Old Hippie’s Levels of Consciousness Scale

Intergalactic, man

On /r/trees, there’s a “highness scale” that people use to indicate how high they are. I love all the Ents at /r/trees, and Im’a let you finish, but that scale is not quite the most useful scale of all time, because it’s relative. I realize none of this is completely scientific, and that everything is relative, and all that kind of stuff, but “10 is the highest you’ve ever been in your life” doesn’t quite cut it for me, because I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs and everyone else will too. So I prefer to use a scale with known points on it, as far as is possible.

For levels 0 through 10, you should use this chart, which is as good as anything else I’ve found. It was originally created by Talisman, whoever s/he is, and I’ve actually searched to give better credit. I typed it in from this image, which I consider to be the actual source (or a copy, anyway) and much more artistic than my mere words.

0 Sober: completely normal, you feel nothing out of the ordinary.

1-2 Buzzed: you can tell you are slightly high, things are more interesting, everything seems “thicker”.

3-4 High: you are high, slight craving for food, you tend to stare at objects and into space often, you feel relaxed but somewhat in a daze.

5-6 Really High: you are fully high, there is a slight vibration in your body, focusing is hard, you’re having very random thoughts. Putting together sentences is a challenge. Few if any audial hallucinations.

7-8 Blazed/Stoned: very high, vibrations and waves of euphoria rush through your body every 5 to 9 seconds. Expeiencing mild CEVs, everything dark has a sparkling texture, everything is brighter. Some audial hallucinations.

9-10 In Space: completely lost in thought, amazing pleasure, you feel like a god, you see strong CEVs, sparkling textures everywhere, everything is brightened, mild/strong audial hallucinations.

My scale merges with and attempts to extend Talisman’s scale even further into the cosmic realm. I do not attempt to catalog the exact physical/mental effects, the way Talisman did, because it’s not necessary or even possible from this point on. If you’ve reached these levels, you will understand, and if you haven’t…you will understand when you do reach them. It’s based on a lot of experience (almost 45 years), not to mention the unexpected trip I took yesterday, in which all the following information was dumped into my brain like Buckaroo Banzai in the phone booth.

10. This is the top level high you should expect from smoking marijuana. If you can move at all, it is not very fast. If you’re not standing up…don’t even try.

11. You have found the “secret level”! You didn’t think you could get this high by smoking marijuana, and you’re right, because…you cannot generally get here without edibles. You are totally on the verge of tripping, but aren’t. It is intense as fuck but still light and happy. This is the same level as an “acid high”, which you experience on an LSD trip both on the way up and on the way down.

12. You are now tripping. Congratulations and try to hold it together.

13. You are tripping and losing control. If you don’t manage to keep control at this level (or above), you may well lose your mind temporarily or even permanently, and/or find yourself in an emergency room or mental institution. If you are on LSD (or similar), this is the part usually called “peaking”.

14. You have made it past the danger zone, mostly. But you can re-enter it at any time, literally with a single thought. You can also become totally enlightened with a single thought. This level and the next three are otherwise indescribable, and they (and your experiences) differ mainly based on the dosage you have taken…each level is essentially a doubling of the previous dosage.

15. This is the farthest/highest I have ever been, and it took 1,000 micrograms of LSD to get me there. Once is plenty, thank you!

16. Dude…

17. I can’t even…

18. You have now merged your consciousness with the universe. You no longer need the Internet to share thoughts with others. You are also stone cold dead, completely alive, a bumblebee, a flower, a cat, Buddha, Jesus Christ, an alien, and God…simultaneously.

Intergalactic, man.
Intergalactic, man.



None of these levels actually require drugs, but a lot depends on your actual body, blood, and brain chemistry (some people were just not born to be the Buddha…and some were).

Most experiences have a general “cruising altitude” with some parts at a somewhat higher level (generally one or two levels higher). Most people cite the “cruising altitude” but it’s the highest level on their experience that they will remember, because it’s the part that scared them the most, generally 🙂

Why 11 for the secret level? Do you really have to ask?

