Let’s Cut to the Chase: Major Factors That Affect Your High
Three major factors affect both the intensity and duration of your high:
- Dosage and concentration
- Your metabolism and tolerance
- Method of consumption
You probably don’t have ways to readily alter your metabolic rate so we’ll leave that for last. That leaves you with only the dose and the method of consumption as the only factors you can really work with.
If you’re a beginner, then you probably shouldn’t mess with the dosage yet. If you’re an experienced user then you probably already have an idea of how much you can tolerate.
So, if you’re simply experimenting with a new strain of weed that has a higher THC level than you’re used to, I’d recommend to just dip your foot in the water by smoking a little of it and then make your decision on how you want to consume the rest of it.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.
Method of Consumption
The most significant factor in terms of intensity and duration of a high is really how you consume it. For one thing, there’s a significant difference in terms of the duration when it comes to edibles and inhalants such as smoke and vapor. Edibles tend to last a full day while smoking is a mere one to two hours.
Generally, a high lasts for one to two hours. But this applies mostly to smoking and dabbing. These are perhaps the most popular ways that it’s consumed today, especially for beginners.
However, if you’re vaping cannabis oils, early-stage research papers suggest that the effects are much more intense than smoking. This is because this method uses concentrates instead of the flower. The duration depends mainly on the amount you actually take in.
For both methods, you would feel the effects almost immediately peaking at around 30 minutes after your first hit.
Dabbing, on the other hand, is a halfway method of sorts. You still ingest smoke but that smoke comes from concentrates with higher levels of THC than the bud. Essentially, you need to use far less concentrate for dabbing than the flower for smoking.
On the other hand, edible cannabis products can give you a steady and long-lasting high. Four to six hours is the average among users but some people report that the high they get from edibles lasts up to 24 hours.
As for the effects, it usually comes in way later at around 30 minutes after consumption. This is because your body still needs to digest it before it gets absorbed into your bloodstream. Its peak effects, on the other hand, should be felt around one to three hours after the first onset.
Dosage and Concentration
Each strain has different effects on different people. Some strains focus on the intensity of the high while others would rather prioritize duration. This all depends on the THC levels in your weed.
The beauty of trying out a new marijuana strain is that the THC content varies wildly between them. It ranges from 5% to 32%. Every little difference in percentage can have a huge effect on the type of high you’re going to have. The effects of one strain from the other, therefore, can be pretty significant.
The only important consideration here is that you’re getting the right amount of THC into your bloodstream. So, if you know you have a high THC strain, you can use just a little bit and still have a good high.
Metabolism and Tolerance
There’s a common misconception that a heavier person might have more tolerance for cannabis. This isn’t exactly true though.
The real factor in terms of tolerance is a person’s metabolism. It’s the process of breaking down and absorbing nutrients into our body. This process, unfortunately, isn’t something that we can easily control.
image from LA Times
Some people naturally have a high metabolic rate. They tend to be slimmer even without dieting or exercising.
However, there are ways to make your metabolic rate a little higher. Regular intense exercise should increase your body’s nutrient requirement therefore raising its rate in breakdown and absorption. A high protein diet should also increase your metabolic rate because it spurs the muscle growth which also increases your body’s need for nutrients.
Although you can also simply increase your tolerance through practice. An experienced marijuana user can tolerate more than beginners and occasional users. The theory here is that as you consume more weed, your body learns to break it down and absorb it into your bloodstream much quicker than the normal rate.
How to End a High?
Now that you have a basic understanding of how weed works on your system. Let’s dive headfirst into how to shorten its effects in case of a bad high or sudden shift in priorities.
Consume sugary foods
If you’re having a bad cannabis trip and is on the lookout for ways to end it ASAP, then the first thing you need to do is to get yourself some sugary drink or food. This doesn’t really help in ending it but does help to get you into a good mental state. This should help to bring your anxiety down a little bit.
Shakes should work well in this case. It takes care of the fabled munchies and calms you down at the same time.
Take a nap
But if you’re just looking for ways to cut it short because you need to be able to focus soon then you should try taking a nap. When you’re in a deep sleep state, your body can focus on breaking down the THC and eliminating it.
Chew on some peppercorns
Researchers believe that the caryophyllene in peppercorn increases the calming properties of the THC. This should calm you down and perhaps even help you take a nap.
Try some CBD
This may sound like a crazy proposition but hear me out. THC and CBD affect different receptors in the brain. The THC gives you a high while the CBD is the one that calms you down. So, in theory, they counteract each other.
How to Prolong Your High?
If, on the other hand, you’re on the other end of this spectrum and you want to extend your high beyond the aforementioned averages, there are some steps you can take as well.
Consume more weed
You can always just eat your cannabis for a prolonged high. But if you’re set on smoking or vaping, you can always simply consume more weed spread across a long period for a similar effect.
Have some alcohol with your weed
You can also try consuming alcohol with your marijuana to compound the effects. This can intensify and prolong your cannabis high. Read more about the safeties of mixing weed and alcohol here.
Consume Marijuana Responsibly
Now that you know the basics, it’s important to apply this information responsibly. Consume only what you can tolerate.
This can help you avoid an unpleasant high and the heartbreaks of shirked responsibilities and ruined relationships.