Updated on March 2, 2024

Why Cannabis Affect Everyone Differently

Fact Checked

Key takeaways

  • Differences in our body chemistry can play a major role in determining how we react to cannabis.
  • Your genes may be the reason you respond to cannabis the way you do. This is why some people can handle large doses without experiencing any adverse effects.
  • The quality of cannabis products can also affect how your body reacts. A heavily contaminated product is more likely to produce side effects on users.
  • Your mood may play a major role in determining how you respond to cannabis products.
  • The environment in which the product is consumed tends to affect the overall effect.
  • In a brightly colored room, cannabis users may encounter enhanced visual perception with vibrant colors and elevated mood.

The effects of cannabis vary widely among individuals, and this diversity is primarily attributed to the complex relationship between the plant's compounds and the unique biochemistry of each person. In this article, we would look at some of the common factors that determine cannabis activity in individuals.

Factors determining why cannabis affects people differently

The varying effects of cannabis on individuals can be attributed to several factors, thus explaining the complex interaction between the plant’s compounds and the human body. Here are a few factors that determine why cannabis affects us differently.

  1. Individual Differences in Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS): Each person has a unique endocannabinoid system (ECS), comprising receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids. Variations in the ECS, including receptor density and functioning, can influence how individuals respond to cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
  2. Genetic Factors: Genetic makeup plays a significant role in determining how an individual processes cannabinoids. Genetic variations can impact the metabolism of cannabinoids, affecting the rate at which they are broken down in the body.
  3. Tolerance Levels: Individuals develop varying levels of tolerance to cannabinoids over time. Regular cannabis users may experience different effects compared to occasional users or those using it for the first time.
  4. Cannabinoid Content and Ratios: Cannabis plants contain numerous cannabinoids, each with distinct effects. The ratio of THC to CBD and other cannabinoids in a particular strain can significantly impact the overall experience. Additionally, the entourage effect, where cannabinoids work synergistically, contributes to the diverse effects.
  5. Mode of Consumption: The method of consuming cannabis (smoking, vaping, edibles, topicals, etc.) affects how cannabinoids enter the body and their onset and duration of effects. Inhalation, for example, leads to quicker effects than oral ingestion.
  6. Dosage and Potency: The amount of THC and CBD consumed, as well as the potency of the product, influence the intensity of the effects. Higher doses of THC are more likely to produce psychoactive effects.
  7. Individual Body Chemistry: Factors such as body weight, metabolism, and overall health can impact how cannabinoids are absorbed and processed. A person's unique biochemistry contributes to the variability in their response to cannabis.
  8. Psychological State and Expectations: Mood, mindset, and expectations can shape the cannabis experience. Individual psychological factors, including stress levels, anxiety, and mood disorders, can interact with cannabinoids and influence the overall effects.
  9. Setting and Environment: The setting in which cannabis is consumed, along with external factors such as social context and surroundings, can impact the subjective experience. The lighting conditions of a room can influence the cannabis experience. In a brightly colored room, cannabis users may encounter enhanced visual perception with vibrant colors and elevated mood. The synergy between cannabis effects and bright surroundings could intensify sensory experiences. Conversely, in a dimly lit room, individuals might experience relaxation, heightened sensory awareness, and an altered perception of space. Dim lighting creates a cozy atmosphere, allowing for an intimate and potentially introspective experience. Individual responses vary, influenced by personal preferences, mindset, and the specific cannabis strain and dosage. Responsible and legal consumption is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience in any environment.

Frequently asked Questions

Why do people experience different effects from cannabis?

Individuals experience varied effects due to factors such as unique biochemistry, genetics, and the diverse composition of cannabinoids in different strains.

How does individual biochemistry influence cannabis effects?

Individual differences in the endocannabinoid system and metabolism impact how cannabinoids interact with receptors, contributing to the personalized response to cannabis.

Does genetic makeup play a role in cannabis reactions?

Yes, genetic factors influence how individuals process cannabinoids, affecting the rate at which they are metabolized and influencing the intensity and duration of effects.

Why does the method of consumption affect cannabis experiences?

The mode of consumption (smoking, vaping, edibles, etc.) influences how cannabinoids enter the body, impacting onset time, duration, and the overall intensity of effects.

How does the ratio of THC to CBD in cannabis strains matter?

The THC to CBD ratio, along with the entourage effect, contributes to the diverse effects of cannabis. Different ratios can lead to varied psychoactive and therapeutic outcomes.

Want to Learn More?

  1. CBDa Is Not a Drug — It's a Natural, Hemp-Derived Compound
  2. 7 Eye-Opening Facts about the Endocannabinoid System and Hemp Oil
  3. CBD and Martial Arts
  4. CBD for Panic Attacks
  5. CBD for Muscle Spasms


Ramaekers, J. G., Spronk, D. B., Toennes, S. W., C. Kuypers, K. P., Theunissen, E. L., & Verkes, R. J. (2016). Cannabis and tolerance: Acute drug impairment as a function of cannabis use history. Scientific Reports, 6. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep26843

Campos DA, Mendivil EJ, Romano M, García M, Martínez ME. A Systematic Review of Medical Cannabinoids Dosing in Human. Clin Ther. 2022 Dec;44(12):e39-e58. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2022.10.003. Epub 2022 Nov 18. PMID: 36411116.

Babayeva, M., & Loewy, Z. G. (2023). Cannabis Pharmacogenomics: A Path to Personalized Medicine. Current Issues in Molecular Biology, 45(4), 3479-3514. https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb45040228

Hryhorowicz, S., Walczak, M., Zakerska-Banaszak, O., Słomski, R., & Skrzypczak-Zielińska, M. (2018). Pharmacogenetics of Cannabinoids. European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, 43(1), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13318-017-0416-z

Hillmer, A., Chawar, C., Sanger, S. et al. Genetic basis of cannabis use: a systematic review. BMC Med Genomics 14, 203 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12920-021-01035-5

The content on Nesa's Hemp blog is for educational purposes only. We meticulously research and cite our sources, but advise consulting a professional before making decisions based on our information. We derive our content from reputable studies and publications, but individual circumstances may vary. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of our content to every situation. Nesa's Hemp blog and its authors are not liable for any loss or inconvenience resulting from reliance on our information. By using our blog, you waive any claims against us regarding the accuracy or completeness of our content.

Let's Stay Connected!

Get insights on healthy living, CBD news, and the latest deals.

Subscription Form
*By signing up via email, you agree to receive marketing messages e.g. promos, cart reminders) from Nesa’s Hemp LLC. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link (where available)
This product is not for use by or sale to persons under the age of 18. This product should be used only as directed on the label. It should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should be sought before using this and any supplemental dietary product. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Void where prohibited by law.
usercrossmenucheckmark-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram