How to Counteract The Negative Effects of Cannabis/Marijuana

1-2) Forskolin and Exercise

Cannabis (both CB1 and CB2 receptors) causes a decline in cyclic AMP by inhibiting adenylate cyclase [1].

Cyclic AMP is important for tons of bodily processes, including energy and cognitive performance.

Exercise is the best lifestyle approach to increasing cyclic AMP. However, you’re probably feeling sluggish and not in the mood to exercise, which is why Forskolin can help.

Forskolin is the top supplement to increase cyclic AMP and combat the negative effects of pot.

When I smoke cannabis, it seems to cause a phase delay in my circadian rhythm, which means that I am more tired in the morning and more awake at night – and I tend to go to sleep later.

Cyclic AMP is critical to setting the circadian rhythm and when I take forskolin upon awakening, it reduces most of the negative effects with regard to the circadian rhythm. Indeed, Cannabinoids lessened the ability of the circadian clock to entrain to light (phase advance) [2].

Forskolin also increases thyroid hormones, which are decreased by cannabis.

3) Caffeine

Caffeine can modulate the effects of cannabis on cognitive function [3].

Activation of the CB1 receptors works through the Adenosine 2a receptors to put you in a trance. If you block the Adenosine 2a receptors with caffeine, you will be taken out of the trance-like state that cannabis causes. Blocking these receptors also blocks the addictive effects of cannabis [4].

Interestingly, cannabis counteracts the negative effects of caffeine for me. When I drink caffeine the day after smoking cannabis, I don’t get tired or anxious, and I believe this has something to do with CB1 activation lowering glutamate in the striatum by activating the A2a receptors there [4], whereas caffeine increases striatal glutamate and dopamine by blocking the A2a receptors [5].

4-5) Galantamine and Nicotine

Nicotinic receptors (Alpha 4β2 and Alpha 7 nicotinic receptors) are blocked by THC, CBD and anandamide [6, 7, 8, 9], and these receptors help with working memory [10, 7, 11]. This is probably the biggest reason why your working memory is not as good while on and after cannabis. Both nicotine and galantamine activate both of these receptors.

When I take some nicotine the day after cannabis, it restores most of the cognitive decline from cannabis.

6) Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone is like steroids for the brain.

Pregnenolone is strongly increased by THC via CB1 activation in order to prevent cognitive harm. This negative-feedback mechanism could explain why cannabis overdoses never seem to occur [12].

Pregnenolone limits the negative effects of cannabis – on addiction and on cognitive function [12].

Inhibition of pregnenolone synthesis in mice increased THC-induced sluggishness [12].

Conversely, pregnenolone administration blocked the increase in food intake induced by THC in rats as well as THC-induced memory impairments in mice [12].

Furthermore, the inhibitory effect of THC of glutamate release in the Nucleus Accumbens was reduced by pregnenolone application [12].

Pregnenolone influenced not only these behavioral and cellular effects of THC but also its addictive properties ( by reducing the dopamine increase in the VTA and Nucleus Accumbens in rats) [12].

Pregnenolone reduced THC-induced decreases in mitochondrial and cellular respiration, without affecting THC-induced reduction of cyclic AMP production (also inhibits ERK 1,2 and MAPK phosphorylation) [12]. This means that you will also have to take forskolin.

Interestingly, pregnenolone is used as a treatment for schizophrenia and cannabis is known to induce symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia.

7) LLLT on Thyroid

Cannabis decreases the release of thyroid hormones, and if your thyroid is already somewhat low, this can be problematic. LLLT on the thyroid is the best way to increase thyroid hormones.

I put LLLT on my thyroid for 15 minutes.

8) Sun

The half-life of THC is 25 – 36 hours when orally consumed.

UV from the sun will speed up THC conversion to Cannabinol (CBN), which is much weaker than THC [13, 14].

9) Sun or LLLT on Your Testes

THC decreases testosterone [15], and Sun or LLLT on your testes can help increase testosterone. I put LLLT on my testes until the device gets too hot and it becomes uncomfortable.

I don’t notice as significant effects as I do with the others, but I just like to make sure my testosterone is at a good level.

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

As a kid, Joe suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, mood and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers. Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO and founder of SelfDecode. His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.


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