Let’s get lit!
Since the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp in the United States, many people are being exposed to the cannabis plant and its derivatives for the first time. Mainly through the non-intoxicating use of CBD products. Those new to the plant who find they really enjoy the calming effects of CBD may be wondering about THC and the side effects of weed. If you’re one of these curious cannabis novices looking to find out more about medical marijuana, keep reading to find out what it’s like to get high!
What Is Intoxication?
The word intoxication is most highly associated with alcohol intoxication. However, it can refer to any kind of substance intoxication—including the high from having smoked marijuana.
Lately, there’s been a push from cannabis companies to refer to CBD as non-intoxicating instead of non-psychoactive since the compound more closely fits into the former category. Psychoactive substances interact with our central nervous system and have an effect on our mental state. All cannabinoids affect our body and mind by interacting with the endocannabinoid receptors located in our brain and nervous system. The pleasant shift in mood brought on by CBD can constitute a short term effect on our mental state.
However, this isn’t the same as the high cannabis users get from THC. Intoxication markedly creates changes in motor skills as well as brain function. When you catch a buzz by drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana (or one of the other myriad ways of getting high) the effects are much more noticeable.
The Effects Of Getting High On Marijuana
THC is an interesting compound that will affect all of its users a little differently. Things like mood, weight, and external environment can all play a role in shaping the marijuana experience. Not only can these effects vary drastically from person to person, but an individual may also experience acutely different effects with THC. This is depending on what form the THC is taken in, where that person was at the time of consumption, and what their headspace was like.
That being said, there are several common effects of marijuana intoxication that are for the most part universal.
For example, you may have heard of the infamous “munchies”—the ravenous hunger felt by stoners that leads them to raid the pantry and eat everything in sight. These effects are often dramatized for comedic effect in pop culture, but appetite stimulation is a real effect of THC. So make sure you have some of your favorite snacks on hand before sitting down to smoke.
Users also report experiencing minor psychedelic and hallucinogenic effects. Colors may seem brighter, sounds (particularly music) may have different characteristics, and the perception of time can be altered.
Also, similarly to psychedelics, THC can intensely heighten moods. If you’re feeling happy and excited, this can be a good thing—bordering on euphoric. Jokes seem funnier, the sun seems brighter, and friendships feel closer. However, THC can exacerbate more unpleasant moods as well. Some users report anxious thoughts and self-conscious feelings manifesting as extreme paranoia. For some these can turn into long term effects depending on the usage.
Experienced marijuana users often try to optimize their “set and setting” before consuming THC to curate the best experience possible. Setting refers to your physical environment and the external stimuli like music that’s surrounding you. A comfortable setting can encourage good vibes and help keep things light. Set refers to what the user themselves brings to the table. It’s best to leave the baggage of the day and any negative thoughts behind before consuming large amounts of THC.
Why Didn’t I Get High The First Time I Smoked Weed?
Why do first-time marijuana users frequently ask, “am I high yet”? Shouldn’t the effects be obvious?
Many cannabis users report not feeling any effects the first time they use the drug. This could be the result of several factors.
For one, marijuana is traditionally smoked. It may take new smokers a few times to get the mechanics down pat. Often, novices hold the smoke in their mouths instead of inhaling, which won’t allow the cannabinoids to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Since first-time users are unfamiliar with THC, they may not know what to look out for and not notice the sometimes subtle onset of its effects. Here is where dosing is key. It’s always best to start low and titrate up. If you’re not feeling anything after half an hour or so, try taking another hit. However, if you’re using edibles, remember it can take up to two hours for the effects to come on. Trust us; you don’t want to be the person who ate too many pot brownies.