What is Couch Lock, And How to Prevent It?

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Added 10 April 2023

Have you ever made plans to meet up with your friends, consume cannabis, and enjoy a group painting session, only to find that you can’t move after a single joint?  

You get way too comfortable on the couch. Your arms feel heavy, the world feels slow, and your eyes don’t want to open fully. If this happens to you, you’re experiencing a couch lock. 

As the name suggests, couch lock is a phenomenon that occurs when you smoke certain strains of weed that make you feel as if you are glued to the couch (or whatever surface you are sitting on). 

It can be annoying for many users, but fortunately, there are a few remedies you can try to get rid of. And better yet, there are a few tips you can try to prevent it if you don’t enjoy the sensation thoroughly. So read on to learn all about couch lock and how to deal with it in this article.

What is Couch Lock?

What is Couch Lock?

Couch lock occurs when you smoke certain strains or consume too much cannabis, which makes you feel as if you are locked to the couch. In other words, it’s when you feel super lazy, relaxed, or sedated and don’t want to do anything but sit there. 

It is more common than you would think, akin to munchies you sometimes get after smoking up, but it does not affect everyone the same way. Some cannabis users even find it appealing and specifically smoke strains that give them a couch lock — it helps them relax. 

On the other hand, some users detest it. Yes, it is relaxing, but it can hamper your day-to-day activities and make them miss out on their work or daily chores. For some users, a couch lock can even take the entire fun out of consuming cannabis. 

But couch lock, apart from making you lazy, is generally harmless. You may feel as if you are trapped or can’t get up and move around, but that’s a sign that you have consumed too much THC. Other than that, couch lock does not really have any negative health impacts. 

This is why it is crucial to understand that, even though one may not like it, couch lock is not always negative. And there are many ways to deal with it, albeit a bit difficult for some users. 

What Causes Couch Lock?

What Causes Couch Lock?

When you consume cannabis, THC isn’t the only phytochemical affecting your mind and body. Cannabis contains many phytochemicals, including over 200 cannabinoids and 100 terpenes, which work together to produce the effect or the high. 

So far, experts aren’t sure which phytochemicals or combinations cause a couch loc. Still, they have found some evidence that may point to certain phytochemicals as being more effective in producing a couch lock.

The first factor is the type of cannabis strain you consume. For example, many users believe Indica strains are more likely to produce a couch lock than Sativa strains since the former has various relaxing properties. 

But since we have found little dissimilarities between Indica and Sativa strains, it is difficult to say for sure. Many users experience couch lock even after smoking Sativa strains. 

The second factor is the terpenes, the aromatic hydrocarbons that give cannabis buds their signature flavor and aroma. Each terpene produces a slightly different effect by interacting with THC or other cannabinoids — some uplift you while others relax you. 

So, strains that contain certain terpenes in higher concentrations are likely to produce a couch lock compared to others. One of these terpenes is myrcene. 

Myrcene is responsible for the musky, earthy aroma in certain strains, and early research suggests that it may be responsible for producing a couch lock. Essentially, this terpene interacts with THC, helping it cross the blood-brain barrier, leading to a more intense high. Additionally, myrcene has relaxing and sedative properties, so a strain with over 0.5% myrcene content may induce couch lock for the user. 

Other terpenes speculated to produce a couch lock include linalool, which has anti-anxiety and sedative effects, and beta-caryophyllene, which has soothing effects. But remember, these are speculations based on early research. More in-depth research is required to make any conclusive remark.

The third factor is dose. Even a strain that is not known to produce a couch lock may produce one if you consume too much of it. This is due to the inherent properties of THC — it is highly sedative in higher quantities and may relax you more than you’d like. 

How to Recognize a Couch Lock?

How to Recognize a Couch Lock?

Couch lock is often described as you lacking the energy to move, as the name would suggest, but it’s much more than that. The symptoms of couch lock vary from user to user. Here are some of the most common symptoms that you may experience during a couch lock:

  • Feeling sleepy or tired
  • Impacted motor movements of your body
  • Your limbs may feel heavy or tingly
  • Your body and mind may feel super relaxed 
  • Lack of motivation to move or do anything that requires movement 
  • Your eyes may feel heavy, too 

These symptoms come together to make you feel as if you are glued to your couch. Hence the name, couch lock. 

How Long Does a Couch Lock Last?

How Long Does a Couch Lock Last?

Just like how a couch lock affects some users more than others, even the length varies from user to user. Generally, the couch lock goes away when the high does. 

The length of the couch lock depends on various factors, including the mode of consumption, like vaping, smoking, or edibles. So, a couch lock from edibles will mostly last a lot longer than that of vaped cannabis.

Additionally, it also depends on your tolerance to it, i.e., how your body metabolizes cannabis. For some users, the couch lock may only last for half an hour, but for others, it can last up to 6 to 7 hours. 

Even the dosage of cannabis can affect the length of the couch lock. For example, if you consume a strain with high THC levels, the couch lock will likely last longer since the cannabinoid stays in your body much longer than low-THC strains. 

