Why does it have to end? When you’re experiencing a pleasurable cannabis high, sometimes it just can’t last long enough. There are many myths and stories of how you can extend this feeling – but what actually works? Does drinking alcohol help? Does taking bigger inhalations make any difference? What about using a vape vs smoking a joint? Well, in this article we’re going to be going through the most valid research into how to extend the endurance of a weed high. You may want to use cannabis for its recreational purposes, or perhaps you’re actually wanting your medical cannabis to last longer. Let’s debunk those myths and focus on the hard cold facts.
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A Good, Long High
A good high is one that’ll make you want it to last forever. In a recreational sense, this may be a high where your enjoyment levels are at all time zenith and you’re either having the time of your life with friends, or perhaps even on your own. Alternatively, if you’re using cannabis for its medicinal benefits, then this high may be one where the physical or mental pain you usually feel has subsided and you want it to remain that way.
Cannabis is known to make people feel certain ways, including: euphoric, chatty, giggly, calm, relaxed, peaceful and deep minded. That is why the substance has, for centuries, been used in religious and ceremonial practices. To this day, the Rastafarian religion still uses the ‘wisdom chalice’ during their practices to bring them closer together and closer to the natural world. It has been this way since ancient times – a cemetery that was dug up from 2500 years ago highlighted the ways in which cannabis was used all those centuries ago. ZME writes:
“A team led by archaeologist Yimin Yang of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing found and analyzed chemical residues on 10 wooden burners (braziers) found in eight tombs at the site. When they analyzed these burners, they found an unusually high level of THC (the psychoactive substance inside cannabis) inside nine of them, as well as two stones that had been heated to burn plants — a clear indication that ancient people were using marijuana for burial rituals.”
However cannabis can only last so long and eventually, like everything else in this world, it ends. But surely there are ways of maintaining that feeling for longer. The question is, did these ancient civilizations have any better knowledge of how to extend those high experiences than we do? Although, in the times before laws or regulations surrounding cannabis, you’d assume that these societies wouldn’t have had much trouble getting their hands on the substance. Instead, it would have been growing naturally for all of the world to enjoy. Imagine that. Therefore, they wouldn’t have needed a single amount to last longer as they could have simply gone and collected some more. In this capitalistic world we now find ourselves embedded in, cannabis was first completely outcast. However, as time has gone on, and more of those in the establishment have realized the amount of money they can gain from it, it has become a new legal industry. Common Wealth writes:
“The idea of certain drugs as bad, dangerous and requiring prohibition by law it is a relatively recent social phenomenon… only appearing at the start of the twentieth century… Decades of prohibition’s failure to reduce the drug trade – combined with the increasingly negative impacts of growing incarceration, violence and addiction – has led to many finally breaking with the War on Drugs consensus… and eventually implementing… different approaches… with major developments in countries such as Uruguay, Canada, Luxembourg, and some states in the US.”
Whilst this is ultimately very positive, it is still run by the same kinds of people who run every other part of society. Therefore cannabis can be expensive. In reality, weed is a medicinal necessity for millions of people around the world – with 3.6 million people in the US requiring it. Many of these people are poor and have not always got the finances to purchase as much as they may need. Therefore, for them, a way in which to extend their cannabis high would be greatly appreciated.
How Long Does Cannabis Last?
This is practically an impossible question to answer as there are many variables which dictate how long a high will last. These include: the amount consumed, type of cannabis consumed, tolerance, metabolism, other substances taken alongside and many others. Edibles are known to last longer than inhalants, with highs potentially lasting anywhere from 3-12 hours. However, edibles can take longer to begin triggering the effects, sometimes taking a few hours. Then, of course, you have vaping or smoking cannabis.
The effects can hit you within seconds and can last an hour or so. Another method of consuming weed is tinctures or oils. It is believed these sit somewhere in between the duration of smoking and digesting. Of course the most obvious way to enhance your cannabis high would be to change the way you consume it. For instance, perhaps start trying edibles instead of vaping or smoking. However, most people require the high to start quickly, rather than hours later. Also, as Medical News Today writes:
“Research shows that the effects from an edible take up to about 1 hour to kick in but can last for 6 or more hours. In contrast, the effects of smoking or vaping THC tend to last 1–4 hours… knowing what amount to take can be tricky, as each person will respond to a different dose. When trying out a new edible, it is important to start with a low dose to see how the body responds. With edibles, it is easier to take an excessively high dose and feel negative side effects than it is with smoking.”
Overall smoking or vaping cannabis will take about 10 minutes for the high to kick in and will be finished in around 3 hours. On the flip side, an edible probably takes around 30-80 minutes to kick in and up to 12 hours to subside. The question is: do you have the time to wait for the edible? Many medical cannabis products are tinctures or edibles for the ease of consumption, as well as the duration of the high. However, not everyone has that amount of time or enjoys taking cannabis that way.
Other Methods of Extending Highs
Are these myths or factual? Find out for yourself.
It is believed that fatty foods will help extend the endurance of your edible high. This is because they increase the absorption of the cannabinoids and slow down the whole process of the edible. In other words, the food forces the edible to release its high effects at a slower pace. This won’t work so well if you’ve inhaled the substance. Nonetheless, certain foods can not only extend your high, but also increase it. Marijuana Packaging writes:
“Carbohydrates and vitamin B improve serotonin production, generally helping to stabilize and uplift at the same time. Vitamin E deficiency is also known to lead to depression and a healthy boost improves mood and your overall state of mind, boosting the euphoria of a marijuana high.”
Another way to potentially extend your high is to combine it with another substance. Now this is where things can get a little dicey. The best way to do this is to have an edible and then when you’re feeling slightly less high, top it up by smoking or vaping some cannabis. This will maintain your experience. However, many believe that alcohol can also do the same. However, for me, this is not a method to rely on. Alcohol increases the effects of THC, making it much easier to reach unpleasantries. In other words, it does not extend it, but instead increases the feelings – to an easily unhandable level.
Sometimes the best way to extend your cannabis highs is to stop taking it for a period of time so your tolerance can lower. Our body gets used to consuming substances, and will therefore build up a tolerance defence. However, this tolerance can be reduced if you stop consuming the substance for a week or so. Cannigma writes:
“In 2013, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) investigated the concept of THC tolerance development among healthy, experienced male cannabis smokers dosed with oral synthetic THC for six days. According to the results of this small study, participants reported feeling less high after four days and a total of 260 mg of THC.”
Therefore, once you’ve reached your peak duration of feeling high, it is unlikely you’ll be able to surpass it without reducing your intake for a while.
Another great way to extend the length of your cannabis high is to experiment. As we’ve discussed, each person is different. Try things out and see what works. Some people swear by herbal teas, some people believe sex can be the trick, whilst others put all of the emphasis on the surroundings and the people they are with. Try these methods out and see which one may extend the experience of your high. Sometimes it’s all in the mind, and if your surroundings are allowing you to remain and enjoy your high then you will, but if your surroundings are forcing you to sober up then this may naturally happen quicker. But let us know, what works for you?
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