Why Is it Called Getting Stoned?

Rebecca Doughty
By Rebecca Doughty . Updated: January 16, 2017
Why Is it Called Getting Stoned?

The term 'getting stoned' is frequently used to refer to the act of smoking cannabis. There are many terminologies used to refer to this act, getting high, blazing up, smoking a doobie, but getting stoned seems to remain popular among those who recreationally smoke weed. Of course the term 'getting stoned', can also refer to the act of 'stoning', where a person is publicly punished by having rocks or stones thrown at them in the street, a much more serious example of this phrase, and extremely different from what we are talking about in this article! So why is getting high referred to as 'getting stoned', it seems strange that these completely different acts share the same terminology, right? In this OneHowTo article we're going to look at the meaning and history behind this stoner terminology, and explain why it's called getting stoned.

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Steps to follow:


It may surprise you (or not depending on how clued up you are on stoner lingo), to know that getting high and getting stoned are actually two different things.

Well, almost two different things. They're different levels of the same thing.

Smoking weed leaves the mind and body in a vaguely hazy state, relaxed but fuzzy if you will. There are different stages that the body reaches after smoking cannabis. In fact it's generally said that there are three.


The first state of mind is referred to as the 'buzz'. This is when you first smoke a joint and a nice, calm, floaty feeling might hit you. At this level, your mind, thoughts and actions will not necessarily be any different than before you smoked the joint, but you still have that buzz from the cannabis.

Due to cannabis being a natural, plant - based drug, when smoked in moderation it is said that there are many health benefits of marijuana, one of these being an increased sexual libido. It would usually be during this state of mind that you may experience heightened senses to touch, sights and also sound, with many people developing a deeper appreciation of music.

Why Is it Called Getting Stoned? - Step 2

The term 'high' refers to the second state of mind and body after smoking a joint, where a person may feel, well, on a high.

This can be confident, uplifted, giggly, chatty and generally in a good place. During this time a person is still lively, energetic and is still in a position where they want to move around and are mobile.

So if you were to smoke a joint, perhaps in a social situation and just wanted the lift, or the 'high' then you would be getting high, not getting stoned.


Getting stoned refers to the next state of mind, a level after the feeling of 'high'.

This feeling can hit a person after they have felt the uplifting side of smoking weed, or the effects can be because they've smoked too much weed, or strong weed, and skipped out the first level entirely.

The sensation of being stoned is a calmer, more lethargic feeling. A person may feel less chatty, more quiet and mellow, and probably won't move much, if at all. Obviously being stoned doesn't literally affect the bodies ability to move, it's more that a person can't be bothered. Which means getting to the fridge for munchies is a lot more effort than it would usually be.

It is this lack of mobility and of the feeling of the body being weighted down that the term getting stoned originates from. This feeling has been compared to the sensation of the body being weighted down by stones, ergo, the term getting stoned was born!


Cannbis affects the body in different ways depending on how you choose to use it. Many people bake it into brownies or cookies which often gives a slower, but much stronger hit than smoking it. You can also make marijuana tea which is thought to have many calming properties when used appropriately!

If you want to read similar articles to Why Is it Called Getting Stoned?, we recommend you visit our Culture & Society category.

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Why Is it Called Getting Stoned?