Black Friday Hangover — The discounts aren’t over Save now

By RQS Editorial Team


Getting high is, as many would attest, great fun. However, being high is a varied state, impacted by internal and external factors, some of which we can’t control. There are, however, some fairly general effects of being high, and many highs tend to follow a similar trajectory.

Let’s delve a little deeper!

What Kind of High are You?

We all seem to experience a weed "high" slightly differently. Much of that is down to the type of weed and the consumption method. If you smoke a joint mixed with tobacco and a nice mild sativa, you may get a light buzz. However, if you are going hell for leather on the dab rig with some Indian landrace indica called "Demon of Scorch", you may spend the rest of the day trying to get out of your couch-lock.

There are also different "types" in every group of stoner friends. There's the one who gets quiet and withdrawn, the one who can't stop laughing, and the one who you can never even tell is high.

The ingestion method will also change the high you experience. We will be focusing on smoking as our delivery method of choice for this article, as it's arguably the most common.

The 10 Stages of Being High

Despite these variables, it’s still possible to give a rough guide on the stages of being high. Think of it like being on a train. You may not stop at every station on the way through, but they are all there. You might wake up hours later at the end of the line with a dry mouth and no clue what happened. That's all part of the ride.

Let's look at the 10 stages you’ll encounter on a typical journey into the weed cosmos.

The stages of being high

Stage 1: Anticipation

The first stage of being high is anticipating what is to come. You haven’t even smoked your bud yet, but you have a suspicion of what it’s supposed to feel like, and you know that it smells incredibly potent. You wonder, “Did I pack that joint a little too much?”. Or, perhaps more likely, you’re already planning for the one after!

Stage 2: Savour the Flavour

The feel and the smell of your weed all adds to the experience. After you light up, the flavours and aromas of the cannabis come to life in waves of taste over your tongue. The smoke laps up into your nasal cavity, and then nosedives gracefully down into your lungs. This is when you start to relax, before the weed has even had an effect.

Stage 3: The Moment of Clarity

The journey has begun, and you are about to experience more twists and turns. A time will come when the mist clears, and you will feel those first tell-tale tingles. You’ll feel happy and comforted, perhaps even relieved at the dawn of those familiar sensations. You are now at the point of no return. The THC has crossed the blood–brain barrier, and the only way is up!

Stage 4: Energy, Focus, and Awareness

Often, you'll experience a sense of exhilaration from the instant the high hits you. That delight might be in response to the physical sensation itself, or in anticipation of what is to come. The world will appear more colourful and exciting than it did five minutes ago.

You might be overwhelmed with questions, thoughts, and an urge to talk your friends’ ears off with your newfound observations and wisdom. Or, you may get the giggles and find everything hilarious as the weight of the natural world lifts off your shoulders. You may even "zone out" or have to remind yourself to stop staring. Music, television, and other people will abruptly become so much more enjoyable.

Stage 5: Chill Time

One of the most enjoyable stages for many. You're relaxed, free with your thoughts, and have no paranoid feelings. You can comfortably lie on the sofa with your blanket and get lost in a film. You feel good whether you fall asleep or binge-watch a whole series, and have everything you need at that moment.

This is prime time for the munchies too; suddenly everything will seem delicious. You will wonder why your culinary skills have not yet been internationally recognised as you layer up pancakes and potato chips with lashings of peanut butter.

Stage 6: The Reckoning

Your body is encountering the full effects of THC, and you may experience a feeling of tension. This can come on fast if you are new to weed or have a low tolerance, leaving you disorientated, paranoid, or anxious. If this is the case, try reminding yourself that the feeling will soon pass.

No doubt about it, you are now stoned; right in the eye of the storm. Do what you have to in order to feel comfortable and ride things out. If you can get yourself to sleep, maybe try that. Food can be a great comfort too. Treat yourself to some sugary deliciousness to keep your energy up and act as a distraction.

Stage 7: Reaching the Peak

Once you reach the peak of your high, the THC levels in your body will slowly start to level out, and you will get to enjoy the deep and introspective feelings it brings on. Suppose you're being creative or trying to get some chores done around the house; this is when you will feel the individual qualities of each strain at work. The focus can make you quite introverted, quiet, or reflective as you concentrate on your thoughts or the task at hand.

Stage 8: Sharing

Slowly you return back to the world around you. You may experience a craving to reconnect with friends to share your thoughts and ideas and reflect. This can be one of the most significant points of bonding with like-minded individuals. This is your crew, and you "get" each other. You are all on the same wavelength.

At this point, THC is disappearing from your body and being replaced by a feeling of unease. This is usually the moment when another joint is suggested, especially within a group when dissecting how you feel and chasing another high.

Stage 9: Decompression

Things can get a bit disorientating as the heaviest feelings begin to lift. It's an undeniable moment that clarifies that your journey is nearly over. It may have only been under an hour since you took your first toke, but you may feel thirsty or tired. The ideal scenario is that your high fades gradually, leaving you feeling negligibly lightheaded but fully aware. If you experience a more uncomfortable and dizzy "come-down" where you feel burnt out, try to get some rest.

Stage 10: Reset, Repeat

The stages of being high don't come in a uniform order every time. You may have waves of hunger, reflective thought, and giggles that ebb and flow at different times. The feelings will be familiar to you, but the order may not be. This depends on many variables: your mood, the environment, your method of ingestion, who you are with—the list goes on.

Be prepared for these cycles of repetition, and just go with the flow. Of course, the best way to do just that for many people is to light up again!

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