Many people know that cannabis can get you high or stoned. These two terms are continuously used interchangeably when it comes to the effects of cannabis. However, very few people know exactly what the difference is.

Here we explain exactly what these terms mean. Find out here whether cannabis makes you high or stoned.

The effects of cannabis

How strong and the type of effect a person experiences after ingesting cannabis depends on the type of cannabis. In general, two different effects can be distinguished: high and stoned.

These two effects have different properties. To give a clear picture of what “high” or “stoned” means exactly, we dive deeper into these two effects and their causes.

It starts with the buzz

A buzz is always the first thing experienced when ingesting cannabis, unless the cannabis contains barely any active ingredient. With some forms of cannabis, such as smoking a joint, the buzz is noticeable quickly. With other forms, such as edibles, the buzz takes a little longer.

The “buzz” refers to the first noticeable effect of cannabis. This happens when the first substances reach your bloodstream. The effect is not as strong, but you will slowly feel a euphoric feeling. You may start to giggle, or feel extremely relaxed.

A buzz precedes both getting stoned and getting high.

What does high mean?

When people talk about a high, they are referring to the mental state they are in after ingesting cannabis. This state is characterized in particular by increased energy and a better mood that emerges after the first buzz.

A high can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Many people show more social behavior and experience bursts of laughter. But negative feelings can also be stimulated during a high. Examples include anxiety and paranoia.

In addition to the psychoactive effects of a high, there are also some external characteristics by which a high can be recognized. Characteristics are red eyes, eyes that are half-closed, and a dry mouth.

Depending on the quality of the weed, the high can last for 3-4 hours. The peak of the high is reached after about 30 minutes.

How strong you experience the high depends on a number of factors, including the consumption method, the marijuana strain, and the amount of active ingredient it contains (THC).

Cerebral effect of a high

When talking about a high it is mainly referring to a cerebral high. Although you can also feel physically high, the effect is mainly felt in the brain. The cerebral effect includes characteristics such as a high in creativity and productivity.

A physical effect as a result of cannabis is more common when you are stoned. Physical sensations are then heightened. An example of such a physical sensation is a heavy feeling in the limbs.

What substances cause being high?

Everyone’s body is naturally kept in balance by the presence of various messenger substances. Thus, the body ensures that both mental and physical well-being is maintained. Therefore, substances are also released that cause happy and euphoric feelings.

Cannabis contains substances that mimic these messenger substances. 

In this way, cannabis can evoke a feeling of happiness. The substance in cannabis that is responsible for this, among other factors, is THC. THC, however, produces a much stronger effect than the body’s own messenger substances.

A high is primarily caused by cannabis containing a high concentration of THC.

What does stoned mean?

Stoned is the phase that follows a high, or emerges after a buzz when cannabis has a low THC concentration.

Unlike a high, a person who is stoned feels heavy, dull, and has the feeling that everything has slowed down. One also often feels sleepy and hungry which can lead to binge eating.

Someone who is stoned often makes a relaxed impression and seems to have little energy.

The physical effect of being stoned

When someone is stoned, this is more noticeable physically than cerebrally. Couch lounging is a sign of being stoned. The body feels heavy and the individual often feels lethargic and has no desire to move.

What substances cause being stoned?

In cannabis, the effect is mainly determined by the balance between two cannabinoids: THC and CBD. THC is the active substance that produces a psychoactive effect, while CBD suppresses this psychoactive effect and produces a relaxed feeling.

Weed with a high concentration of CBD, and a low concentration of THC mainly creates a stoned feeling.

So, do you get stoned or high?

Whether cannabis gets you stoned or high, or first high and then stoned, depends on the type of cannabis. All substances in cannabis influence each other. They can either stimulate or inhibit actions and effects. Therefore, every marijuana strain has its own unique effect.

A cannabis strain can make you high, stoned, or first high and then stoned.

Want to know more?

Would you like to know more about the composition of different marijuana strains and the effects they have? Come visit us at coffeeshop The Border on the border between Amsterdam and Amstelveen.