How to Deal with a Couch Lock?

How to Deal with a Couch Lock?

Sometimes, you may consume cannabis and experience a couch lock. If you enjoy that, you can sit back and relax, but what if you don’t want a couch lock? Fortunately, there are some ways to deal with a couch lock.

These techniques are difficult and don’t always work, but it is worth a shot. If you do it right, you can bring down your couch lock and get back to enjoying your night. Here are some ways to reduce your couch lock after consuming cannabis.

1. Drink Coffee or a Sugary Beverage

One of the easiest things to do is reach for a beverage rich in sugar or caffeine. These beverages include fruit juice, soda, tea with added sugar, and strong coffee. 

Essentially, sugary drinks will increase your bloodstream’s glucose levels, giving you a boost of energy — a sugar high. On the other hand, coffee will counter the couch lock by increasing your alertness and wakefulness. 

2. Keep Yourself Busy

Another thing you can do is find something else to do. Yes, it does not sound so easy when you are in a couch lock, but once you manage to get on your feet and find something to do, your body will quickly adapt to the scenario, releasing feel-good hormones in your body that boost your wakefulness.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you take your motorcycle out for a ride, even if that can boost your adrenaline levels, unlike anything else. Instead, you can play a video game, tend to your garden, work out, or simply cook a meal. 

The goal is to do something you enjoy and engage your mind so that you can get a surge of energy in your body. 

3. Consume CBD 

While experts are still trying to determine if CBD can curb THC's effects, many users claim that CBD can help them get out of a couch lock. This is one of the reasons why many users consume strains that contain similar levels of both THC and CBD — for a more balanced high.

So, if you are experiencing a couch lock, consider consuming CBD. The best way to beat a couch lock is to place a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue, consuming it sublingually. The cannabinoid will instantly enter your bloodstream and may help beat the couch lock.

4. Listen to Music 

If you’re couch-locked and want to get out of it, it would also be a great idea to listen to some music. Music that you enjoy produces a dopamine surge in your brain, so it can give you a little boost to get up and groove with the tunes. 

Plus, can we acknowledge that listening to your favorite songs while stoned is a different experience altogether? It helps you experience music in a different way. 

5. Enjoy It

In some cases, depending on the strain you’ve smoked, your mood, and your tolerance, you might not be able to get rid of the couch lock. And that’s okay. Couch lock is not harmful, so you can try enjoying it if that happens to you.

There is a reason why so many cannabis users specifically want strains that induce a couch lock — it can be a fun experience! Sure, it may ruin your plans of playing Monopoly with your friends, but you can still enjoy the relaxing sensation it brings. 

How to Prevent Couch Lock While Consuming Cannabis?

How to Prevent Couch Lock While Consuming Cannabis?

Prevention is better than cure, so it’s always better to prevent getting a couch lock than deal with it. Unfortunately, a couch lock can’t always be fixed with the tips mentioned above, but there are some practical ways to prevent it. Here are some ways to avoid couch lock while consuming cannabis.

1. Eat Well and Drink a Lot of Water

Before consuming cannabis, it is recommended that you eat some food and keep yourself hydrated. By eating and drinking water, you can regulate your blood sugar levels and keep yourself hydrated. 

So, when you smoke up, THC will not hit you as hard as it would’ve otherwise. Plus, being well-fed before a session helps prevent munchies that usually come with the couch lock.

2. Try Different Strains of Cannabis

If you experience couch lock often, you might be smoking the wrong strain. As mentioned earlier, some strains are more prone to inducing a couch lock than others, especially if they have high THC levels and myrcene. In that case, switching to your strain of choice and trying something different is a good idea. 

In the following sections, we will discuss some strains notorious for couch lock and some terrific alternatives. In any case, whichever strain you choose, ensure it is high-energy and not sedative or relaxing unless that’s what you are going for.

3. Consume in Moderation

One of the common reasons for a couch lock is consuming too much cannabis. So, one way to prevent it from happening is to consume cannabis at a leisurely pace. Instead of eating all the brownies in one go or smoking an entire joint in one sitting, pace it out. 

So, if you are smoking cannabis, smoke a few tokes and give yourself a break before relighting the joint. And if you are eating edibles, eat at a slow pace. This will give your body more time to metabolize THC, so you don’t get overwhelmed. 

4. Move Around During Your Session

When consuming cannabis, especially when you’re alone, sitting back and smoking a joint always seems like a good idea. This is because if you stay seated in one place for too long while consuming cannabis, a couch lock can easily creep up on you. So, keep yourself a little active while consuming cannabis.

Which Cannabis Strains Cause Couch Lock?

Which Cannabis Strains Cause Couch Lock?

One of the best ways of avoiding a couch lock is to prevent using strains known to cause this problem. Generally, these strains contain myrcene, so it’s best to avoid them if you experience a couch lock too often. 

