What’s the Difference Between High and Stoned?
By Angie McFarlane
The world of cannabis is growing and equally, so is the cannabis lexicon. Whether you use cannabis medicinally or recreationally, you’ve probably heard more than a few slang words used to describe cannabis — not to mention, the effects of ingesting, smoking and vaporizing the plant. But, is there really a difference between feeling high and stoned?
When it comes to the physical and psychological manifestations of effects, the short answer is yes. Cannabis is abundant in THC and often noted for its psychoactivity, so the term “high” and “stoned” often get used interchangeably to describe cannabis’ effects — with the exception of those who know and understand their differences. Obviously, these words aren’t exactly the most “scientific” way to describe things. To clear up some of the confusion, in this article we will examine how differences between being “high” and being “stoned”.
Indica vs. Sativa
In order to understand the differences of feeling “high” and “stoned,” we should mention that cannabis is classified into two main categories: sativa and indica. Although both of these strains have origins in the in different parts of the globe, each sustains their own unique effects on the body and mind. Not to mention, they each require a certain amount to get you there. The effects of cannabis depend on a few variables: cannabis strain potency, one’s level of smoking (or cannabis) experience, and method of consumption.
Today, cross-breeding is done at high levels, so it’s becoming less common to consider a cannabis strain solely being a sativa or indica. Therefore, the terms sativa and indica may be better used to describe cannabis’ physical characteristics, instead of cannabinoid levels. However, in this case, sativas are the main instigators of affecting us mentally while indicas offer a more physical effect.
What does it mean to be high?
If we want to be simple about things, we could describe being high as having more energy physically and mentally. But while a cannabis high does make you feel energized, it’s usually affecting our mental more than anything else. When a person consumes cannabis, it encourages a “high’ that feels incredibly euphoric — you know that flighty feeling you get after smoking some good flower with friends. The cannabis high typically spikes an uptick in energy that can make you feel energized, usually affecting our mindset rather than the body. There are some cannabis consumers (usually recreational) whose end goal is to get high just for the overall experience, as it encourages an elevated state of mind that feels enlightening. Typically the consumer will feel an assortment of the following:
Now, there are some times when a person is high that he or she might develop red eyes or a bit of cottonmouth. As for the duration of the high, a high-quality cannabis strain will keep you up in float for around 3-4 hours without burning you out too much.
What Does It Mean To Be Stoned?
The word “stoned” is commonly referred to as being high. However, you could say that being stoned feels like the contrary to getting high. Unlike being high, being stoned doesn’t usually influence the mind as much. Instead of feeling a burst of energy, stoned cannabis consumers often feel we feel a pleasantly deep relaxation all throughout their body. The best way to describe what it feels like being stoned is what the cannabis community calls the “couchlock” effect — meaning you will just want to sit and relax without moving (like a stone). The body relaxes and racing thoughts in the mind come to a halt. A person who is stoned will typically feel a variety of the following:
- Pleasurably numb
- Buzzing sensation
Once you are all good and stoned, typically a case of the munchies will strike. Rather than just a few hours, it’s possible that you could remain stoned the whole day, but this, of course, all depends on how you consume and handle your bud.
Which Is Best?
Well, that’s all up to you. Nowadays, you can find many different sativa/indica-mixed cannabis (hybrids) strains that combine the “stoned” and the “high” effect all in one. However, it’s important to note that everyone is truly different, so the kind of cannabis strain that suits your needs may not be the same for another. If you are curious about the different types of effects of cannabis, we recommend that you experiment with several different strains until you find your “sweet” spot. Also, take advantage of your local friendly budtenders who will be able to help direct you towards strains that are known to give the feeling you desire.
Angie McFarlane has spent the last 5+ years helping brand and market numerous cannabis products in the Washington State recreational market. Her expertise in the industry brings a technical and business perspective beyond the average cannabis consumer and advocate. Angie lives in Seattle, loves the outdoors and her two kitties, and is a living force against the stoner stigma!