Cannabis use has increased significantly over the last 20 years as legalization laws keep on changing across the U.S. and the world. In fact, 18 US states, Uruguay, Canada, and Jamaica have completely legalized cannabis, and more countries will probably decriminalize it in the following years. In Europe, cannabis regulation is slowly changing as countries such as Russia, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Ukraine, Switzerland, and Croatia, are at varying stages of legality and decriminalization. More and more people are trying cannabis for the first time without much information about how they can have the best experience while doing so. One of the most commonly asked questions is “How much weed gets a person high?”
While there’s no universal answer to this question, we’ll focus on giving you information on different cannabis consumption methods, such as smoking a joint, vaping, dabbing, using bongs, ingesting edibles, as well as what affects how much weed gets you high, so you can approximate how much cannabis you’ll need to get high on your own. Remember that consuming the cannabis plant in high doses can result in unwanted side effects which is why it’s important to get the right dose, so let’s first start by giving you all the essentials on the most important cannabinoids found in weed.
How Cannabinoids Affect Your High (THC vs CBD)
Out of all the cannabinoids that are found in weed, none are more important than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The former is responsible for the psychoactive effects you get while smoking (the high), while the latter is a non-intoxicating compound that has anti-inflammatory properties.
The effects we experience from these cannabinoids are due to our body’s own endocannabinoid system and its cannabinoid receptors. When we consume marijuana, the THC interacts with the cannabinoid receptors and produces the feelings of euphoria and ecstasy we experience. So does that mean that the higher the amount of weed, the better the experience? Not quite.
The potency of cannabis has increased significantly since the 1970s, so nowadays smaller doses of weed are needed to reach the desired effects than the ones people needed in the past. So, let’s figure out what factors determine how much weed you’re going to need to get high.
Factors That Influence How Much it Takes to Get High
Below, we’ll go over the most important factors that affect how much weed you need to get high.
As we’ve mentioned above, the amount of THC that weed contains has significantly increased in the last few decades as cannabis cultivators are growing newer and more potent strains of weed. Nowadays, you can find cannabis strains with a normal amount of THC in the range between 10-20%, but you can also find strains with high levels of THC (over 30%). Remember to take this into consideration as you think about how much cannabis you’re planning to consume.
Your physical activity, metabolic rate, and body weight all play a role in how fast you’ll get high and how much cannabis you need to consume to achieve your desired effects. Since cannabinoids are lipid-soluble, the more fat cells you have, the longer cannabinoids will linger in your system.
Tolerance also plays a key role in how much weed you’ll need to consume to get high. First-time users may only need one to two puffs of a joint to get high, while regular smokers may need to consume more. Though if you’ve smoked weed for a while, you probably know how much weed you need to consume to get to that sweet spot.
The aromatic compounds found in cannabis and other plants, called terpenes, can also affect how much weed you need to consume to get high. Because terpenes interact with the cannabinoids found in weed through the entourage effect, some of them can help the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream faster and intensify their effects.
Another factor that affects how much weed a cannabis user will need to get high is the method of consumption, and we’ll give you an overview of the most commonly used ones below.
This is the most common method of consuming cannabinoids which provides the fastest onset of effects since the cannabinoids are directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. You can inhale marijuana either by smoking or vaping.
If you prefer smoking marijuana, you can try some of the following methods:
- Pipes (one of the easiest methods of consumption which only requires you to place the weed at one end, light it, and smoke out of the other end);
- Bongs (another popular method of smoking weed that filters the smoke in the chamber before you inhale it and gives you a smoother experience – if you’re deciding which bong to try, visit our article that guides you through it);
- Joints (this is the most used method of consumption since you only need to purchase rolling papers and weed to start smoking);
- Blunts (the only difference between joints and blunts is the difference in the paper used to roll the weed; joints use rolling papers, while blunts use cigar paper).
If you’re more into inhaling vapor than smoke, you can try some of the following devices:
- Vaporizers (the cannabis is added to the heating chamber which produces the vapor which users inhale);
- Vape pens (small and simple devices which look like pens and are used to consume oils and distillates, and produce vapor once turned on);
- Dab rigs (a dab rig has a hot surface which is used to apply the cannabis concentrate and turns it into vapor which is then inhaled; the method of consumption is known as dabbing).
The next method of consumption is oral consumption of cannabis products such as edibles (weed brownies, gummies e.t.c.) or tinctures used under the tongue. With this method of consumption, the cannabinoids are first absorbed through the digestive system and later enter the bloodstream.
The final method of cannabis consumption is the topical application of cannabis. Mostly used by medical marijuana patients who want to relieve soreness or muscle pain, this method of consumption won’t give you psychoactive effects. If you are looking for a suitable topical lotion to treat a condition, you can always ask the budtender who works at your local dispensary for recommendations on dosage and types of products which would suit you best.
How Much Weed Gets You High?
Depending on the consumption method you choose, it can take a different amount of weed to get a user high. Newbie users will require smaller doses, while users with high tolerance to cannabis may need higher doses.
How Many Hits Does It Take to Get High?
In general, a first-time user can get high from even a single puff of weed, frequent smokers can get the full effects of weed just after two to three hits, while daily users may need a bit more. If you’re searching for a more in-depth article with regards to how many hits a user needs to get high, take a look at our article on the subject.
How Many MG of Edibles Should You Consume?
Dosing is especially important when you’re consuming edibles as they have a longer onset of effects because the cannabinoids need to go through the digestive system before they reach the bloodstream. Below, we’ll give you some basic guidelines with regards to consuming edibles where the THC in the edibles is measured in milligrams:
- 1 – 2.5 mg of THC (ideal for first-time users or microdoses);
- 2.5 – 15 mg of THC (good for the standard recreational user, or users who consume cannabis as a sleep-aid);
- 30 – 50 mg of THC (used by high-tolerance THC consumers);
- 50 – 100 mg of THC (commonly used by patients for serious medical conditions who require pain relief).
How Much Concentrate Should You Consume?
If you’re a first-time user who wants to give dabbing a chance, start with the smallest amount you can imagine and divide it in half. After a while, you can slowly establish a baseline dosage which will help you determine how much you need to achieve the desired effects.
As you’ve probably figured out by now, each cannabis user has a different baseline dose which depends on their tolerance level, the potency of the strain, a person’s physiological traits, as well as the entourage effects that the terpenes provide. It’s also important to distinguish between medical cannabis users and recreational users since both have different needs when consuming weed. The best option for avoiding unwanted side effects is to start with a low dose and gradually increase it as your tolerance to weed increases, so you always have a pleasant experience when smoking weed.