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As should be painfully obvious just by reading the title of this article and skimming its contents, you should be prepared to experience various levels of consciousness when you partake of the wacky weed. Like many of the terms created and co-opted by cannabis culture, inexperienced outsiders have overused these words — or just plain used them incorrectly. It’s gotten so bad that these words are now smooshed together in everyone’s mind. But back when the world was fresh and new (we’re talking the 1960s), these words described distinct waypoints on every psychedelic trip.

But with the right weed and a serious commitment to the cause, you might, just might, go all the way. Let’s discuss the cannabis spectrum of consciousness in a bit more detail. Sober means “unaffected by .” For the sake of this article, you’d write “marijuana” in that blank. Sober is everything that happens before stage one on this list and is what most of us experience every day, so, yeah, it’s no fun at all. The “buzzed” point on the cannabis spectrum of consciousness occurs at the end of stage one on the way into stage two of this list. For the lucky few, it may occur after just one hit. For most of us, though, it will probably take more than a few tokes to reach this point. With a good buzz going, you’ll feel more relaxed and at-one with the world.

Colors will be brighter, music more melodic, and flavors more intense (although you won’t have hit the munchie stage yet). If you consume just enough pot to stay buzzed, you’ll still be able to function at a fairly high level without getting distracted — squirrel! — and may even be more motivated to attack the mind-numbingly mundane tasks that make being sober such a nuisance. The “high” point on the cannabis spectrum of consciousness occurs during stage two of this list. At the beginning of being high, you’ll continue to feel happy, energetic, and optimistic (leftovers from the earlier buzzed point on your journey), but being high will add new feelings of elation and euphoria. Some cannanauts report experiencing a burst of motivation and energy when they’re high that inspires them to accomplish great things. Not everyone paints the Mona Lisa (really, what’s so great about that painting anyway?) or writes The DaVinci Code (a true modern-day masterpiece), but you may be moved to devise a new way to organize your sock drawer and that’s a small little victory in itself. If you’re OCD like we are, crave a bit more control over your marijuana experience, and want to get off the psychedelic express at the high station, we recommend partaking of a sativa (like Sour Diesel) or a sativa-dominant hybrid strain (like Chem Dog). Sativas tend to make people high without pushing them into stoned territory. Experiment with different strains and different amounts to find the results that are just right for you. The “stoned” point on the cannabis spectrum of consciousness occurs at the end of stage two and into stage three of this list. In contrast to being high, getting stoned will make you feel blissfully relaxed, calm, and lethargic. Depending on a whole host of variables — including weed quality, amount taken, your metabolism, your anxiety level, and others — you may either progress through being high into being stoned, or you may skip being high altogether and go directly to being stoned. Indicas have a tendency to do this — bypass the high stage completely — so if you’re looking for immediate couch lock, we suggest partaking of a strain like Northern Lights or Granddaddy Purple. When considering the stoned point on our spectrum of consciousness, it’s important to remember that not everyone experiences both stages (high and stoned). For some individuals, the train stops at being high. For others, the train travels through high into stoned. For yet others, the train may skip all other stations on its express ride to stoned. You may be able to exercise a bit of control over your experience, but, most times, you just never know how these things are going to hit you. But stoned isn’t the last stop on our spectrum of consciousness. The “tripping” point (or trippin’ for those of you with lazy tongues) on the cannabis spectrum of consciousness occurs toward the end of stage three on this list. If you’ve ever reached the tripping point while smoking weed, count yourself lucky. It’s not easy to achieve and it doesn’t happen very often.

According to experienced cannanauts, tripping off of cannabis is like a tamer version of a mushroom or LSD trip. Physical energy levels skyrocket along with mental activity, which may manifest itself as manic behavior in some individuals. In response to said mental and physical stimulation, some people may experience auditory and visual hallucinations including, but in no way limited to: Endless fractal tunnels Melting surfaces Celestial bodies that speak or play music 1000 lifetimes flashing before your eyes Cthulhu emerging from the watery depths. There are no restrictions on what you might experience while tripping — all boundaries of time, space, and ego are eliminated — so be prepared for a hell of a ride. After tripping, you can expect to return to reality at stage four of this list — paranoia — and progress through munchies, another trip, and falling stone-cold asleep. Whether your canna-trip stops at buzzed, continues to high, pushes on to stoned, or makes it all the way to tripping, be sure to enjoy what’s going on around and within you and revel in the novel experiences before sober overtakes you again. As we mentioned, one of the many nice things about getting high is the creativity it brings with it. We put our weed-high-induced creativity to work putting together this list of the seven stages of being high. Now it’s time to exercise your creativity for everyone to see.

Create a stage of your own, rename one of our stages, or add a sub-stage to the mix. Want to disagree with our description of your average high? Just remember, the internet is eternal and never forgets.


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