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Is Weed a Hallucinogen? Understanding Marijuana Better

Marijuana is a very complex drug that produces different side effects on people. Many people wonder if weed is a hallucinogen, like LSD or mushrooms. But, others categorize marijuana as a depressant. The truth is that marijuana can often fall into different categories, and all make sense. Let’s explore marijuana more in-depth and find the truth about some common myths.

What Are Hallucinogens?

These are a diverse group of drugs that can alter someone’s awareness of their surroundings and thoughts and feelings. Overall, dissociative drugs cause hallucinations or produce sensations and images that seem real but are not. Some people also feel out of control and disconnected from their bodies and surroundings. In some cases, hallucinogens can be addictive, and some users develop a tolerance to them. 

Weed as a Hallucinogen

Overall, the belief that weed is a hallucinogen is mostly stereotypical. Hallucinogens alter your perception of reality, either through sensory perception changes or visual and auditory hallucinations. Usually, hallucinogens cause:

  • An altered sense of time or space
  • Loss of control over motor skills
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Detachment from self or environment 

Marijuana at high doses can have many of these side effects, which is why people say weed is a hallucinogen. However, hallucinations under the impact of marijuana are very rare and don’t occur in all users. Marijuana can sometimes cause heightened sensory perception, which makes users:

  • See colors much brighter
  • Hear sounds differently and clearer
  • Feel more sensitive to touch

The Different Classifications of Marijuana

According to various studies, marijuana can fall under multiple categories, including a depressant, a stimulant, and sometimes a hallucinogen. The only category marijuana could never be considered for is opiates. 

Marijuana contains psychoactive chemicals )THC), which is why it can alter people’s mental state. However, the way people ingest marijuana — smoked, vaped, or ingested — has a lot to do with the effects they experience. 

When people use marijuana, THC is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, which transports it to other organs and the brain. Once it hits the brain, marijuana can produce different effects, including:

  • Depressant effects, like a sense of relaxation
  • Stimulant effects, such as elevated moods or a mild euphoria
  • Hallucinogenic effects, like a heightened sensory experience


Most depressants affect the central nervous system and slow brain function. Depressants can help with insomnia, anxiety, and even muscle spasms. Weed produces similar effects, helping with relaxation and sleepiness. However, marijuana can also be addictive and lead to dependency, thus making a dangerous treatment for these conditions. The depressant effects of marijuana include:

  • Feelings of relaxation
  • Feeling less anxious
  • Better sleep


Utterly opposite to depressants, stimulants increase heart rate and blood pressure and essentially stimulate the central nervous system. Stimulants help people stay awake, improve their mood, and feel more energetic. Those who treat marijuana as a stimulant do so because weed can cause elevated moods and a racing heartbeat. However, it can also cause adverse effects like anxiety and paranoia. As a stimulant, weed carries the same risks it does as a depressant. You can eventually become dependent on it.

More About Marijuana

It’s impossible to contain marijuana into a single compartment. This is because weed has different psychological and physical effects on different people. For some people, it helps them become relaxed and mellow, while others feel energized and increase alertness. Here are some more resources about marijuana that speak the truth of some common misconceptions:

Button line is marijuana can have many diverse effects on someone. Not to mention, it can be an addictive substance that produces some dangerous side effects like paranoia. If you or someone you know is struggling with marijuana addiction, we recommend speaking with an addiction specialist. 

Reaching out for a medical advice diagnosis or treatment can help you understand the treatment options available. There’s a strong link between marijuana and various mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, that can be dangerous. Not to mention, marijuana poses an increased risk of memory loss and other health conditions like high blood pressure. However, marijuana addiction is a treatable condition, so if you or a loved one struggles with dependence and addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help. 

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we offer unique and personalized treatment plans because we believe no two addictions are alike. The journey towards recovery is a long one, but together and with your family and friends’ support, we’ll make it. Whether you or a loved one is thinking about starting addiction treatment, don’t delay it. Start your addiction treatment journey today. 

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