You’ve lost count of how many bong rips you’ve done when you suddenly realize it’s 3am on a weeknight and you have work or school in a few hours! This is the perfect time to ask the question - how long does a weed high last?
Check out our infographic below and read on to learn how long your weed high will last.
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How long does a weed high last?
There are a bunch of different factors that will determine how long you stay high, including your tolerance to weed, how much you’ve smoked, how strong your weed is and most importantly whether you've smoked or eaten your weed.
How long does a weed high last if I smoke or vape?
- If you’ve inhaled your weed by smoking or vaping, your high will last between 1 and 3 hours.
- When you first inhale, you’ll feel the effects almost instantly and they'll be strongest after 15 to 30 minutes.
Even though you'll only feel high for a few hours, your body could still be physically and mentally affected by the cannabis for up to 5 hours. If you’ve smoked a really strong strain of weed this could be as long as 18 or 24 hours.
A community member over at the marijuana.com forums did an informal survey many years ago that asked weed users how long they stayed high after smoking. We collated all the data from around 100 replies and got an average of 2.15 hours, which lines up pretty accurately with other data. On average, the respondents had been smoking weed 5 days a week for 4.1 years.
How long does a weed high last if I’ve consumed edibles?
- If you’ve munched some edibles you can expect to stay high for much longer than if you’ve smoked - between 4 to 6 hours.
- The effects of edibles take much long to kick-in and will also give you a much more intense high. You’ll feel the first effects of edibles between 30 and 90 minutes and the effects won’t be at their strongest until at least 2 - 3 hours.
Why do edibles last longer than smoking?
When you inhale weed through the lungs via smoking or vaping, the THC goes into your bloodstream and is delivered quickly and directly to your brain. Once it reaches your brain, the THC crosses the blood brain barrier and starts to get you high!
When you eat weed, the THC is absorbed through the wall of your stomach and instead of travelling directly to the brain it must first pass through your liver. In your liver, THC is processed into a different metabolite called 11-hydroxy-THC (abbreviated to 11-OH-THC). Because the THC has travelled via your liver and been converted into 11-OH-THC, it takes much longer to reach your brain to start getting you high. In addition, 11-OH-THC crosses the blood brain barrier much more easily than THC and so the high you feel is more intense.
This video has a nice explanation of the difference between THC and 11-OH-THC.
How long does weed stay in the body?
Even though you only feel high for a few hours, THC hangs around in your body for much longer than that. This is because your body stores THC molecules in your fat cells. What’s even more interesting is the fact that as you exercise and burn fat, the stored THC can be released back into your bloodstream! Studies haven’t been done yet to show whether this re-release of THC can get you high again, but it’s certainly a possibility!
In addition to being stored in fat cells, THC is also removed by the body in the normal ways via urine (30%) and faeces (65%). THC can be detected in urine for up to 6 days for new users and up to 2 months for chronic users!
Why do you get a weed hangover?
Although a weed hangover is never as crippling as a hangover caused by drinking too much, it can still leave you feeling very rough the next day. There hasn't been a lot of solid research into what exactly causes a weed hangover. Most of the information available comes from anecdotal reports from weed users. This isn't helped by the fact that different weed strains have different effects on the brain and body and each person experiences weed differently.
Some of the symptoms described include:
- Vagueness (or brain fog)
- Lethargy & fatigue
- Red and dry eyes and or throat
The most common theory on why people experience some or all of these symptoms is dehydration, but there isn't actually good scientific evidence that using weed causes dehydration. Red eyes are easily explained by the fact that THC causes vasodilation in the blood vessels of the eyes which increases blood flow and makes your eyes look red. Some people have also suggested that brain fog might be a result of the THC stored in your fat cells making you very slightly stoned as it's released over time. There is no real evidence to support this.
How do you cure a weed hangover?
Like any other hangover, unfortunately there's no magic cure. The best advice we can give is to drink plenty of fluids, eat well and get some sleep. After a day or two you'll feel like your old self again.
How do you stop a weed high?
If you've gotten too high on weed you're unlikely to be in any real danger but it can feel terrifying - especially if you're feeling anxiety and paranoia.
The most important thing to remember is that the effects of weed don't last long and you'll feel much better in 2 or 3 hours. It might take up to 5 or 6 hours if you've consumed too many edibles. Make sure you're around people you trust who will support and comfort you and just ride it out.
More tangible actions you can take include:
- Breathing deeply and telling yourself to stay calm (this is often easier said than done)
- Drink lots of fluids to flush the THC out of your body more quickly
- CBD is a THC antagonist and can help stop THC induced anxiety
- Eat some healthy food - this may be the last thing you feel like but having something solid in your stomach can often help