1. Northern Lights

Northern Lights is one of the most prominent strains in the market right now and often the first choice of many users, thanks to its high THC levels of 21%. This strain is a cross between an Afghani Indica and a Thai Sativa. 

And it is a common cannabis remedy for insomnia and anxiety. This should tell you just how relaxing this strain is, and unsurprisingly, a strain known to cause a couch lock. So, unless you want to unwind after a long day or get relief from chronic pain, anxiety, or insomnia, you should avoid Northern Lights to prevent a couch lock.

2. Gorilla Glue #1

With a THC level of up to 28%, Gorilla Glue is another strain that is quite popular in the community. This powerful cannabis strain also relieves anxiety and insomnia, just like Northern Lights. However, its soothing qualities give users a couch lock, so you should avoid this too if you experience a couch lock very often.

3. Master Kush

Another famous strain known to give users a couch lock is Master Kush, which is also quite potent. This strain has not only won the Cannabis Cup awards but is also a favorite of Snoop Dogg. 

The downside? Its sedative properties are a recipe for couch lock if you have a low tolerance. 

Remember, these are only three popular strains that can cause a couch lock, but these aren’t the only ones. Many more strains can give you a couch lock, depending on their terpenoid and cannabinoid profiles, tolerance, and surroundings. 

Which Cannabis Strains to Use to Prevent Couch Lock?

Which Cannabis Strains to Use to Prevent Couch Lock?

Instead of using the strains mentioned above, you can try other high-energy strains that uplift your mood instead of relaxing you. These strains are less likely to cause a couch lock even in newbies, but caution is still recommended. 

Here are some of the strains you should try out if you want to avoid a couch lock.

1. Super Silver Haze

Super Silver Haze is an award-winning strain with a THC level of up to 19% — it is potent, fast-acting, and stimulating with spurts of energy. So, after consuming Super Silver haze, you won’t feel like sinking into your couch and zoning out; you’d want to write the next best thriller novel or explore the galaxy with your telescope.

2. Critical Jack

If you are looking for a strain that gives you an explosive high, you should try Critical Jack. This strain contains 15% to 20% THC and is known to be a fatigue-busting choice for most users. So, it is a surefire way to avoid a couch lock while keeping your mind sharp and clear, so you can easily tackle complex activities. 

3. Jack Herer Automatic

You can grow the Jack Herer Automatic if you are a novice grower. This autoflowering strain is relatively simple to grow, even for new growers, and offers a potent yet uplifting high that is euphoric. So, less chance of a couch lock. 

Also, the flavor of Jack Herer Automatic is unbeatable; you have a mix of earthy, spicy, and citrusy flavor profile that is a joy to consume, especially when vaped or smoked.

4. Jilly Bean

We mentioned earlier that sugary drinks are a great way to deal with a couch lock. However, you can go further and pick a strain that produces similar results. The strain is Jilly Bean, which is known to produce a high similar to a sugar rush. 

This strain is a mix between Orange Velvet and Space Queen with up to 23% THC. It will surely keep your mind high and your body on its feet for the rest of the night. 

5. NYC Diesel

NYC Diesel is another popular strain that many users reach for to prevent a couch lock. This strain is a terrific choice for artists as it enhances creativity and focus. Plus, it's high usually improves the mood with enough euphoria to keep you working on your next project. 

This strain contains up to 14% THC, which is enough to produce the high while avoiding a couch lock. And if you are a grower, there’s one more reason to choose this strain — it promises yields within three weeks if you grow an autoflowering variety of this strain.

Summary: What is Couch Lock, and How to Prevent It?

Couch lock is more common than you’d think. If your friend seems lost in thought after smoking a joint while everyone is going about their business, they might be experiencing a couch lock.

Fortunately, couch lock is pretty harmless, but it just makes you too relaxed and lazy to do anything. That includes even putting on your favorite movie. So, use this article as a guideline to deal with and prevent a couch lock the next time you consume cannabis.

If you want to fix a couch lock, you can try sugary drinks or coffee, try to distract yourself, consume CBD oil, or listen to music or play a video game. And if you want to prevent it, it is recommended that you eat well before your session, pace your dosage, and move around regularly. 

Also, it would be a great idea to try out different strains that do not induce a couch lock, such as Super Silver Haze, Critical Jack, Jilly Bean, or NYC Diesel.


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Interesting, I hate that, be like a 🐌 in my couch 🛋️, Agree with don't smoke too much, I chill my joint several hours, and sometimes happens to be lock, drink cola and try to found the motivation to move 😁😁
@Ju_Bps, true lol. Depends on your day 😁
@CannaScience, it could be depending of situation, each people have his fun with his way 😁😁👊👊
@Ju_Bps, I like it actually. To be fixed on the spot, haha!
CBN is a big contributor, weed left on the plant to long will lock you in the couch. THC degrades into CBN and it will brick you.
@m0use, Ah, I've had those days. Felt like a python lmao 😂
@CannaScience, eat a whole bag of corn chips and its both. Speaking from experience only lol.
@m0use, in a good way or bad way :D