Stages of Being High

While individuals have unique reactions to marijuana, most weed sessions follow a similar general trajectory. Specifically, there are five distinct stages of being high.
Read on as we discuss what to expect at each, but don’t get too hung up about “staying on schedule” or worrying that you aren’t doing it right if your companions seem to be having a different experience than you.

Some Factors That Will Influence Your High:

  • The amount and potency of the products you consume
  • The strain you are using
  • Whether you are consuming any other drugs or alcohol
  • Your method of consumption (smoking, vaping, eating, etc.)
  • Your personal experience with weed and tolerance level
  • Your health, age, sex, and unique physiology

Remember that not all cannabis products produce a euphoric high. Skin creams and vape cartridges that contain CBD oil, for example, provide some of the medicinal effects of cannabis but will not make you feel stoned since they don’t contain THC, the primary cannabinoid compound that produces a high.

With that in mind, let’s look at the five stages of being high.

Starting Out

smoking marijuana for first time

If you are new to marijuana or have a low tolerance, a few puffs may be enough to give you a buzzed feeling. That’s the sensation you get when the cannabinoids cross the blood-brain barrier. The effect will help you start to feel more relaxed. Most people also become more receptive and sensitive to stimuli–music becomes more fascinating, colors feel more vivid, and tastes seem more pronounced.

This can happen quickly, especially if you are vaping a concentrated product or sprinkling some form of shatter or similar material in when rolling a joint. If you are enjoying an edible, remember that it will take longer for you to feel the effects of the THC. You can’t overdose on weed, but give yourself some time to feel the effects of your first pot brownie or weed candy before popping another one into your mouth.

Getting Happy

Getting Happy from marijuana

A few minutes after you start toking or dabbing, or maybe half an hour after consuming edibles—you should begin to feel the euphoric high that THC can provide.
This will be more than the happy buzz you felt when you first started smoking; this phase is more like elation. You and your companions may start laughing at everything or nothing.

Some people report feeling more productive during this phase, especially when enjoying a sativa strain of cannabis. Enjoy any bursts of insight or creativity that may come into play here.

In the Zone

Your session will peak once your body rouses to the full effects of THC. At this stage, you are really and truly stoned. You will continue to feel the relaxed happiness and sensitivity to the world around you as in previous stages, just to a larger degree.

Many people become a bit lethargic and restful, especially when enjoying a strain of indica. This is also a stage for deep conversations during which you and your friends can ponder life’s big questions. Make sure to have some munchies on hand.

Don’t Freak Out

Some people experience extremely mild hallucinations (not often), especially at high doses. These can include seeing or hearing things that are not real. For many people, this can be a pleasant experience, like a toned-down magic mushroom trip. However, it can also make people nervous and sometimes depressed.

Some smokers are also predisposed to become anxious when they ingest marijuana. Remember to take it slowly if you are new and to take care of others who may have overindulged.

Coming Down

man sleeping on couch

As the effects of the THC wear off, the time will come to decide whether to sober up and get some work done, crawl into bed, or light up again. If you are a guest at someone’s home, it would be nice to offer to help them clean up, but if you smoked in your own place you may decide to just hit the hay and save work for tomorrow.

Visit Cannabis & Glass for Expert Advice and Dispensary Services

At Cannabis & Glass, we can answer questions about the stages of being high or whatever else you need to know about marijuana. Contact us online, or visit one of our Washington or Oregon dispensaries today!