What Does A Marijuana High Feel Like?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on August 19, 2023

A marijuana high causes feelings of warmth, relaxation, hunger, and an altered sense of reality. THC is the substance that causes the characteristic psychoactive effects of marijuana.

A marijuana high can make you feel sluggish, relaxed, impaired, and hungry. Ingesting large amounts of marijuana at once can make you feel delusional, paranoid, and disconnected from reality.

Marijuana is a drug derived from the cannabis plant. It has a long history of recreational drug use, and common forms of marijuana use include smoking it in blunts, bongs, or vaporizers, baking it into edibles, and consuming synthetic concentrates.

In the state of Ohio, medical marijuana is legal, while recreational marijuana is illegal. From 2017 to 2019, 15 percent of all Ohio residents reported some form of marijuana use in the past year. Young adults aged 18 to 25 reported high usage rates of about 36 percent.

Causes Of A Marijuana High

Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. When THC reaches the brain, it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which causes the characteristic psychoactive effects of cannabis.

THC also releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls reward systems. The brain may associate THC with positive feelings and encourage repeated drug use to achieve the same effect. The release of dopamine in the brain can lead to addictive cannabis use.

Marijuana also contains cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is a non-psychoactive ingredient which can produce relaxant and anti-inflammatory effects. While CBD may not cause a high on its own, it can contribute to feelings of relaxation while high on marijuana.

Effects Of A Marijuana High

The use of marijuana to get high can cause short-term effects such as:

  • relaxation
  • sluggishness
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • decreased reaction time
  • altered perception
  • mood changes
  • increased hunger (the “munchies”)

These effects may be primarily caused by THC, with CBD contributing minor effects to the high. The method of marijuana use may affect the intensity of the high, with methods such as dabbing, smoking, and vaping having a faster onset than eating edible candies or brownies.

How A Marijuana Overdose Feels

Overdosing on marijuana can occur after ingesting high amounts of the drug. Your risk of overdose can increase while taking edible brownies or other food products, as the onset of effects is longer when taking edibles.

A marijuana overdose can lead to severe psychosis, paranoia, and impairment. Overdosing on marijuana may not be fatal on its own, though an overdose victim may require medical supervision and treatment while the effects wear off.

Studies suggest that THC concentrations in marijuana and cannabis products have steadily increased over the years. Awareness of the levels of THC in a single blunt, bong, or edible can help you avoid an overdose.

Long-Term Effects Of Marijuana Use

After a marijuana high wears off, you may suffer from long-term side effects. Marijuana can have addictive properties, which means you may be unable to stop taking the drug as your quality of life decreases.

Other long-term effects of marijuana include impaired brain development in adolescents, mental health problems, and the worsening of existing schizophrenia. From 2017 to 2019, around 150,000 Ohio residents met the criteria for marijuana use disorder over the past year.

Contact Ohio Recovery Center to find out if our dedicated marijuana use disorder healthcare services will work for you or a loved one.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Marijuana-Cannabis-2020_0.pdf
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cannabis-marijuana
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt32852/Ohio-BH-Barometer_Volume6.pdf

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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