How does smoking weed get you high?

Light up the roll and take a few puffs and that usually is what it takes to get high. But the feeling of high derived from consuming marijuana is an interaction of chemicals from the plant with our body. The recent legalization has attracted interest in understanding this plant better. Today all you need to do is type buy weeds online Quebec and a list of places to buy from pops up and that is how easy it is. The curiosity has extended from just trying marijuana recreationally to understanding the plant better. Questions like “How does it feel when you smoke marijuana?” , “ What does a high feel like”, and the most common – “ How does smoking marijuana get you high?”. And here we will explore more about what causes this intoxication.



Marijuana 101

To understand what causes the feeling of high we need to build our understanding from the basics. The chemical structure and composition of Cannabis can be a good place to begin. Cannabis constitutes of two major components that have brought all the attention it deserves to it. It is THC and CBD. Apart from these, there are various other cannabinoids and terpenes which are present in marijuana that contributes to distinct flavors and effects. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the compound that is usually considered responsible for causing the feeling of high. CBD or cannabidiol, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive substance that offers various health benefits.


The 4 steps of getting ‘High’

From the moment you consume marijuana, there are various processes that happen in the body that causes the intoxication. Immediately after you smoke the THC compound of the marijuana gets absorbed in the bloodstream within a few minutes. The concentration of this could vary anywhere between 10- 30%  based on the strain of marijuana used, the THC levels and the strength you feel will also vary between individuals.

Once it reaches the bloodstream the THC starts to accumulate around fatty tissues. In fact, it is rightly said that THC is lipophilic which is exactly how it reaches the brain. From here the compounds start interacting with the body. Metabolizing the THC majorly happens in the liver using the hepatic enzymes. These are those same ones that come into picture while metabolizing our medications.

Like various other organs, it also starts accumulating around the brain. This is also the reason why traces of THC is detectable in urine samples in case of chronic smokers.  All the compounds present in the cannabis interact with the CB receptors in the body. While CB1 receptors are present in the brain CB2 are present in the body. These receptors are always present in the body even in non-cannabis consumers and only allow cannabidiols to interact with them. They belong to the endocannabinoid system of the body that is responsible for experiencing pain, emotions etc.  In the case of a sober person, there is a balance maintained by addition and removal of endocannabinoids in the body. But when a person smokes cannabis this balance gets set off.

The THC chemical in Cannabis now interacts with the receptors and tricks it into believing it as the natural chemical that causes euphoria. But unlike the natural chemical anandamide which makes you happy or relaxed and blissful, THC overstays its welcome to give you a prolonged sense of these feelings. This causes more release of dopamine leaving you in a great mood and feeling light.

A study observed  increased blood flow in people during THC intoxication. Also, the region of increased blood flow is responsible for the decision-making process, motor skills etc. And hence these functions can get affected in different ways while the THC exists in your system. In a similar way, Marijuana enhances the functioning of certain parts of the brain that is responsible for creativity and concentration. The increased blood flow enables better concentration as well as sharpens creativity.

Finally, the elimination process occurs. Based on your body and the type and strain of marijuana the THC might remain in the bloodstream for anywhere between 6 minutes to even 22 hours. The reason why high from marijuana wears off is because of the natural elimination process of the CB receptors. In fact, the reason why exposing the body to artificially stimulate these feeling is not good is that unlike natural anandamide the receptors cannot understand how long the THC can exist in the system which trips it off balance.

The Feeling of ‘High’

For those who haven’t enjoyed the feeling of high, understanding of what to expect might be difficult. Generally, smoking marijuana alters your sensory perceptions. This could be a mild deception where you see everything around you with a fresh perspective. One might observe the difference in color, a sense of unfamiliarity and an elevated mood. Generally, people tend to have exaggerated emotions and one might feel hard to hold control over the same. Some also feel slightly muddled or incomprehensible.


While the interaction process remains the same, the various strains and types of marijuana influence the kind of after effects we can expect. Today researchers are working to understand this interaction deeper to utilize the medicinal benefits of certain strains that are capable of treating mental health problems such as anxiety, PTSD etc. There are various other diseases such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis etc, which also show the effects of betterment in patients exposed to cannabis. The increased interest also supports increasing marijuana cultivation across the world. With more research, the true potential of this plant will uncover and can be effectively put to use.

Author Bio

Jessica has been closely studying the cannabis industry trends from quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, she takes interest in penning down her views providing quality insight on current marijuana trends, particularly medical cannabis.

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