cannabis affects your body

How Does Marijuana Work in the Body?

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Have a joint and take a drag – in 5 minutes, you’ll already feel drowsy and all the effects of the herb will go berserk on you. How does that happen? Have you ever wondered how weed works once it’s entered your system?

In the following, we’ll tell you how cannabis affects your body when you smoke it, so you know the biological science behind getting high. Let’s start our microscopic adventure.

The Science

You feel high when smoking marijuana because the smoke contains a wide array of chemicals, THC, and CBD especially. These go straight to the lungs and get absorbed by their alveoli, the sacs of air inside of them.

Some of them also enter the bloodstream. After this initial stage, the chemicals go “to your head”, literally speaking. They affect the endocannabinoid system, which is made up of millions of neurotransmitters.

When this system is activated, you start to feel high, because certain euphoria-causing chemicals are released by the brain. How quickly? A few seconds after you’ve taken the first drag, usually.

marijuana brain effect


You won’t feel the euphoria instantly, though, but you’ll feel drowsy, your vision will be enhanced (or blurred) and all in all, you’ll feel like getting out of bed is the most difficult thing you’ve had to do.

When it’s ingested, weed has the same effects, although their onset is much slower. However, they last for a longer period of time; that’s why some people choose to make weed brownies instead of rolling joints and smoking the herb.

When Does Weed Leave the System?

There’s no time set in stone in this case, because some people metabolize THC and CBD slower, while others metabolize it at a much faster rate. Tolerance to weed also contributes to how long it will be in your system.

You have to understand that if it’s in your system, it doesn’t mean you’ll feel high. For instance, weed can be traced in your body for approximately a week, even if you’ve smoked it once during that week.

Now, obviously, you won’t be high for 7 days straight. The high effect lasts for a couple of hours and wears off pretty quickly when you have a huge tolerance for it. If you’re a constant smoker, it can stay in your system for almost 2 months.

marijuana smoke


The process of getting high is quite fascinating. It’s not some miracle that simply happens when you take a hit out of the weld joint. There are actually tens of tiny processes that work in a chain reaction to make you feel awesome.

Perhaps we shouldn’t take cannabis for granted. We have an endocannabinoid system which we might have acquired in some evolutionary step in order to facilitate the penetration of this herb.

The simple fact that we have that system tells us that marijuana is much more important than we even dare to imagine. We haven’t decoded all its secrets yet, and it could take some years until we do.

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