Marijuana is not only becoming more mainstream, it is becoming a go to for those who want to adjust their lifestyle. The under 40s are turning to cannabis rather than alcohol. Those that want to lose weight are popping a gummy instead of a cocktail, and those who suffer from ailments are turning to medical marijuana. California is showing a decrease in beer purchases early the week and an uptick in marijuana sales. So it is now part of society and people are curious – what does a marijuana high feel like?
Culturally, most people know alcohol. People can have slurred speech, red eyes, loss of coordination, sleepy or maybe a bit loud. Some can have mood swings and get aggressive. Bar fights happen for a common reason – booze. The ethanol in alcohol is what makes you drunk.
What gets you marijuana high is THC. The chemical structure is similar to the brain chemical anandamide. Similarity in structure allows the body to recognize THC and to alter normal brain communication. It affects brain areas that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and time perception. Because of this similarity, THC is able to attach to molecules called cannabinoid receptors on neurons in these brain areas and activate them, disrupting various mental and physical functions. THC, acting through cannabinoid receptors, also activates the brain’s reward system, which includes regions that govern the response to healthy pleasurable behaviors such as sex and eating.
Clinical studies of cannabis have found that the drug produces feelings like relaxation, loss of inhibition, euphoria, sleepiness and even altered perceptions. Most people experience a pleasant euphoria and sense of relaxation.
Cannabis is very individualized, with the same strain being able to produce different effects depending on the person and how they’re feeling. If you’re mood is high and positive before smoking and you choose the right strain, you’ll likely experience euphoria, a term that encapsulates a large horde of positive moods. If you’re stressed out or anxious before smoking, you might feel a rise of paranoia and unease that will make your experience unpleasant.
When it comes to negative side effects, the main one being a sense of paranoia. Studies show that cannabis is linked with a little bit of everything.
Some lucky people claim to feel very creative after consuming weed (especially in moderation), being able to read, paint, write, with an engagement that allows them to carry this out for hours. Gamers and programmers swear it helps them focus and be creative.
For others, they may be having a great time, but their memory is impaired and they can’t really commit to activities that demand a lot of engagement. Driving in never an option.
Aggression is almost never associated with being high. Most people are feeling so good they are just nice. You never hear of a fight breaking out when people are getting stoned. They just relax and maybe doze off.