So you’re new to cannabis (or new to dabbing or edibles), and now you’re down the rabbit hole thinking to yourself: wait a minute, how long does a weed high last?
Experiencing a cannabis “high” for the first time can be overwhelming, especially when you have no idea what to expect.
And with today’s influx of cannabis products ranging from good old-fashioned flower, to things like weed lube or weed asthma inhalers, it’s harder than ever to discern which products will get you medicated, and just how high you’re going to fly.
Or maybe you’re an experienced consumer, who wants to try dabbing for the first time. How long do those effects last?
Either way, we’ve got you covered.
How Long Does a High Take to Kick In?
Before you even ask how long does a weed high last, the first question on any new consumer’s mind is usually: how long until this kicks in?
Onset time will vary, depending on the product you’re using, the cannabis strain, THC levels, terpene profile, and which method of consumption you’re going with: smoking/vaping, ingesting edibles, or dabbing.
- Smoking or Vaping
Smoking or vaping cannabis is one of the quickest ways to feel the effects of the plant in your brain/body.
If you’re new to cannabis and are nervous about the onset time, starting with a light smoke or vape sesh is a good idea. While edibles can take quite a while to kick in and leave you feeling paranoid about whether or not you’re actually medicated yet, the onset time with smoking or vaping is pretty much instantaneous.
The effects may intensify after a few minutes, but you’ll usually experience at least a slight change in mindset once you’ve taken that first hit. If you’re a newbie, you should wait about 10-15 minutes before trying more.
This titration process gives new consumers more peace of mind, allowing you to really assess how you’re feeling and giving you a chance to quit while you’re ahead if needed.
- Ingesting Edibles
While the onset times for smoking and vaping are almost negligibly short, ingesting cannabis-infused edibles involves much longer periods before the initial onset of effects.
Like any cannabis product, this onset time will depend on the amount of THC in the product, as well as your body, chemical makeup, tolerance level, and whether or not you have an empty stomach.
Edibles on an empty stomach tend to result in quicker onset times, whereas eating edibles on a full stomach could result in long, inconvenient delays.
But as a rule, edibles will usually take at least 30 minutes to kick in – and sometimes as long as 90 minutes or two hours. Just be sure to also eat something fatty like yogurt, cheese, or peanut butter, so that your liver can actually metabolize the THC.
However, getting the dose wrong here can be uncomfortable for new consumers, as evidenced by the countless memes circling the Internet.
Because of this, it’s important to go low and slow when consuming edibles – you never know when the green dragon is going to rear its head.
If you’re new to cannabis or edibles in general, consider a starting dose of 2.5mg to 5mg THC. Some recommend 10mg as a starting dose, however that has proven to be too intense for a lot of newcomers.
And if it’s your first time, better to wait several hours before redosing with edibles. Or the next day even.
For more about edibles specifically, be sure to check The Bluntness’s article: “How Long For Edibles To Kick In? How Long Do They Last? A Helpful Beginner's Guide”
Dabbing is one of the most potent ways to consume cannabis, as concentrates are usually very high in THC, with diverse and highly-effective terpene profiles. However, the onset time is just as instantaneous as smoking or vaping, if not even more so.
If you’ve never consumed cannabis before, starting off with a fat dab isn’t really recommended. Although the quick onset time reduces that anxiety of, “When is this going to hit me?”, it definitely won’t just hit you: it’ll knock you right on your ass if you’re not careful.
If you’re new to dabbing, be sure to check out The Bluntness’s article: “Concentrates 101: How to Smoke Dabs.”
How Long Does a High Last?
No matter the consumption method, once that medication kicks in, the next question on any first-time consumer’s mind is: how long does a high last?
Much like onset time, the length of your high will depend on your tolerance level, your body, the cannabis strain and terpene profile, and the THC levels.
Again, if you’re a new consumer, uncertainty surrounding onset time and haze duration can cause a lot of distress and make for an overall unpleasant experience.
If you’re planning on consuming for the first time, or you want to try a new product that contains more potency than you’re used to, it’s important to know the facts before you get yourself lost on a cannabis trip fueled by anxiety.
