One of the most common concerns surrounding cannabis consumption is the debate over how long a high actually lasts. Especially if you are newer to cannabis, you will likely want to know how long the effects last and prepare accordingly.
It is also common for new users to ask, “what is it like to be high?”
Well, when you get high for the first time, you will know. Having a reliable sense of how long your body feels the effects of THC is essential for having enjoyable experiences with cannabis time after time.
How long does it take to kick in?
How quickly you can begin to feel the effects of cannabis mostly depends on your method of use:
- Smoking or Vaping Flower: You can begin to feel the effects of cannabis within 2 to 10 minutes. It kicks in quickly because it enters your bloodstream via your lungs within minutes of inhaling it.
- Edibles: THC is metabolized in the liver into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC. This compound is more potent than THC, has a longer half-life and can be very sedating. It is this mechanism in the liver that causes edibles to have different effects in most people. This entire process can take between 30 minutes and 2 hours to kick in.
- Concentrates: One of the leading benefits of concentrates is the rapid onset time and the ability to yield a high that is more potent than consuming cannabis flower. Concentrates have a high bioavailability, meaning the effects you feel and experience, as well as the rate of absorption into your body, happen almost immediately.
What does being high feel like?
The specific qualities of your cannabis high will change over time, regardless of the form you take. Similarly to how long a weed high will last, you can expect the specific qualities of a high to change from person to person, and from plant to plant.
Different cannabis, different high
There are too many different types of cannabis strains to count. Growers are able to make hybrid plants from two different strains which has led to a multitude of different styles of cannabis flower. Each different flower strain has its own effect, just as each different person may feel a unique effect. However, the general experiences with cannabis includes an altered consciousness.
Some cannabis strains will reduce anxiety and promote a calm feeling, while others may increase your energy and influence creative behavior. As the high wears down, the more euphoric aspects typically wane back down to a normal level. Again, all of these effects depend on the chemical makeup of a given strain, as well as your genes.
Other factors involved
Different weed strains are only part of what can determine how long a person may be high for. Other factors include:
- Quantity of THC Consumed: The more cannabis you consume, the longer your high will last as your body must process larger quantities of cannabis over a longer period of time.
- Quality of Consumption: If you are barely inhaling from a joint, you are going to ingest significantly less cannabinoids compared to vaporizing the herb or eating it. These latter methods avoid missing out on the full bounty of cannabinoids that you are consuming.
- Strain and Terpenes Being Consumed: Cannabis comes in a variety of strains, each with unique attributes and terpene combinations that can be attributed to a range of effects and a variety in length of high.
- Environment and Surroundings: If you are unfamiliar with the place that you are consuming in, you may feel exaggerated effects that could be elongated by this heightened sense of intensity.
- Metabolism: Every person’s body metabolizes substances differently. If your body processes chemicals slowly, your high may last longer than your peers’ highs. Staying well hydrated is always a good idea as well.
- Tolerance/Familiarity and Awareness: Your familiarity with cannabis and your body’s understanding of how to tolerate and adapt to the psychoactivity can affect how long a high lasts. As you become more accustomed to a cannabis high, you may sense that you stop feeling “high” after a shorter period of time, in spite of the cannabinoids that are still acting in your body. Conversely, mindfulness matters. If you are in a place where you are reflecting on your high and checking in with yourself regularly, then you might notice it for longer.
How long to expect to be high?
So, with all this said. How long can you generally expect to be high?
- Smoking or Vaping Flower: The effects peak around 10 minutes after consumption and typically last 1 to 3 hours, though they can linger for up to 8 hours.
- Edibles: The effects of edibles usually peak around 1-2 hours after consumption and can last up to 24 hours.
- Concentrates: Similar to smoking flower, the effects of dabbing usually last 1 to 3 hours and potentially up to 8 hours. If using a high THC concentrate, you could feel the effects for an entire day.
How much cannabis does it take to get high?
The amount of cannabis needed to feel high also depends on several variables. THC is the intoxicating component of cannabis, and though the other cannabinoids also play a role in the high, the THC percentage of a cannabis product will impact how long you will be high when you consume it. However, the method of consumption is an even bigger determining factor. For example, the effects of eating a 50 milligram edible will last longer than smoking a 0.5 gram joint with 20% THC.
THC percentages do not tell the whole story, but they do provide a general idea of what a user should expect with flower or concentrate products. In the case of edibles, instead of THC percentage, the key factor to potency is the quantity of THC in the product, which is typically measured in milligrams.
How to increase the length of your high?
The higher the amount of THC, the less cannabis needed to achieve a high. If you want to know how to increase the length of your high, you can either smoke weed again, opt for the longer-lasting intoxicating effects of an edible, or consume cannabis products with higher levels of THC.
How to decrease your high?
Even experienced cannabis users sometimes consume too much cannabis. Whether you were trying a new product, were not paying close attention to your dose, or your normal dose was just too much for you on a particular day, going a little overboard with your cannabis consumption can happen.
Taking in too much cannabis is not pleasant. Going over your limit can make you feel anxious, paranoid, nauseous, and just plain awful. Luckily, we have found at least 11 proven ways you can counteract the effects of cannabis in order to decrease the length of your high.
How long does weed stay in your system?
How long you stay high and how long weed stays in your system are two very different things. As drug tests are looking for THC metabolites, it can take upwards of a month for the compounds to completely leave your system, depending on body mass index (BMI), metabolism, frequency of use, the potency of the product, and genetics.
Weed is detectable in urine for the following amounts of time after last use:
- Occasional users (up to three times a week): 3 days
- Moderate users (four times a week): 5 to 7 days
- Chronic users (daily): 10 to 15 days
- Chronic heavy users (multiple times a day): more than 30 days
Is there a faster way to get it out of your system?
There isn’t much you can do to speed up the amount of time it takes for weed to leave your system.
Once it’s entered your system, your body needs time to break it down. Exercising, eating healthy, and staying hydrated may help, but not drastically.