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Monday August 14, 2017

By Samuel J. Smith

420 Culture

In the age of marijuana legalization, it is not uncommon for people to visit Colorado solely to purchase recreational marijuana. In fact, as you may already know, cannabis is a major tourist attraction and a multi-million dollar industry. And it’s growing bigger with each new day.

Cannabis tourists who visit Colorado to enjoy the billion dollar recreational marijuana industry often argue that consuming cannabis at altitude directly increases the effects of their high. While this statement is somewhat true, it isn’t the marijuana that is increasing the effects of your cannabis, it’s the altitude.

Some travelers who visit Colorado and consume marijuana, specifically within the first day of being at altitude, often experience overwhelming highs. We’re here to help you understand why this occurs, as well as how to avoid it from happening to you. So, before you plan your next ‘weedcation’ to Colorado, read up on what to expect while getting high at altitude.

Understanding Cannabis and Altitude

This generally goes without saying, but it is always important to keep in mind that Colorado cannabis is extremely potent and should not be over-consumed. Colorado recreational cannabis is professionally grown by experts who only produce the highest-quality flower. If you are a newbie to cannabis, please, take it slow and consume with moderation or the possibility of over-consumption will increase.

Along with over-consumption, altitude sickness can leave the consumer feeling uncomfortably high. What is altitude sickness? Acute altitude sickness occurs when the human body does not acclimate to an increase in altitude. At 8,000 feet above sea level, if not acclimated, the body can begin to show symptoms of acute mountain sickness including headache, fatigue, nausea and suppressed appetite.

Getting high at altitude can be a great time, so long as you don’t over-do it.

At one mile, 5,280 feet high in the clouds, Denver is under the zone at which altitude sickness is said to occur, however, those who have never been exposed to high altitudes can still experience altitude sickness within the city. The symptoms of altitude sickness can combine with the effects of potent marijuana, leaving you feeling especially nauseous and dizzy.

Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to decrease your chances of getting altitude sickness.

Tips to Avoid Getting Too High at Altitude

Stay Hydrated

When traveling into the mountains, is it crucial to hydrate. Drink more water than you think you possibly can. Bring your camelback, and back up the camelback with a few extra gallons in the car. Drink water often, and always. The dry air in the mountains can wring you out like a wet towel and dehydration is very dangerous.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

If you are hiking in the mountains after consuming cannabis, climb slowly and give your body a chance to acclimate. Climbing too high too fast will only increase your chance of altitude sickness. If you feel any of the symptoms while hiking, stop and rest. Go slow, it’s not a race! Overexertion will greatly increase your symptoms of altitude sickness. Remember, hiking high is supposed to be fun, not a battle. There’s nothing wrong with taking it easy.

Eat More (Healthy) Munchies!

Eat regular, nutritious meals and snack if you feel fatigued in the thin air. Your body will need the extra energy so keep carbohydrates in mind as well. Always bring lunches with you when hiking in the mountains. Try your best at packing healthy munchie options too. Junk food is full of empty calories and won’t help you in the long run.

Keep Calm

The final thing to keep in mind is that marijuana does have an effect on the body’s cardiovascular system. Studies show that cannabis consumption can increase your heart rate and blood pressure during the initial 10-15 minutes after smoking or consuming. These first few minutes of slightly increased heart rate can leave the consumer believing something is wrong and potentially frighten them. Luckily, after the initial onset of your high, cannabis is also shown to increase hypotension, lowering heart rate and blood pressure while coming down from the high. If you are new to consuming cannabis, please keep in mind that even though you may feel uncomfortable in the moment, it will pass with time, always.

The potent Colorado cannabis, altitude sickness and initial heart rate increase can combine to make a consumer feel too high. While consuming cannabis in the mountains of Colorado you must be aware of these factors. Remember, the higher the altitude, the higher chance of altitude sickness. Have fun out here, it’s Colorado. Adventure at altitude is waiting!


Samuel J. Smith Samuel J. Smith

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Samuel J. Smith is a modest Green Bay Packers fan who enjoys creative writing, cooking and inventing useful products. As an unaffected youth of the war on drugs and 1990s DARE program, Samuel seeks to spread his passion of cannabis to other like-minded individuals.

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