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Cannabis
Effects
by Erowid
DURATION #
Caution :   Reactions and experiences may vary dramatically from person to person. [see below]
Cannabis Duration
Smoked
Total Duration
1 - 4 hrs
Onset
0 - 10 mins
Coming Up
5 - 10 mins
Plateau
15 - 30 mins
Coming Down
45 - 180 mins
 
 
After Effects
2 - 24 hrs
Hangover / Day After
0 - 24 hrs
Cannabis Duration
Total Duration
4 - 10 hrs
Onset
30 - 120 mins
Coming Up
30 - 60 mins
Plateau
2 - 5 hours
Coming Down
1 - 2 hours
 
 
After Effects
6 - 12 hrs
Hangover / Day After
0 - 24 hrs
  DURATION CHART
Duration is strongly affected by dose, tolerance, and individual reaction. Those who use cannabis regularly experience a shorter duration than those who do not. Note that most cannabis users smoke multiple times in a single session and this extends the duration.

For oral consumption, duration is complicated by stomach contents and delivery mechanism. Taking THC-capsules on an empty stomach lasts much shorter than eating THC-containing cookies or food, which take hours to fully digest.

There has been some research into the pharmacokinetics of THC (how it moves through and is processed by the body). See Grotenhermen's research, which showed that the peak THC concentration after smoking was between 15-30 minutes and sloped down for 1-2 hours. He also showed that oral consumption caused the THC levels to peak between 2 and 4 hours and last for 4 to 8 hours.

EFFECTS LIST #
The effects of smoking cannabis are usually lighter than those of many other recreational psychoactive substances. People are generally capable of carrying out normal actions and activities while high.

POSITIVE
  • mood lift, euphoria
  • increased giggling and laughing
  • relaxation, stress reduction
  • creative, philosophical, abstract, or deep thinking : ideas flow more easily
  • increased appreciation or awareness of music; deeper connection to music; increased emotional impact of music
  • increased awareness of senses (taste, smell, touch, hearing, vision)
  • change in experience of muscle fatigue; pleasant body feel; increase in body/mind connection
  • pain relief (headaches, cramps)
  • reduced nausea, increased appetite (used medically for this)
  • boring tasks or entertainment can become more interesting or funny
NEUTRAL
  • general change in consciousness
  • increased appetite, snacky-ness
  • slowness (slow driving, talking)
  • change in vision, such as sharpened colors or lights
  • closed-eye visuals (somewhat uncommon)
  • tiredness, sleepiness, lethargy
  • stimulation, inability to sleep (less common)
  • blood-shot eyes (more common with certain varieties of cannabis and inexperienced users)
  • mouth dryness, sticky-mouth (varies with strain)
  • interruption of linear memory; difficulty following a train of thought
  • cheek, jaw, facial tension / numbness (less commonly reported)
  • racing thoughts (especially at high doses)
  • time sense altered (for example, cars seem like they are moving too fast); time dilation and compression are common at higher doses
NEGATIVE
  • coughing, asthma, upper respiratory problems
  • difficulty with short-term memory during effects and during periods of frequent use (Ranganathan M, D'Souza DC, Psychopharmacology, 2006)
  • racing heart, agitation, feeling tense
  • mild to severe anxiety
  • panic attacks in sensitive users or with very high doses (oral use increases risk of getting too much)
  • headaches
  • dizziness, confusion
  • lightheadedness or fainting (in cases of lowered blood pressure)
  • paranoid & anxious thoughts more frequent
  • possible psychological dependence on cannabis
  • clumsiness, loss of coordination at high doses
  • nausea, especially in combination with alcohol, some pharmaceuticals, or other psychoactives
  • can precipitate or exacerbate latent or existing mental disorders
HANGOVER / DAY(S) AFTER
  • dry mouth
  • tired, red, dry, or itchy eyes
  • joint stiffness
  • fatigue, drowsiness, foggy or slow thinking
  • reduced memory skills, slower speed of recall
WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS (after stopping heavy use)
  • mild to moderate, non-life-threatening withdrawal symptoms occur after daily use in some users.
  • Withdrawal symptoms normally last 2-4 days, up to six weeks with long term use. Severity of symptoms is related to frequency and duration of use and individual sensitivity.
  • anhedonia (reduced experience of pleasure)
  • headaches, general unease/discomfort
  • difficulty sleeping
  • desire to smoke cannabis
  • slight loss of appetite
  • finding non-stoned life a bit dull, increased boredom
  • fatigue, lethargy
  • slow thinking, talking
  • stoned-like abstract thinking, impatience with or annoyance at linear thinking
DESCRIPTION #
The primary effects sought by those using cannabis recreationally are euphoria, relaxation, and changes in perception. Effects vary depending on dosage, with effects at low doses including a sense of well-being, mild enhancement of senses (smell, taste, hearing), subtle changes in thought and expression, talkativeness, giggling, increased appreciation of music, increased appetite, and mild closed-eye visuals. At higher doses, sense of time is altered, attention span and memory are frequently affected, and thought processes and mental perception may be significantly altered.

One of the most common comments about cannabis is that it enhances the appreciation of sensory experiences without substantially changing the perceptual experience. Many people attribute their love of music, appreciation for new forms of music, and ability to play instruments to the use of cannabis.

At overly high doses, the effects are often likened to other psychedelics and panic and dysphoria (bad mood) are more common. High doses, especially when taken orally, can sometimes result in difficult experiences and trips to the emergency room in response to racing heart, extreme confusion, short-term memory loss, and panic. After high-dose experiences, especially among those who are not regular users, after effects can last 1-2 days.

Paradoxically, although cannabis is normally considered a relaxant / depressant, its effects are stimulating in a substantial portion of those who use it. While some people use it to help them sleep, others cannot sleep for 3-6 hours after their last smoke.

CAUTION & DISCLAIMER #
Erowid's effects information is a summary of data gathered from users, research, and other resources. This information is intended to describe the range of effects people report experiencing. Effects may vary dramatically from one person to another or one experience to another based on a variety of factors such as body chemistry, age, gender, physical health, dose, form of material, etc.