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Which Factors Affect the Length of a Cannabis High?

Which Factors Affect the Length of a Cannabis High?

By Lisa Mortown

For some, value for money is all about getting as high as possible for as long as possible.

But why is it that some people stay high as a kite for hours on end, while others come crashing down to earth much quicker? Why does the length of one high differ from the next?

Truth is, there are a ton of factors that come together to determine how long your high will last. The list below isn’t designed to be exhaustive, but instead to cover just a few of the reasons some highs last longer than others:

The Potency of the Pot
At the risk of stating the obvious, the THC content of the cannabis you consume will have a huge impact on the duration of its effects. The human body is only capable of metabolising and processing THC at a certain speed. Hence, the more THC that goes in, the longer it takes for it to come out. Hit a strain with 10% THC and you’ll be grounded in no time – step it up to 25% or more and you’re good for the duration.

Preferred Ingestion Method
Cannabis edibles may lack the ceremony of rolling and smoking joints, but score top marks elsewhere. When you eat cannabis, the THC is transferred into your bloodstream by way of an entirely different process to that of inhalation. It’s a process that takes longer to kick in, but will subsequently keep you high for anything up to 6 hours afterwards.

The Quantity you Consume
More isn’t always better, as there’s a sensible limitation after which things become quite unpleasant. Nevertheless, the amount of cannabis you consume will (unsurprisingly) influence how long you stay high for. A couple of hits will keep you buzzing for a while – toke an entire joint and you’re looking at a good few hours.

Speed of Consumption
By this, we really mean whether or not you pace yourself. If you finish an entire joint in less than 10 minutes, you’ll be well and truly off your nut for a good hour or two. However, take your time with the same joint over a couple of hours and you’ll maintain a slightly less intense high for much longer. It’s pretty much the same as with alcohol – session vs. binge consumption.

Experience Level
Slowly but surely, the human body builds a tolerance to the various active compounds in cannabis. Precisely why newcomers have no problem getting well and truly wasted on a couple of tokes, while more experienced smokers need way more to get high. Your experience level will also influence how long you stay high after consuming cannabis.

Your Age
Interestingly, the age of the user can also have a marked impact on the duration of the effects or experience. It’s all to do with the wiring of the brain – younger cannabis users experiencing stronger and longer highs than their more mature counterparts. Of course, the latter group is also likely to have far more experience.

Metabolic Efficiency
The metabolic efficiency of the human body varies enormously from one person to the next. Some people’s bodies are naturally better at processing chemicals than others. A super-fast and efficient metabolic system is great, but nonetheless guarantees a return to sobriety much faster.

Weight and Height
Exceptions apply, by the overall size and weight of the user can also influence how long their high lasts. Larger individuals often need greater quantities of cannabis to get high, though overweight and unhealthy cannabis users may have a particularly slow metabolism.

Psychology and Awareness
Last but not least, your mental state at the time will also influence both the strength and duration of your high. For example, if you’re high as a kite and suddenly remember you’ve something seriously important to do, the high will drag on forever. By contrast, if you’re painfully aware this is your last scrap of weed and you’re approaching a drought, you’ll probably be back to earth in no time.

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