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How Couch Lock Occurs And What You Can Do To Prevent It

Couch lock is a mysterious side effect with elusive origins. It may be a commonly enjoyed term among stoners, but not everyone enjoys the experience. To find out what we do know about how couch lock occurs, and tips for preventing it, continue reading.


It may come on unexpectedly. It might happen after working your way through several joints. It can even occur after enjoying an uplifting sativa. No matter how it happens, you will know it when it does. We don’t mean to make couch lock sound sinister, because, in reality, it is the furthest thing from it. In fact, couch lock is similar to being wrapped in a warm blanket that soothes and calms every muscle in your body.

We’re sure many of you will be well-versed in the cannabis slang for being “locked” in place. Some users liken the experience to feeling as though your body is melting into the sofa, filling the gaps in the cushions. Others recall a sensation that is like looking down at your body from above—although the mind may be active, the body is unresponsive.

However it feels, you will belong to one of two camps when it does happen. Couch lock is either desired, or it isn’t. If you belong to the former camp, then you will probably have a good idea of how to invoke the bodily reaction. If you are from the latter, and prefer to overcome couch lock quickly or avoid it altogether, you have a slightly more difficult task on your hands. That is, unless you know a little about how couch lock occurs in the first place, and how to get it over with as quickly as possible.


To understand whether it is possible to avoid couch lock, we first need to know how the phenomenon occurs.

Ready for the science?

Sorry to disappoint, but unfortunately, we don’t know what causes couch lock. However, based on (a lot) of anecdotal accounts, we can narrow down the possibilities. Broken down into their constituent parts, cannabis strains are made up of hundreds of active compounds. These include cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc.), flavonoids, terpenes, and several other smaller molecules.

On their own, it may be possible to test each one to identify whether it can induce couch lock. However, all these compounds have their effects amplified when in the presence of each other. Factor in that every individual smoker’s DNA is slightly different, and suddenly, pinpointing the critical instigator of couch lock is like looking for a needle in a warehouse full of cannabis plants.

Some reports suggest the terpene myrcene may be responsible for the sedative effect. Unfortunately, strains that include low levels of myrcene also induce couch lock, so the verdict remains inconclusive. However the specifics work, what is generally well-known is which strains cause the heaviest couch lock—and this is your best weapon against the polarising side effect.


Too much of any strain is likely to push your mental and physical senses to the limit, and therefore may induce couch lock. However, based on popular opinion, some strains are known to be bigger perpetrators than others.

Typically, indicas are the main culprit, so avoid super-potent strains like Fat Banana, Purple Queen, Royal Cookies, Critical Kush, Sherbet Queen, and Sweet ZZ. Couch lock isn’t the only attribute each of these strains has, but it is a prominent one. If, of course, couch lock is desired, then you just found your indica hitlist. The only watch-out here is falling into a false sense of security and assuming potent sativas will leave you free of physical fatigue. As we’ve alluded to, the specific mechanism for couch lock is not an exact science. Many sativas have been known to inflict couch lock, especially after a heavy session.


If couch lock can be summarised as a feeling of complete and total relaxation, then only remedies that achieve the opposite will help break the trance.

If you feel yourself slipping into an immobile state, then quick action is your greatest ally. Try drinking sugary drinks or making yourself a strong coffee. The energy provided by either should help kickstart your body and mitigate the couch lock sensation. If you also have a case of the munchies setting in, take it as an opportunity to chow down on a Mars bar or something similar.

A second option is to try and smoke your way out of trouble. However, we don’t mean more of the weed that got you in this situation in the first place. Instead, try smoking a high-CBD strain. The compound has a unique ability that allows it to subdue some of the psychotropic effects of other cannabinoids.

Finally, if all else fails, then your most viable option is to ride it out. We know it doesn’t sound like much of a strategy, but couch lock isn’t permanent, nor is it life-threatening. Sometimes, you need to let these things run their course.

The best piece of advice we can give is to take a mental note of when the feeling came about. Which strain did you smoke, and how much? This way, in the future, you can reduce the impact of couch lock by having an estimate of when it will start to set in. Remember though; couch lock appears to be largely strain-specific, so what works for one type of cannabis may not keep couch lock at bay with another.

