Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 1, 2023

Knowing the ins and outs of recreational marijuana use allows you to tailor your cannabis experience to your own preferences. One important part is knowing how long a weed high lasts and what factors influence it. As you’re getting to know your reaction to weed, you can learn to “play” with these variables and enjoy the experience even more.

Therefore, in this article, we’ll talk about the amount of time that a typical weed high lasts and everything that can influence it.

What Determines How Long the Effects of Cannabis Will Last?

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of different organic compounds of which over a hundred are cannabinoids, the compounds responsible for the effects of weed. Of these cannabinoids, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most important ones – which is why they’ve been studied the most. 

The high you get from weed is actually caused by THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid, whereas CBD has more therapeutic effects. However, all the cannabinoids work together in synergy along with the other compounds in the plant to produce a myriad of unique effects.

The effects you get from weed are produced as a result of the cannabinoids THC and CBD working with the endocannabinoid system. They attach to its receptors, which are located throughout the body, and take over for a while. During this time, you’re feeling euphoric and relaxed, or in other words, high.

However, there are some variables that play a major role in the duration of the high that apply to everyone because they completely depend on the user’s individual preferences. Ultimately, you should take all of them into consideration because they all work together to create a marijuana experience that’s unique to you.

The Potency of the Strain You Use

The potency of the strain you use is a major factor in answering the ‘how long you will stay high’ question, and by potency, we mean the THC levels. Simply, the higher the potency is, the longer your high will last

Compared to the past, today’s strains have been bred to have naturally higher THC levels. You can still find Reggie weed on the market, but the overall quality of marijuana sold in dispensaries has gone up significantly. That also means that the effects of marijuana are felt stronger, including the side effects. The munchies, you know? But sometimes, also the anxiety. So, in any case, you should know your limit.

How Much Weed You Consume

Similarly, the amount of weed you consume can impact the length of time you stay high, and it also overrides the potency of the weed you consume. For example, if you smoke a high-potency bud with 25% THC, you will surely stay blazed for a few hours, but the same may happen if you toke joint after joint with 15% THC. 

The amount of weed you consume governs just how much THC will end up in your body. The comfortable spot will be different for everyone, which is why discovering your limit is very important.

The Method of Consumption 

The method of consumption is another variable that impacts the length of your high. Inhalation and ingestion are the two primary methods of using weed. 

The difference between the two is that they involve different pathways in how the cannabinoids reach your body and how they behave once they start producing their effects. That being said, some methods of consumption offer a longer-lasting high than others (more on that below).

Your Tolerance

Your weed tolerance, or tolerance to THC as the main psychoactive cannabinoid, builds over time. No one starts off with a high THC tolerance, though some users may take longer to build it up than others because everyone’s bodies are different. That’s why experienced weed aficionados can smoke a whole joint and not show obvious signs of impairment or experience any type of side effects. 

When your tolerance is low, the high may hit you harder and it may last longer. You will also need a lot less weed to feel the effects.

Additionally, it’s believed that the cannabinoid receptors have genetic variations in each person, meaning that their responses to weed will be different.

Your Metabolism

Each person’s body processes weed differently and this can also affect how long you will stay high. When the cannabinoids enter your body they are metabolized in the liver, just like any other substance you consume, so your metabolic rate will influence how long you feel high.

How Long Does a Typical Cannabis High Last?

Weed enters the body through different pathways depending on the method of consumption you use, which also affects how long you will feel the effects. Let’s see what the typical length of a weed high is and when you can expect the peak according to different methods of consumption.

Smoking and Vaping

Inhaling weed through smoking and vaping is the fastest way of delivery. When you smoke or vape, the cannabinoids reach your bloodstream directly through your lungs and it takes only about 10-15 minutes or less to start feeling the effects of THC. 

When you inhale weed, the effects usually last from 1 to 3 hours on average, but if you smoke a high THC strain or a large quantity of weed, it can easily extend to a few hours, with the afterglow effects still lingering.

Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis edibles like brownies, gummies, cookies, and others have a different pathway in the body and they’re a little more complicated. 

First, they need to go through the digestive system, much like any other food. Then they enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver where they get broken down into usable compounds that get sent back into the bloodstream. Only then do you start to feel the effects of THC.

This process takes at least 30 minutes, though an hour is more realistic. That being said, the effects of ingesting weed last much longer compared to inhaling it. Edibles will keep you high for 3-6 hours or longer if the edible you had was more potent.


Dabbing is a lot like smoking and vaping, except that the form of weed you use is incomparable to dry flowers. Dabs are marijuana concentrates that are currently the most potent cannabis products on the market. Their THC content ranges from 60% to 90%, and some can even go higher. They’re not recommended for first-time users, but they’re a favorite among many experienced cannabis users.

Since dabs are so powerful, the high can last for a really long time, depending on your dose. You will feel the effects almost instantly, and the high can last 2-3 hours, like smoking, or as long as an edible high if the concentrate is particularly strong (or if your dose is higher).

Bottom Line

Knowing all the variables that can affect how long you stay high is one of the most basic things you need to know in order to tailor your cannabis use to your preferences. 

As you can see, weed and its interaction with our bodies are complex, which is part of why it’s so fascinating. When you combine that with each person’s unique body biology and genetic makeup, you end up with countless possibilities of how weed may affect you and how long the high will last. 

Typically, ingesting weed offers a longer-lasting high, but dabbing can also keep you high for longer if the concentrate is powerful. 

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.