Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 30, 2022

The cannabis plant is one of the most versatile crops on the planet. Throughout history, it has been used as medicine as well as for making shoes, clothes, ropes, early forms of paper, and in various foods and drinks. As cannabis use has increased in the 21st century, so has the potency of cannabis.

For that reason, cannabis users, especially first-time cannabis smokers, want to know what amount of weed is enough in order to get high. And to answer that question, this article will focus on the different cannabis consumption methods, and how much weed you’ll need to get high.

The Different Cannabinoids Found in Weed (THC vs CBD)

Since raw cannabis doesn’t produce effects in users, cannabis needs to go through a decarboxylation process in order to convert the cannabinoid acids THCA and CBDA into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC gives users the psychoactive effects, while CBD gives the sedative effects and anti-inflammatory properties.

The effects happen as a result of the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors being affected by marijuana. They’re a part of the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for memory, emotions, cognition, sleep, motivation, and coordination. 

As a result of smoking weed, THC and CBD interact with these receptors, which results in feelings of euphoria, relaxation, energy, and a heightened sensitivity to light, touch, sound, and smell in cannabis users.

However, cannabis can also be used for medical marijuana treatments and it can help relieve chronic pain, anxiety, stimulate appetite, as well as help with other medical conditions.

Cannabis Consumption Methods

Cannabis users can choose from a few different consumption methods that include inhaling cannabis, ingesting it orally, or using topicals.

Inhaling Cannabis

This is the most common and popular way of marijuana consumption. The cannabinoid compounds are absorbed through the lungs and go directly into the bloodstream. Inhaling cannabis provides the fastest effects on users and people consume it by vaping or smoking weed.

Smoking Cannabis 

Smoking marijuana can be done with:

  • Pipes (you light it at one end and smoke the weed by inhaling from the mouthpiece);
  • Bongs (the smoke from the weed is filtered in the water chamber, after which the smoke is ingested);
  • Joints (cannabis is rolled in rolling paper, lit on one end, and inhaled from the other);
  • Blunts (cannabis is rolled in cigar paper, and it’s smoked similarly to joints).


Vaporizing is an inhalation method where vapor is produced by using:

  • Vaporizers (the cannabis is added to the heating chamber and the vapor is inhaled from the mouthpiece);
  • Vape pens (cannabis oil or distillate cartridges are used inside vape pens, and the vapor is inhaled);
  • Dabs (dabbing involves applying the cannabis concentrate on the hot surface of a dab rig which produces vapor that is inhaled by the user).

Edible Cannabis Products

Cannabis products can also be consumed orally in the form of edibles (weed brownies, gummies, chocolates, or as tinctures under the tongue). With this consumption method, the THC is first absorbed by the digestive system, after which it enters the bloodstream.


Topicals are often used for relieving muscle pain or soreness, meaning they’re mostly used as medical marijuana. They can be bought at a licensed dispensary, and the local budtender can give you more information about what kind of salves and creams they offer.

Which Factors Influence Cannabis High?

The Cannabis Strain

Consuming different cannabis strains will result in different effects. Indicas usually produce more relaxing effects, while Sativas give an energizing high, and hybrids are a mixture of both. Do your research or ask your local budtender to suggest a strain that will suit your needs.

Cannabis Potency

The THC content has a huge role in the effects that cannabis has on users. How much weed you need to get high will depend on the amount of THC present in your joint, edible, or bong. While the marijuana flower has a THC range between 10-30%, newer cannabis products like moon rocks may even have THC levels as high as 50%, and concentrates can have THC levels as high as 80%.

Your Physiological Traits

Since cannabinoids are lipid-soluble, your physical activity, metabolic rate, and body weight will play a role in how much weed you need to get high.

Your Tolerance

Regular users might need more weed in order to get high compared to newbies, because the more you smoke weed, the more tolerant you are to it. Regular smokers know how much they need to smoke, but first-time users should take it slow so they don’t overdo it.

What Amount of Weed Will Get You High?

Depending on the consumption method, the onset of effects after consuming cannabis can vary. So, let’s dive into how long it takes for different methods of consumption to make you high.

Joints get you high the fastest, since the smoke enters the lungs and it’s instantly transferred into the bloodstream. The onset of effects can be as fast as a few minutes after you’ve inhaled the smoke. Before you smoke a joint for the first time, make sure you know how to properly take a hit of weed. Beginners should take between 1 and 2 hits, and a maximum of 3 to 4. Also, keep in mind that the more regularly you smoke, the higher your tolerance will get. Regular users might need half a joint, or even a whole joint to get the desired effects.

Edibles take a longer time to kick in compared to joints, and for that reason, you need to wait for 1-2 hours before you take another one (or ideally wait until the next day), so you don’t consume more than you need. To get more information about how many mg of THC you should eat, check out our guide.

And finally, we come to concentrates which are the most potent cannabis products. For first-time users, a small dab would be more than enough. Get a tiny drop-sized amount and cut it in half before you get it on a dab rig. 


When dosing cannabis, keeping yourself informed about the effects of weed and what a weed high is like is very important. After all, you want to have a pleasant experience and avoid any unwanted side effects. 

While low doses of cannabis can produce side effects like munchies, dry eyes, and dry mouth, larger doses may result in paranoia, headaches, and anxiety, so make sure you get an appropriate dose tailored to your needs.

It’s best to go easy and start with small doses. While you can always get more “high” and increase the dose, waiting for the effects to wear off may take a longer time.

Marijuana use isn’t a thing that should be taken lightly, especially if you want to have a pleasant experience. So start low and go slow.

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.