Follow the link to read everything you need to know about couch lock. A nickname for the heavy physical sensation felt when smoking cannabis, it can be avoided.

Weed couch

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    Blog What Is Couch Lock, What Causes It, And How To Beat It

What Is Couch Lock, What Causes It, And How To Beat It

Published: May 2nd, 2017
Categories: Other subjects

In this article, we’re going to take a look at probably one of the biggest nuisances to cannabis connoisseurs and medical marijuana patients around the world; couch lock.

If you’re new to cannabis, we’ll explain exactly what couch lock is and what causes it. Then, we’ll also share some of our top tips to help you conquer couch lock, whether you’re a cannabis veteran or a newbie.


Couch lock is a colloquial term used by stoners to describe a strong feeling of physical sedation brought on by cannabis, essentially leaving them feeling “locked” to the couch.

We’ve all been there; one minute you’re sitting on the couch, enjoying a delicious sample of your favourite strain. The effects are starting to come on, but nothing seems out of the ordinary. Suddenly, your body starts to feel warm and fuzzy; your limbs and head feel heavy, and you start to get the sensation that you’re literally melting into the couch. At this point, you’re certain that even the immediate threat of an atomic bomb coming down on your house wouldn’t be able to get you off your a**.

That’s couch lock.


Cannabis has strong sedative properties, which is why some people find it provides them with effective relief from insomnia and other sleep issues. These sedative properties are also what cause couch lock, which is essentially just an overly strong feeling of sedation.

There is no consensus on what chemicals in cannabis cause couch lock, but most people put the blame on indica strains, loved for producing strong “body highs.” However, the chemical profiles of indica and sativa strains are generally quite similar, and some sativa strains are just as capable of causing strong sedative effects as indica strains.

In a post on, Reginald Reefer puts the blame on myrcene, a terpene found in cannabis and a variety of other plants (including hops, lemongrass, and thyme). As a known sedative, he claims that high concentrations of myrcene are what gives some weed the power to leave you planted on the couch for what feels like centuries. However, in an article in High Times, Sirius J dismisses that theory, proving that average myrcene concentrations were much higher in sativa strains (using data from the chemical profiles of entrants into the 2015 Cannabis Cup), which produced more uplifting effects rather than strong sedation.

Overall, there is a lack of research into what gives cannabis its sedative properties in order for us to make a solid conclusion about what causes couch lock. However, the statistics referenced by Sirius J suggest that myrcene may not be the culprit.


Most of the time, you’ll experience couch lock after simply consuming too much cannabis. However, sometimes you’ll get your hands on a specific batch of weed that leaves you seeping into the couch even after consuming just a small amount.

This is because the chemical profile of cannabis varies from plant to plant. Even if you consistently smoke the same strain, chances are you’ll notice some slight variations in the taste, smell, appearance, and effects of different batches of essentially “the same” weed. The differences you might observe between different harvests of the same strain are caused by the genetics of your individual plants.


So, now that you understand what couch lock is, here are 3 tips on how to deal with it when it strikes. While they aren’t foolproof, they’re worth a try when you start to feel your body collapse in on itself.

1. Drink a coke: Drinking sugary soft drinks loaded with glucose will help boost your insulin levels, and may help you snap out of couch lock quickly.

2. Consume caffeine: Like sugar, caffeine is great at boosting energy levels. Whether you prefer coffee, mate tea, or even energy drinks like Red Bull, try to consume a strong dose of caffeine as soon as you feel couch lock kicking in to bring you back to life.

3. Seek out CBD-rich strains: CBD is said to block the CB1 receptors in the brain, which can help to minimize the effects of other cannabinoids, such as THC. If you find that your usual smoke is getting you too stoned or causing couch lock consistently, consider seeking out strains with higher CBD percentages.

So, there you have it; a detailed look at couch lock and some ideas on how to beat it. Remember, there is no clear science on what precisely causes couch lock, and the above techniques aren’t foolproof.

In this article, we take a look at couch lock, arguably one of the biggest nuisances to cannabis connoisseurs around the globe. ]]>