Factors Influencing Your Cannabis High
Everybody is unique. We each metabolize in different ways, and our bodies respond differently to influences like food, herbs, and medicines. For this reason, no two people have exactly the same cannabis experience. Each balance of terpene blends and cannabinoids provides a more-likely reaction, but yours will likely differ from your friends’ and from others who have tried the exact same strains or products.
You may also notice that cannabis can affect you differently under different conditions. In one case, it might help with sleep. In another, it might help you energize and stay awake all night. Your high might last a shorter or longer time, or you might get more or less high as conditions change. Just one strain of cannabis can affect you differently depending on other influences to your body, mood, energy, and metabolism.
So just what factors determine how you experience a cannabis high? That’s exactly what we’re diving into today.
The Dosage Size or Intensity
How much THC, CBD, CBG, and other cannabinoids are in each dose will profoundly affect what you experience. This can be determined either by consuming different amounts of cannabis or by choosing strains with a higher vs lower concentration of THC and other cannabinoids.
When determining what being high feels like, your symptoms will be more intense, the larger dose you take. For edibles, larger doses may also take longer to metabolize through your body. However, when smoking or vaping, a larger dose may simply get you more intensely high for the same amount of time as a puff from a lower concentration.
Your Cannabis Delivery Method
There are many different delivery methods for cannabis precisely because we respond to them in different ways. Eating cannabis, the high will come onto you slowly and will stay longer. This is because you are metabolizing cannabis through your digestive system. Whether or not you consume cannabis edibles will also influence the strength and duration of your edible high. On an empty stomach, an edible cannabis high can last two to four hours. With heavier foods to digest at the same time, the high will be milder, but last up to eight hours.
Smoking, vaping, and tinctures, however, are absorbed directly into your bloodstream through the membranes in your mouth and/or respiratory system. Getting high is much faster through these methods. You will feel the effects immediately, but they will only last for an hour, or two at the max, from a single hit.
Topicals don’t get you high at all, but can provide localized benefits like reducing inflammation, muscle pain, or skin discomfort.
Your Current Mood
Mood plays an important role in the effects cannabis can have on your emotions and even your body. If you are anxious, cannabis can help to calm you down. If you are partying, cannabis may brighten your experience to help you have a better time. If you want to relax with a cup of tea or a hot bubble bath, cannabis can help you drift into a pleasant dreamy half-consciousness where you can truly unwind.
Some mental configurations are also more susceptible to the rare downsides of cannabis, as well. You may be prone to experiencing racing thoughts, nervousness, or paranoia. However, most people can find the right strain and terpene blend to avoid unwanted reactions.
Your Physical State
Of course, more than just your mood can influence how you experience cannabis. Your physical state can matter as well. If you enjoy some cannabis after a long, difficult day when you are physically exhausted, you may find that cannabis carries you into a deep and dreamless sleep. If you are wired on caffeine and excited about finishing a project, cannabis can help you stay up all night at your most mentally creative. If you are physically tired from exercise, cannabis can ease your aches & pains, while helping you to relax and enjoy the rest of your day.
Your personal tolerance also plays an important role in your cannabis high. It can influence how long it takes for you to feel high, how long a cannabis high lasts, and how you respond to edibles, vapes, smoke, or tinctures.
Some people are particularly resistant to cannabis highs, and some only feel “properly” high when using a specific type of delivery method. On the flip-side, some people are much more susceptible and can get high easily on small dosage. This is similar to alcohol tolerance, as some people can partake heavily with minimal impact while others are affected immediately by their first toke or edible bite.
Your personal tolerance can also vary based on your physical state. An empty stomach will cause your edibles to take effect faster, for example. If you are ill, you might experience more or less tolerance depending on the illness and your body’s response.
You can even build up tolerance over time by using cannabis regularly, and can reset that tolerance with a “T-Break” by reducing or stopping your use for a few days to a few weeks.
Most people associate a cannabis high with THC. But there are also other cannabinoids that play a role. THC is the most psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it provides the strongest mental “high”. However, other cannabinoids like CBD and CBG are responsible for therapeutic properties and some of the positive ‘body high’ effects. Artificial cannabinoids such as Delta-8 or THC-0 are also psychoactive, but are simulated using CBD as a base molecule.
Not only do different cannabinoids have different effects, but you personally may respond differently to them. Some people prefer a THC/CBD blend, while many seek pure THC or pure CBD experiences.
Terpenes provide the most fascinating variance in how you are affected by cannabis. The terpene profile is primarily what defines the difference between Indica (sleepy/body high/pain relief) strains and Sativa (wakeful, creative, energetic) strains, even when the primary cannabinoid is THC alone.
The different effects that cannabis strains have on what it feels like to be high are determined mainly by the terpene blend. Myrcene, for example, is a sedative terpene commonly found in Indicas, while Limonene and Pinene are bright, energetic terpenes popular in Sativas. The interesting thing about terpenes is that they are also molecules commonly found in other plants like citrus fruits, pine trees (limonene and pinene), lavender (linalool), and so on.
As you get older, your response to cannabis may change. However, there is no set arc to your predicted response. Long-term cannabis users note that their favorite strains don’t make them feel the same way at 50 that they did at 15, but each person is unique. You may find cananbis more relaxing, more energizing, or any number of variances as your body’s natural metabolism and chemical balance changes over time.
How Long Does a High Last?
Your cannabis high will last an amount of time relative to the strength and method of your dose and your body’s natural metabolic rate. Inhaled cannabis tends to take effect immediately and last for up to two hours per toke. Edibles are more impacted by your digestion. Taken on an empty stomach, an edible high lasts up to four hours and takes effect within 30 minutes. Taken with foods, an edible high can last up to eight hours, but may take over an hour to start feeling the effects.
Tincture cannabis highs can begin immediately, and tend to last between two and three hours. However, stronger doses and different bodies will cause you to process cannabis at different rates.
Discover How You Get High with Medizin
Everyone gets high in their own special way. You may be an edibles enthusiast, a vape aficionado, or a leaf expert. Your metabolism and natural tolerance will impact how you process cannabis and what you find most enjoyable.
The best way to learn more about getting high is to try various strains, strengths, and delivery methods until you discover what is right for you. Most people have a few different favorites, depending on whether they want to relax, party, get creative, or have a nice, long sleep. To discover your ideal cannabis experience, consult with our knowledgeable budtenders at Medizin.