“I’m so stoned,” “I’m baked,” and “whoaaaaa” are common expressions one may hear when smoking weed with others. So, what happens when you smoke weed is that you get “high”. Most people, anyway.
There is a small segment of the population which may experience no “high” when smoking weed. However, most will experience a mild euphoria on the positive side and possible anxiety on the negative end.
Keep reading to learn more about what happens when you smoke weed, what to expect when smoking weed, and the different types of weed highs.
What to Expect When Smoking Weed
In 2016, visits to emergency rooms in the American state of Colorado increased twofold with most patients suffering anxiety after smoking high-grade cannabis for the first time. Not an emergency matter, such visits highlight how many people have no idea what to expect when smoking weed.
Smoking cannabis affects everyone in similar, yet slightly different ways. Most will enjoy a very positive experience while some will experience just the opposite. For those with a negative experience, most quickly learn that the effects wear off soon with little-to-no negative residual effects.
The “high” usually lasts around 2-3 hours but this can vary depending on how the weed is consumed and the strains genetics.
What are the Types of Weed Highs?
There are many different feelings that you may experience after consuming cannabis.
Some become euphoric and relaxed, while others can be paranoid and irritated. It can numb pain, distract the mind, or help you focus. It can create a sensation of calm or one of hilarity. Some weed gives people the giggles, some puts them to sleep.
You can find medical marijuana in Canada to help with a range of medical symptoms including nausea, depression, muscle spasms, and insomnia. Or you can find it for recreational use to experience feelings like happy, productive, and social.
It all depends on the weed you consume, how you consume it, and your own mental/physical state.
So, how many types of high can you experience with cannabis?
The answer to this question largely depends on whom you ask. Someone who has been making the dispensary rounds, sampling everything, is likely to exclaim there are dozens, maybe hundreds of highs.
Yet, the reality is that there are technically only two types of marijuana high:
- The trippy mind high from high THC strains
- The body high from high CBD strains
Now for the fun part. Just as fruit producers have created hundreds of apple strains, marijuana growers have developed even more hybrid strains of cannabis. All it takes is a little greenhouse know-how and a willingness to cross-pollinate the plants.
Marijuana today can provide a range of highs, thanks to the efforts of growers who are constantly working to create new hybrids. Each hybrid will provide a different experience or high.
So, What REALLY Happens When You Smoke Weed?
The different highs from cannabis happen because of the different chemical compounds found in weed strains. The types of weed highs stem from how the body and brain process the active components contained within.
For example, one of the key components in most strains is THC, which is short for tetrahydracannabinol. THC is a hallucinogen, and therefore the component which results in the “high” for which marijuana is known. Another, component that’s rapidly becoming known for its medicinal properties is CBD or cannabidiol.
Head to Toe: What Happens When Marijuana Enters the Bloodstream?
After inhaling weed smoke, the lungs may become irritated and with extended use, you can develop a phlegmy cough. Once the smoke enters the bloodstream, the THC will cause a rapid heartbeat which can last hours.
Within seconds of inhaling, the drug adds to the dopamine levels in the brain, creating the “high.”
The “high” happens because the brain contains special receptors which readily accept the added cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is integral in controlling memory function and emotion, adjusting pain sensitivity, and appetite stimulation.
In an attempt to generalize… If there is pain, THC helps; if there is nausea, CBD helps. Then there are the munchies.
Although researchers are just starting to understand why THC causes munchies, most believe the brain is tricked into hunger. They believe that marijuana develops a self-defence against herbivores, the side effect which fools the brain into believing it is hungry.
How exactly marijuana would protect itself by making predators of itself hungry, the researchers do not say, but certainly the munchies is one of the hallmark short-term effects of cannabis. What are the other effects of smoking marijuana?
There are both long and short-term effects of smoking cannabis.
Short-Term Effects of Smoking Marijuana
The short-term effects of smoking marijuana range from psychological to somatic and from physical to mystical… you know, higher-order-what’s-the-universe-telling-us type of stuff.
Following are short-term effects of cannabis use:
- Appetite stimulation: Commonly known as the munchies, this is one of the key reasons marijuana is helpful to chemotherapy patients because the treatment often kills appetite at a time when cancer victims most need nutrition.
- Cardiovascular effects: Smoking weed will cause a rise in the blood pressure and the heart to speed up, sometimes considerably.
- Drug interactions and contraindications: As with any drug, marijuana may interact poorly with other drugs or certain health conditions. If taking other medications or you have any health conditions which may be exacerbated with marijuana use, consult a physician prior to use.
- Memory functions: Research has found in alignment with the popular notion that marijuana affects memory. Both short-term and long-term memory can be affected.
- Neurological effects: Memory, learning, stress management, coordination, and cognitive skills are all controlled in the area of the brain most impacted by marijuana.
- Physiological effects: Expect motor skills to be reduced.
- Psychological effects: Attention span will be reduced, but creative thought can increase.
Long-Term Effects of Smoking Marijuana
The long-term effects of smoking marijuana are less-known than the short-term effects. This is in part because of the long-standing global prohibition against cannabis.
Still, there are some known long-term effects of cannabis. These include:
- Memory: When people smoke marijuana for extended periods of time, there is a reduction in cognitive functions.
- Psychosis: Whether caused by marijuana or not is under debate, but there is evidence that the drug is likely to contribute to worsening psychosis in some.
- Motor functions: Long-term use has been found to lead to reduced motor functions. Contrary to the popular notion that weed makes people better drivers, the evidence says otherwise. Smoke responsibly: Don’t get high and drive.
What to Expect/What Happens When You Smoke Weed
Your heart will pound, you will feel light-headed… a feeling of excitement is common. If surrounded by friends in a social setting, there is likely to be plenty of laughter… provided the right strain was selected.
Recall that the types of weed highs correspond to the types of cannabis genetics. The two original types are sativa and indica– head high and body high, respectively.
When socializing, be sure to have a sativa or a hybrid with heavy sativa properties. If wanting to dull pain or get some rest, indica or cannabis with high levels of CBD are best.
The types of weed highs provided in this article can help in choosing the best marijuana for your needs. Just remember that no one in known history has ever had a marijuana overdose.
Now you know what to expect when smoking weed. Visit the BeaverBud Strains library to learn more about different strains available.