Although a wordy explanation might never actually explain what it feels like to be high, we’ve decided that there are certain things to look out for. There are certain physical, mental and emotional sensations that occur to a person after using weed. This information can be helpful if you’ve never smoked weed before and don’t know what to expect! By reading this article, you can get an idea of what it feels like to be high on weed.
- Being high vs. being drunk
- Signs that you might be high
- 1. Warped perception of time
- 2. Spacing in and out
- 3. A Relaxed body and drowsiness
- 4. Increased energy
- 5. The “I don’t give a shit” effect
- 6. The paranoid effect
- 7. Short-term memory loss
- 8. Heightened sensitivity
- The difference between sativa and indica
- Is smoking weed a psychedelic experience?
- The first time you smoke weed
- Unique experience for everybody, every time
Everybody all over the world is talking about weed – how good it feels, how great it makes your life, how medicinal it is. But what does it even feel like to be high on weed? When I first pondered the question, it seemed completely unanswerable, like explaining what a banana tastes like – or even like explaining what colour is to a blind person.
After some deeper meditations, I realized that there are some experiences that all stoners can connect with. There are definite changes that take place in the physical, mental and emotional experiences after smoking weed.
If you’ve never smoked weed before, it could be a healthy thing to do to familiarize yourself with the kinds of changes that can happen after you smoke. Although they won’t be the same for all people, there is a general basket of experiences that seem common among stoners.
So, we think we’ve figured it out – how to explain what it feels like to be high on weed that is. It’s less like explaining exactly the sensation of smoking weed, and more like telling you a bit about what the weather will be like when you get there.
Being high vs. being drunk
If you’re smoking weed for the first time, there are definitely certain things you should not expect. The first expectation to let go of is the idea that it will be something like being drunk. Being high is nothing like being drunk. Often, people in a drunk state of mind experience desensitization or a general loss of the senses. On the other hand, people who are high report feeling highly sensitive.
It is generally quite easy to describe the social repercussions of being drunk, such as the feeling of wanting to talk a lot or wanting to dance. Alcohol seems to fit perfectly into the nightclubbing environment.
But the same cannot be said about weed. Being high can sometimes fill the body with energy for dancing, but not necessarily the desire to be social. Sometimes the marijuana experience is very pensive, at other times it is extremely outgoing.
In general, the social setting for smoking marijuana is a more personal one, such as with friends in a house or around a campfire. The effects of marijuana are less definable than those that we tend to experience with alcohol. This is what makes it such a wonderful plant to use with friends. And also, what makes it very mysterious when it comes to the very varied experiences that many users have.
Signs that you might be high
Some stoners swear that there are certain “symptoms” they experience after smoking weed that are much more prevalent than others. What I mean is that some smokers always feel light headed but never get the munchies. Other stoners always get the munchies and always get tired, but never get paranoid. It really is different for every stoner. However, there are certain signs that seem to pop up again and again that are almost like symptoms of the stoned effect.
What’s interesting is that some of these symptoms are the reasons that stoners love marijuana, while the very same effects are the reason some people choose never to smoke again. It’s all very interesting if you ask me. The very sensations that are linked with feeling calm and relaxed can be the same sensations that are linked with anxiety and paranoia after smoking weed.
You never really know which side you’re going to tinker on. But your attitude towards smoking weed will mean a lot.
1. Warped perception of time
Stoners are almost always late. That should mean a lot for the topic of warped time perception. It is a particularly common experience among first time smokers. It can feel like you have so much time. The minutes can feel like hours. For some people, this is a huge relief. However, if you’re starting to feel anxious and wanting the stoned effect to go away, a warped sense of time can be really uncomfortable.
2. Spacing in and out
Just as with time perception, I think the symptom of spacing in and out is something that you come to manage after frequent marijuana use. I can liken it as phasing in and out of your mental world. Marijuana can have the effect of making thoughts overactive, and it becomes easy to get “sucked in” to that world.
The effect is so strong that there is almost a forgetfulness of the people around you. But in a moment, whether it is triggered by the sound of one of your friends or by music, your attention is brought back to the physical world. This is what is meant by spacing in and out.
3. A Relaxed body and drowsiness
One of the medicinal values of marijuana is that it is a muscle relaxant. After using, you can feel immediately that all the knots in your body simply fall away and that there is a sense of freedom about the physical body. For some this sensation can cause laziness or drowsiness, a sensation of wanting to go to sleep.
4. Increased energy
Because of the previous two, there can be the feeling of increased energy in the body. When some people’s muscles get relaxed, they feel this as the perfect time to go for a walk or do some stretching.
Perhaps it is even the moment for dancing! The mental activity paired with the physical relaxation can actually cause the feeling that it is time to do something creative, such as make music, paint, dance or do yoga.
5. The “I don’t give a shit” effect
This has more to do with the emotional consequences of smoking weed, and it is probably what Bob Marley was talking about in his songs. Smoking weed can come with a sense of euphoria or joy that is unparalleled with any other high.
It is like having no worries in the world, or literally not giving a shit about anything. This is the place where people lose all of their inhibitions, have increased libido, increased self-confidence and a sense of “flow” with all that is happening around.
6. The paranoid effect
The feeling of paranoia is something that comes up a lot on the topic of smoking weed. It is the flipside of the care-free attitude that can happen sometimes. It’s the sensation of giving too many shits about everything, causing a sense of anxiety, mistrust or paranoia.
