Why Do I Get High From Smoking Weed?

by | Jun 6, 2023 | CBD Basics, Marijuana Insights, Tech and Science | 0 comments

Why Do I Get High From Smoking WeedFree Person Holding White a Joint Stock Photo

Explaining the mechanism behind the sensation of being high from smoking weed presents a significant challenge. Despite humans having consumed this plant for thousands of years, a comprehensive understanding remains elusive.

Over time, scientific advancements have allowed us to quantify and map out the process of getting high. However, certain aspects of this process still remain mysterious. While we are aware of the primary compounds present in the plant, not all of them have been fully explored. Our understanding of how these compounds interact with the human body remains incomplete. Moreover, the entire experience can vary greatly based on factors such as the quantity of weed consumed, the surrounding environment, or the smoker’s mood.

Here’s the current knowledge regarding the experience of getting high.

Science Behind Plant Anatomy

Smoking cannabis buds is widely recognized for its ability to induce a psychoactive state known as being high. The key components responsible for this effect are cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabinoids and terpenes are natural compounds found within trichomes, which are resin glands primarily situated on the buds of cannabis plants.

Upon smoking buds, the heat activates cannabinoids and terpenes, allowing them to enter the lungs and subsequently the body. These compounds can also be extracted from the plant for the production of various cannabis derivatives, including hash, edibles, concentrates, vape carts, and other forms of marijuana.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, play a significant role in the weed plant. While THC induces a euphoric or relaxing high, CBD offers medicinal and therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects. In addition to THC and CBD, there are numerous other cannabinoids like THCA, CBG, and CBN, with over a hundred yet to be fully identified. When purchasing from a dispensary, most weed strains are THC-dominant, while some have a higher CBD content or a balanced THC-CBD ratio. When consumed, cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system in conjunction with terpenes, resulting in various effects.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis that contribute to its distinctive fragrance and flavor. Key terpenes commonly found in cannabis include myrcene, caryophyllene, and limonene, among others present in smaller quantities. Similar to cannabinoids, cannabis contains a vast array of terpenes, as well as other plants.

Terpenes have the potential to produce effects and interact with cannabinoids to enhance their impact. However, the precise mechanisms and synergistic effects of individual terpenes are not yet fully understood.

What is Endocannabinoid System And How Does It Work?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis in your body, as well as in all vertebrates. It comprises receptors that interact with plant cannabinoids, known as phytocannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant, including THC and CBD. On the other hand, the body produces its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids, with “endo” referring to “within.”

When you consume cannabis and experience a high, the plant cannabinoids bind and interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. As a result, the receptors release endocannabinoids within your body, leading to the chemical sensation of being high.

Several factors influence this experience, including the specific strain consumed, which may contain different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes. Additionally, individual body chemistry, sensitivity, and tolerance to cannabis can also affect the overall experience.

What is the Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect is a phenomenon where cannabinoids and terpenes interact synergistically to produce effects in an individual. While there is still ongoing research on cannabinoids and terpenes, it is clear that they activate the body’s endocannabinoid system and work together to induce a high, provide symptom relief, or elicit other effects associated with cannabis consumption.

Many consumers prefer whole-plant medicine, opting for products that contain all the compounds found in the plant rather than isolated compounds. For instance, consuming cannabis flower with a diverse mix of cannabinoids and terpenes (full-spectrum) is favored over using a CBD tincture containing solely extracted CBD (an isolate).

The entourage effect demonstrates that the combined effect of cannabinoids and terpenes is greater than the sum of their individual effects. However, there is still much to uncover about the entourage effect and the precise interactions between specific cannabinoids and terpenes. Ongoing research is essential to further understanding this phenomenon and its implications.

How to Dose Weed?

Optimizing Weed Consumption: Effective Dosage Strategies for an Enhanced Cannabis Experience

The optimal dosage of cannabis plays a crucial role in shaping your overall marijuana encounter. Understanding how to dose weed accurately can significantly impact the effects you desire. While smoking three hits from a joint generally produces more pronounced outcomes compared to a single hit, determining the appropriate cannabis dosage involves a level of complexity.

It’s important to note that the effects of cannabis can reach a plateau, meaning that consuming more weed doesn’t necessarily result in a heightened experience. Unlike many other substances, where increased consumption leads to amplified effects, cannabis operates on a biphasic model. This implies that while consuming more weed can enhance the effects up to a certain threshold, beyond that point, additional cannabis intake may not yield greater effects consistently.

Moreover, cannabis exhibits bidirectional characteristics, where its effects can vary at different doses. Consuming a small amount of weed may induce a calming effect, while a higher dosage could potentially trigger feelings of anxiety. In one dose range, cannabis can alleviate anxiety, whereas in another range, it may exacerbate it.

Determining the correct cannabis dosage varies for each individual, considering factors such as personal body chemistry, the chemical composition of the specific weed strain, and the quantity consumed. While a single hit might suffice for one person, another individual may effortlessly consume an entire joint without any adverse effects.

Does the Setting You Are In Affect Your High?

The way in which your mindset (mindset) and the environment (set) influence your cannabis experience is an essential factor that can greatly affect the outcome. Set and setting, also known as your state of mind and the surroundings, play a significant role in the way you feel when consuming weed. It’s crucial to consider these elements for a positive experience, especially from an SEO standpoint.

If you find yourself in a negative mindset, such as having a rough day, it’s possible that your smoking session may not turn out well, irrespective of your fondness for cannabis. On the other hand, if you’re in a positive mood, chances are your session will be enjoyable and satisfying.

Similarly, the setting in which you consume cannabis also contributes to the experience. Smoking in a serene and tranquil forest will yield a vastly different outcome compared to doing so at a crowded party. Depending on your preferences and mood, these environments can enhance or detract from your overall experience.

Another aspect of mindset is intention or motivation for using marijuana. Are you seeking relief from specific symptoms or simply indulging in it to relax, engage in artistic activities, or exercise? Do you aim to experience a mild high or a more intense one? Setting an intention can help prepare your mind for the forthcoming experience. However, it’s important to note that having no intention is also acceptable and may even be preferable for some individuals.

Enrico Bratta

Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.


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Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.