Features // February 26, 2021 // Annie Gallo

Does This TikTok Challenge Get You Higher?

Does This TikTok Challenge Get You Higher?

A challenge for stoners aimed at intensifying their high has been circulating on the social media platform TikTok.Since the beginning of 2021,  TikTok stoners have been sharing their experiences of taking the vitamin supplement Emergen-C and smoking weed. Some say Emergen-C gets them higher by making them feel like they just took a tolerance break, also known as a t-break — a short-term break from consuming weed to clear the body and brain from THC and other cannabinoids. If a smoker develops a high tolerance to weed because of high consumption, the buildup can be reversed by taking a t-break.Many 420-friendly TikTokers have been trying Emergen-C in place of taking a tolerance break, hoping that the powdered vitamin will boost their high.

@officialpeezyThe Part 2 I Forgot To Make #GEICOLipSync #gethighrapper #stonersoftiktok #emergenC #stonertok♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod

Emergen-C comes in powder form in a packet, or as tablets to mix in liquid. It can be bought at most drugstores, vitamin shops and grocery stores. Many people take Emergen-C daily for immune support — it's chock full of B vitamins which naturally enhance energy, and contains more vitamin C than 10 oranges. 

The Myrcene Theory

The trend of trying Emergen-C before a smoke sesh seems to stem from the mango myth that's been talked about for decades in the stoner community. The theory goes that, since mangoes contain large amounts of myrcene, which is a terpene that is also found in cannabis, eating mangoes when you're smoking causes a more intense high. Cannabis is illegal under federal law in the United States, so there are very resources for research into cannabis. To date, there have not been any clinical studies done on mangoes intensifying the effects of weed. According to Steep Hill, a cannabis science and technology company which operates several commercial cannabis labs, myrcene has anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties which can treat insomnia, spasms, and pain. “It also has special properties, including lowering the resistance across the blood to brain barrier, allowing itself and many other chemicals to cross the barrier easier and more quickly. In the case of cannabinoids, like THC, it allows it to take effect more quickly,” Steep Hill notes on the terpene section of their website

Maximum Effects

Smoking cannabis gets users high after inhaling when THC passes into the lungs and is absorbed into the blood. The body's circulatory system then carries molecules of THC to tissues all over the body including the brain, where it can alter neural chemistry.Daniele Piomelli, a professor of neurobiology, biological chemistry and more at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine spoke to Live Science recently about THC in the body. According to Piomelli, THC molecules cling to receptors that receive compounds called endocannabinoids. The receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating several functions like food intake, stress, metabolism and pain. "The endocannabinoid system is the most pervasive, diffused and important modulatory system in the brain because it controls the release of pretty much every neurotransmitter," says Piomelli. Steep Hill notes that myrcene has been shown to increase the maximum saturation level of the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system, which allows for a greater maximum psychoactive effect.After doing a lot of research about mangoes, I think that, though there is no conclusive evidence on the extent of mangoes getting you higher, eating one before smoking might be worth a try. Keep in mind though: the only real way to feel like you've had a tolerance break is to actually take a break from smoking for at least a couple of weeks.

How High Am I?

Unfortunately after trying the Emergen-C trend three times, I can confidently say this ongoing challenge/myth was a bust for me. I smoke about a half ounce a week, and I take my first puff in the morning. The first exhale of my day is when I feel the highest, and I was really hoping that the Emergen-C would make it a little more intense. I mixed two 1,000mg powder packets into ginger ale each morning, waited for several minutes and then smoked. I was extremely disappointed by the effects. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste because all the TikTokers acted like it was so disgusting. Orange was my flavor of choice, I actually quite enjoyed the drink, and I think my body appreciated the extra vitamins. No doubt there may be some placebo effect going on for some smokers who tried this trend, but I felt nothing different. I wanted to believe it was real, but I do not think there's any science or facts backing up this viral trend. The TikToks are worth watching anyway. Here are a couple of entertaining Emergen-C challenge TikToks, and one debunking the myth:

@guacccqqqqqemergen-c challenge🍃 #stonertiktok#emergenc♬ original sound - guac189


@chancestonerrrIt’s like a super strong indica #Fyp #420 #stonertok #emergenc #emergency🍃♬ GBrewah on apple and spotify - G-Brewah
@weedviewsofficialEMERGEN-C BEFORE YOU 💨 FEELS LIKE A TOLERANCE BREAK? (Spoiler alert.. 🧢 🧢🧢) #emergenc🌱 #emergenc #placebo #placeboeffect♬ original sound - WEEDVIEWS™️