When it comes to cannabis, being high and being stoned can feel like two completely different experiences. But how are they actually different, and is it possible to choose one experience over the other? Find out what separates the high from the stone.
Today, cannabis is becoming more widely accepted and used, with tons of questions still surrounding its effects on our bodies. As we know, cannabis is most often cited for its psychoactive properties and the intoxicated feeling most users experience after ingesting. The words “high” and “stoned” are frequently used interchangeably to describe the outcomes of using THC-rich cannabis, but are they really the same thing? Below, we examine the distinctions between “buzzed”, “high”, and “stoned”, so you can stop wasting time arguing and start enjoying your session.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BUZZED?
Initially after using cannabis, there’s a buzz. This might only last a few minutes before the high kicks in, but it largely depends on potency and strain type as well. As its name suggests, a buzz describes the feeling experienced when an intoxicant first kicks in and begins to alter one’s state of being. Rather than being the peak of inebriation, this is the lead-up period where you might start having the giggles and feel a rush of euphoria.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HIGH?
The next “level” is being high. This is defined by a classic uptick in physical energy and emotional uplift—you know, that feeling you get after finishing a joint with friends. The high depends on a few variables: method of consumption, potency of cannabis/strain, and one’s level of smoking experience.
Regarding strain quality, high-grade weed can keep you high for about 3–4 hours. Once the initial buzz has been ratcheted up to a high, different feelings are experienced depending on the individual. While some will feel infectiously sociable and giggly, others may experience a bit of paranoia and anxiety at this peak level of inebriation. This anxiety can also be due to fear of law enforcement if you’re partaking in a region where it is still illegal. And of course, we couldn’t describe what it’s like to be high on weed without mentioning the red eyes, low lids, and infamous cottonmouth associated with this stage.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE STONED?
Whereas being high is all about being “up”, being stoned is defined by heavy, dopey, and drowsy sensations. When you’re high, everything appears to be moving rapidly in an exciting manner. A good stone, however, will feel like everything is going in slow-mo. Most individuals agree that a high morphs into a stone following peak intoxication. Although still under the psychoactive effects of cannabis, stoned individuals may feel extremely lethargic and hungry, with a deep sense of physical relaxation.
Different consumption methods also influence the difference between being high vs stoned. For instance, when dabbing high-THC concentrates in the 80%+ range, this experience is most often thought to produce a rushing, cerebral high. Edibles, on the other hand, take much longer to kick-in; but when they do, a thorough, long-lasting stone will come upon the consumer.
THE ROLE OF INDICA AND SATIVA: BODY VS MIND HIGH
It’s true that strain type plays a large role in whether one will experience high vs stoned sensations. Given that sativas are associated with mental stimulation, physical energy, and even anxiety, they are known more to induce a high. But if you smoke a lot of any strain, including a sativa, this high will eventually turn into a drowsy body stone. But if you want to get those physical effects immediately, a pure indica may be the way to go. These have long been considered the strains with the most medicinal capacity, long before CBD was in the spotlight.
DO YOU WANNA GET STONED? OR HIGH?
Well, this is really a question you must answer for yourself. Head highs and body highs, each come with their own distinct energy, sensations, benefits, and setbacks. Everyone is truly different, so what suits your needs won’t be the same for another. Ultimately, the choice comes down to preference, time of day, and physiological condition.
If you are curious about the different types of effects, you should try a sativa-dominant and an indica-dominant strain and record your experience on paper. Although finding a 100% pure indica/sativa might be difficult, there are a variety of famous strains on the market noted for these effects. All you need to do is try some different varieties until you find that high vs stoned sweet spot. Have fun!