Why does weed affect me differently than my friends?

Why does weed affect me differently than my friends?

Hi there!

I usually smoke with my friends and even though we smoke from the same bong or vaporizer and basically the same amounts, I myself never get as high as most of my friends. Am I doing something wrong? Should i smoke more to achieve the same effect? Or could it be something different?

Greetings from Germany!


p.s. I love the website and so do my friends!

Hi Johan,

First of all, we are happy you and your friends like our website. We do our best!

To answer your question, we have to start by saying that there is no one size fits all with cannabis. In much the same way individuals react differently to coffee or sweets, weed and the subsequent high you experience hinges a lot on your own body and your unique DNA.


If you ever had a heavy smoking session with some friends you might have noticed that even if you smoked the same strain as your friends, you might have noticed that not only did you maybe not get as high as your friends, you maybe felt super relaxed or even lazy, while your friends experienced the complete opposite and felt energized and upbeat.



Before we get lost in a sea of scientific jargon, it's worth explaining how our body and cannabis work together. Endocannabinoids are chemical compounds that are naturally present within our bodies and help us feel less anxious or can provide mild pain relief.

Cannabinoids are supplied by cannabis and take the place of endocannabinoids when we smoke or ingest marijuana. Simply said, both our internal endocannabinoids and external cannabinoids would be powerless without our endocannabinoid system.

Throughout our bodies we all have cannabinoid receptors, either CB1 or CB2, that are connected to the endocannabinoid system and react whenever they come into contact with either cannabinoids or endocannabinoids. This reaction can vary from the intense euphoria we feel when smoking weed, to becoming sleepy or drowsy when consuming the cannabinoid CBN (Cannabinol).


If you consume good grade cannabis, or just a lot of it, your tolerance will build up slowly. It might be that your tolerance is way higher than your friends' and that's why you feel a lot less of smoking the same amount.

Physical fitness can also play a significant role as just like with consuming alcohol, cannabis can hit you much harder if you're tired. 

There is a theory that eating a mango can improve your high. This is due to the mango containing myrcene, which increases the permeability of cells in our bodies. Therefor it could very well be that because you are on a different diet than your friends, you experience a different high.


While some of the variables of your reaction to cannabis may come down to tolerance, your state of mind, what you had to eat that day and overall physical fitness, the most important factor to how your body reacts to cannabis is probably your DNA.

Although we all fundamentally operate in the same way, like the need for food and water to survive, there are small variations in our genetic blueprint from person to person that can make use react in different ways. How high we get, or how a strain makes us feel, falls under the same umbrella. Minor variations or mutations in parts of our DNA can make one person feel much higher even if they are given the exact same dose to someone else who barely felt the impact of marijuana.

DNA defines who we are as a being and is a blueprint present in all organisms.



Studies have uncovered that tiny variations in our CB1 and CB2 receptors point to why everyone reacts differently when smoking or ingesting cannabis.[1] Maybe our genetics cause some people to have more receptors, others less? Maybe THC binds to the receptors of some people better? There could be all sorts of varying factors dictated by our DNA.

In fact, a rare genetic mutation identified in some adults caused them to have higher levels of endocannabinoids in their body which can lessen the impact of anxiety and depression.[2]

With small variations in our DNA, scientists were able to determine that in some patients the presence of THC had differing effects, a result of their genetic differences.[3] Some patients experienced a more significant impairment to memory when administered with THC than others in the same control group.

While there is no way at present of determining how you will react when smoking cannabis, your genetic structure will play a key role in how you feel compared to anyone else. Overall effects are generally the same, but the small nuances like how long a high lasts or whether you feel sleepy or up beat will be determined by the inner workings of your individual genetic structure. The best strategy is to try small amounts of cannabis increasing the dosage gradually.

We hope that this answers your question a bit, and we are looking forward to hearing from you again!


Team CannaConnection 


  1. ^ Medicinal Genomics, Genetic moderation of the effects of cannabis: Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) affects the impact of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on working memory performance but not on the occurrence of psychotic experiences, retrieved January-09-2019
  2. ^ NCBI, Rare genetic variants in the endocannabinoid system genes CNR1 and DAGLA are associated with neurological phenotypes in humans, retrieved January-09-2019
  3. ^ NCBI, Genetic moderation of the effects of cannabis: catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) affects the impact of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on working memory performance but not on the occurrence of psychotic experiences., retrieved January-09-2019