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when the weed kicks in

How Long Does a Cannabis High Last?

A cannabis high can last anywhere from 2 to 10 hours, depending on a range of factors.

  • how much you consume
  • how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) it contains
  • your body weight and body fat percentage
  • your metabolism
  • whether or not you’ve eaten
  • your tolerance

Cannabis contains more than 113 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of those cannabinoids, and it’s the ingredient responsible for making you feel high.

Here’s a closer look at the timeline of a delta-9 THC high and tips for cutting things short.

How quickly you feel the effects mostly depends on your method of use:

  • Smoking or vaping. 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.
  • Eating. Your digestive system metabolizes pot when you eat it, which can take a while. Edibles usually kick in within 30 to 60 minutes, but can sometimes take as long as 2 hours.
  • Dabbing. With this method, a highly concentrated form of marijuana is smoked through a special pipe. Dabs have a higher THC content than other forms of cannabis, so the high kicks in almost instantly.

How long the effects last can vary greatly depending on the dose and potency. The more you use and the higher the THC content, the longer the effects will stick around.

How you consume cannabis also affects when the effects peak and how long they last.

Here’s a breakdown, according to Drugs and Me, a site by the Mental Health Education Foundation:

  • Smoking or vaping. The effects peak around 10 minutes after consumption and typically last 1 to 3 hours, though they can linger for up to 8 hours.
  • Eating. The effects of edibles usually peak around 2 hours after consumption and can last up to 24 hours.
  • Dabbing. Similar to smoking, the effects of dabbing usually last 1 to 3 hours. If using a high THC concentrate, you could feel the effects for an entire day.

Cannabis hits everyone differently, so while your high may only last for a couple of hours, you could potentially feel the comedown or aftereffects for several hours or through the next day. It’s best to go low and slow if you’re new to cannabis.

If you need to cut things short, there are a few things you can try.

Keep in mind that these tips are designed to reduce the effects, not eliminate them altogether. That means you’ll likely still experience lingering effects, including a reduced reaction time, so you’ll still want to avoid driving.

Here are a few pointers based on anecdotal evidence and some research:

  • Take a nap. Sleeping can help you relax if your high has you feeling anxious or paranoid. It also gives your body time to process and eliminate the cannabis. You’ll likely wake up feeling refreshed and more alert after a few winks.
  • Try some black pepper. There’s some evidence that caryophyllene, a compound in peppercorn, increases the sedative effects of THC, which could calm you. Just take a container of black pepper and have a sniff without inhaling it. Chewing on a couple of whole peppercorns also works.
  • Eat some pine nuts. Some research shows that pinene, a compound in pine nuts, has a calming effect and improves clarity. Skip this method if you have a tree nut allergy, though.
  • Try some CBD. Yep, it may sound counterintuitive, but CBD may counteract the effects of THC. Like THC, cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid. The difference is the receptors in your brain that they interact with. THC causes the high you get from cannabis, but CBD has a calming effect that may help dull your high.
  • Have some lemon peel. Lemons, especially the peel, contain compounds that have a calming effect. In theory, ingesting some lemon peel could counteract some of the psychoactive effects of THC and help you come down. Try steeping some in hot water for a few minutes, then remove them and take some sips.

If you’re looking for a longer-lasting high, consider sticking with edibles. They take longer to kick in, but the effects will hang around longer, which can be a big help if you’re using cannabis for medical purposes.

You could also re-dose or try a higher THC strain for a longer high, but know that you’ll also have to deal with more intense effects. For a seasoned consumer, this is probably not a big deal, but a newbie may find the effects of a bigger dose to be a bit much.

There are some anecdotal methods for extending your high on the Internet, like eating mango, but there’s no evidence to back any of these.

Some websites recommend drinking alcohol with cannabis to extend your high, but it isn’t the best idea.

Drinking before using cannabis — even just one drink — can heighten the effects of THC. This combo can cause some folks to “green out” and experience some pretty unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • sweating
  • increased impairment

This combo doesn’t work great in the other direction, either. Using cannabis before drinking can minimize the effects of alcohol, meaning you’ll feel less drunk than you are. This makes it easy to get overly intoxicated.

Plus, using cannabis and alcohol together may increase your risk of dependence on one or both substances.

Find out how long it takes for weed’s effects to kick in and how long they last. We’ve also got tips for cutting things short or extending them.

What is the duration of a ‘weed-high’?

The duration of a weed high can vary depending on the person, how they consume the weed, and the type of weed 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.

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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.

Method

The most common methods people use to get high on weed are:

  • smoking
  • 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.

Metabolism

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.

Eating

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.

Alcohol

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.

Tolerance

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.

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.

The duration of a weed high depends on the individual, the method of weed use, and the type of weed itself. Keep reading to learn more.