Why 13 for bad trips? I guess it goes with all the other 13-phobia 🙂

Why 18 for the top of the scale? Probably from all the meanings of 18.

If you’re into psychedelic philosophy, 12 and 13 are theoretically the same level…as is 14. Just remember that once you’re actually tripping, it’s like running on a spinning soccer ball glowing from the inside…any disturbance or loss of control will likely cause you grief, and you don’t want to find out how bad it can be.

Very few people make it to Level 18. If you are reasonably well educated, at least in terms of world cultures, then you already know most of their names…


Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. BeyondChronic.com is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


Is there a way to separate your life’s energy from your earth body without laying waste to the physical being?
I think it would be more comfortable to do this trip with someone I’m compatible with on a more cosmic level. Or a “soul mate” in religious terms, if you will.
But to imply there’s destiny would be denying us free will.
Have things throughout history happened because they were meant to happen?
Did so many people have to suffer so we can get to where we are not.
Oh, jeez. My cat is really staring down at me.
I really think they know.
I had one cat that would jump on my lap when she’d see me sitting in my smoking chair. She’d sniff the bowl as it slowly smoldered. I’d set down the piece and she’d lay on my chest, her purring somehow in correlation (correct use?) with the beats of my heart.
Trip balls, did I.
Weirdest and most intense trip ever.
I didn’t ascend time and place that night, but I was damn close and I know the cat was going to lead me. If there hadn’t have been other people in the room, I think I would have.

tl;dr – Smoke with a cat you trust.

That is awesome. Your cat sounds like she’s definitely one of those, too. I think you could probably trust her as a trip guide.

I’m working my way up towards posting yet another trip I just had involving cats…I think you’ll like it!

You can do what you first described with Astral Projection. Look it up.
If you really want to be gone, look into DMT. Go to erowid.org for information on psychoactives like DMT.

Awsome site…. The scariest part of all is ‘no’…you dont need any drugs to reach this state, elimenate all vices and your dna clears the way for pure consciousness to rise on up….oh it’s heavenly! however one must be isolate for some time removing all chemical attachments, allowing the brain to form new neurological path ways to experience this bliss, and that my friend’s seems to be humans greatest challenge… once your there it can be lonley for a bit, but thats when you begin to create the characters you would like to share the journey with, on your descent back down to earth…if you have learnt your earthly lesson’s these characters will be of good, pure nature like your’s. Now you create a life in pure truth and light, Just like the ‘Dark Crystal’ tells us to.
Good being

MAaaaan, I went up to level 18…once. And dude, it was awesome. I came totally alive. Like SUPER awake. I saw the Earth as it really is, and the sun…shit, that shits just a huge ball of fire. It was awesome to be in the third person. I did feel like God, it’s true. But everything is God, but I touched something man. Intense joy. Anyway, I was 27 and that day I consider the most important day of my life. Oh, about the rebirth thing in christianity, yeah…it WAS like being born again. I recommend reaching Nirvana to anyone.

And then there’s the level of high where you literally read everything in the comments and your secret mission is to tell everyone this while you’re high

Has anyone ever experienced “going down” instead of up.? I did not have a “good” experience:(

Thats the thing. I took 2 very small pulls. I instantly burst into laughter and then within 1 minute my boddy was what seemed to be unconscious. I couldn’t remember anything about my life, and I could feelmy body traveling downward. I got to a dark dark place (literally) and could here diff voices talking to me. As I start to travel back up, I started forgetting everything that I saw/heard. It was almost the same as when u wake up from a dream nd forget. I just remember being really scared, thinking my life was over.

Are you sure that was just weed? It sounds more like DMT, or perhaps K2/spice/”synthetic marijuana”.

If it was just weed…sounds like it’s not compatible with you and I wouldn’t try it again. But this kind of reaction would be extremely rare.

