Levels of high
4 min

How Long A Weed High Lasts And How High You Can Get

4 min

If you don't smoke marijuana often, or haven't used it before, you'll likely be wondering how long the high will last and how intense it'll be. The truth is, it depends on a variety of factors, and the high can vary dramatically in intensity and length as a result. In this article, we'll be reviewing these factors to ensure you can elevate safely.

If you're unfamiliar with cannabis, you might think that being high is the same for every stoner. As you observe more people trying the electric lettuce, you'll quickly notice this isn't the case. Just like humans and weed plants, highs come in all shapes and forms. Two people could smoke the same amount of the same weed and have dramatically different reactions in turn.

So, how can you determine how you, or someone you know, will react to weed? How can you estimate the length and intensity of your high? What will the different levels of being high feel like for you? We'll be answering all these questions and more as we go along.

different levels of being high



The truth is, there's no clear-cut answer to this question. We're all different people living different lives. Our bodies and brains process chemicals differently, and receive different nutrition throughout the day. As a result, one person's high might last longer than another, and vice versa. If you want a general estimate, though, smoking will only leave you “altered” for a couple of hours. Edibles, on the other hand, generally last at least twice as long.


The first, and perhaps most important, factor will be your THC tolerance. If it's one of your first times smoking and you've taken a few hits of an average-potency strain, your high could reasonably stretch into a third hour. People who smoke every day won't be impacted to that degree. Even if they smoke more than you do, their high won't last more than a couple of hours. This same logic applies to edibles, although, again, the time frame is roughly doubled.


Yet another key factor, the amount of THC in whatever you're smoking or eating will be directly proportional to the duration of your high. If you're an occasional smoker with a 15% THC strain like Royal Dwarf, the high won't last more than two or so hours. That same smoker, though, could be high for up to three or four hours if given some Banana. For context, that strain typically clocks in at 28% THC.

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You might think we're just talking about smoking vs eating here, but it’s even more nuanced than that. In fact, you can even notice differences between the different types of smoking! Joints and blunts, for instance, have a near-instant onset, and the effects can last 1.5–2 hours. The main difference here is that blunts hit a bit harder, given their larger size and the tobacco wrap. However, beyond that, it's essentially the same.

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Bongs take the immediate nature of joints and blunts to the next level. You're smoking a few joint hits worth of weed in one go, so the high starts strong and sticks around, sometimes for three hours or so.

From there, we enter the world of vape pens and concentrates, the latter of which are also known as "dabs". On top of the immediacy factor, these concentrates have potencies ranging from 65–85%. Yes, you're dabbing small amounts, but it's easy to go over the edge. Expect to be high for anywhere between three and six hours.

Of course, the longest-lasting high, by far, comes from edibles. They will take up to two hours to hit, but when they do, the high sticks around. If it's strong enough, even veteran smokers can expect to be high for over six hours. Occasional smokers, in turn, might stay elevated for up to twelve.



This shouldn't require too much explanation. If you only consume the minimum it takes to get you buzzed, your high will end up on the shorter end of the spectrum. If you consume so much that you can't stand up, expect it to be on the other end.


Cannabinoids are lipophilic (they love fat). This isn't as important of a factor, but it plays a role regardless. If you've been eating high-fat foods, for example, some of the THC will get absorbed, and as a result the high won’t be as strong. With an empty stomach, though, your high will last a good bit longer. If you happen to be drinking alcohol while smoking, that could lengthen the effects as well. That being said, we do not recommend drinking alcohol, especially in excess, alongside cannabis, particularly if you’re new to the herb.



Now that you know how long your high can last, we should discuss how calm or intense it can be. You might have heard some of these terms used interchangeably before. However, we've found that they have slightly different meanings, depending on who you ask.


This term is used amongst drinkers too, and it means the same thing either way. You're definitely not sober anymore, and you certainly shouldn't drive, but you're mostly in control. Music sounds a little nicer, food tastes a little better, and the sun is shining a little brighter.


HIGH Cannabis

Not that being buzzed isn't fun, but this is where the real party begins. This stage is where you'll start laughing at little things, zoning out on occasion, and getting the munchies. Also, make sure you're regularly drinking water from this point on, as cottonmouth can get annoying and dehydration is unhealthy. Being "high" isn't always referred to in one way, though; "lit" is a common synonym.


When you picture your typical pothead on the couch (or hippie at a music festival), they've likely hit Stoned City. This feeling is typically associated with indica strains, but it can hit either way if you get high enough. The munchies will intensify from here, and you're likely to start fumbling your words. Your senses will be firing off too. Every song will be a hit; every piece of food will be a five-star meal.

Other slang terms for this state include "blasted", "blitzed", "spaced", or even "bombed".

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If you've ever talked with your high friend and noticed they missed everything you said, even if they were looking right at you and nodding, they're probably bakedcouch. This is where you go from sitting on the couch to lying down on the couch. This is where you go from grabbing a few snacks to emptying out your pantry. You should probably stop smoking once you get to this point. If you're off an edible, though, you won't have much choice but to ride it out. Someone in this state could also be referred to as "cooked".


Lastly, this state has less to do with how you feel in the moment, but how you feel following a heavy high. You'll likely have fallen asleep by the time you hit this point, though not always. However, the real trouble starts the next day. If you’re truly burnt out from a marathon smoke session, you'll likely experience what's commonly referred to as a "weed hangover". You may have a bit of a headache or have trouble falling back asleep once you wake up, and nausea is common as well. Don't worry; it'll go away with a few hours of lying down and some food in your belly.



After an eventful day of getting buzzed, high, stoned, baked, or all of the above, you'll most likely be tired and ready for a good night's sleep. You'll probably feel happy and content, and maybe even accomplished if you've had a highly productive (pun intended) stoned adventure. Either way, this is the time to have a healthy snack, then crawl into bed for some one-on-one quality time with your pillow off in dreamland.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
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