What Does It Feel Like To Be High?
Anybody who has never smoked weed before must wonder what all those weed smokers are talking about. How could you not want to know?
In all fairness, a lot of people are just never drawn to using cannabis and go their whole lives without ever trying it. But I really wonder if they don’t, at least once in their lives, wonder what it must feel like to be high.
After all, there are millions of people around the world who use cannabis and report nothing but bliss. So what does it feel like?
Well, this is probably the moment to put a disclaimer. Weed feels different for everybody. It’s one of the most attractive and mysterious things about marijuana.
We will talk about a lot of aspects of being high in this article, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to go through the whole process exactly the way we’ve described it. Plus, being stoned is an experience like falling in love.
Who can really describe that, without something getting lost in the process? So, before we get started, here’s a single piece of advice: if you really want to know what a banana tastes like, eat a banana. And the same goes with weed. If you really, really want to know, the best thing to do is jump in and try it!
What Does Being High Feel Like?
So we’ve already put out the disclaimer. It’s different for everybody. But there are definitely some things that tie all of the experiences together – like “trademarks” of the weed experience.
It also seems that being high happens in stages. As you progress through the journey, there are different feelings and experiences that are encountered. So that’s kind of how we’re going to talk about the weed experience here: through stages.
Being High Is An Individual Experience
We touched on this already. The way a person experiences weed depends on so many things. There is the person’s constitution to think about, their brain chemistry and how cannabis is going to interact with that.
There is also the setting to think about: being high at home is very different from being high in public. All of these variables make up a person’s individual marijuana experience.
This is what makes it so hard to say what it feels like to be high. Even seasoned smokers experience different highs in different situations. Don’t expect your high to feel just like your friend’s high and roll with the way that it works for you.
Phase 1: Whoa!
Let’s start at the very beginning. After those initial puffs of weed, you begin to feel like the whole world around is changing. Your body feels different, your perception is different and everything is just… whoa!
Actually, this is the moment of “what in the f*** is happening?” Smoking takes effect basically immediately, so there’s no real “easing” into the experience. It happens all of a sudden, and if you’re caught off guard it can feel like you’ve walked into another dimension where everybody is speaking a different language.
Phase 2: Pure Joy
Once the initial confusion of the first stage has started to wear off, and you’ve well and truly accepted the fact that you are stoned – then comes the pure joy. This is a blissful state that is so characteristic of THC that it really can’t be acquired from other intoxicants.
There’s nothing else to it, really. It’s just a state of pure bliss. It is the moment where your heart opens up to all the people that you’re hanging out with in that moment when it becomes easy to see the beautiful things around. When weed is consumed in nature, this pure joy turns into a connection with all of the elements around.
Phase 3: Reflection & Introspection
A lot of cannabis enthusiasts report that smoking marijuana helps them to drop into a meditative state much easier and with much more profundity. In fact, it’s one of the things about cannabis that Carl Sagan loved the most.
This is also the stage where a user might experience something called episodic memory, which is also something Carl Sagan talks about in his essay on cannabis (which you can check out here).
In fact, it’s also worth watching Terrence Mckenna’s opinion about what can happen in this stage of cannabis use (and all kinds of psychedelic use), how to deal with it and how to get the most out of it. In this phase, it is easy to access memories of events passed or to reflect on life in general. This is the aspect of cannabis use that mystics and knowledge seekers love the most.
Phase 4 (optional): Paranoia
Not everybody gets paranoid, but it’s something that a lot of cannabis users have reported feeling at least once. The thing about paranoia is it seems to target people who are already predisposed to feelings of anxiety of some sort.
It also seems that the more a person consumes cannabis, the less this stage of the high seems to present itself. Perhaps this is simply the brain’s way of perceiving the fact that the high is diminishing.
In any case, paranoia usually links to a fear of the police coming! Hopefully, cannabis legalization helps to dampen that common paranoid thought.
A lot of influential cannabis users, such as Joe Rogan, often report feeling paranoia from time to time. But they also describe the ways in which they can use that energy, refocus it and put it into something practical. Joe Rogan talks about how he uses weird, anxious and paranoid thoughts to give him the energy to practice boxing and jiu-jitsu. You can watch him talk about it in this video.
It’s also worth noting here that paranoia is simply a fear of having no control. The relaxing aspect of cannabis almost is the fact that there is no need to control anything. In that space, the body can relax and the mind is free to wander wherever it likes.
However, for those who are not 100% comfortable with relinquishing control, it can be expressed as paranoia. The most important thing to do if feelings of paranoia arise is to breathe and try not to act on any paranoid impulses.
There’s no need to call the hospital and there’s no need to run away from your friends. After some time has passed, you will probably laugh at the strange ideas that were passing through your mind.
Phase 5: Eating Away Your High
Enter the munchies. Now that all that exhausting introspection has taken place, you’ve come back to your physical senses and you are ready to indulge.
Scientific research confirms that THC interacts with parts of the brain that deal with appetite, but even that doesn’t seem like sufficient evidence for the munchies. All of a sudden, the size of your stomach has exponentially expanded and anything around that is edible seems like the best thing in the world.
You might have been a graceful person before, but when the munchies hit, you will descend into looking like a neanderthal who hasn’t eaten in weeks.
It also seems that this phase is interchangeable with having sex. If you don’t go straight for the munchies, you might go straight for your partner. And if you don’t have a partner, you might go straight for… well, you know the answer to that.
There’s something about wanting to indulge the physical body in this phase, whether it’s through the munchies or through a mind-blowing orgasm.
Phase 6: Weed Fatigue
Finally, after you’ve finished the munchies, everything starts to go back to normal. For a lot of people, this is synonymous with feeling sleepy or tired. You might not have gone anywhere or done anything during your high, but you feel like you’ve just run a marathon.
In phase 6, a lot of people will smoke another joint and start the whole process all over again. However, for many, it simply means that it’s time to retire in front of a movie or just to relax. Weed fatigue doesn’t last a long time.
Usually, within an hour, people go back to sobriety and feel like their normal, energetic selves. That’s unless you’ve spent the whole night smoking, of course, in which case you’ll probably hit the sack.
The whole process from phase 1 to phase 6 can last anywhere between 1 and 4 hours, depending on the person and the strength of the weed that they have consumed.
Downsides Of Getting High
It’s really hard to pinpoint the downside of getting high. Compared to a lot of other intoxicants, alcohol included, the aftereffect is extremely mild.
Some people report something like a “stone over”, where they feel slightly stoned, dizzy or tired the next day. However, if a stone over is felt in the morning, it doesn’t usually last very long. After a coffee and breakfast, you’re you again.
With all of that being said, some of the downsides of getting high are the same effects that some people think are the plus sides of getting high. For example, the rush of thoughts in the mind. Some people marvel at this, while for others this is a real downside.
Another example is the munchies. Some people hate dealing with the excessive need to eat, especially if that is something they are self-conscious about. For others, the eating experience is taken to a whole new level when stoned.
What Does Getting High On Weed Feel Like?
At the end of the day, getting high on weed feels like a lot of things. There’s no single thing that describes a cannabis high. For some people, it is extremely energy consuming to use weed. For others, it is a great source of creative energy.
Smoking weed is a journey where you can expect to encounter a lot of different feelings. The most important thing is to embrace it and accept the experience as it comes! Remember to use responsibly!