We don’t really know why this happens. It could be caused by a number of factors, such as who you’re smoking with, which strain you’re smoking, where you’re doing it, whether your day was good or bad, what you ate before you smoked – there are countless things that could have an effect on the emotional reaction you have towards smoking weed. For some people, just the fact that it is all very new can cause this sense of paranoia.
7. Short-term memory loss
If you’ve smoked weed before, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You put your keys in your pocket and then instantly forget that you even touched them. Then you’re running around your entire house searching for them, convinced that they’ve been stolen! And after wasting 30 minutes of your life, you finally realize they are in your pocket and all of a sudden you remember putting them there.
This is a really common effect that many stoners report after smoking weed. The good news is that it doesn’t last very long. Once you return to sobriety, your memory pretty much goes back to normal. However, frequent users could be experiencing short-term memory loss frequently. And your friends might interpret that as complete forgetfulness.
8. Heightened sensitivity
As we talked about earlier, many stoners experienced a heightened sensory perception after smoking weed. It’s why a lot of stoners enjoy listening to music when they are high. The sensitivity to sounds, colours and even physical sensations have a tendency to heighten. This could also be the reason that the libido is increased after smoking weed.
The difference between sativa and indica
It’s probably worth mentioning that there are reported differences in the effects of indica and sativa strains. It’s much more complicated than the common preconception that sativa makes you energetic while indica makes you tired.
As much as you can expect different effects from a pure indica than you might from a pure sativa, there are many other factors at play. A single marijuana plant contains hundreds of active compounds, from terpenoids to cannabinoids to flavonoids, and these all affect what you experience.
Take Northern Lights, for example. This strain is pure indica and heavily resinous. Users report feeling relaxed and happy after using this strain, but don’t often report feeling very sleepy. Now let’s compare that to the Afghan strain, which is also a pure indica. Users also report feeling relaxed, but much more sleepy compared to when smoking Northern Lights.
Durban Poison is a popular sativa strain. Users report feeling extremely energetic, uplifted and happy after they use it. Super Silver Cheese, a strain very heavy in sativa genetics, makes users more relaxed than uplifted.
Is smoking weed a psychedelic experience?
Smoking weed is sometimes lumped into the category of the “psychedelic experience”. This causes a lot of fear for people who are smoking weed for the first time. Is it a psychedelic experience or is it not? Well, unfortunately the answer to that question is complicated.
What makes a psychedelic experience? It isn’t simply just having visions of colours or hallucinations (which is possible, but not necessary on weed). I like to think that the psychedelic experience is distinguished from other drugs by the sense of disassociation. Some sort of space is created between you and your mind and body, giving you the sense that you have become something else.
Through this, you are given some sort of power to be able to observe your mind and your body from a more detached perspective. This is kind of what happens when someone takes mushrooms or LSD.
This doesn’t always happen when it comes to smoking weed. It might if you are smoking really strong weed, sativa in particular. The cerebral high that is linked with strong sativa strains is often associated with the psychedelic experience. However, it doesn’t happen all the time.
The method of ingestion can also have an effect on how psychedelic the experience is. For many people, the use of marijuana through edibles is a far more psychedelic experience than it is through smoking. The whole sense of “tripping out” can be heightened with edibles or oils, but for many smokers this is often bypassed.
If marijuana is in fact, a psychedelic experience, it is much milder than what you can expect from taking a hit of LSD. It’s uncommon to experience wild visual or auditory hallucinations unless you’ve just smoked something really strong. However, the sense of disassociation is something that stoners come to enjoy, and what gives them the sense of strangeness when they use it.
The first time you smoke weed
Interesting things can happen the first time you smoke weed, and I credit that to the fact that you have no idea what to expect (this article might help with that).
I know many first-time smokers who said that weed didn’t really have an effect on them. One possible explanation is that those that have no idea what to expect might be projecting too many expectations on what it means to be stoned. As a result, nothing actually happens. If you’re too focused on what you think is going to happen, you might miss what is actually happening, and be left disappointed.
Some theorize that cannabinoid receptors in the brain that have never been activated to this extent before actually need some time to fully accept the stimulation of THC and CBD, as though they are a little bit shy to start off with. This might also be an explanation for the phenomenon of the mysterious “nothing happened” of first time smokers.
On the other hand, if you don’t know what to expect from smoking weed, the experience can be all too powerful, and this also causes a lot of people to abandon the idea of ever smoking weed again.
Unique experience for everybody, every time
What’s important to remember is that smoking weed is different every time you do it. There are so many different factors that will affect your experience, it’s basically impossible to say what it will be like when you do it.
The marijuana experience is different for everybody. It’s one of the reasons it is so mysterious in the world of intoxicants. While some feel relaxed, others feel energized. While some stop giving a shit, others can’t stop giving a shit.
So how do you know what it feels like to be high? I’m going to go back to the example I made of explaining what a banana tastes like. We could probably talk about it all day, because there’s so much to tell when it comes to describing the taste and texture of a banana. But at the end of the day you won’t really know what it tastes like until you eat it!
So, the best way to know what it feels like to be high on cannabis is to give it a go. Rest assured, you cannot die, even if your mind would be trying to convince you otherwise. Nobody has ever overdosed on marijuana.
With an open heart and mind, you can really enjoy the marijuana experience. For many, it is one of the best remedies on the planet – for many different things! So, let go of what your grandparents might have told you about smoking weed and see for yourself!