Sativa Side Effects: Understanding them All

January 5, 2021 Posted by optionsco
Sativa Side Effects: Understanding them All

Sativa strains are in high demand because they are usually associated with energizing and uplifting effects. Popular among both recreational cannabis customers and medical marijuana patients alike, sativas are described as being the best daytime cannabis. Many associate the species with hiking, exercise, and socializing. The effect of a sativa strain is often referred to as a “head high” because many people report feeling creative cerebral effects after consumption. While there are many positive effects to a sativa high, some people experience discomfort for a variety of different reasons.

What Are the Side Effects of Sativa?

Many of the premium sativa strains found in Colorado dispensaries today are also known for having incredibly high levels of THC. This is exactly what some people want from their cannabis experience, but others have reported occasional unwanted side effects from sativa strains. It’s easy to overdo it with any cannabis products, especially for those who have a high sensitivity to THC.

Keep in mind that the potential side effects listed below are largely based on anecdotal evidence that people share about their own stories. Some people also report feeling the effects below with indica and hybrid strains, too, but these side-effects are more common with sativa strains.


For many consumers, cannabis is the answer when they want to relax and unwind, but some have reported having the opposite experience as well. Some people say that too much THC can make them feel anxious or paranoid. Feelings of anxiety or paranoia are especially common amongst people who aren’t used to the effects of cannabis or are new to it altogether.

It’s not uncommon for someone to experience their mind-racing and the intrusion of unwanted thoughts while high. A large amount of THC can also cause your heart to race, which can be a physically unpleasant experience. While the side-effects of paranoia and anxiety are more common for consumers who have anxiety on a day-to-day basis, anyone can have this experience with sativas.

There are thankfully some helpful tips to avoid or reduce these types of unwanted side effects:

  • Don’t overdo it. If you’re not sure about your limits with cannabis, start slowly and proceed with caution. It’s always possible to have more when you feel ready.
  • Don’t try cannabis in an environment where you’re not comfortable. If you’re with people you don’t know and trust, it might not be the time to have a lot of THC. Make sure you’re comfortable with your surroundings and your group.
  • If you start to feel like you’re becoming anxious, see if you can do anything that normally calms you down. Examples of soothing activities could be getting under a comfortable blanket on the couch, going to a quiet room, taking a shower, or going on a short walk. It really depends on what would make you feel the most comfortable.


While many indica strains have the reputation of making people fall asleep, sativas are intended to do the opposite. While you might welcome the creative effects of sativas, this probably isn’t what you want when it’s time for bed. If you find yourself getting frustrated because you have trouble sleeping after smoking cannabis, consider giving yourself more time between your cannabis session and your bedtime. Many people also like to choose other strains and completely avoid sativas at night.


Smoking cannabis might lead to a temporary drop in blood pressure that can make you feel lightheaded. Some say this is especially noticeable when standing up suddenly after spending some time relaxing. If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, make sure you can sit down and avoid doing anything that may be dangerous. It is never a bad idea to stay hydrated while consuming cannabis.

The Munchies

The munchies are more commonly associated with indica strains, but they can sneak up you any time you’ve had a lot of cannabis. Some people actually use cannabis to induce their appetites while others hate getting the munchies because it makes it harder to stick to a healthy diet. The best way to avoid unwanted snacking is to only surround yourself with healthy options or distract yourself with other activities.

What To Do if You’re Too High

Even experienced cannabis connoisseurs might get uncomfortably high from time to time. If you start to feel like you’ve had too much THC, here is some popular advice from avid cannabis users that you might want to try:

  • Try Some Pepper – This sounds bizarre, but Neil Young swears by this trick. Sniff some black pepper or chew on a few of the peppercorns. It might have something to do with the caryophyllene terpene, which is found in both cannabis and pepper.
  • Distract Yourself – Try to focus on a different activity. Get creative, workout, or play a video game to distract yourself until the feeling passes.
  • Try CBD – Some people say that adding some CBD or choosing high-CBD strains can help them feel better than strains that are all THC. Fast-acting CBD tinctures are often a good answer for too much THC.
  • Rest – Sometimes laying down can help people calm down and avoid panicking. Sometimes, even a nap will make you feel better.
  • Move Around – If you’re feeling too wound up to lay down, it may be more helpful to go for a walk. Just avoid walking anywhere that will make you feel less safe. When feeling uncomfortably high, it is not the time to go on an ambitious hike.
  • Have a Snack – Many people say that drinking a big glass of cold water and eating a healthy snack can help them feel better if they’re too high after smoking a sativa strain. Remember to stay hydrated and feed yourself regularly when consuming.

Other Sativa Effects

When reading the reported side effects listed above, it might not make sativas sound very appealing. The good news is that most people report that those unintended effects are rare for them. More commonly, people say they feel happy, uplifted, and inspired after smoking a sativa strain. Cannabis is a personal experience, though, as it is largely based around each individual’s brain chemistry. It is encouraged by industry professionals to focus on the cannabis strains that appeal to you instead of following others. Know your own limits and stay within them rather than trying to catch up to someone with a higher tolerance.

Buy Sativa Strains in Wheat Ridge and Boulder

If the positive aspects of a sativa experience sound like the type of high you’re looking for, Options has a wide variety of premium sativa strains available for you. If you’re looking to stay awake but want to avoid feelings of anxiety, the budtenders at Options can walk through what strains might be right for you. Visit either of our dispensaries in Wheat Ridge or Boulder to find fresh strains from the best growers in Colorado. Our Wheat Ridge dispensary serves both recreational cannabis customers and medical marijuana patients, while our Boulder dispensary is only for recreational cannabis. Come visit either location today, or place an order online for maximum convenience!

Featured Image: PRO Stock Professional / Shutterstock

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