Why You Should Be Eating Mango While Smoking Weed
For one, it's simply delicious. But there's some science behind the combo.
Stoners have long been told that eating a mango can increase the potency of a THC high. Unlike some other totally bunk stoner myths (please don't drink bong water), there's some logic supporting this one.
Both mangos and cannabis contain myrcene, a common terpene known for its peppery, hoppy scent and flavor. In popular culture, cannabis strains high in myrcene have been reported to produce “couch lock,” or sedation. Although there is no clinical evidence to support these claims, there was one study published in 2002 in the journal Phytomedicine that showed myrcene may have a sedative effect in mice at very high doses. The study concluded that myrcene, in elevated amounts, may sedate and reduce movement in animals.
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While myrcene on its own will not get you high, elevated levels of myrcene are often associated with the experience of fast-acting and powerful highs. Research published in 2016 in the journal Nutraceuticals suggested that this sensation may be due to the myrcene terpene playing a key role in facilitating the transport of cannabinoids into your brain. Additionally, myrcene has been linked to enhanced transdermal absorption, potentially opening up another avenue for greater cannabinoid uptake.
White Widow, Skunk XL, and Special Kush 1 are all cannabis strains that may contain high levels of myrcene, which is extremely common across many cannabis varieties. Cannabis strains that contain high levels of myrcene may have a reputation for producing greater than average relaxation, or even a sedative effect, but scientific evidence has not yet supported these claims.
Bottom line: Strains high in myrcene are reported to be more sedating and relaxing compared to low-myrcene strains. So it's possible that doubling down via mangos during your next smoke sesh might result in a more powerful, relaxing effect.
I'm not a scientist by any means, but I wanted to test this theory on myself. So on a very average weeknight, I swung by my favorite dispensary and grocery store to pick up the ingredients for my experiment. Without a Rick and Morty garage of my own, there was no way for me to easily test how much myrcene my mangos contained. But they were large and ripe and I decided that would have to do.
At the dispensary, I picked up a pack of Wyld's Strawberry 20:1 CBD:THC gummies. My tolerance is fairly low these days, so typically one to two of these 1mg THC gummies will leave me feeling mellowed out but not necessarily stoned. I've gone through countless boxes of these gummies and the barely-there high has been consistent every time. I figured that if I started with a low but perceptible dose, I'd have to attribute a real high to the enhancing powers of mango. Eat a bunch of mango with a larger dose and I might get too high or chalk it up to pushing my normal weeknight limits.
Bottom line: A light, 2mg THC edible and a whole mango it would be.
First results: I don't think this is working?
So, did I get stoned out of my mind after eating a bunch of mango with my favorite edibles?
After eating a large pasta dinner (this detail will be important), I ate my whole mango and gummy for dessert. I assumed I would digest the edible's cannabinoids at the same time I digested the mango's terpenes, resulting in a double whammy of relaxation. In preparation for this, I parked myself in front of season one of Legendary and waited for a wave of Zen to wash over me.
One episode went by and nothing. Two episodes went by and even more nothing. By the third hour-long episode, I was actually starting to feel a little energized — like I could clean out my closet or something. I didn't even feel the slightest inkling of the calm I normally get when I eat these gummies sans mango. What gives?
Hours after eating my edible concoction, I was settling in for bed thinking the results were definitive: mangos don't do shit for your high. But it would take an accidental combo for me to rethink that first conclusion.
Second results: I'm definitely high
I thought I might recreate my first experiment but tweak the approach. I would eat two or three whole mangos and start my experiment early in the day to see whether it just took a while longer for the effects to kick in. Maybe I'd smoke half a joint without mango and smoke the rest with mango later and observe any differences. I could tinker with a number of variables to determine which one affected my experience.
A few days after my first test, I accidentally embarked on another one when I made a massive mango smoothie to pull myself out of an afternoon slump. Without thinking, I also took a full dropper of this full-spectrum hemp extract I've been liking lately — mostly because I had a chaser already in hand. With lunch a few hours behind me and dinner still a few hours ahead, I figured my smoothie would be just the thing to get me across the finish line of my day.
Not an hour later, I was feeling…altered. I felt way more relaxed than I normally would after taking this CBD tincture, and the minor set decorations of my everyday existence — from the hummingbirds in the front-yard fountain to my dog's gentle snoring — were all the more delightful. In short, I felt high.
It was bewildering because I usually take very high doses of CBD (in the 50–100mg range) without blinking because CBD is a non-intoxicating substance. With a full-spectrum CBD tincture, however, there are trace amounts of THC. My guess is that the combination of a high dose, an empty stomach, and three cups of mango compounded those trace amounts of THC into something perceptible.
Obviously, results will vary for everyone, but I was surprised to find just how much a full stomach can alter my edible high. Mango or no mango, it was a helpful reminder that consuming weed is an ongoing conversation. I can get my regimen down only to have my tolerance shift slightly or my high accentuate the mood I'm already in. Knowing my ideal dose was the first step to achieving the perfect high; understanding all the ways I can tweak that high feels like I'm leveling up. Luckily for me, getting a little high from a mango-hemp combo is now part of my ongoing equation.