Getting high on marijuana is something that’s been documented a lot ever since it became famous for its recreational use. While many studies have been conducted to explain what marijuana is, its effects, and how it causes that “high” feeling, many people still don’t understand how the plant works. Let’s delve deeper into how people experience the “high” from cannabis and how long it stays in your system.
How Long Does Weed “High” Last?
Marijuana, known by its many names like pot, weed, or ganja, is a medicinal plant of the Cannabis family. It contains a compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive substance that causes major intoxicating effects. Many experts attribute this compound to be the primary cause of addiction.
The leaves, seeds, stems, or roots of the plant contain high concentrations of THC and are mainly used for intoxication purposes. When cannabis is smoked, it usually takes a minute or two to feel the “high” or be “stoned,” which is the term commonly used these days.
Generally, the intoxicating feeling of THC is strongest for about ten minutes to half an hour after smoking cannabis, depending on the amount you smoked. Of course, inhaling too much of the compound will prolong the psychoactive effect and will last for a couple of hours.
Eating cannabis, on the other hand, will take longer for you to feel the effects. It would also last longer, for about two to four hours. As the effects wear down, it’ll take a couple more hours for it to wear off completely.
How Does Your Body Process Cannabis?
Detectable amounts of THC may remain in the body for days or even weeks after use. Upon consumption of cannabis, THC is absorbed and stored by various body tissues and organs. The drug is primarily broken down by your liver, and the by-products of this process are immediately cleared out of your body via your urine. What’s left are the THC compounds stored in your body tissues. These are then continuously released back into your bloodstream over time. After that, the process of breaking down starts all over again until you’ve depleted all traces of it from your body through your urine.
How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?
It is actually impossible for anyone to accurately state the length of time it would take for somebody to test clean for a marijuana drug test. Weed detection windows depend on how much you smoked or ingested, as well as how often. Absorption rates also differ based on your age and weight. In general, higher doses and more frequent use will result in longer detection times.
A person suffering from an addiction to Cannabis will have a harder time flushing THC out of their system. For example, a daily user of cannabis can have trace amounts of THC detectable several months after their last use. In fact, the longest-reported detection times are more than 90 days.
According to the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, weed is detectable in urine for the following amounts of time after last use:
- Occasional users (up to three times a week): Three days
- Moderate users (four times a week): 5-7 days
- Chronic users (daily): 10-15 days
- Chronic heavy users (multiple times a day): more than 30 days
What Variables Impact the Absorption of Marijuana in Your System?
As mentioned above, there are a lot of variables that affect just how long THC and other cannabinoids stay in your system. Some of those variables include:
- Body Fat: People with more body fat will retain THC for longer. Skinny users have fewer places to store THC.
- Fluid Intake: The amount of fluids you took at the time of the test.
- Genetics: Fast metabolizers will excrete THC rapidly.
- Lifestyle: How active your lifestyle is and how frequent you exercise.
- Method and Frequency of Usage: Infrequent users clear THC faster than chronic users.
- Drug Test: Type of detection test used.
- Your General Health: Many medical conditions impact how your body retains, stores, and metabolizes marijuana.
- Other Drugs Taken: How marijuana interacts with other drugs and substances.
What are the Different Ways People Try to Sober Up from Weed
Just like any other form of substance with psychoactive effects, the high that marijuana produces will eventually peak and die down after a certain period of time. Though marijuana has many potential therapeutic uses, any consumer can make the mistake of using too much and landing themselves in a paranoid tailspin. Because of that, people have found ways to sober up from the psychoactive effects of weed. Some of them include:
- Taking a Shower
Taking a hot shower increases blood flow in your body, thereby helping you feel more alert and functional. However, it is understandable that a shower might not be a feasible option at all times, considering a person could be unconscious. Splashing water on the face could also help restore your calm and ease your mind.
- Staying Hydrated
Those who consume marijuana tend to have dry mouth, or what is referred to as “cottonmouth.” This is a common symptom associated with someone experiencing a bad high. When the THC binds with the cannabinoid receptors in your body, your salivary glands fail to receive messages from your nervous system. This results in a significant reduction in saliva production. This is further aggravated by alcohol intake since alcohol also dehydrates you. If you want to counter the effects of cannabis, staying hydrated would be a good option.
- Black Peppercorn
Getting high on THC-rich strains may overstimulate the amygdala, the almond-shaped region in the brain responsible for emotional processes. This is one of the reasons why marijuana consumers feel somewhat anxious. A good way to remedy that is by carefully smelling or chewing black peppercorns.
A study published in the NCBI library suggests that cannabis and black pepper have related chemical traits. The terpenes within black pepper called beta-caryophyllene are actually capable of taming the intoxicating effects of THC. This provides almost instantaneous relief from anxiety and paranoia.
- Having a Good Night’s Sleep
When feeling an intense high, having a good night’s sleep is actually one of the best ways to bring it down gradually. Whenever you allow your body to rest and recover, even for a few minutes, your liver can perform better and carry out the process of metabolization. This helps restore the body’s ability to get the substance out of your system.
- Take a Dose of Ibuprofen
Taking Ibuprofen may ease some of the unpleasant effects of using too much cannabis. According to a 2013 animal study conducted at the University of Louisiana, some anti-inflammatory medications, including Ibuprofen, appeared to counteract the negative cognitive effects of THC. This could help you sober up faster from the effects of weed.
Taking cannabis for medical purposes does have its therapeutic effects. However, taking it for recreational purposes poses unwanted effects, especially that high you experience from consuming THC. Instead of relieving you with anxiety, it could easily make you more anxious, paranoid, along with other side effects. If you don’t want to end up in an addiction center, you need to watch your levels of marijuana consumption. While it’s highly unlikely to experience a fatal marijuana overdose, going over your limit can still make you feel anxious, paranoid, nauseous, and just plain awful.