What Does Getting Stoned Mean?

mujer de pelo rubio apoyada en la pared cerrando los ojos

Table of contents

  1. Why Is It Called Getting “Stoned”?
  2. What Getting Stoned Feels Like
  3. Other Words or Phrases for “Stoned”
  4. The Difference Between Being High and Being Stoned
  5. The Bottom Line

Getting stoned may not be a scientific term, but it’s a very specific feeling that arises after consuming cannabis, with some strains (cultivars) producing more of a “stoned” feeling than others. It’s not to be confused with “getting high.”

Getting “stoned” refers to experiencing the deep, relaxing sedation some cannabis varieties induce in their users. Getting “high” refers to a more energized, creative, and sometimes euphoric experience.

What you want from your marijuana use can help determine whether you want a stoned experience or one better defined as a “high.”

Get Your Medical Card

Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.

Why Is It Called Getting “Stoned”?

Etymologists don’t actually know when stoned started to mean, well, stoned.

Some say the origins of the word “stoned” date back to when those who committed a crime had rocks thrown at them as punishment. In the 1920s or 30s, so the story goes, the term was adapted to describe someone who had been drinking heavily and looked battered and bruised — as if this same punishment had happened to them.

Others say it comes from the Italian word “stonato,” which means foggy or confused. Still, others say it originates from the act of smoking cannabis out of a stone pipe.

Life Magazine first used the term in 1952, defining it as “drunk, captivated, ecstatic, sent out of this world.” It came into being in the Oxford English Dictionary a year later, where it was defined as a term for “under the influence of drugs.” This was annotated in the book “The Traffic of Narcotics” by Harry J. Anslinger, the Commissioner of the FBI at the time who was notably anti-drug use.

The most logical theory? It comes from the relaxing effect cannabis can have on those who use it, making them look — and sometimes feel — like they are made of rock.

What Getting Stoned Feels Like

Getting stoned feels like deep, peaceful relaxation and total body calm. It’s often followed by a great night’s sleep and is usually the byproduct of using marijuana, which has a sedative effect. Feeling stoned can be accompanied by quieting the mind, lessening anxiety, and, sometimes, a lowering of physical pain. Other effects that can go hand in hand with that stoned feeling are:

  • Lethargy
  • Ease
  • Drowsiness
  • Hunger
  • Amusement and laughter
  • Heightened sensitivity to touch, smell, and taste
  • A sense of being in slow motion

The type of marijuana is not the only determining factor in how the user will feel. How the plant is consumed is also part of it. Smoking or vaping might lead to a quicker feeling of intoxication that peaks more quickly. Ingesting it in edibles or consuming it in oil often results in a longer, more drawn-out experience of calm and relaxation — as long as it’s taken in the right amounts.

Just to add to the fun: The feeling of getting stoned can also follow the feeling of being high. In other words: a pleasurable, relaxing end to an energetic, creative, productive trip.

Other Words or Phrases for “Stoned”

Keeping with its long and varied history, the term “stoned” continues to inspire relaxed minds worldwide to create colorful slang terms and phrases to use in its stead. Like many of life’s best experiences, it has inspired pop culture, poetry, song, and language.

Look out for these words and turns of phrase that mean the same as being stoned:

  • Couch locked
  • Baked
  • Blazed
  • Blitzed
  • Blunted
  • Faced
  • Lit
  • Spaced out
  • Zoned

The Difference Between Being High and Being Stoned

While “getting stoned” is often used interchangeably with “getting high,” they’re not the same. The high feeling refers to a more energized, creative, and sometimes euphoric experience. Being “stoned” is generally a more grounded feeling — a trip that keeps you in your body rather than your head.

Many people attribute this difference to using indica versus sativa strains. Technically, however, there is little difference between the two, so differences in effects are unlikely to be due to sativa- or indica-type strains. CBDTHC, and terpenes are likely the main factors here.

Strains that are lower in THC can assist in relaxation and sleep. And CBD, when taken in higher concentrations, can cause sleepiness, too. (In lower doses, it can actually make you more alert.) THC also has the potential to increase anxiety, an effect that CBD can neutralize.

Additionally, terpenes, organic chemical compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant, also impact its effects. A strain’s terpene profile can tell you whether it’s most likely to give you more of a stoned feeling or a high feeling. Being high won’t necessarily give you that pleasantly heavy experience. But it can, when ingested in safe quantities, lift your mood, open your mind to new ideas and possibilities, and give you a surge of energy in pursuing those passions.

If researching terpene profiles isn’t your idea of a good night in, many dispensaries will have a rating system that identifies their products’ relaxing, creative, energy-boosting, and even hunger-inducing qualities. You may notice that more relaxing terpene combinations include myrcene, humulene, and linalool, whereas more energetic terpene profiles may include higher concentrations of limonene and terpinolene.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful night’s rest, a chilled-out evening, or relief from physical symptoms, researching different strains and their effects is always the way to go. Taking note of a particular cannabis variety’s cannabinoid and terpene profile is ideal if you want to understand its effects.

It is also important to see how specific varieties affect you personally. Everyone has a different endocannabinoid system (ECS), meaning the same type of cannabis can affect different people differently.

Talk to a doctor who specializes in cannabis or an expert in the field to take out the guesswork and eliminate some of the anxiety that can come with stepping into the unknown, especially if you’re new to cannabis use.

Leafwell has a team of doctors in states throughout the country that can help you sign up for a medical marijuana card so you can find the best strain for your needs.

Get Your Medical Card

Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.

Article written by

Natalie Karneef