How Long Does a High Last? Understanding the Duration of Cannabis Effects

Cannabis, with its diverse strains and consumption methods, can elicit a range of effects, from relaxation to euphoria. But for those new to cannabis or seeking a clearer understanding, one common question arises: How long does a high actually last? In this guide, we’ll explore the factors that influence the duration of a cannabis high and provide insights into what to expect.

Factors Influencing Duration

Method of Consumption

The method by which cannabis is consumed significantly affects how long the high lasts. Inhalation methods such as smoking or vaping typically produce effects within minutes, peaking within 30 minutes to an hour and lasting for 1 to 3 hours. Edibles, on the other hand, can take longer to take effect (usually 30 minutes to 2 hours) but may result in a longer-lasting high, lasting anywhere from 4 to 6 hours or more.

THC Content and Strain

The potency of the cannabis strain, measured by its THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content, plays a crucial role in determining the duration of the high. High-THC strains tend to produce more intense and longer-lasting effects compared to those with lower THC levels. Additionally, the presence of other cannabinoids and terpenes in the strain can also influence the duration and character of the high.

Individual Tolerance and Sensitivity

Each person’s response to cannabis can vary based on factors such as tolerance, metabolism, body composition, and sensitivity to cannabinoids. Regular cannabis users may develop a tolerance over time, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effects, while occasional users or newcomers may experience more pronounced effects with smaller doses.


The amount of cannabis consumed, measured in milligrams of THC or the number of inhalations/puffs, directly impacts the intensity and duration of the high. Higher doses are more likely to result in a longer-lasting and potentially overwhelming experience, while smaller doses may produce milder effects with a shorter duration.

Understanding the High: Phases of Intoxication

1. Onset

The onset phase marks the beginning of the high, typically occurring within minutes to hours after cannabis consumption, depending on the method used. During this phase, users may experience a gradual shift in mood, sensory perception, and cognitive function as THC interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

2. Peak

The peak of the high represents the period of maximum intoxication, characterized by heightened sensations, euphoria, altered perception of time, and changes in thought patterns. This phase varies in duration depending on factors such as dose, potency, and individual physiology but generally lasts for 1 to 3 hours.

3. Offset

As the effects of cannabis begin to subside, users enter the offset phase, where the intensity of the high gradually diminishes. This phase may be accompanied by feelings of relaxation, drowsiness, or a return to baseline cognitive function. The duration of the offset phase can vary but typically lasts for several hours, during which residual effects may linger.

Looking to sober up a little faster? Here’s our guide on how to stop being high.


The duration of a cannabis high is influenced by a variety of factors, including method of consumption, THC content, individual tolerance, and dose. Understanding these factors can help users better anticipate and manage the effects of cannabis, whether seeking a brief respite or a prolonged experience. By practicing moderation, mindfulness, and responsible consumption, individuals can navigate the highs and lows of cannabis with greater confidence and control.