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The effects of cannabis
The effects of cannabis

What will cannabis do to me?

Bob avatar
Written by Bob
Updated over a week ago

How does cannabis get you high?
Cannabinoids and terpenes are the main compounds in the cannabis plant that get you high or provide medicinal benefits. The two main cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC gets you high, whereas CBD is non-intoxicating. People consume both cannabinoids for medicinal benefits. Most strains you buy at the dispensary will be high in THC, and some will be high in CBD or have a balance of the two.

Terpenes give cannabis its scent compounds and its complex aromas. Hundreds of terpenes are found in trace amounts in the plant, and there are eight main ones:

  • Myrcene

  • Caryophyllene

  • Limonene

  • Pinene

  • Linalool

  • Terpinolene

  • Humulene

  • Ocimene

Cannabinoids and terpenes work together synergistically through a process called the entourage effect, and they interact with and activate the body’s endocannabinoid system, a cellular system which maintains balance in your body. This is how you feel high and experience symptom relief or other effects of cannabis.

Dosing cannabis can be tricky because cannabis effects plateau at a certain point and if you take more, it won’t necessarily increase effects. This plateau level is different for everyone based on body chemistry, the weed strain’s chemical profile, and how much you consume.

How long will the high last?

How long the effects last can vary greatly depending on the dose and potency. The more you use and the higher the THC content, the longer the effects will stick around.

How you consume cannabis also affects when the effects peak and how long they last.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Smoking or vaping. The effects peak around 10 minutes after consumption and typically last 1 to 3 hours, though they can linger for up to 8 hours.

  • Eating. The effects of edibles usually peak around 2 hours after consumption and can last up to 24 hours.

  • Dabbing. Similar to smoking, the effects of dabbing usually last 1 to 3 hours. If using a high THC concentrate, you could feel the effects for an entire day.

Cannabis hits everyone differently, so while your high may only last for a couple of hours, you could potentially feel the comedown or aftereffects for several hours or through the next day. It’s best to go low and slow if you’re new to cannabis.

What does it feel like to be high?

Smoking, ingesting, or vaping cannabis can make you high or “stoned.” If you’ve never tried cannabis, you might wonder what it feels like.

Cannabis can have drastically different effects from one person to the next. Some people report feeling happy or relaxed. Others report laughter, altered time and sensory perception, and increased appetite. But cannabis can also cause less-desirable effects such as anxiety, paranoia and racing heartbeat.

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