How Long Does a Cannabis High Last?
A cannabis high can last anywhere from 2 to 10 hours, depending on a range of factors.
- how much you consume
- how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) it contains
- your body weight and body fat percentage
- your metabolism
- whether or not you’ve eaten
- your tolerance
Cannabis contains more than 113 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of those cannabinoids, and it’s the ingredient responsible for making you feel high.
Here’s a closer look at the timeline of a delta-9 THC high and tips for cutting things short.
How quickly you feel the effects mostly depends on your method of use:
- Smoking or vaping. You can begin to feel the effects of cannabis within 2 to 10 minutes. It kicks in quickly because it enters your bloodstream via your lungs within minutes of inhaling it.
- Eating. Your digestive system metabolizes pot when you eat it, which can take a while. Edibles usually kick in within 30 to 60 minutes, but can sometimes take as long as 2 hours.
- Dabbing. With this method, a highly concentrated form of marijuana is smoked through a special pipe. Dabs have a higher THC content than other forms of cannabis, so the high kicks in almost instantly.
How long the effects last can vary greatly depending on the dose and potency. The more you use and the higher the THC content, the longer the effects will stick around.
How you consume cannabis also affects when the effects peak and how long they last.
Here’s a breakdown, according to Drugs and Me, a site by the Mental Health Education Foundation:
- Smoking or vaping. The effects peak around 10 minutes after consumption and typically last 1 to 3 hours, though they can linger for up to 8 hours.
- Eating. The effects of edibles usually peak around 2 hours after consumption and can last up to 24 hours.
- Dabbing. Similar to smoking, the effects of dabbing usually last 1 to 3 hours. If using a high THC concentrate, you could feel the effects for an entire day.
Cannabis hits everyone differently, so while your high may only last for a couple of hours, you could potentially feel the comedown or aftereffects for several hours or through the next day. It’s best to go low and slow if you’re new to cannabis.
If you need to cut things short, there are a few things you can try.
Keep in mind that these tips are designed to reduce the effects, not eliminate them altogether. That means you’ll likely still experience lingering effects, including a reduced reaction time, so you’ll still want to avoid driving.
Here are a few pointers based on anecdotal evidence and some research:
- Take a nap. Sleeping can help you relax if your high has you feeling anxious or paranoid. It also gives your body time to process and eliminate the cannabis. You’ll likely wake up feeling refreshed and more alert after a few winks.
- Try some black pepper. There’s some evidence that caryophyllene, a compound in peppercorn, increases the sedative effects of THC, which could calm you. Just take a container of black pepper and have a sniff without inhaling it. Chewing on a couple of whole peppercorns also works.
- Eat some pine nuts. Some research shows that pinene, a compound in pine nuts, has a calming effect and improves clarity. Skip this method if you have a tree nut allergy, though.
- Try some CBD. Yep, it may sound counterintuitive, but CBD may counteract the effects of THC. Like THC, cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid. The difference is the receptors in your brain that they interact with. THC causes the high you get from cannabis, but CBD has a calming effect that may help dull your high.
- Have some lemon peel. Lemons, especially the peel, contain compounds that have a calming effect. In theory, ingesting some lemon peel could counteract some of the psychoactive effects of THC and help you come down. Try steeping some in hot water for a few minutes, then remove them and take some sips.
If you’re looking for a longer-lasting high, consider sticking with edibles. They take longer to kick in, but the effects will hang around longer, which can be a big help if you’re using cannabis for medical purposes.
You could also re-dose or try a higher THC strain for a longer high, but know that you’ll also have to deal with more intense effects. For a seasoned consumer, this is probably not a big deal, but a newbie may find the effects of a bigger dose to be a bit much.
There are some anecdotal methods for extending your high on the Internet, like eating mango, but there’s no evidence to back any of these.
Some websites recommend drinking alcohol with cannabis to extend your high, but it isn’t the best idea.
Drinking before using cannabis — even just one drink — can heighten the effects of THC. This combo can cause some folks to “green out” and experience some pretty unpleasant symptoms, including:
- increased impairment
This combo doesn’t work great in the other direction, either. Using cannabis before drinking can minimize the effects of alcohol, meaning you’ll feel less drunk than you are. This makes it easy to get overly intoxicated.
Plus, using cannabis and alcohol together may increase your risk of dependence on one or both substances.
Find out how long it takes for weed’s effects to kick in and how long they last. We’ve also got tips for cutting things short or extending them.
Weed Too Strong? 11 Ways to Stop Being High
Overindulged in some edibles? Smoked a strain that was way more potent than you expected? Maybe the pot took longer to kick in and you’ve got stuff to do.
No worries. There are things you can do to cut the buzz so you come down faster.
We’ve rounded up some of the more popular strategies for coming down. If one doesn’t seem to work, don’t hesitate to try another. These aren’t an exact science, and reactions can vary from person to person.
This is easier said than done when you’ve overindulged. But a little R&R really will help tame the buzz. And trust us: You’re not dying. Really.
Find a quiet place to sit or lie back and try to relax. Breathing exercises or listening to music can help you chill. If you do decide to go for some music, consider something you know all the words to, and sing along. This can help you stay grounded in the present moment.
Eventually, the buzz will fade to a feeling of relaxation or even drowsiness. Go with it and let yourself fall asleep. Even a quick cat nap will do you good.
It seems counterintuitive, but according to Leafly, people use CBD to counteract the effects of too much THC.
Like THC, CBD is a type of cannabinoid found in cannabis. But unlike THC, which causes the high, CBD interacts with different receptors in your brain. Researchers don’t know exactly how yet, but several animal and human studies have shown benefits of CBD for different forms of anxiety.
Bonus: CBD helps some folks fall asleep. This can come in handy if you’re greening out.
No, this doesn’t mean knocking back a few brews. Stick to water and other nonalcoholic drinks.
Drinking water before, during, and after any kind of drug use is always a good approach. It can be particularly helpful when it comes to marijuana, which tends to leave you with dry mouth. It’s also an easy activity that gives you something to focus on.
According to the internet and Neil Young, a taste or whiff or two of black pepper helps combat the paranoia and anxiety that a major high can bring on.
Just grab a container of black pepper and sniff, being sure not to inhale it. You can also pop two or three whole peppercorns in your mouth and chew on them.
It sounds too good to be true, but there’s actually some science behind it. Caryophyllene, a compound in peppercorn, is a potent selective CB2 antagonist. It increases the sedating effects of THC, which could calm you down.
Find yourself one toke over the line and frantic to stop being high? These tips can help you come back down to earth.