How Long Does A Marijuana High Last?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

Marijuana is a very common drug in the United States. While some states have legalized its use, marijuana is still federally classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Traces of marijuana can stay in the body for up to three months after first-time use.

How Long Does A Marijuana High Last

A marijuana high can last anywhere from one to six hours depending on the form of cannabis consumption and THC content.

Taking a dab of marijuana typically results in a more intense, short-lived high that can last one to two hours. Smoking cannabis has a similar duration of up to three hours.

The longest marijuana high results from ingesting edibles, which can cause a high lasting four hours on average and six hours in extreme cases.

Learn more about how long drug highs last.

How Long Does It Take For A Marijuana High To Kick In?

Vaping or smoking weed will normally produce results within 10 to 15 minutes. Edibles, on the other hand, can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to take effect.

Due to the delay associated with edibles, people who use cannabis edibles must be careful to limit their consumption to avoid marijuana toxicity.

The duration of a marijuana high can vary greatly depending on the route of administration, but there are additional factors that can contribute to how long marijuana lasts.

Factors That Affect The Duration Of A Marijuana High

A marijuana high may vary depending on the strain of the drug, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration levels, a person’s tolerance, and other factors.

Strain Of Marijuana

Marijuana plants are internationally grown in breeding programs designed to create unique strains of the drug with specific properties.

Some strains of marijuana are genetically engineered through careful cross-pollination to enhance the effects of THC for a longer or more intense high.

Concentration Levels Of THC

In addition to strain, some cannabis products are specifically manufactured to include higher THC concentrations.

THC is the psychoactive drug in the marijuana plant, so the increased amount of THC may draw out a cannabis high or make it more intense.

Concentration Of Terpenes

Terpenes are other naturally existing compounds in the cannabis plant. These compounds are likely responsible for the relaxing effects of weed.

In combination with THC and CBD, terpenes may create an “entourage effect,” which some experts posit is a synergistic melding of the compounds for a more pleasant overall experience.


Someone who uses marijuana regularly will begin to develop a tolerance to its effects. Increased tolerance may contribute to a shorter, milder high.

People who develop a tolerance will often increase the amount that they use, but doing so does come with the risk of causing marijuana toxicity.

Dose Of Marijuana

The amount of marijuana used is less likely to make a significant difference in the duration of the high. However, the dosage will influence how long the marijuana is detectable in your system.

Marijuana’s Effects On The Mind And Body

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that produces feelings of relaxation and moderate euphoria by binding with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

These neurotransmitters can influence memory, sensation, concentration, and coordination, allowing marijuana to cause a cascade of different side effects in different people.

Short-Term Side Effects

The primary short-term side effect of marijuana use is a sense of relaxation and impaired cognition. However, many people experience a range of other side effects.

These effects typically last as long as the duration of the high: about one to six hours.

Common short-term side effects of marijuana include:

  • loss of coordination
  • reduced reaction speed
  • increased sensory perception
  • uncontrolled laughter
  • shifts in perception of time
  • interference with memory
  • increased appetite
  • drowsiness

Long-Term Side Effects

The long-term side effects of marijuana use are well-documented.

While certain methods of abuse can increase instances of respiratory and cardiac conditions, the primary health consequences related to long-term marijuana abuse are psychological.

People who routinely use marijuana may experience increased rates of anxiety, suicidal ideation, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and neurocognitive impairment.

Coming Down From Marijuana

Marijuana does not usually cause a complete withdrawal, but the comedown from a marijuana high can last up to half a day following drug use.

The symptoms of a marijuana comedown can include fatigue, irritability, and nausea.

Marijuana Drug Testing Times

The sale of marijuana is legal in some states but is a federally controlled substance. Federal agencies and individual companies may still test for it during routine drug screenings.

Blood tests and saliva tests are not particularly effective at detecting marijuana use, as the samples have to be taken within 24 hours to detect marijuana.

Urine tests are the most reliable for detecting marijuana. These tests usually detect weed up to a week after use, but that may extend to two weeks for someone who uses marijuana frequently.

Hair follicle tests are infrequently used for marijuana, but these tests can be used to detect drug use going back three months, sometimes more.

Choosing The Right Treatment Length

Marijuana is not routinely associated with addiction, but marijuana abuse can certainly culminate in a harmful pattern of behavior that would benefit from addiction treatment.

If you or a loved one requires help for a substance abuse disorder involving marijuana, then you will need to decide whether a short- or long-term program is best suited to your needs.

Short-Term Treatment

Short-term addiction treatment programs last less than 30 days. They often offer high-intensity treatment plans with options for outpatient and inpatient addiction care.

These programs are best suited to people with mild to moderate addictions and a good support system.

Long-Term Treatment

Long-term addiction treatment facilities provide programs that last at least a month. While the average duration is about three months, some programs extend beyond a year.

These programs are better suited to people with severe addictions and those with little support. Long-term programs can be great for helping people reintegrate into normal life.

FAQs For Marijuana Abuse

If you are concerned about a loved one who is using marijuana, then you likely have questions regarding marijuana abuse and addiction.

To help you better understand how marijuana works and how long a weed high lasts, our team has put together a short collection of responses to common questions.

Cannabis products include everything from cannabidiol (CBD) oil to candy-like edibles.

While cannabis buds are designed for rolling into a joint or smoking with a bong, dispensaries also sell vape oils, brownies, and gummies infused with high doses of THC.

When marijuana addiction does occur, it is unlikely to require supervised detoxification. However, if there are other substances involved, then a detox program can be beneficial.

To find out what kind of detox program is best for your situation, contact the addiction treatment center to learn what the recommendations are for your substance use disorder.

Marijuana is not generally habit-forming, but the effects of a marijuana high may encourage some people to experiment with additional substances.

A person may also explore polysubstance abuse as they build a tolerance to marijuana to recreate the same experience.

The best treatment options for marijuana abuse will depend on the individual.

When you’re exploring treatment options, you will want to consider whether your program of choice offers support for co-occurring disorders or additional forms of substance use.

Marijuana does not build physical dependence in the same way as opioids or amphetamines; however, a person can display addiction behaviors and experience effects similar to withdrawal.

In these cases, marijuana abuse may be related to a co-occurring disorder. Co-occurring mental health disorders generally respond well to behavioral therapy as part of addiction treatment.

Find Substance Use Treatment In Your Area

If you or a loved one need treatment for chronic marijuana abuse, then call us today.

With our help, you can find the perfect treatment program to address your substance abuse disorder.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on
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