There are many different ways in which one can consume weed such as vaping, dabbing, using bongs or bowls, ingesting edibles or capsules, and so on, but smoking weed is definitely the most common and straightforward method.
The only thing you need to make a joint is some rolling paper and a marijuana bud, of course.
Whether you’re a novice to smoking weed or just curious about the effects of this plant, one of your most pressing questions is without a doubt “How many hits does it take to get high?”.
While there’s no clear-cut universal answer because the amount can vary between individuals and different weed strains, in this article, we’ll take a look at these influencing factors and calculate the approximate number of hits enough to produce a decent “high”.
THC vs CBD
The two most well-known cannabinoids found in weed are delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). The THC compound is the one that makes you “high” or “stoned”. On the other hand, CBD is a non-intoxicating compound explored and used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
The cannabinoid group as a whole interacts with the cannabinoid receptors that are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the early ‘90s and, while more research is still needed, it was found out that it plays a key role in functions and processes related to memory, cognition, emotions, sleep, motivation, and motor coordination.
When smoking weed, THC interacts with the cannabinoid receptors located in the brain regions and affects these functions. For example, studies have shown that THC slightly increases the level of dopamine resulting in a feeling of euphoria.
In this euphoric state, weed smokers have reported feelings of relaxation and contentment and heightened awareness and sensitivity to light, smell, touch, and sound (Canadian study). Further studies have shown that a controlled dose of THC can help relieve chronic pain, muscle tension, anxiety, stimulate appetite, and help combat weight loss.
Cannabis users or “stoners” as they are sometimes called, have different ways of consuming marijuana. You can either inhale it, ingest it orally, or use topicals.
The most common way of consumption is through inhalation. This way, the THC compounds are absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream. The two ways that people inhale marijuana are smoking and vaping.
Smoking marijuana is one of the most common ways of consumption. Depending on your preferred way of consuming marijuana, you can:
- Use pipes (you add the cannabis in the bowl-shaped end of the pipe, you light it at the end, and then you smoke it on the other end);
- Toke off a bong (when using a water pipe/ bong, the smoke is filtered in the water chamber and then you ingest the smoke);
- Use a joint (you roll the cannabis in rolling paper, then you light it on one end, and smoke from the other);
- Use a blunt (blunts use cigar paper instead of rolling paper, and they are used similarly to joints).
This is another inhalation method where you inhale the vapor that has been produced by:
- Vaporizers (you can add the cannabis to the heating chamber of the vaporizer and then inhale the vapor that comes out of the other end);
- Vape pens (they look like pens and cannabis oils or distillates are put inside the cartridge after which the vape can be inhaled);
- Dabbing (when dabbing, you use a dab rig with a hot surface on which you apply the cannabis concentrate that turns into vapor that is consumed).
Another way you can consume cannabis products is orally, either in the form of edibles (like brownies, gummies e.t.c.) or by using tinctures under your tongue. This way, the THC first gets absorbed by your digestive system, and later it enters the bloodstream.
Using topicals is another way that you can get the benefits of medical marijuana. This is the most common way that people use it in order to relieve muscle pain or soreness. Using this method, you won’t experience psychoactive effects.
If marijuana is legal where you live, you could ask the budtenders that work within a dispensary or a store where medical or recreational marijuana is sold for further information about a certain strain of marijuana, or a particular consumption method.
Smoking Weed: How Many Puffs in a Joint?
Determining the number of puffs in one joint seems like an ambitious task, as we need to take into account the size of the joint and the type of puffs, i.e. whether the smoker is taking tiny or big hits. The only estimates we can rely on are self-calculated reports on online forums such as this one, claiming that an average joint might have around 25-30 puffs.
Since smoking weed activates its compounds in just a few minutes, it’s ideal to take deep, steady puffs. Breathe in for a second or two and exhale naturally. The longer you hold your breath, the more you deprive your brain of oxygen, which, in turn, might make you higher faster.
As far as the amount of marijuana goes, research carried out by the University of Pennsylvania has found out that an average joint contains 0.32g of marijuana.
Can I Get High Off of One Puff?
Before we give an approximate answer, let’s discuss the factors affecting the “high” state produced when smoking weed.
Strains are different types of marijuana breeds that can produce versatile high-induced states on the smoker. The three most common types of strains are Indica, Sativa, and hybrid.
The Indica strain usually has a more relaxing effect and it’s good for pain relief, anxiety, and insomnia. The Sativa strain is known for its energizing effects, reported to boost your creativity. The hybrid one is a mixture of the two. However, some researchers warn that these categorizations can be misleading.
The amount of THC that your weed has will have a huge impact on how many puffs it’ll take to get you high. Around 30% is considered to be high-level THC potency, whereas between 10-20% is the normal amount.
Another important factor is the percentage of terpenes in the weed. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in different plants that give weed its distinct flavor. Research shows that terpenes interact with THC and the rest of the cannabinoids and help them enter the bloodstream faster and enhance their effects. This is known as the entourage effect.
Whether you’ll get high faster or not depends on your physical state as well. Cannabinoids are lipid-soluble, meaning that they get turned into metabolites by the liver’s metabolic enzymes in order to be absorbed and kept in the fatty tissues. Things like metabolic rate, physical activity, and body weight should be taken into account to find out how much weed will make you high.
Smoking weed regularly over a longer period can make your body more tolerant, which is why you might need more weed to get high. On the other hand, if you’re a regular smoker, you probably know by now how many puffs you need to take before you feel the effects of weed. For first time users, it’s always better to go easy and take small hits rather than big hits.
In conclusion, yes, it’s possible to get high off one puff if you’re a first-timer or a beginner. Therefore, it’s better to go easy with small hits to avoid any side effects as you can always get more “high” but can’t reverse the effect once produced. Since the high lasts for a few hours when you smoke weed, you would have to wait for an hour before the effects start fading away.
However, by now you should know that this amount varies on the type of strain you’re smoking, the THC potency and terpenes, and the physical state you’re in. If you’re a frequent weed smoker, it would typically take at least two to three hits to feel the full effects of the weed.