Whether you choose to smoke, vape, or consume edibles to get high, it’s always better to know what to expect.
Part of what makes the experience enjoyable is knowing just how hard the effects of THC will hit you–and how long they will last.
First and foremost, if you’re looking for “how long does a weed high last” because you’re desperate for it to end, take heart. No high lasts long, and you’ll most likely be back to normal after an hour or so.
Every person is unique, and the duration of a cannabis high is determined by a multitude of factors. The duration of your high is generally determined by how you react to cannabis, the type of cannabis consumed, and the manner utilized to consume it.
Here is a breakdown of what influences how hard a high will hit you and how long it will last.
The “Highness Equation”
Cannabis highs can begin almost instantaneously, or take up to an hour to take effect. The length of time it takes for a high to begin depends on your specific body’s reaction, but it is also directly related to how you consumed it.
A more-or-less scientific method of “calculating” how long your cannabis high will last is known as the “highness equation.”
The highness equation takes into account the four primary factors that influence how long your marijuana high will endure. Here’s what it is:
((dose x concentration) / (metabolism x tolerance)) x delivery method = Length of High
In essence, how much weed you put in your body is divided by how your body processes and responds to it, all of which is influenced by the exact path the weed takes through your system.
It seems complex, but it’s not, really–and it also isn’t a perfect formula. However, it can guide you in getting a “ballpark” idea of how long your high will last.
The Delivery Method
The delivery method used to consume THC will influence how high you get–and how long you feel the effects.
Onset of high: Nearly instantaneous
Dabs are sticky cannabis oils prepared by extracting the THC and other active elements of cannabis into a powerful wax, shatter, or oil. The extract is burned to extremely high temperatures (often with a blowtorch), and the resulting vapor is ingested through a specially designed dab rig. People that dab their cannabis will most likely experience the effects of a weed high the fastest, with the high setting in practically instantly due to the high concentration of THC.
A weed high from a dab might last much longer than a weed high from smoking pot.
Still, everything is relative. Dabs typically attract seasoned cannabis consumers with a taste for potency and, as a result, a higher tolerance to THC. For some, a dab high might last just as long as a flower high. A dab high, on the other hand, can be a very long-lasting experience for people who are new to dabs or who only dab on occasion.
Onset of high: 30-60 minutes
Edibles like brownies, chocolates, gummies, and other THC-infused treats have the longest-lasting high of any delivery technique. This is due to the fact that the entire process of putting THC into your bloodstream is unique. To begin, edibles often have a considerable onset period, ranging from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. It’s difficult to forecast because it is dependent on a variety of digestive and metabolic processes in your body.
However, once that THC hits, it hits hard, because the activated version that enters your bloodstream from your liver is a more “potent” form—technically, it’s more pharmacologically active and bioavailable.
A high from edibles can last up to 8 hours, depending on your dose and how quickly your body absorbs THC. But don’t worry if that seems excessively long. The peak of the high will last approximately two hours after it begins, and it will gradually fade from there. In other words, the high is rather mild in the last few hours.
Smoking or Vaping
Onset of high: 2-10 minutes
Smoking is one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis. People who want to smoke cannabis have a variety of options, ranging from rolling papers or cigar wraps (joints or blunts) to glass hand pipes (bowls) to glass water pipes (bongs or bubblers).
Some cannabis users choose to vaporize their cannabis rather than employ these methods, which rely on combusting cannabis. Weed can be vaporized as a flower, wax, or oil, and a number of devices, ranging from handheld pens to massive machines, can be employed. People who smoke or vape cannabis will have a somewhat delayed reaction, but the effects will normally be felt between 2 and 10 minutes after smoking or vaping.
How High Will You Get?
In a nutshell, your high will last for as long as THC interacts with your endocannabinoid system.
Your marijuana high is the result of an incredibly complicated chain of metabolic and chemical processes that occur all over your body.
The intensity of those reactions, as well as our sensitivity to them, determine whether we feel their effects. As a result, studies claim that the effects of cannabis might extend anywhere from 5 hours to a whole day.
Drug Metabolism and Energy Metabolism
Another factor that influences the intensity of your high is your metabolism.
There are two types of metabolism processes that happen in the human body. The one most of us are familiar with is energy metabolism. Your energy metabolism is made up of a network of interconnected pathways that can work in the presence or absence of oxygen to “burn” nutrients and transform them into fuel (energy) for your body.
It’s a popular fallacy that a person’s weight impacts how high they become and how long they stay high. In reality, a person’s metabolism has a significant effect on the duration of a high. The duration of your high is determined by the amount of THC in your bloodstream. THC is carried by your blood to the endocannabinoid system, a network of cell receptors with which it interacts (ECS).
Your body is also in the business of metabolizing what you put into it, breaking it down, absorbing what it needs, and excreting the remainder. As a result, if you have a fast metabolism, your highs will be shorter. Or, at the very least, your body is laboring against the clock.
However, there is also drug metabolism to contend with. The term “drug metabolism” refers to the biotransformation of pharmaceutical drugs in the body so that they can be removed more easily. Because the enzymes that assist the reactions are concentrated in the liver, the majority of drug-related metabolic activities take place there.
The rate of medication metabolism varies widely across individuals. This has an impact on the drug’s efficacy and toxicity in people with extremely high or low metabolism rates.
Rapid metabolizers, for example, remove the drug fast, and the therapeutic concentration of the drug in the blood and tissues may not be attained–meaning the high will be less intense and fade quickly. In certain patients, the medicine is digested so slowly that it builds up in the bloodstream. The higher the concentration of the substance in the body, the greater the possibility of unwanted effects…and the stronger (and longer-lasting) the high will be.
Many factors contribute to the intensity of your high and its duration. Effects can typically range from 2 to 10 hours. The length of a high is determined by a variety of factors, including:
- How much cannabis did you consume or inhale?
- How much THC was in the cannabis that was consumed or inhaled?
- Your body mass index (BMI) and body fat %
- Regardless of whether you have a sluggish or fast metabolism
- Whether you’ve eaten or not
- Your personal tolerance level
- The delivery method
At Abundant Labs, we are all about science–the science of quality. Our hemp products, including distillates and isolate, are extracted with the utmost precision in our cutting-edge lab. Want to learn more? Contact us today!
*Disclaimer: Abundant Labs is an extraction facility and is not a medical laboratory.
At the end of the blog can we distinguish between drug metabolism via energy metabolism, as those two processes are fairly independent of each other.