Before we get into the factors that determine how long a weed high lasts, I want to see if you found this article because you’re feeling too high?
If that’s the case, head to our How to Come Down From a High piece, where you can find the best possible tactics for overcoming an unpleasant high, and then return here.
On the other hand, if you want to know more about different cannabis consumption methods and the way they affect your system – you’re in the right place.
Aspects to consider
A few decades back things were a lot simpler. THC levels in cannabis were usually low, and mellow edibles were the most potent stuff you could get your hands on.
Since then, the landscape of cannabis underwent massive changes.
Designer strains became immensely potent, and sophisticated concentrates are now able to induce a high that was only science fiction for the stoners of old.
There’s a thin line between being pleasantly high and begging the heavens for mercy, and in 2019, it’s even easier to cross by mistake.
Inexperienced users are usually the ones to overdo it with weed and spend hours afterwards regretting it.
The key to the most successful use of any mind-altering substance is knowing your way around it, and this is exactly what we’re aiming for with this guide.
How long does a joint high last?
Consuming cannabis in an old-school fashion joint is still one of the simplest and most popular ways to get high.
Cannabinoids access our bloodstream through the lungs, and using weed in the form of joints is also one of the quickest ways to feel the effects of marajuana.
With joints, the duration of effects is pretty short, usually lasting somewhere between one and two hours.
The potency of the cannabis in question naturally plays a huge factor in how high you’ll get.
But, whether you’re smoking a flower of medium quality or the most potent beast-bud on the planet, the stimulating effects of joints will usually wear off after 60 ~ 120 minutes.
This duration typically applies to regular-sized joints, because the quantity of weed is also a critical factor.
If someone smokes a truly ridiculous amount, it’s very likely that the effects will be drawn-out.
How long does a vape pen high last?
Vaping weed is hailed as health-friendly and thus, a superior form of consumption compared to smoking.
Vaporization of weed doesn’t produce the harmful tar and carbon monoxide substances, which are released when cannabis (and tobacco) is combusted.
But when it comes to the duration of effects, vaping is very similar to smoking.
If you’re planning to vaporize some delicious nugs, expect somewhere around 60 ~ 120 minutes of joy.
How long does a high from edibles last?
A very large percentage of negative cannabis experiences result from going overboard with edibles.
This primarily happens because rookie users aren’t aware of the difference between smoked/vaped THC and swallowed THC.
In order to make cannabutter, which is used in making edibles, cannabis first needs to be decarboxylated.
Decarboxylation is a simple process where heat dislodges carbon atoms from raw THC acid, making the THC molecule psychoactive.
THC requires significant heat to become psychoactive, but once active THC gets into the stomach, the chemical process is very different from when it enters the lungs.
In a nutshell, once decarboxylated THC molecules reach the liver, they get metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is a more potent and durable chemical variation of the “regular” THC molecule (whose full name is, delta-9-THC).
The difference between 11-hydroxy-THC and delta-9-THC is the reason why edibles last so long. If taken moderately, edibles usually last from 4 ~ 6 hours.
The duration of effects can be additionally prolonged if excess quantities are ingested, but only after a certain period of time, because the cellular receptors in our brain can’t take so much THC at once.
Cannabinoid receptors in our brain (CB1 receptors) are the “mechanism” through which we feel the cerebral effects of cannabis, but they can receive limited amounts of THC at a given time.
With edibles, RSO, and weed-infused drinkables like bhang, excess THC lingers in the blood until the CB1 receptors are “freed up,” and if a user takes a substantial amount, the ordeal of consuming an edible can last for over 10 hours.
To avoid being high “forever,” be extra careful when you’re consuming edibles and other forms of decarbed cannabis.
How long does a dab high last?
The high from consuming reasonable amounts of concentrates usually lasts somewhere between 1 and 2 hours.
But, if a user consumes colossal amounts of concentrates such as rosin or BHO, the blood can become oversaturated with THC, where THC molecules “wait their turn” to entice the CB1 receptors in the brain. This effect is somewhat similar to edibles/drinkables.
This happens because dabs have much more THC in them compared to buds, but if you’re using dabs responsibly, expect a comedown after around 120 minutes.
How long does a wax high last?
Cannabis wax is another high-potency concentrate, so the same rules apply as with other forms of extracts.
How long does a tincture high last?
Cannabis-infused tinctures were the go-to method of consumption in the US and Europe at the turn of the 20th century before weed became illegal.
Tinctures also contain decarboxylated THC, and just like CBD oil, they are usually placed under the tongue where the body quickly absorbs it.
Because cannabis tinctures are in the form of oil, they can be used in two different ways.
With sublingual (under the tongue) consumption, the effects are similar to joints and vaping because the decarbed THC doesn’t go through the liver. But if a user drinks a beverage infused with a cannabis tincture, for instance, the effects will be much longer-lasting.
So, if you use it sublingually the high from tinctures will last approximately 60 – 120 minutes, but if it’s swallowed, the duration of effects will be similar to edibles (4 ~ 6 hours).
How long does a contact high last?
A contact high is when someone is smoking/vaping weed in an enclosed location, and someone else gets high from the second-hand smoke or vapor.
This type of high usually affects people who are inexperienced with cannabis, because the overall quantity of THC that reaches the lungs is minuscule compared to direct inhalation.
Although, if it’s a small windowless room, the chances are that everyone in it will get high, especially if a lot of weed is smoked.
Hotboxing is also a bulletproof method to get a contact-high.
Since it’s just like smoking or vaping but with lesser amounts, a contact-high will last from 60 ~ 120 minutes.
How long does a high last when eating weed?
As we previously discussed, consuming raw weed doesn’t produce a high, as THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) cannot bind to the CB1 receptors in the brain.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that raw cannabis is beneficial for numerous medical conditions, although no official research is being performed with this type of consumption yet.
It should be noted that the duration times of all these methods are mere approximations.
Cannabis affects people differently, and the three most important factors to acknowledge are experience, tolerance, and genetics.
Newcomers tend to react much more vividly to cannabis, which is completely normal as they just aren’t used to the intensity of the experience.
Longtime devotees get accustomed to the psychoactivity caused by THC over time, and even the highest highs become predictable because the user knows what to expect.
If cannabis is regularly consumed, tolerance also builds up, requiring additional quantities of THC to reach a certain level of intoxication.
The final factor is genetics, as some people naturally have more cannabinoid receptors in their body than others.
This difference is very apparent in first-time experiences with cannabis, where some people get completely smashed, while others barely feel a thing.
This occurs because the number of receptors that THC “uses” to change the chemistry of the brain is very different from person to person.
Luckily, introducing cannabinoids over extended periods increases the concentration of these receptors, which is especially important for people who use cannabis medically.