Set and setting is also incredibly important for any mind-altering experience, so beyond knowing your limit and how long the high is going to last, make sure you set yourself up in a comfortable, safe environment.
- Smoking or Vaping
Smoking/vaping is one of the most newbie-friendly methods of consumption, mostly for its quick onset time that doesn’t keep you guessing about when the THC will kick in.
Make no mistake – smoking or vaping can definitely result in an intense high, especially if one is facing blunt after blunt (or vape pull after vape pull). However, if you’re making sure to consume a moderate amount for your own body and tolerance level, your high shouldn’t last any longer than 1-3 hours.
Now, if you’re planning on going completely balls to the wall, or even if you do a wake and bake, these effects can linger throughout the entire day, so make sure to be aware of your limit and plan ahead for desired effects.
- Ingesting Edibles
Ingesting edibles will result in a longer, much more intense high, mainly because of the way the cannabinoids are processed through your liveer.
Inhaling cannabis smoke/vape will pass through your lungs where it is absorbed into your bloodstream, which accounts for that near-instant onset time.
On the other hand, ingestible cannabis products get metabolized by your liver before they enter the bloodstream, which explains the slower onset time and the longer, more intense high.
An edible high can last up to 12 hours, depending on how much you consume and what your tolerance level is. These are the products to practice the most caution around – especially if you’re new to the plant. This is why a good starting dose might be around 2.5-5mg of THC.
As with smoking or vaping, the effects of dabbing cannabis will last around 1-3 hours, depending on your tolerance level, the cannabis strain, the THC level, and other factors.
However, dabbing delivers a much more intense high, and with higher-THC products on someone with a lower tolerance level it’s possible the effects may last for up to 24 hours if you’re not careful.
Can a Weed High Be Cut Short?
If you’re wondering how long does a weed high last because you took too much, first of all, don’t panic. No matter how much research you do beforehand, it’s still very possible (and very easy) to overdo it, especially if you just don’t know what your tolerance level is to begin with.
Anxiety about being “too high” can ruin any cannabis experience, so it’s important to have a few tricks under your belt for when things get a little overwhelming.
- Take a nap. The quickest and easiest way to escape your own mind during a distressing cannabis experience? Sleep it off! You’ll likely sleep your way through the peak high, and wake up feeling refreshed, relaxed, and way less paranoid. And if you can’t sleep, you may feel better just resting in bed.
- Take a cold bath or shower. While this won’t have any direct effect on the THC levels in your body, taking a bath or shower can help relax your mind, and the cold water may help you feel a bit more alert and in control of the situation.
- Chew on some peppercorns. This may sound a little weird, but evidence suggests that peppercorn, which contains the terpene caryophyllene, can help increase THC’s sedative effects. This can help you feel a little calmer and more relaxed, and may even help you drift off to that much-needed sleep.
- Take a dose of CBD. This may sound counterintuitive, but adding some CBD into the mix can actually help calm you down if you feel “too high.” Not only is CBD known for curbing anxiety, but it may also help you sleep things off. Essentially, CBD is a go-to remedy if you need to turn down the volume on your THC high.
If you want to learn more about how to handle overwhelming cannabis highs, be sure to check out The Bluntness’s article: “How Much Weed is Too Much? 7 Signs You’re Greening Out and How to Handle It.”
Can a Weed High Be Extended?
For the heavy hitters whose tolerance level is both their badge of honor and worst enemy, the question isn’t so much “how long does a high last,” but rather, “how to make a high last longer.” If this is you, you’re in luck because there are also a few tips and tricks for extending (or at least intensifying) your high.
- Go for a different strain. It seems like new cannabis strains are born every day, and each with different THC levels, terpene profiles, and cannabinoid makeup. Switch things up by going for a strain you’ve never tried before.
- Switch your method of consumption up. If you strictly smoke joints, try switching to a bong, edibles, or even concentrates. Changing up the way you consume will help intensify those effects – or at least have you experience the plant in a new way.
- Take a tolerance break. As unappealing as this sounds, taking a break from weed entirely, even just a few days, can really help intensify your next experience – taking you right back to the nostalgia of that sweet, unforgettable First Time.
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