Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 4, 2023

Using marijuana is different for each user, but there is one thing that all marijuana users have in common and that is their weed limit. This simply means that there is a certain level at which you can get high and feel great before you get “too high.” This is different for everyone and you will learn it as you go along. 

However, it’s particularly important to know how high you can get so that you can always keep your marijuana use at moderate levels and not have to experience unpleasant side effects. In a way, it’s like hacking into the system and learning how to make it work the best for you.

Therefore, in this article, we’ll talk about all aspects of getting high, as well as how high you can get from weed.

How Does Weed Get You High 

Getting high on weed is an experience unique to each user. Weed affects every individual differently, and this depends on a combination of a person’s body chemistry and the chemical profile of the cannabis strain. No two people have exactly the same reactions to exactly the same strain of weed.

However, the way that weed interacts with the human body is universal to everyone. The cannabinoids that the cannabis plant naturally produces, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), attach themselves to the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body, especially those in the brain. 

The receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system which helps the body maintain homeostasis. When the cannabinoids attach to the receptors, they temporarily take over and alter their function.

THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid that causes the famous feelings of euphoria and bliss aka “the high.” CBD is not psychoactive, but it has relaxing and therapeutic effects, and it helps to control the intensity of THC.

All About the Cannabis High 

Now, let’s talk about the cannabis high. How long it takes to get high and how long the high will last depends on more than one thing, so let’s dive into it.

Weed Strains and Their Compounds

Like we already said, the psychoactive effects that weed is known for will be different for each user. The “type of high” you will get depends on whether you consume an Indica, a Sativa, or a hybrid. 

In general, Indicas offer a body high, meaning the sense of relaxation is predominantly felt in the body. Due to their higher THC content, Indicas are great for nighttime before bed or when you simply want to melt on the couch. 

With Sativas, you feel more energized and creatively agile because the high activates your brain. Sativas are better for the daytime when you need to tackle tasks that require brainpower. Sativas usually have higher CBD levels than Indicas.

Hybrids are a combination of the two and their effects are highly specific. Some hybrids start off with an energetic buzz that after a while turns into a full-body relaxation. Others are a perfect blend of the two where you’re animated enough, but you’re also calm at the same time.

Apart from the cannabinoids, other compounds also play a role in the effects of marijuana, and those are the terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic oils that lend cannabis its aromas and flavors – citrus, fruit, skunk, etc. – it’s all in the terpenes. They also work together with cannabinoids to alter or enhance their effects. 

The Time It Takes for Weed to Kick In 

How long it takes for weed to kick in depends entirely on your method of consumption.

  • With vaping or smoking weed, you will feel the effects in no more than 15 minutes. When you inhale, the smoke (or vapor) reaches your bloodstream directly through your lungs and it gets carried to the brain in a matter of minutes. That’s why it doesn’t take long to feel the effects;
  • Edibles are a little different. When you eat magic brownies, for example, they need to go through the digestive system first, before their active components start working. This takes at least 30 minutes to one hour, sometimes even longer, which is why you should always wait for the onset of the effects before you take another serving. The same applies to other cannabis products that are ingested, such as capsules;
  • Dabbing is similar to smoking and vaping, but dabs are way more powerful than dry cannabis flowers. Dabs are highly concentrated and have a very high THC content, which means you can feel the high almost instantly.

The Length of the High 

How long you will stay high on weed depends not only on the method of consumption, but also on the dose and the potency of the weed. It’s simple – the higher the dose and the higher the THC content, the longer you will stay high. However, with the method of consumption, it’s a little different.

  • With smoking, vaping, and dabbing the high peaks in 8-10 minutes after inhalation when it reaches peak blood plasma concentrations. The high can last anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, but sometimes it can be longer than that, especially with dabbing because it’s more powerful;
  • Ingesting weed may take a while to kick in, but the effects will last much longer. This is due to the way weed is metabolized in the body. The high will reach its peak about 2 hours after consumption and can last up to 9-10 hours;

Can You Get “Too High”? 

Simply said, yes, you can get too high and this usually happens at high doses, or doses that are higher than your own tolerance. Getting too high will feel different for everyone and it will also take different amounts of weed. However, the most common side effects of getting too high are heightened anxiety and paranoia, and often an increased heartbeat.

Getting too high is not fun for anyone. However, these side effects of cannabis are temporary and will start fading after a while, although it may feel like an eternity.

If You’re a Newbie 

If you’re a newbie, the most important thing to remember is to start low and go slow. Avoid consuming edibles for the first time until you’ve built some tolerance because they’re hard to dose and take longer to kick in. 

However, it’s recommended to vape or smoke. It’s easier to control how high you get when you inhale weed because the effects are felt much sooner (so you will know whether you need another hit or not). You should also avoid bongs in the beginning simply because they hold large quantities of smoke and may prove to be overwhelming for a beginner.

Can You Make the High Last Longer?

You can make the high last longer if you opt for a more potent strain or take edibles. Dabs will also keep you higher for longer, but if your tolerance isn’t very high, they may be too much for you. 

Another way to “boost” your usual high is to consume mangoes prior to getting high because they contain terpenes that help to extend the psychoactive effects of THC. Finally, you can take a tolerance break and not consume weed for a while so that your tolerance level can be restored.

How to Tone Down the High

There are a few things you can do to tone down the high and lessen any side effects you may feel. One effective hack that can give you some relief is taking some black pepper. Black pepper contains the terpenes pinene and caryophyllene, both of which are known to calm down the effects of THC. CBD oil will also inhibit THC, so if you have some on hand, a few drops will surely provide some relief.

You can also get some snacks to satisfy the munchies. It would also help to drink some water to stay hydrated. If you’re feeling particularly uncomfortable, finding a comfortable corner in the room and distracting yourself with TV can also work. Finally, you can also sleep it off if you’re feeling too drowsy.

The Takeaway

The legalization of weed has made it more available to people across the states so many new weed enthusiasts have joined the community. Getting high on cannabis is definitely a unique experience in itself, but it’s also never the same for two different people. The combination of the weed strain and your body chemistry will predominantly influence how the effects of weed will manifest on you.

How long it takes to feel the effects and how long you stay high all depend on the method of consumption, the dose, and the potency of the strain you use. If you go over your individual tolerance, you can get “too high” in which case you will experience some unpleasant (but temporary) effects.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.