The duration of a cannabis high is based on several factors, including the consumption method you choose, your tolerance level, the strain you’ve selected, and more. Discover the main factors affecting your high, what to expect, and how to manage it. Stay in control of the experience and enjoy a satisfying session.
Whether you’re thinking about trying cannabis for the first time or you’re a curious seasoned user, understanding how long a cannabis high lasts is key to ensuring a comfortable and satisfying experience.
While it may be tempting to search for a one-size-fits-all answer, the lifespan of a cannabis high depends on a variety of factors such as the method of consumption, individual physiology, and the strain itself.
Let’s explore these variables while looking at what research tells us about how long a high can last after using cannabis. We’ll also look into some tips for managing your experience so you can make sure that your cannabis journey is safe and enjoyable.
So on to the question: How long does a high last? Well… How long is a piece of string? There are so many factors at play when it comes to working out how long you can expect your cannabis high to last. It can vary and is based on a whole host of factors such as the method of consumption, the amount consumed, and the person’s tolerance level. Let’s dive in.
Factors that determine the duration of a high
1. Consumption method’s effects on the duration
The consumption method plays one of the biggest roles in the onset and duration of a high. Let’s take a look at how the high differs depending on how you plan on consuming it:
1. Smoking or vaporizing high duration
If you’re planning on rolling the perfect joint and smoking it, you can expect your high to begin fairly quickly. In fact, you might start feeling the effects in as little as two minutes. The high itself is likely to last anywhere between 1 to 4 hours.
2. Edible high duration
Whether you’re planning on making the famed weed brownie or a delicious cannabis frittata, a high brought on by an edible is an entirely different beast.
You might not feel any effects for anywhere between 30 minutes to 90 minutes after first ingesting your edible. Don’t be tempted to eat more than the recommended amount “just in case”. When your high starts depends on how quickly your body metabolises the edible, and you just have to wait to find out how fast that is.
But once that edible enters your bloodstream, expect a much longer high, lasting anywhere between 4 to 12 hours, with a peak at the 2 to 3 hour point.
3. Dabbing high duration
Dabbing products can have a THC concentration of around 80%, which is far higher than the standard 15-20% derived from traditional methods.
As you might expect with such a strong product, the high might be more intense. However, it’s likely to only last approximately 1-3 hours. That is, unless it’s a particularly high concentration of THC, in which case you may experience some residual effects all day long.
4. Cannabis-based topical high
Using a cannabis-based topical like a cream or a spray can be great for muscle pain and other ailments. But you’re unlikely to experience the effects associated with a high when using these products on your skin.
That’s good news if you were planning on using the topical right before your shift at work. But if you were hoping to get some of those recreational effects from your cannabis-infused creams, we’re sorry to disappoint. You’ll have to find another way.
2. Dosage effects on how long a high lasts
A larger dose of cannabis generally leads to a longer and more intense high. If you’re still experimenting, start small and see how a smaller dose affects you first. That’s a great way to manage your high and have a good experience.
3. THC influence on a high
A high level of THC content in the cannabis can produce a longer and more intense high compared to cannabis containing lower THC levels. Certain strains are designed for a longer high and they tend to have a higher THC content. Some of these strains include Banana OG Kush and Trainwreck.
4. Body weight and the duration of a high
Cannabis can have a stronger or weaker effect depending on the weight and body composition of the person consuming it. The factor contributing most is hypothesised to be body fat, as THC is fat soluble and binds to fat molecules. Research is conflicted though, it seems to be mostly anecdotal evidence at this stage.
5. Tolerance to THC and how long you’re high
Regular cannabis use can lead to tolerance, which means that individuals may need to consume more cannabis to feel the same effects as before. This can also lead to a shorter high for more experienced users.
Managing your cannabis high for a controlled experience
Depending on your goals and feelings, you might want to make your high last longer, or cut it short. Here are some tips.
How to make your weed high last longer
There are all sorts of “methods” to make your high last longer, but some of them are mostly based on anecdotal experiences. For instance, a widespread rumour has it that eating mango a couple of hours before your session will result in a longer, more intense high.
It’s debated whether this is true, but there’s nothing wrong with a little experimentation and an extra helping of mango never killed anybody (we hope). From personal experience, we can say that enjoying a mango (or anything juicy and sweet) while high seems to give a bit of a boost. Yay munchies!
There are a few other tricks you might want to try if you wish to extend your high, but be warned: your mileage may vary. These include:
- Smoking after a workout: The endorphins you release during the workout are already a type of “high” that will work great to extend a cannabis high, the theory goes.
- Take a little break: If your tolerance is getting a little too high (see what we did there?), taking a tolerance break from cannabis can be a great way to increase sensitivity next time you smoke.
- Use a different method: Your body absorbs cannabis in different ways, depending on the way you ingest it. Use a different method to “shock” your body and extend your high.
If you’re hoping for a nice, long high, consuming edibles is a great way to ensure it. Sure, it takes a while for the effects of edibles to kick in, but once they do – you’re sorted. Highs can last twice as long as what you would achieve if you smoked, for instance.
How to end a high
Sometimes you need to tone down your high or make it stop altogether. There are a few tricks you can try if your experience is getting a bit overwhelming:
- Inhale or ingest some black pepper: Eating peppercorns or even (carefully) smelling black pepper can calm you down during a particularly intense high.
- Drink: Staying hydrated is a great way to sober up, so if you want to calm down faster, drink water and avoid caffeine. Some prefer water over milk, so you can try that too. Needless to say, avoid alcoholic drinks.
- Take a nap: If you can, get some sleep. It’s a great way to come down after a high.
- Take some CBD oil: Some studies CBD can counteract the effects of THC, so it’s worth giving it a shot.
- Distract yourself: Watch a video and try relax into it, to get your mind off of the worrying.
These are just some ways you can limit the impacts of a cannabis high when things get a bit too overwhelming.
If you’re unsure of how much weed to consume or how long the high will last based on your individual factors, it’s always best to start with a small amount and wait to see how your body reacts before consuming more.
If you’re reading this while high and you’re a bit scared about your high lasting longer than you expected: Don’t panic! And yes, we realise that’s easier said than done right now.
But, we’ve all been there, and nothing bad will happen to you. Make yourself comfortable, ride it out, and use a bit less next time.
As so often, the answer is: The duration of a high… depends
So there you have it: The duration of a high depends. Smoking or vaporizing cannabis can lead to a quicker onset of effects and a moderately long high, while edibles produce a slower onset and longer-lasting effects. Higher THC content can produce more intense and longer-lasting effects, while tolerance and body weight can affect the strength and duration of a high as well.
What about you? Are you always seeking the longest high, or sometimes prefer to cut it short?