Consuming turkey and marijuana doesn’t have to result in couchlock this Thanksgiving—you just need to choose wisely.
Everyone eats too much on Thanksgiving. It’s hardly a surprise. With all that delicious food, it’s nearly impossible to stop yourself. But even if you could, would you even want to try? Of course not.
On the surface, Thanksgiving presents a vexing problem for those who prefer cannabis over alcohol. Eating turkey will make you sleepy, right? Add in some marijuana and it appears like a combination ripe to make you pass out on grandma’s couch. No one wants that — you might miss dessert!
Now, if you’re participating in Danksgiving or find yourself in a situation where you’ve accidentally toked too much before the meal, this is an expected probability. That said, a majority of Americans travel many miles to see family they only visit once a year. Missing family time because of turkey and toking would be an unfortunate outcome for most. However, there’s a way to participate in both of your favorite activities — smoking and eating — without ending up on grandma’s cushions unable to talk or move.
The Thanksgiving myth that turkey makes you sleepy revolves around tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey. Tryptophan produces two neurotransmitters in your body: serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin raises mood levels and is associated with healthy sleep. Melatonin, meanwhile, is more closely linked to regulating and inducing sleep cycles. This is why many travelers will take melatonin to avoid jet lag when flying internationally.
What causes you to pass out, then, is consuming tryptophan-rich turkey in conjunction with all those carbohydrates and sugary desserts. Eating carbs and sugars causes the body to release insulin, which flushes out many amino acids in your bloodstream. Except tryptophan that is. Tryptophan remains, unencumbered by competitors, ready to release its sleepy properties past your blood-brain barriers.
Think of it as tryptophan waiting in line, then his best friend carbohydrate invites him to cut everyone to the front. So if you don’t want to feel drowsy after your meal, maybe skip the dinner roll and avoid that extra heaping of mashed potatoes on your plate.
Another myth to debunk: just smoking weed won’t cause you to pass out. The primary concern is what and how you’re consuming marijuana before Thanksgiving. Using low-THC or 1:1 THC-CBD products will stop you from passing out in mashed potatoes bowl. Tinctures, vaporizers, and edibles are all great to manage your high properly in this way, causing a gentler high.
If you’re committed to smoking flower, however, you can mitigate the risk there, too. Sativa strains are generally associated with raising energy levels and some athletes use cannabis to help them train. Some people use specific sativa strains to increase appetite and allow them to get thirds on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, indica strains are known to produce more relaxing, soothing effects as typically associated with marijuana. So consuming cannabis responsibly and avoiding some extra carbs could be the difference between playing catch with your nephew after dinner or watching the football game trapped on the couch. Choose wisely.