If you must ask how long a cannabis high lasts, you probably have not used cannabis very much. It is a sign you have not read up a lot, looked at your own health profile, and/or listened to budtenders and friends who know.
For starters, different cannabis strains affect different people uniquely. Their high is a function of their gender, height, weight, and bio-chemical predisposition. But you can imagine a generally typical person and how they might respond. So, with that caution in mind, you can and should explore how long a cannabis high will last.
7 factors to consider:
1. Method of consumption. Smoking or vaping marijuana delivers effects to the blood stream quickly. Depending on the strain’s potency, its high starts within minutes, peaks within 30 minutes, and declines over the next few hours. Cannabis in edibles takes longer to digest and enter the system. You might wait on the high for up to 90 minutes. It will increase for up to 3 hours before waning over as many as 12 hours.
This brief overview contains a warning. That is, you should not underestimate the cycle produced by edibles. Their contents are metabolized through the liver which takes longer than the respiratory system. However, the fact that this delays the onset of the high leaves novice users unprepared for the wait and tempted to consume more. You must learn to pace your intake regardless of your choice of consumption method.
2. Body type. You should consider your brain and body before using. Your age, gender, height, weight, and lifestyle affect your respiration and metabolism. If you are prone to respiratory issues like seasonal allergies, asthma, or bronchitis, such conditions will interfere with your inhaled cannabis. If you have chronic hypertension or congestion, you may have problems with processing cannabis smoke.
Cannabis is fat soluble. This means it does not break down in water. However, the more fat it must deal with, the slower the impact. So, if you are on the fat side (as different from muscular weight), you may find edibles slower to take effect. This ability to metabolize is also affected by age and gender because fat levels generally vary with such conditions.
3. Strain choice. If you are looking for the medical benefits of cannabis, you will usually choose strains or products high in CBD. Because CBD products are low and short on psychoactive effects, it may take you longer to notice the CBD’s calming influences even though they are working. Moreover, high CBD potency may produce a sedation that creeps up on you over hours and leaves you with a difficult to measure couch-locked experience.
High THC potency is another matter. Inhaled, high THC content will trigger a psychoactive event very quickly – the higher the potency the more intense the event. The consumer is in no position to measure the duration of the high and may need assistance in coming down if hallucinating or paranoiac. The high may seem brief or lengthy to the user, but the experience does not correlate with real time.
4. Alternative means. If you choose to dab or select high concentrated extracts, you are likely to accentuate the experience. Dabbers tend to choose wax or shatter with high THC potency. Inhaling the “purified” concentrate or isolate is likely to hit you very quickly, but it should not last longer than the smoking experience. In fact, its quick high potency impact is likely to shorten the overall length of the high.
This is also true of other alternatives. For example, if you use cannabis oils, you have the advantage of sub-lingual administration. Placed under the tongue, the cannabis will reach the blood stream faster than through the respiratory system. Likewise, if you consume cannabis through homemade baked goods, you cannot count on the dosage in any single section of the treat. You may get the brownie with no cannabis while your buddy gets a whopping dose in his.
5. Combined use. Cannabis users repeatedly combine their use with consumption of alcohol and/or tobacco. These drugs will affect the user’s biochemical processing of cannabis. They may counteract the cannabis effects, exacerbate their impacts, and/or affect the length of the high.
Alcohol, for example, will dehydrate the system introducing hangover issues. It will directly affect the brain’s judgement, motor, spatial, and memory centers complicating the cannabis influence in the brain.
6. Dose smartly. Every cannabis user is the best judge of their reactions to cannabis intake. Starting with a heavy dose may power and extend your high. However, it risks disappoint with the effects and little sense of the length or quality of the high. It makes much more sense to start low and titrate up to a dose that is meaningful to you.
You may, for instance, start with a 10mg THC dose defined by the strain or labeling. You might find your reaction differs markedly from the user next to you using the same dose. Then, you would up your dosage 10mg at a time to reach the level you want and are comfortable with. It is smart to create a diary that logs the usage frequency, dosage, and quality or length of the effects.
7. Be prepared. Novice cannabis users should not use alone. They should only use in the presence of others who know what to do if you have unexpected reactions. They should have what they need to counterattack any adverse reaction and to bring you down from an uncomfortable high.
Friends should be prepared to hydrate you with volumes of water. They should relocate you to bed or some relaxing location. Or, they should administer some CBD concentrate to offset the THC.
How long will a high last?
A cannabis high will vary in quality and length from one consumer to another. It depends on the product and dosage as well as your personal brain and body predisposition. With experience and research, you will test how the advertised claims for cannabis strains really affect you. However, the high, its duration, and side effects will be much less troublesome than those experience with alcohol.