Is cannabis really a hallucinogen and can it make you see stuff?
Technically, weed does qualify as a hallucinogen. But it also qualifies as a stimulant and a depressant, which is why you will hear anecdotal tales describing the effects of getting stoned as running the gamut from sleepiness to creative outbursts to paranoia. Cannabis can actually cause your pupils to dilate, and some folks have reported feeling small changes in the muscles around their eyes; both of these conditions can lead to actual visual distortions. But the truth of the matter is, no, cannabis cannot make you see visions the way LSD, mushrooms, or DMT can.
However, hallucinogens don’t necessarily need to cause full-blown visions to qualify as a hallucinogen. Other effects of this drug family are an altered sense of time and space, increased heart rate, loss of control over motor skills, dry mouth, and detachment from the self or environment. And if you have ever dabbed, taken an excellent rip off a bong, or even just smoked some weed that was profoundly stronger than your usual stuff, that short list of symptoms probably sounds familiar.
Any strain of weed that comes in at over 18 percent THC is thought to be more likely to induce the conditions listed above. Here in Washington state, you will be hard-pressed to find strains in shops that are less than 18 percent (in other words, WA stoners are always kinda trippin’…). So let’s review a few strains that really can send you off into space.
Girl Scout Cookies One of the commoner and more notorious strains out there today. This hybrid strain is a blend of Durban Poison and OG Kush. It smells and tastes like a traditional indica, but with the creative spark and imagination-stirring properties of a sativa. Official records clock GSC at averaging 18 to 20 percent THC, but the last several packages I’ve bought have been 31.5 percent THC. Now I have never “tripped” on GSC, but I have definitely lost track of time and come out of a wormhole several bags of chips later.
Ghost OG Some folks pass this off as just another variation of OG Kush, but there is something special about this strain. Fairly standard here on the West Coast but hard to find elsewhere, this indica-dominant strain features the signature couch-lock and detachment of an indica, as well as its delicious flavors and scent. This strain consistently tests for no less than 28 percent THC, and when you find it in stores, it’s often significantly more. The last time I smoked this, I binge-watched X-Files and legit thought it was 1995 for about half a day.
Kilimanjaro Named for the tallest peak in Africa, this sativa sets the bar quite high. Originating in Tanzania, this landrace strain became incredibly popular in Europe before taking off in North America. (side note: a “landrace strain” is a strain of cannabis that is indigenous, original, or otherwise naturally occurring. Landrace strains create the body of strains that hybrids come from.) It packs a wallop with at least 26 percent THC on almost all flowers tested and is consistently one of the most potent strains available in Canada. The flavors are bright, fresh, and citrusy, and the high is a classic, stimulating, energetic burst of creativity, just like most sativas. It will have you blessing the rains down in Africa.