There are a lot of reasons to want to make a cannabis high last longer. It’s cheaper for one thing, giving your stash extra shelf-life as you use it more sparingly. But, when it comes to medicinal marijuana, wanting a high to last longer really has to do with pain relief. When you’re in pain or other types of discomfort, you want to stay out of it for as long as possible.
So, how do you accomplish this? Do you turn towards lore and try the ol’ mango trick? Do you find a way to decrease your tolerance? Do you try different ingestion methods or strains?
Some people may not find success no matter what they do – everyone’s body is different and everyone’s high is as well. However, if you’re looking for extra-long relief, there are a few things you can consider. And this begins with how you consume your marijuana to begin with.
One of the most common methods of marijuana ingestion is one of the truest and tried – breathe in, breathe out, repeat. The benefit of this for medical patients is that the relief is fast: it hits nearly immediately (or within the first couple of minutes). The downside is this relief is short-lived:
It peaks around the fifteen-minute mark and provides reprieve for around an hour.
Of course, you can extend the relief by inhaling more. Yet, if you’re a frequent smoker, inhale after inhale can be harmful to the lungs (even if it doesn’t do long-term damage, it’ll at least irritate your throat). Thus, at the very least, use a vaporizer. Your lungs will thank you if they could, so maybe your voice box will instead.
Eat Edibles for Pain Relief
Another common form of ingestion is to consume edibles. Many medical patients prefer this method because the relief is very long – up to nine hours. This has to do with how the cannabis is metabolized.
The bad news is that edibles take longer to kick in. The average is around sixty minutes, but some people may have to wait an hour and a half or two hours (or more). This sets people up to overdose (not in fatal terms, but in the “OMG, I’m ever doing pot again” sense). The key is to be patient – wait for your high; it’s on its way.
People who are in such pain or discomfort that any sort of waiting period isn’t doable may benefit from smoking while they wait for their edible high to appear. But, again, be careful not to ingest too much. Ideally, medical patients will pick strains high in CBD – this’ll help keep the high from getting out of control.
Tinctures are similar to edibles in their effects – they offer around the same length of relief and take around the same amount of time to kick in. You can either swallow them or place them under the tongue. Doing the latter helps the cannabis enter the Central Nervous System more quickly, but still not as fast as smoking.
Some people experience such pain that tradition medical marijuana does little to tame it. For this type of discomfort, dabs are an option. Dabs are a form of concentrated cannabis with higher THC percentages than flowers. They offer potent relief from acute and chronic pain as well as extreme nausea.
The saying “a dab will do ya,” is a saying for a reason: dabs will not provide a moderate high. Anyone trying dabs for the first time should prepare for this. Try it somewhere you feel safe when you don’t have anything important to do. Also make sure you have a couch nearby. There’s a good chance it’ll become you BFF within the next hour.
Making Any of the Above Go the Extra Mile
Regardless of the ingestion method, a cannabis high can be manipulated to a degree. Some people find that consuming it on an empty stomach makes for a more potent experience. This isn’t usually recommended, especially if you’re consuming edibles, as it may give you a little too much bang for your buck. But, if you’re a seasoned user and you know what you’re doing, this might be one way to achieve longer, more potent relief.
Mangos, as mentioned above, provide benefit too….maybe. Some people swear that eating a mango an hour before you ingest cannabis both strengthens and lengthens the experience. This likely has to do with the terpenes in the mango: they combine with those in cannabis to double down.
Not everyone finds this to be true – some people eat mango after mango with little ado. But, worst case scenario, eating a mango will provide you with some vitamin C; you’ll have Mary Jane to thank when you don’t catch that cold going around the office.
Nuts are another food with the potential to lengthen a high
They’re full of Omega 3 fatty acids, acids that bind with the cannabinoids in pot. Some people experience longer highs when consuming them right before consuming cannabis. This might also help the high arrive faster.
In regard to smoking, there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not “holding it in longer” helps potentiate the high. Again, this is a matter of opinion – some people swear it does and some people swear it doesn’t. Science agrees with the latter: it’s believed that around 95 percent of the THC in marijuana smoke is absorbed nearly immediately. However, holding your breath can deprave your brain of oxygen, which might make you feel higher.
Other Things Considering
There will always be tricks to making a high last longer: from what we eat beforehand to if we eat beforehand. But medical marijuana patients find the most relief in choosing the correct strain. Strains like Gorilla Glue are helpful when trying to target pain. The budtender at your local dispensary will point you to the right kind of cannabis once they know the symptoms for which you are seeking relief.
If one strain doesn’t work, there’s more to choose from
Sometimes cannabis must involve a bit of trial and error. There’s really no “right” pot; it comes down to what’s right for you.