Hello, newcomer and welcome to the marvelous world of weed. We’ll assume you’re still a bit green when it comes to the green, since if you’ve smoked weed before you probably have a decent sense of how long the effects last. Even so, one of the biggest uncertainties for new smokers is exactly how weed is going to affect them. And so the question every new smoker will ask is this: How long do you stay high after smoking weed?
It’s a legitimate question. And having a reliable answer is an important part of planning an enjoyable cannabis session.We’ll talk about the intricacies of the process and everything that plays into it. On average, however, you can expect to stay high for one to two hours after smoking weed.
How Long Do You Stay High After Smoking Weed?
Smoking cannabis brings on the psychoactive effects of THC virtually immediately. That’s why the answer to how long you stay after smoking weed has a lot to do with how long THC stays in your system. But the comedown is a slower process. There are a couple “phases” to the comedown effects of cannabis. So answering “how long do you stay high after smoking weed,” depends partially on your definition of “high.”
Are we talking completely clear-headed? Or just a return to more or less normal functioning? The wearing-off effect of smoking cannabis tends to release your mind first, with your body slowly trailing behind.
And that makes sense. When you smoke weed, the cannabinoid THC quickly makes it into your blood stream. From there, it passes the blood-brain barrier and binds to receptors in your brain. All of this involves the complex “endocannabinoid system.” It’s pretty cool. The existence of that system means your body is basically made to get high.
The rest of your body also has receptors for cannabinoids, but it takes a few minutes for them to circulate through your system. Once it does, the fatty tissue throughout your body quickly absorbs it. This leads to the “body high” sensation that cannabis smokers distinguish from the head high or cerebral effects of cannabis.
Factors That Affect How Long You Stay High
Different strains of weed will impact how much of a body high versus a head high you’ll experience. As a general rule, indicas give you body highs while sativas give you head highs. But other factors also play a role. One of the biggest factors will be familiar to anyone who’s ever drunk on an empty stomach. If you smoke without eating, your high will last longer. Eating can help to shorten the time you’re high after smoking, or if you accidentally got too high.
Obviously, the THC content of the strain you’re smoking will influence how much you ingest and therefore, how long your high is. On top of that, your tolerance matters. As you gain experience smoking weed, you’ll notice that your high doesn’t last as long. Unless, of course, you smoke more herb.
Don’t Confuse A Cannabis Hangover With Still Being High
Some drug experts answer the question “how long do you stay high after smoking weed” with a much higher number than the one we’ve given you. Some of these sources view cannabis as a drug. They claim that although the high can last two to three hours, the effects of smoking weed can last from five to 24 hours!
But there’s a difference between the psychoactive high caused by THC and these other “effects.” However, new weed smokers sometimes don’t recognize the difference. What’s far more likely is that these sources are confusing a cannabis hangover with still being high. As a result, the answer to the question of how long do you stay high after smoking weed gets a little inflated.
Those longer-lasting after-effects are more likely the cause of a cannabis hangover. Still, “hangover” is a bit of a misnomer. A cannabis hangover is nothing like being hungover from a night of drinking too much. You won’t be dizzy or nauseous or throwing up from a weed hangover. But you may feel a bit groggy, a little foggy, and maybe a little fatigued.
Final Hit: How Long Do You Stay High After Smoking Weed?
Sometimes, these lingering sensations can be pleasurable in their own right. Of course, they can also be distracting. Water, rest, and healthy foods are the best way to overcome the cannabis hangover if you’ve got one.
The good news is, the “hangover” goes away as you gain more experience and build your tolerance. Regular smokers only experience cannabis hangovers after smoking a serious amount of weed. And definitely if they’re doing dabs, which will leave you high for much longer anyway.
Just to sum up, you’ll feel high just a few minutes after smoking weed. The high will peak about 20 minutes to a half hour into the experience. About an hour in, the effects will begin to wind down, leaving you feeling sober again in about another hour. There may be some lingering after-effects, but you’re not technically high.