Anyone you have ever asked has probably had a slightly different answers to the question, “How long will I be high for?”. How long does THC last? Will I be high all night? While the response “It depends” hasn’t given you much comfort, there was no truly scientific answer…until now!
Now, thanks to the research team led by Danielle McCartney of the University of Sydney, we finally have some concrete numbers to share with you!
While the research study was specifically geared towards identifying the “impairment window” in terms of its relationship with driving, the data can be applied to every day usage. According to the study, the “window of impairment” lasts anywhere from three to ten hours, depending on the dose taken, the mode of ingestion, and the consumer’s previous cannabis experience.
While that may still sound like the original answer of “it depends”, on average, your high will last about four hours.
As mentioned above, one of the contributing factors to how long you’ll be high is how you ingest your cannabis. As anecdotal evidence has long suggested, the effects of an edible or infused beverage last much longer than inhaled products, such as a joint or vape pen.
The study found that smoking or vaping 20mg of THC diminished a driver’s reaction time for roughly four hours. But ingesting 20mg of THC via an edible or beverage diminished reaction time for eight hours, twice as long. This is in line with what we and our customers have typically experienced.
Aside from FINALLY having the age old question answered by science, why does this information matter?
Well, for starters, it helps us better understand the impact cannabis has on our bodies. This allows us to better tailor our suggested treatment plans to our customers. We often suggest that those suffering from insomnia take an edible, versus inhalation, because the effects will help you stay sleep that much longer. Now that we have a general idea of how long the effects of THC last, people can schedule treatment accordingly.
This will also open the door for more studies on the impact cannabis has, so that other countries may consider legalizing this incredible plant, as well. We want to see people all around the world benefiting from the healing powers of cannabis and it is definitive studies like these that provide governments the information they need. It also provides those in the medical field with new treatment options, an exciting opportunity for many!
In the beginning, we mentioned that a consumer’s cannabis experience also plays a part in how long you will be impaired for. As many regular cannabis users will be able to attest to, the more regularly you enjoy cannabis, the less you feel the effects.
The study confirmed as much and stated that “We found that impairment is much more predictable in occasional cannabis users than regular cannabis users. Heavy users show significant tolerance to the effects of cannabis on driving and cognitive function, while typically displaying some impairment.”
Exciting times are ahead for the cannabis community and we are thrilled to see such insightful studies such as this being conducted around the world!