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Are You Stoned or High? We Explore the Difference

Terminology in the cannabis community can be important. You’ll regularly hear people saying they were stoned or high without really understanding that there is a difference between the two. Many people think they are the same.

If you’re not sure how these two states of mind vary from each other, here’s our quick guide to help you out.

Why We Get Stoned or High

While the therapeutic use of cannabis gets just as much media time nowadays, the original use has been, of course, to get high. Cannabis contains a compound called THC which has psychoactive properties. That means it alters our mental state and how we view the world. Of course, different cannabis strains deliver different effects, including more or less intensive highs, making your feeling relaxed or euphoric, depending on the bud. The notion of being ‘couch-bound’ or stoned relates to that moment when you are unable to get up and are in a deep stage of relaxation.

The words high and stoned have been used ever since cannabis has been used as a recreational drug. There’s also the idea of being ‘buzzed’ which is a slightly briefer but nonetheless distinct sensation. And that’s where we start here.

Are You Buzzed?

Before you get high or become stoned, you may feel a little buzzed. This is when the intoxicating nature of the cannabis first hits you and creates a kind of rush or change in perception. It can last just a few seconds or a few minutes and is usually followed by settling into a more constant high. The intensity of the buzz will depend on a number of factors such as the type of cannabis you are using, the method of taking it (smoking, vaping, edibles, dabbing), and your only personal state of mind at the time.

Symptoms of being buzzed are when you get the giggles or feel that initial flush of euphoria. It can happen within minutes of taking a toke from a joint or much longer if you are trying edibles.

The Next Step is Getting High

How quickly and how high you get is influenced by a wide range of factors. Once you feel that initial buzz, however, the high is certainly the next stage. It’s longer and deeper and can last for up to three or four hours depending on the strain.

Let’s get one thing straight first: the high you feel is going to be personal. While there may be common ‘symptoms’ for different types of cannabis strain, your experience will be your own and everyone is different. You may feel highly sociable or you might become more introspective. You may have a creative fever or simply want to relax and kick back with your feet up watching cartoons. Some people do experience heightened levels of anxiety but that is usually down to the potency of the cannabis being taken or because they have overdone things.

While most of the effect of the high is psychological, there will be certain physical manifestations such as red eye and dry mouth (often called cottonmouth).

In general, though, being high relates to a feeling of positivity with everything moving a little quicker. That’s why it’s a good time to be creative or discuss weighty matters.

The Final Stage: You May be Stoned

Once everything starts to slow down, you may well be approaching a period of being stoned. It usually means you don’t want to get up and do anything and occurs when you have taken enough cannabis (or a strong enough strain) to tip you over the edge of a high into a deeper state of intoxication. This is often when you will start to feel lethargic but also hungry and you might require some snacks to keep you the munchies away.

Not everyone who gets high will then end up getting stoned. A lot depends on the type of cannabis strain and the amount you take. If you do enter the stoned stage, there’s not a lot you can do except to wait for it to pass.

What Effects Whether You Get Stoned or High?

The type of strain you use will certainly influence the way your body reacts. The method that you prefer to administer weed can also have an effect. Dabbing a high THC concentrate may well produce an immediate and powerful high whereas smoking a joint will produce a gradually increasing high that turns slowly into being stoned. Edibles can produce a similar high but will take much, much longer.

The Role of Indica/Sativa Strains

If you’re new to the world of cannabis, you may have heard a little about Indica and Sativa strains. When it comes to being stoned or high, these actually play an interesting and pivotal role. If you look at different strains, you will often notice they are either one or the other or a mixture of the two.

In short, the difference is generally couched in terms of their effect and whether they deliver a head high or a body high:

  • Sativa Strains: Mostly associated with stimulation, higher energy levels, a sense of creativity and an uplifting experience.
  • Indica Strains: Mostly associated with relaxation, sleep and anxiety relief. In a state of being stoned, users may be ‘couch-locked’ and unwilling to move.

Mixes of Indica and Sativa strains provide varying levels of these different characteristics depending on the percentages involved. There are hundreds of different cannabis strains available nowadays and more being added each year. Everyone has their favorite, whether it’s designed for therapeutic use, to get you high or get you stoned as quickly as possible.

Can You Control Whether You Get Stoned or High?

To a certain extent you can. It depends on the type of cannabis you choose for a start. Some are better at getting you stoned quickly or helping you to remain high. The amount you use is also important and even a low THC strain can get you pretty stoned if you smoke, vape or dab enough of it.

And, of course, personal biology is going to play a role. Some people react to pure Sativa strains differently to others and the same came be said for Indica strains.  

Best Indica Strains to Get Stoned

Indica strains originally came from the Middle East. These dense crops produce high levels of THC with body relaxing effects. At, we have a catalogue of some of the best Indica strains on the market today. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Alaskan Purple Auto Flowering Seeds

This mostly Indica strain has a very potent body relaxing effect with a THC content of between 15 and 20%. It’s ideal for growing both indoors and outdoors as well as in greenhouses with far greater yields (400 gm/m²) indoors. A fast flowering time in about 50 days is also a big benefit for those who grow their own cannabis and want quick results.

Find out more about this strain.

2. Blue Ice OG Feminized Seeds

A mix of OG Kush (elite clone) and Blueberry Ice, this is one of our own strains which is popular with customers who want a cannabis plant that delivers a long-lasting and relaxing effect. This mostly Indica strain is easy to grow indoors and out and has a flowering time of about 60 days. With a smaller amount of sativa this is not just a strain that is designed to get you stoned but is able to deliver a cerebral high as well. It’s a seed that is popular with both therapeutic and recreational users.

Find out more about this strain.

3. White Widow Regular Seeds

White Widow is a popular seed strain with a high THC content and has Brazilian and Indian genetics delivering a strong, relaxing high suitable for therapeutic use. A fast flowering time means you won’t have to wait long before you are able to cultivate your buds and begin drying and curing them. This is one of the easier to grow strains in our catalogue which is why it’s been popular since the early 1990s.

Find out more about this strain.

4. Black Sugar Feminized Seeds

A cross between Black Domina, LA OG and Critical, this largely Indica strain is a popular choice with our customers at and has a fast flowering time of about 50 to 56 days. Yield is pretty good too, even indoors where cultivators can see crops of about 600 gm/m². A relaxing, sedative effect means that it is largely used for treating insomnia as well as other therapeutic uses.

Find out more about this strain.

5. Grand Daddy Purple Feminized Seeds

Another favorite with customers who regularly use cannabis for therapeutic purposes, this strong Indica strain seems to have been around forever. With a THC content up to 23%, it can deliver a very relaxing and long-lasting stone. Customers have used it for treating insomnia, handling pain, and relieving nausea.

Find out more about this strain.

Whether you want to get high or stoned, the good news is you can find a huge range of different seeds in our online catalogue at

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.


Not only do we have one of the most comprehensive libraries of cannabis seeds in the world, we now offer a diverse range of cannabis related goods for you to enjoy including storage products, clothing and books.