If you’re new to using marijuana or just curious, you may be wondering how long a marijuana high lasts? There is no right answer because it really depends on your method of delivery and how much you use. In addition to that, the length of time you remain high also depends on your body’s own biology. Before we tackle how long the high lasts, let’s look at why you even get high in the first place.
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How Does Marijuana Make You High?
While marijuana is made up of many different compounds, the one credited with the high is tetrahydrocannabinol(THC). THC binds with the receptors of our endocannabinoid system, notably the CB1 receptor and that’s when we feel high. When you puff, according to Daniele Piomelli, a professor of anatomy, neurobiology, biological chemistry and pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, THC “goes into your lungs and gets absorbed … into the blood” as cited on Live Science.
According to Live Science, you’ll feel high when the neurotransmitters are signaled to stop. The article said, “When presynaptic neurons across the brain get the memo to stop sending neurotransmitters, this alters the normal flow of information among neurons and results in a high.”
How Long Does a Marijuana High Last?
According to Healthline, usually, a high can last between 2-10 hours. According to Arkansas Marijuana Card, the more THC you consume the longer you’ll feel high. This makes sense of course because we know THC is the compound responsible for the high. However, there are other factors that determine how long the high will last.
Healthline says that the following could affect how long the high lasts:
- how much weed you consume
- how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the weed contains
- your body weight, body fat percentage, and metabolism
- whether or not you’ve eaten
- your tolerance
Method of Delivery
The method of delivery used for cannabis has an impact on how long you’ll be high. For example, inhaling marijuana, according to Healthline, leads to a high that peaks in around 10 minutes and usually lasts for 1-3 hours. However, the article did say that the high could last for 8 hours.
Arkansas Marijuana Card offered a different perspective on peak time but echoed the idea that after 3 hours, the high would have usually worn off. According to them, when you smoke marijuana, “you’ll usually feel peak effects around 30 to 60 minutes post-consumption. The high will then last for around an hour, slowly tapering afterward. After 3 hours, many people will no longer feel any cognitive effects.”
Interestingly, for both edibles and dabbing, you could experience a high for up to a day depending on other factors such as how concentrated the THC was. In case you’re not familiar with dabbing, Arkansas Marijuana Card explained, “Dabbing is a process where cannabis concentrates like wax, shatter, crumble, or budder are inhaled using a water pipe called a dab rig. The concentrates (called dabs) are placed on a heated base (known as the “nail”), where heat causes them to turn into vapor.”
The difference in THC concentration can vary wildly irrespective of the method you choose to use. For example, both marijuana flowers and concentrates can be vaped. However, a dried flower, according to Arkansas Marijuana Card, has about 8-35% THC, however marijuana concentrates can have up to 90% THC. Concentrates can be found as distillates in the cartridges of vape pens. Concentrates may also come in the form of wax, shatter, or resin . Even though people vape concentrates, the website said, “Vape pens tend to fall on the spectrum between dried flower and concentrates. While they typically boast high concentrations of THC, they usually deliver small, precise hits.”
The table below summarizes the average time it takes to get high as well the usual length of high for four common methods of delivery.
|Method of Delivery||Time it Takes To Feel High||Length of the High|
|Dabbing||Almost Instantly||1-3 hours|
|Smoking/Vaping||2-10 minutes||1-3 hours|
|Edibles||30-60 minutes||2-24 hours|
|Tinctures*||15-60 minutes||4 to 8 hours|
*According to Arkansas Marijuana Card, tinctures are “cannabis products made to be taken sublingually (under your tongue), are designed to bypass digestion.”
How To Reduce The Length of a High
If for any reason you want to reduce the length of your high, Healthline posits that you could try the following:
The peppercorn in the black pepper is said to contain caryophyllene. Caryophyllene, according to a study, could calm you down. All you have to do is sniff some black pepper without inhaling it or chew on some peppercorn.
Naps are effective because your body has time to rid itself of THC. The important thing about naps is that they pass the time and you won’t feel high if you’re asleep. Healthline says you should wake up alert and refreshed.
If you have a nut allergy, feel free to skip over this step. However, if you don’t, a study suggests that pinene, a component of pine nuts may calm you down and improve clarity. The research says that pinene could “counteract short-term memory deficits induced by THC intoxication “
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, as you may recall can reduce THC’s effects. It does this by binding to cannabinoid receptors which may induce a calming effect, which as Healthline puts it, “dulls your high”.
Healthline posits that steeping some lemon peels in hot water for a few minutes, removing them and then drinking the water should help to calm you down.
How to Extend Your High
In order to extend your high, Healthline suggests using edibles since the high they give tend to stick around longer. They also suggest using products with higher THC. Remember that products with a high THC may not be a great idea for novices because it can get intense. While alcohol could exacerbate the effects of THC, it tends to come with awful side effects such as vomiting and increased impairment. This is referred to as “green out”. For those reasons, Healthline doesn’t recommend mixing alcohol and marijuana.
A marijuana high, while typically lasting between 2-10 hours can vary due to many factors. These factors may pertain to your body, such as your body fat, and metabolism. The length of the high also has to do with how much THC you consumed and the method you use to consume it. The only ways to be sure how marijuana will affect you are to experiment safely and do your research.