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Monday April 2, 2018

By Andrew Ward


Can a new smoke spot affect your high? It’s certainly a factor. Location, whether new or familiar to you, plays a part in how we feel all the time. Add cannabis to the equation and the variables increase exponentially. To provide you with a bit of clarity on the subject, we dove into a few vital factors and how they may affect you.

Does Location Play a Part in Your High?

Based on mainly anecdotal experience, location does indeed appear to impact a person’s cannabis experience. Anyone who has ever gone to the park on a sunny day with Durban Poison can probably vouch for cannabis' ability to amplify the positive feelings of a beautiful day.

Smoking in the Park
Enjoying cannabis in a park or private backyard on a beautiful day can help positiely impact your experience.

The same can probably be said for anyone that's camped out under the stars after a long hike. If they have Blueberry on hand, there's a strong chance the mix of the outdoors and a calming strain would amplify the high compared to smoking in the house.

Personality also comes into play. An outdoor festival with thousands of people is sure to invigorate countless festival goers. However, for an introvert, this might be their least preferred destination to consume cannabis, even with the right strain. Meanwhile, the roles are likely reversed for extroverts in a secluded wilderness experience.

When it comes to consuming cannabis at altitude, some studies suggest no correlation. However, people who are not accustomed to high altitudes may experience acute altitude sickness, which can intensify a case of over-consumption.

Contributing Factors

Numerous other factors could play a sizable part in your cannabis experience as well. Additional factors could have you feeling numerous kinds of ways. Consider the following when fantasizing about your ideal session:

Strain Choice

As touched upon above, your strain choice is going to impact your new location. You can consume sativa at high-energy events and indica at low-key spots. However, for an ideal high for the situation, you’re best to treat your session like a wine pairing.

Consider the scenery the cheese and your strain the wine. Make the best pairing for the optimal mouth feel, er, high. Unlike wine, you’ll almost certainly be able to notice the differences between the strains and their effects on you.

Use the proper strains for you to ensure the highest odds of having a successful new location session. If heading out to a concert, know what you’re heading into. If it is a high-energy dance, indie or hip-hop show, you might be best with a sativa that’ll lift your spirits.

707 Headband
Sativas are great for when you're heading to an upbeat event or gathering.

Meanwhile, an indica works best at chilled, lower energy events, especially in the evenings. In places like the beach or a hike, where nature and your energy dictates the energy around you, pick what gives you the best feeling. When in doubt, no matter the situation, default to your favorite strains. The same can be said at certain venues that provide unique concert experiences, like Red Rocks.

Your Perception

Cannabis can alter how you feel about a situation, but it won’t completely shift your views. Christof Koch wrote that "Yet as we know from our own life, each one of us has his or her own preferences, likes and dislikes. Some people are acutely sensitive to flashing lights, some have perfect pitch, some cannot see in depth, some can introspect and analyze their own failures and triumphs, whereas others—remarkably frequently, public figures such as politicians—lack this knack."

Koch’s explanation is one of the best ways to describe the links between location and our high, even if that wasn't his intention.

Basically, what works for one is not going to work for another – it’s simple as that.

If you throw a loner into the crowd at packed gallery or show, it likely won’t be the enjoyable experience they’d receive in a more isolated, preferable location in a small group or alone. Flip the situation, and an extrovert that loves people might struggle to stay still and quiet by themselves on the side of a mountain smoking a joint.

The takeaway from this should be simple: do what makes you feel your best. If it doesn’t feel right, try something else.


Music and marijuana go hand-in-hand for just about as long as the two coexisted. It’s no surprise that the music you listen to can alter your high and the associated sensations. Going to a Mac Demarco show is different than Skrillex; the same as Phish is different than Snoop Dogg.

Cannabis and Music
Always try and match your musical selection to the type of feeling you're desiring.

So, choose the right sounds for the ideal on-location sensation.

Smartphones and Social Media

The growing use of technology among humans has long been a cause for debate. Even select former top names in social media and other Silicon Valley fixtures now voice their concerns over the impact of too much smartphone and social media usage. Beyond social media and the phone, a growing number of thought leaders believe that tech's invasion into our lives hinders our ability to think deeper, converse in real-life, remain patient and even decreases the sense of play other generations reveled in.

While some strains can reduce our ability to talk and think deeply at times, an overuse of tech could deplete us of the joys marijuana helps amplify in us.

It’s uncertain if marijuana replaces or even offsets the potential declines from tech use. However, to be safe it might be best to keep your phone and other devices stored away for much of your destination high. If you are an avid documentarian of your life, set time to snap your content, then go back to enjoying the change of scenery. The content is lovely, but the experience is what you came there for.

Find Out for Yourself

At this point, no conclusive data on the effects of new locations and cannabis highs exist. Overall, though, with numerous factors involved, your experiences can alter frequently. Everything from your choice of strains to the consumption method, right down to the amount of FOMO in your system you have from checking Instagram, each has the potential to affect your overall high.

If you are looking to craft the perfect smoke sesh for yourself, start thinking of what puts you in the best state of mind. Think of all the factors above and those that appeal to your core and surround yourself with what puts you at ease and in excellent spirits. Happy blazing!

Do you feel like you get higher in new places? Comment your experiences below!


Andrew Ward Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward is a Brooklyn-based cannabis writer and creative. His work has appeared on Benzinga, High Times, PROHBTD and several other publications and brand blogs. He has covered the cannabis space for over three years, and has written professionally since 2011. His first book, "Cannabis Jobs," was released in October 2019. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

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