A graphic picture showing a high person

How Long Does a Weed High Last: Exploring the Duration of Cannabis Effects


Cannabis high is a state of psychological effect that occurs after the consumption of cannabis. It can also be associated with the feeling of contentment and mental repose. Typically, a cannabis high can last for about 2 – 10 hours depending on various factors like the type of strain of weed, the individual's metabolism and tolerance, the method of consumption, and taking other substances like alcohol.

Two cartoon characters high on weed


Factors Affecting The Duration Of A Weed High

A lot of factors can affect the duration of a weed high  and how to get high on weed, but first of all, let's look at three major factors:

  • Individual Metabolism and Tolerance: Individuals with faster metabolism would most likely process cannabis faster, thereby making the duration of the weed high shorter. Also, individuals with high body fat percentage might most likely store cannabinoids in their fat cells, and this could lead to a longer duration of a cannabis high. Individual metabolism can also vary based on sex, age, genetic factors, etc.
  • The Weed Type: The weed type depends mainly on the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) content. The THC tends to produce a higher and long-lasting effect, but strains with a balanced ratio of THC to CBD may have a milder and shorter high.
  • Alcohol: Intake of alcohol alongside the consumption of cannabis would most likely increase the duration of the high and an intensified feeling of euphoria and impairment. Alcohol slows down the metabolism of cannabinoids, which prolongs the time of cannabis when used together.

Inhaling cannabis causes faster effects within minutes, but the high duration may be shorter than others. Cannabis high from edibles can last longer than inhaled, often several hours. 

Short-Term Effects: How Long Does a Weed High Last?

  • Smoking: The effect of smoking cannabis is felt within 10 to 30 minutes and could last 1 to 3 hours. 
  • Tinctures: This involves taking it under the tongue for faster absorption, and you can feel its effects within 15 to 45 minutes and may last 2 to 4 hours.
  • Dabbing: Dabbing is an act of vaporizing highly concentrated cannabis extracts, and this effect is felt almost immediately and can last for 1 to 3 hours. 

The peak effect of cannabis, regardless of the consumption method, generally occurs within the first 30 minutes to 2 hours. Within this duration, individuals would experience intense and euphoric sensations. Most times, individual responses could vary. For some people, they might experience a rapid onset and shorter peak, but for others, they might have a slower onset and more extended peak. Typically, the peak effect starts to diminish after the first 2 hours and slowly declines over the next 1 to 3 hours, causing an overall duration of a high lasting around 1 to 3 hours. 

Variations in Duration Across Consumption Methods

Smoking happens within minutes; its peak effect is 10 to 30 minutes after consumption. Also, the duration of high is around 1 to 3 hours. On the other hand, Vaping has a similar time to smoking. It happens within 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption of edibles, and its peak effect is around 2 to 4 hours after consumption. Also, the duration of high is around 4 to 8 hours.

Different methods result in varying high duration because, for inhalation, when smoked or vaporized, it is rapidly absorbed through the lungs and makes its way to the bloodstream, leading to a fast onset of effects. For edibles, it passes through the digestive system before the cannabinoids are absorbed in the bloodstream, resulting in delayed effects. The effect of edibles is more potent and lasts longer, unlike the inhalation method.

Delayed Onset and Extended Highs

a meme showing two high ladies


Onset refers to the time it takes for someone to feel the psychoactive and therapeutic effects of cannabis after consumption. You can notice delayed onsets with edibles, and it could differ. The digestive process is a reason why the delayed onset occurs with edibles. For the digestive process, after consumption, the active compounds in cannabis, like THC, become metabolized by the liver before it enters the bloodstream, and this process takes time, leading to a delayed onset. For variability, the timing of onset can differ among individuals due to individual metabolism, specific edible consumed products, and recent food intake. Individuals new to edibles sometimes consume more than intended, unsatisfied with the initial intake, and this happens because of the delayed onset. It is essential to be more cautious when consuming edibles, starting with a lower dosage.

It is essential to practice responsible cannabis intake to manage prolonged highs. Here are some steps:

  • If you take it for the first time, start with a low dose.
  • Patiently wait for the effects to kick in before taking more.
  • Do not mix with other substances like alcohol
  • Stay in a comfortable and safe environment.
  • Try to stay hydrated always.

Factors That May Shorten Or Prolong A High

  • Dosage: The dosage of cannabis high determines the duration of the high. Higher doses tend to overwhelm the body's ability to metabolize. Smaller amounts of THC will most likely result in a shorter high. 
  • Frequency of Use: Intake of regular cannabis will make such individuals develop tolerance with time, leading to a long-lasting effect as the body takes more time to metabolize. 
  • Physical Activity: To avoid the effects of being high on weed, engaging in physical activity can help metabolize the THC faster and shorten the high duration.  
  • Environment And Mindset: Getting high on weed would likely have less effect when the individual engages in relaxing activities or creates a positive environment. It will distract the high, and it gets less prolonged.

Individual Differences and Sensitivity to Cannabis 

Some key factors contribute to individual differences and sensitivity to cannabis: 

  • Body Composition: Individuals with higher blood fat percentages store THC for extended periods.
  • Age: Getting high on weed can change with age. Adolescents are more sensitive to effects because of their brain development, while older persons might have altered sensitivity.
  • Environmental Factor: Getting high on weed depends on the individual's mood and how they experience the effects of being high on weed.

The After-Effects and Recovery

Recovery is when the peak effects of being high on weed have subsided. There is a list of things to expect during this experience and how long the weed lasts, like easing intensity, relaxation, physical comfort, and others. You can manage the after-effects like hydration and nutrition, fresh air, communication, movement, a positive mindset, and others.


Looking at the factors of the duration of a weed high helps individuals make the right choices, control their consumption, stay hydrated, and ensure a safe cannabis experience. It's crucial that individuals know their cannabis limit, stay hydrated, monitor their mood, respect individual differences, reflect and learn, practice moderation, and seek professional advice before getting high on weed.


Written by: Joy Peter

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