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Are You 'High' Or 'Stoned'? There Is A Difference

People tend to use the terms "high" and "stoned" interchangeably - however, there are hundreds, if not thousands of marijuana strains out there, all with their own distinct effects. So what's the difference?

In brief, whether you get "stoned" or "high" depends largely on what you're smoking/vaping/eating.

Sativas, as most consumers know, are often experienced as uplifting and cerebral - you feel creative, giggly, energetic, or "high."

Indicas, on the other hand, produce a heavier, sleepier, "stoned" sensation, making it easier to snooze, and exponentially increasing the appeal of vegging out and binge-watching Making a Murderer.

As for the origin of the term "stoned": according to More Word Histories and Mysteries: From Aardvark to Zombie (2006), it dates back to the 1940s:

Many such slang terms originally meant damaged, badly affected (for example, trashed, smashed, blitzed, hammered, wasted...). It's true stoned is more often used nowadays for intoxicated by cannabis, but it too was first used of alcohol — originally in compounds such as as stone-drunk, stone-cold. First recorded as a single word in print in Hepcats jive talk dictionary (1945). The term may relate to stoning as a method of execution — and many things can be damaged by stoning (not least, windows), so "execution" may not be central anyway. But I'm more inclined to see it as from the insensible meaning of stone blind (late 14c., lit. "blind as a stone"), stone deaf, etc.

"High," on the other hand, has been used for hundreds of years to refer to the effects of booze: see Thomas May's 1627 translation of the Roman poet Lucan's Pharsalia, which reads:

He's awash with rich dishes, high with wine.

The term was popularized in America in the 1930s, where it was widely used to mean (as it does today) "under the influence of drugs." It spread with the hippie movement to the rest of the English-speaking world during the 1960s.

Consider all this food for thought the next time you're describing your mental state. And if you're really interested in the subtle differences between indica/sativa/hybrids, dive deep into the distinctions with these marijuana strain reviews.

h/t Leafly, The Cannabist


There are so many strains of marijuana available it can be nearly impossible to figure out which one is right for you. And sure, a knowledgeable budtender could point you in the right direction, but we think we've figured out a better method for choosing a marijuana strain. Take our quiz below to find out which cannabis strain is your true soulmate.

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