According to the 2017 Global Drug Survey, cannabis and psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms are the most physiologically safe drugs in the world. The survey, which collected data from 120,000 people in 50 countries, revealed that only .2 percent of mushroom consumers and .6 percent of cannabis consumers needed emergency medical treatment.
With zero ever recorded overdose deaths, it’s already well known that cannabis can cause no real harm to the body. Instead, the plant’s diversity in strain varieties allows it to serve as a useful substitute for more risky substances.
Whereas the Global Drug Survey data revealed, for instance, that 4.8 percent of meth consumers needed emergency medical treatment, a high energy strain of cannabis could be a safe replacement for dangerous uppers like methamphetamine or cocaine.
The reason you can’t overdose on weed if fairly simple. The body’s cannabinoid receptors are located throughout, but not in the brainstem, which regulates breathing, blood pressure, or heart rate. Unlike substances like alcohol or opioids, which act on receptors in the brainstem, cannabis does nothing to compromise these physiological functions. Hence, a fatal overdose in which these systems shut down is impossible with cannabis. (That said, it is quite possible to get too high to the point of panic or extreme discomfort.) The brain also manufactures a hormone called pregnenolone, which can inhibit the impact of THC, the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis, on the body, should a person ingest too much.
In addition to being safe, cannabis can also impact the body and mind in tremendously diverse ways — hence why it’s therapeutic for everything from insomnia to pain to seizures.
If you’re someone who needs medication to help you concentrate, such as adderall or ritalin, or likes the feeling of coffee or other chemical stimulants, a strain of sativa could also lend you some focus or energy. Some of the highest energy sativa strains of cannabis include Harlequin, Durban Poison, or Green Crack.
On the other hand, if you’re a pain patient, have high anxiety, suffer from insomnia, or need opioid or other pharmaceutical medications to help you relax, a heavy indica strain could have a comparable effect. Some indica or hybrid strains to help with these symptoms include Northern Lights, Girl Scout Cookies, and Trainwreck.
Meanwhile, if you use alcohol to socialize or unwind after a long day, euphoric or giggly cannabis strains can be a good a replacement, too. These might include Jack Herer, Blue Dream, Chemdawg, or Sour Diesel.
Point being, whatever effect you’re looking for and would ordinarily aim for with a more risky substance like uppers or downers, cannabis is a diverse enough plant that, with enough strain experimentation, you may be able to find a number of varieties to provide the effects you’re looking for.