Can Weed Make You Hallucinate?

Weed is a powerful plant that’s not to be trifled with. Like everything, the effects of consumption vary from person to person. But if you’ve experienced hallucinations from pot, you’re not alone. Although not technically considered a hallucinogen, such as psilocybin, LSD, and DMT, visual and audio distortions aren’t off the table. So, let’s get a bit more specific to help you understand weed and hallucinations.

Is Weed a Hallucinogen?

Whether or not weed is a hallucinogen is up for debate. Often, it’s described as having hallucinogen-like effects that differ from classic psychedelics–shrooms and weed are two different rides. To make the matter more nuanced, cannabis can act as many different things depending on the consumer, product, and dosage. In some cases, it could be considered a depressant, an antidepressant, a stimulant, or–yes–a hallucinogen.

THC is Psychoactive

Hallucinogen or not, one thing is for sure; THC is psychoactive. When THC interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in your brain, it alters the neurotransmitters responsible for cognitive and sensory processes. That can lead to euphoria, heightened senses, disordered thinking, and more.

Heavy doses of marijuana open up the door for potentially negative psychoactive effects, such as paranoia, extreme panic, and impaired reaction times. Here are the good and bad possible short-term effects of cannabis:

Short-Term Psychological Effects of Marijuana

  • Euphoria
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Relaxation
  • Sedation
  • Altered sense of time and space
  • Reduced attention span
  • Enhanced senses
  • Unreasonable panic
  • Derealization (feeling as if your surroundings are dreamlike or unreal)
  • Depersonalization (feeling separate from your body)
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations

Types of Cannabis-Induced Hallucinations

Cannabis hallucinations aren’t quite like hallucinations caused by classic psychedelics, but they can happen. After ingesting large amounts of THC, you may experience both visual and auditory distortion. So, let’s take a closer look at what could happen.

  •  Open-Eye Visual Hallucinations: Smoking high THC strains and ingesting potent edibles could cause enhanced pattern recognition, intensified colors, or fleeting flashes of light. Unlike shrooms, LSD, or DMT, cannabis will not cause extreme visual bending, color morphing, or distorted depth perception.
  • Closed-Eye Visual Hallucinations: Close your eyes after taking a strong enough dose, and you may experience closed-eye visuals. These could be anything from passing colors or patterns or dreamlike visuals while awake.
  • Auditory Hallucinations: In some cases, you may hear the faint sound of music or voices that aren’t there; this is most common right before falling asleep. In other cases, your weed-filled mind may play tricks on you by distorting normal sounds, making you think you’re hearing something that you’re not.

Are Cannabis Hallucinations a Concern?

More often than not, cannabis-induced hallucinations are just part of the ride and not a reason to worry. Of course, it is possible that taking large THC doses, especially in the form of edibles, can lead to severe panic attacks and even temporary psychosis (read why edibles get you so high). The good news is that those uncomfortable feelings wear off once the THC wears off.

Final Hallucination

Forget the mumbo-jumbo about weed being a hallucinogen or not. The fact is that THC can cause certain types of hallucinations. Although they may not be as intense as psychedelic hallucinations, they’re not uncommon. The stronger the weed and the bigger the dose, the more likely you are to experience them. So, as always, consume in a safe place and enjoy the beauty of being stoned.