By definition, the term “high” is a state of being in ecstasy. The word is derived from the Greek ekstasis, which means to be outside oneself. To be high therefore is to be in a category of trance where an individual goes beyond ordinary consciousness resulting in a heightened capacity for exceptional thought and experience.
In early human history, the first humans to try to achieve high are the shamans, monks, or other spiritual guides who use this state to achieve the culmination of their spirituality. Some shamans used drugs taken from plants in order to reach this desired state, while others relied purely on meditation, ritual, music, dance, and other ascetic practices.
In today’s modern world, the chemical means of achieving such a state is considered much more appealing and plants that are traditionally considered as spirit-inducing, such as marijuana, cannabis, and opiates, are now marketed heavily as household herbal highs. These household herbal highs are considered illegal in most countries yet they still continue to proliferate behind the backs of government authorities. Below is a brief outline of one of the commonest household herbal highs currently being used -- Marijuana.
Household Herbal Highs: Marijuana
Marijuana or Cannabis is a genus of hardy, dioecious herbs that grow annually. It is commonly known as hemp and has been used by humans throughout history for its fiber. It is one of the earliest known drugs used by shamans as a household herbal high to achieve trancelike states which are commonly attributed to having reached nirvana.
The main psychoactive compound of this household herbal high is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. In addition, it contains about sixty cannabinoids, particularly cannabinol (CBN) and cannabidiol (CBD).
The effects of this household herbal high vary according to the dose, the variety of the plant, the method used, the individual, and the environment. However, the general effects include general change in consciousness, mild euphoria, relaxation, increased appreciation of humor, music, and other art, stronger connection of body and mind, holistic attention, introspection, physical pleasure, drowsiness, and lassitude. As a result of this, this household herbal high may cause disruption of linear memory, slowness, caution, paranoia, agitation, anxiety, and subjective potentiation of other drugs.
This household herbal high has also known physical effects. Some of these include pain relief (especially headaches and cramps), increased appetite, reduced nausea, dilation of alveoli (air sacs) in lungs, dilation of blood vessels, dry mouth, headache, dizziness, and confusion.
Although no fatal overdose due to this household herbal high use has ever been recorded in humans, this drug has been known to cause many harmful effects in the long run, including precipitation or exacerbation of latent or existing mental disorders (e.g. schizophrenia) and lowered blood pressure.