The Duration of a Cannabis High can Vary Depending on the Person, How They Consume the Cannabis, and the Type of Cannabis Itself.
Weed is the general term for products that come from the cannabis sativa plant. The use of these cannabis products can be medicinal or recreational. Weed contains different compounds, known as cannabinoids, while the amount that each plant has depends on the strain of cannabis.
The two most common cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The type of high a person experiences depends on the composition of these compounds in the product. THC is the main psychoactive compound that causes the high and more mind-altering effects.
Keep reading to learn more about how long a weed high lasts and what factors may affect its duration.
Different factors affect how long a person stays high, including:
- the type or strain of weed
- a person’s individual characteristics, such as metabolism and tolerance
- the method of consumption, for example, smoking or edibles
- taking other substances, such as alcohol
Type of weed
Whether the cannabis plant is male or female and whether it contains seeds are some features that determine a weed strain’s composition. The type of high that weed induces depends mostly on the THC and CBD content.
Weed is stronger in the forms of sinsemilla and hashish than in other strains, as they contain high THC levels. Because of this, they are likely to create longer highs.
Cannabis growers have been increasing the THC content in their plants over recent years, causing the leaves to trigger a more potent high.
The most common methods people use to get high on weed are:
- inhaling vapor
- consuming edibles
The method of cannabis consumption will affect how long and potent its effects are.
Once THC reaches the bloodstream, the body absorbs the compound quickly, triggering mind-altering effects.
People often smoke weed alongside tobacco in cannabis cigarettes. The effects of smoking in this way depend on the amounts of cannabis and tobacco within the cigarette.
When smoking cannabis, THC reaches the blood quickly, creating a high that lasts 1–4 hours.
Cannabis vapes trigger a similar duration of high to smoking the substance, although the drug’s effects are stronger. The vapor contains cannabis resin, which forms when cannabis products are heated. Different products can produce this vapor, including vape pens, water pipes, or bongs, while the effects vary according to their size and cannabis content.
Food products that contain cannabis, such as brownies or cookies, are called edibles. The effects of consuming edibles differ from inhaling the substance: they begin 30–60 minutes after consumption, while THC levels in the blood do not peak until 3 hours later. The high from them can last more than 6 hours.
The body of a person with a high metabolic rate will process cannabis more quickly. Because of this, THC can reach their bloodstream faster, but the duration of the effects will probably not last as long.
Some foods contain chemicals that can strengthen and extend a high. For example, anecdotal reports suggest mangoes can have this effect. In contrast, other food items may reduce the effect of weed, such as those rich in fat.
Cannabis and alcohol use often go hand in hand. Together, they strengthen each other’s effects. Drinking alongside cannabis use also causes the THC to stay in the body’s system for longer than usual, as the alcohol slows down the metabolic process. This extends the duration of the high.
Be aware that mixing cannabis and alcohol comes with several risks.
Those who ingest weed more frequently will likely have a greater tolerance to the substance than those who do not. A person with a higher tolerance for cannabis may find its effects are weaker and do not last as long.
The same factors that affect how long a weed high lasts also determine how long it takes to kick in. How a person uses cannabis is the main influence on when THC levels in the blood reach their peak.
- When smoking cannabis, the high kicks in within minutes.
- Inhaling vapor causes an even faster effect, with higher peak THC concentrations in the blood.
- Edibles produce the slowest effect, taking 30–60 minutes to occur.
Weed can trigger paranoia and anxiety, alongside other uncomfortable effects. If these reactions appear, or a person wishes to reduce THC’s effects for another reason, some methods can help.
Taking a cold bath or shower can increase a person’s alertness and reduce the high.
Evidence suggests that foods containing terpenoid compounds, such as lemon, pine nuts, and black pepper, can serve as an antidote to a weed high. As well as the terpenoid content, the sourness of lemons can reduce a high by shocking a person into becoming more alert.
However, if possible, the best way to wear off the effect of THC is through sleep.
What could extend the high?
The method that a person uses to get high influences how long the effects last. Consuming edibles does not trigger the effects as quickly, but it does prolong the high.
The more cannabis a person consumes, the longer the body takes to metabolize the THC, and the longer the high lasts.
Weed comes with short- and long-term risk factors, so people should consume cannabis products with care.
Short-term risks include:
- increase in heart rate
Long-term risks include:
- memory issues
- difficulty learning
- schizophrenia, for those with a higher genetic risk of the condition
If a person is pregnant, using cannabis can cause complications with fetal development.
A person should see a doctor if they become dependent on cannabis, or they experience concerning side effects, such as insomnia or memory loss.
A weed high generally lasts between 1–6 hours. The time varies depending on how a person ingests the product, alongside other factors.
Vapor generally creates the fastest but strongest high, while edibles are slower to kick in but cause longer-lasting effects.
Article by Helen Millar from Medical News Today.