That’s what absolutely happened to me I was scared and I was beginning God to get me out of this thing…after smoked and I was planning to cover my tracks but I got really high and forgot what I was gonna do then I remembered and forgot the next step I was gonna do…I thought I was dying and I won’t be normal again…its been 24 hrs since I did that and I’m still little little high ( but sooo much better that 1st time)

and the thing I smoked is cannabis but Idk what was into it it was green leaf in small pieces…plss replay

I have a question about 13… do people really lose their minds?

I ask because a few days ago I was smoking my first-ever pre-roll. It was a fatty. Smoked more than usual and found myself on the verge of what I thought was “losing my mind”. I could almost hear my mind burning new neurological pathways in itself. I felt like I was about to cross over into the abyss. It felt like in order to cross over I would have to erase my memory. At that point I could feel myself beginning this journey. I felt like I was no longer in control of where my mind was going. Then I panicked. I think I jumped up and regained control before entering this terrifying place.

I wanted to go to this unknown place. I wanted to allow my mind to reprogram itself, but then I panicked thinking I would literally lose my mind and might never be able to find it again. These fears were amplified due to a friend of mine from Jr High who lost his mind. He’s literally crazy now. He just lives at his parents house and one time he found his way onto Facebook and was just talking nonsense. I couldn’t have a coherent conversation with him and I couldn’t understand a thing he was saying. Talking about how he spends his days painting and shit. Going off about birds and butterflies and shit. I don’t know, but I don’t want to lose it like that.

But seeing that you are saying you can go beyond that number 13, makes me think I would have been ok to allow myself to cross over into that abyss. Please help?

You can’t really “lose your mind” just because you get high on cannabis…even if you’re so high you’re effectively tripping.

Here’s a secret preview from our upcoming book:

In early 2014, an inter­national team of research scientists found that pregnenolone, one of the hormones created in the brain itself, acts as a moderator of THC and its effects in a negative feedback loop.

This means the more THC you put into your body, the more preg­nen­olone is synthesized. Higher levels of pregnenolone dampen the effect of the THC even further. So even though you can get ridiculously high by using wild amounts of cannabis, your body will protect you from getting high enough that it would actually be dangerous in any way.

The one and only tie-in between cannabis and true “crazy” (i.e. schizophrenia) is that people who use cannabis heavily AND who have a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia (i.e. it’s going to happen to them anyway) is that they can develop it earlier than expected. But it doesn’t “cause” you to go crazy by itself…or there would be a huge uptick in crazy people now that it’s completely legal in several states.

Just FYI, all that stuff you said about your feelings that your mind was going to reprogram itself…that’s just your own amplified thoughts from being so high. You can (and I have) feel like you’re going to lose your mind forever, but it’s just because you took a drug. As long as you remember that, you’ll be fine!

I swear that is LITERALLY what happened to me, except I went to that place. It was like….hell or something. I was so scared. And my mind started racing back to reality. I mean it felt sooooo real.

I was once high on weed and it was the best high I ever had. I lost all sense of self awareness. I completely lost all senses and felt only darkness and light. It lasted about a couple of hours. Then I returned to the regular weed high stage. Could you please explain to me what happened and what stage was that?

Sounds like you simply smoked way too much and you got the full force of the THC. You might even have actually passed out without realizing it. You were certainly up there in the double digits, I’d say!

I got high off a whole joint of loud. Literally it took the whole damn thing. Once it kicked in tho I knew it. I drive back home and as I was driving I felt myself drifting from reality and often snapping back just like that. I also lost all feeling to the gravity as I was driving on an atv. Any idea what level this was?

Omg what are we. I’m freaking out because I know exactly what everyone is saying almost like my totally fucking living it. I always feel this way I can’t figure it out it’s like my hell stuck on a loop the voices don’t stop.

After tonight how do I find this place? It’s leaving. I know what’s happening and I feel like I can’t get it out to anyone almost like I am speaking my own language and know body gets me. I’m all the way down and now matter how hard I try I can’t get to the surface in time. It comes and goes in and out in waves almost like mutilpule. I lost you for a minute and couldn’t figure out how to get back to where you were.

You can’t go anywhere on weed that doesn’t already exist within you. It’s almost like it plays with feelings and memories.

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