Buzzed, high, stoned or baked: what's the difference?

Buzzed, high, stoned or baked: what's the difference?
Luke Sumpter

Buzzed, baked, high and stoned are terms many use interchangeably, but is there a difference? In terms of cannabis, there is. Find out more here.

If you're smoking, vaping or otherwise ingesting cannabis, and you're not treating an illness, your primary objective is to alter your state of mind, unless you've got some weird thing going on. New slang pops up all the time to describe the psychoactive effects of weed, but we'll just stick with buzzed, high, stoned and baked for this explanation.

Let's take a look at each one, so you know the deal:


A buzz is when you only smoke a little bit of pot or when the feeling just starts to hit you. You can get a head buzz or a body buzz, but either way, it's a mild, pleasant feeling, that some smokers stop at if they're smoking during the day. For others, it's just the beginning before they smoke more to reach a stronger, more intense effect. It can, quite literally, feel like a buzzing or tingling across the surface of your skin, starting with your head and running all across your body.

Warning: Some cannabis strains are creepers. That means, even if you smoke what you think is a small amount, the feeling starts off with a buzz, but about 30 minutes later, it'll catch you by surprise and suddenly expand into a full-blown high or stone. If you hate it when that happens (as-if), go slow with any new strain of weed until you know how it affects you.


When most people talk about getting high, they're referring to how cannabis affects their mind. Smoking strains that are pure sativa or sativa-dominant can give you a happy, euphoric feeling, that lifts your mood (get it? lift, as in high), increases your energy and stimulates your imagination. Some sativas, but not all and not for everyone, can be trippy or psychedelic and cause the smoker to hallucinate (mildly) or see visuals.

Warning: Some people can not tolerate strong sativas. Instead of feeling happy and up, they feel anxious, nervous or paranoid, even if they don't usually feel that way when sober. And this type of weed can increase those feelings in people who have any kind of existing problem with anxiety or paranoia. Sativas can be a lot of fun, but they should be used in moderation, with caution and only by experienced smokers.


Getting stoned is all about relaxing or sedating your body, and that feeling is generally all about indica or indica-dominant strains. This type of cannabis can relax your mind too, which makes some people happy, but it won't be trippy, energizing or anxiety-prone for most users.

Depending on a lot of things, including the strength of your weed and your individual reaction, you may feel anything from a calm chill to full-blown couchlock. Most smokers reserve their heaviest indicas, that give them the strongest stone, for nighttime or weekend use, so they can kick back and enjoy the feeling without needing to function.

Depending on which theory you prefer, stoned either refers to laying around like a stone or being unable to move, like someone who was literally stoned to death back in the Dark Ages.

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Some weed will get you high and stoned at the same time. If that sounds like your kind of thing, look for cannabis, that includes an equal or near-equal amount of indica and sativa genes. In technical terms, this is a mixed hybrid. There are way more mixed hybrids than pure strains on the market today, so if you're in an environment, where you have to take what you can get when it comes to cannabis, you're probably smoking a mix more often than not, and many people prefer this type of marijuana.

However, lots of things can make the same mixed hybrid become unbalanced, so that it has more of a stone or a high from harvest to harvest. In general, those things include:

  • Early harvests = more high
  • Late harvests = more stone
  • Low CBD levels = more high
  • High CBD levels = more stone
  • Terpene profiles can shift the effect either way


Baked is the mirror image of buzzed - it's when you've simply pushed yourself beyond your limits and you've smoked so much you're well past high or stoned. For some people, this is an uncomfortable feeling and they can't wait to sober up. For others, it's their ultimate goal.

Symptoms of being baked include: Extremely bloodshot eyes, uncontrollable laughing, unbridled happiness, binge eating, a deliciously numbness and, for some, nonstop gaming.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter

Luke has worked as a cannabis journalist and health science researcher for the past seven years. Over this time, he’s developed an advanced understanding of endocannabinoid system science, cannabis phytochemistry, and cultivation techniques.