What Determines How Long A Vape High Lasts?

Posted by Derek Champoux
5 years ago / December 10, 2019

What Determines How Long A Vape High Lasts?

Cannabis High

Cannabis vapes provide a welcome alternative to the known risks of smoking cannabis and the lengthy, intense highs that accompany edibles. 

Already, an estimated 19% of Canadian cannabis users use oil cartridges or vape pens. As legal cannabis vape pens hit Canadian shelves over the next two months, this usage is expected to rise.

Those considering making the switch to vape pens will certainly have questions, including how this method of delivery will affect the way they experience cannabis’s effects—namely if the intensities, duration, and onset periods are different when vaping cannabis oil. So let’s take a look at a few of these:




How Long Does a Vape High Last?

Anecdotal reports suggest that vape highs last, on average, between 2-4 hours, but those numbers are not hard and fast.  

A more credible, scientific study conducted in 2017 examined the average onset periods and durations for vape highs. Its findings revealed the following data:

A 2017 study researched the average length and timing of a vape high:

  •           Onset Period: A Few Minutes
  •           Peak: 20 to 30 minutes
  •           Length of High: 2 to 3 hours

As you can see, cannabis vape highs tend to set in quickly and peak within the first half-hour. By contrast, the same study researched the average durations and onset periods of edible highs:

  •           Onset Period: 30 to 90 minutes
  •           Peak: 3 hours
  •           Length of High: Up to 24 hours

It’s worth noting that individual experiences can vary from one person to the next, but these numbers serve as a good guideline for most rookie and novice consumers. Lengths of vape highs are not always consistent. They can also hinge on the following factors: 


1.        Tolerance

Frequent cannabis use increases your tolerance. A higher tolerance can reduce both the intensity and duration of a vape high. This is also true for cannabis users who are new to vaping but have been consistent users of cannabis through other means of consumption.

Although the “high” feeling may not last as long, the cannabis is still affecting your body. So even if you don’t feel too intoxicated, you’re better off not driving or operating any heavy machinery for several hours.


2.        Individual

Age, gender, body type, and mood have are directly connected to the duration and intensity of a cannabis vape pen’s effects.

A 2019 study on the age-related differences in the impact of cannabis suggests that adolescents are more impaired by cannabis use than adults. Men and women appear to be affected differently by THC. Research suggests that hormones play an important role in modulating cannabis sensitivity. It seems that men may experience greater effects of vaping THC than women using the same dose.

Your body is another individual factor. A faster metabolism, for instance, can result in a shorter vape high. As with gender, your specific body chemistry also effects how you react to THC. For example, higher levels of estrogen may reduce the pain-relieving effects of cannabis.


3. Strain Type

Cannabis strains have different potencies and effects on the body. For instance, the two major strains are Indica and Sativa. Indica is said to affect the body and have sedative effects, whereas Sativa affects the mind and has uplifting effects.

Most strains of cannabis today are offshoots or hybrids of these strains, with their own specific effects and potency. Each individual strain differs in its cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoid content, and percentages. Of course, the more potent the concentrate the more intense and long-lasting the effects.


4. Dose

The effects and longevity of a vape high depend largely on the size of your doses. The potency, temperature, and quantity of each dose play a direct role.

As well, the longer the draw the more you consume in one dose. So a longer inhale has greater effects.


5. Temperature

The temperature at which you vape can also help regulate your high. This temperature control is unique to vaping and one of the most intriguing aspects of this delivery method. Temperature-control vaporizers allow users to toggle between different presets on their devices to find the temperatures that best suit their various extracts and personal preferences.

Different temperatures have specific benefits and drawbacks. We’ve summed up these pros and cons below: 

  • Low-Temperature Vaping: Lower temperatures (350 to 375℉) produce less intense highs but more flavorful vapor.
  • Medium-Temperature Vaping: Mid-range temperatures (375 to 400℉) produce more powerful highs while sacrificing at least some flavor.
  •  High-Temperature Vaping: Higher temperatures (400 to 425℉) maximize the intensity and duration of highs at the expense of flavor.


6. Other Drugs & Alcohol

Having other substances in your system can affect your experience with and reaction to cannabis. The effects of drugs and alcohol, when mixed, can be intense and offputting.

While having other substances in your body can extend the duration of or heighten your high, adverse reactions are possible. It is generally advised not to mix cannabis use with other recreational substances like alcohol.

The results of mixing substances can change the way your body reacts to them, making the effects harder to predict. For example, a Harvard study found that consuming THC after alcohol can intensify the cannabis high. This doesn’t work the same the other way, with cannabis slowing the absorption rate of alcohol. The slower absorption can make it easy to overserve yourself.

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