Science Finally Tells Us How Long a Cannabis High Lasts — Kind Of

Ever wondered how long that cannabis high is going to last? You aren’t alone, and finally, science has answered that burning cannabis question. A 2021 study published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews narrows it down to a window of three to ten hours, but most commonly four hours, based on three factors. Let’s dive in, shall we?

It Depends on Three Things

Researchers in the study looked at 80 scientific studies to determine cannabis intoxication specifically on awareness and driving ability, so keep that in mind. The upshot is that THC dosage, method of consumption and your personal cannabis history will all factor into the timeframe of a given sesh, which makes… perfect sense. And surprise — ingesting 20mg of THC via an edible experienced the longest high, while those who inhaled the same amount recovered within five hours, or about half the time of the edible group.

It’s understood that inhaled and ingested THC affect us differently. The former has a speedy uptake, while the latter can take up to an hour or more to kick in, with effects lasting significantly longer. If you’re enjoying a particularly heavy edible, you may feel its effects for a full ten hours. If you’re inhaling high doses of THC, you may feel that high up to six or seven hours. Typically, however, a cannabis high that’s been inhaled is going to last around four hours.

In the study, researchers identified 10mg as a moderate dose, but noted that what’s moderate for one may be heavy for another. It all comes down to how often you indulge. More frequent partakers of cannabis had higher tolerance levels, which can mean a reduced effect. Quick aside – mosey this way if you’re dealing with a tolerance that’s becoming a problem.


There’s so single, tidy answer to the length of a cannabis high, simply because cannabis affects each of us differently. We suggest reading this if your edible isn’t working (or it’s working too well), and remembering that the general window for that high is somewhere between three and ten hours.

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