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How Long Does a Delta 8 High Last: Vape Carts, Edibles & Tinctures

Hayley Heidelbaugh
July 13, 2023

Since the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp and all of its derivatives, delta 8 THC has gained rapid popularity as a legal alternative to delta 9 THC (“THC”) vape carts, edibles, and more. Similar to the THC we’re used to, delta 8 is a psychoactive cannabinoid that causes the user to become high. However, the effects are milder—a gentle sense of euphoria, compared to the intense, longer-lasting highs produced by THC.

The average length of a delta 8 high depends on a few variables, including your method of consumption. Are you vaping a delta 8 cart or a delta 8 disposable, consuming edibles, or using a tincture? Dosage, tolerance, other supplements or medications, and metabolism also influence the high’s duration.

We’ll be exploring how long a delta 8 high lasts. Keep in mind that everyone’s body can respond differently to any substance.

What does a delta 8 high feel like?

Like all THC carts and other THC products, consuming delta 8 leads to euphoria. A delta 8 high is mild compared to delta 9, and you will need to consume higher doses to reach a comparable intensity.

Delta 8 users report a reduction in mental fog and an overall clear-headed experience. You may find it simpler to concentrate on particular thoughts or activities. Interestingly, this boost in alertness comes with increased relaxation. This could mean mental calmness or reduced physical tension. Changes in appetite are common with delta 8 and all THC use.

How long does delta 8 last?

Although we’re still waiting for studies that demonstrate just how long delta 8 lasts, anecdotal accounts can tell us a lot.

In general, the effects of delta 8 will linger for 3-8 hours. Developing a tolerance may cause the high to fade faster. If you become a regular user, the same dosage could impact you differently as you develop a tolerance for delta 8.

These variables determine exactly how long your delta 8 high lasts:

  • Dosage: A higher dose of delta 8 will result in a more powerful, longer-lasting high. Start at a low dose, such as a short puff of your vape or a 5 mg edible, until you understand how the substance affects your body.
  • Method of consumption: While vaping delta 8 leads to a speedier onset, the high won’t last as long as other methods, including tinctures and edibles.
  • Frequency of use: More frequent delta 8 use means a higher tolerance.
  • Supplement or medication interactions: Delta 8 can interact with other supplements or medications, altering the length and intensity of your high.

Factors relating to a delta 8 user’s physical condition or medical history could also play a role. This includes age, health conditions, metabolism, and weight.

Delta 8 vape carts

Vaping delta 8 carts leads to a quick high, with the early effects kicking in pretty fast. You could start feeling the effects almost instantaneously.

Compared to other methods of consumption, delta 8 vapor enters the bloodstream faster. Gasses inhaled into our lungs are rapidly absorbed by the body, but they are also metabolized more efficiently.

Just because the high hits quickly, doesn’t mean it lasts long. You may feel the impact of delta 8 carts for up to 3-5 hours, with the effects usually peaking during the first hour.

Delta 8 edibles and gummies

You’ll need to be patient waiting for a delta 8 edible to hit, but the wait is worth it.

Edibles like delta 8 gummies take anywhere from 30-90 minutes to trigger a high. They also last longer once they’ve kicked in, with highs up to 8 hours in duration. Effects peak during the first half of this duration.

Some edibles are fully reliant on digestion to be absorbed, such as cookies or brownies. These must be processed through the liver, and will take longer to hit than chewables, which can be partially absorbed by mucous membranes in the mouth. Some delta 8 candy will cause the user to become high in just 15-20 minutes. The effects may also wear off 1-2 hours more quickly, however.

Delta 8 tinctures

Delta 8 tinctures can be consumed sublingually. You place a drop of the oil under your tongue, where it’s absorbed by mucous membranes. As we touched upon earlier, this is a quicker route of absorption than digestion in our stomachs. Tiny vessels absorb the delta 8, allowing it to bypass digestion and get to the bloodstream with haste.

A tincture will hit within 10-30 minutes, with the high lasting for up to 3-5 hours. Think of tinctures as a middle point between delta 8 vapes and edibles. Other methods of tincture consumption, such as mixing a drop into food, take longer to absorb.

Delta 8 creams and topicals

Topical products like creams are another method of delta 8 consumption. Apply the salve, cream, or other substance to the surface of your skin and rub it in.

There’s a big catch when it comes to topical application: it won’t get you high. While other methods lead to the bloodstream, this isn’t what happens when delta 8 is absorbed by your skin.

Instead, it binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) but never reaches the brain where a high is experienced. You won’t feel any euphoria, but anecdotes cite pain relief as an outcome. While we have studies showing a link between topical cannabis and pain relief, as well as CBD and reduced chronic pain, we need more research specific to delta 8.

How to tell when delta 8 is wearing off

Delta 8 highs don’t hit at full intensity, and then vanish suddenly. You’ll experience a cool-down period where the effects become gradually milder.

The following signs let you know that delta 8 is wearing off:

  • Changes in concentration: Unlike delta 9 THC, delta 8 is known to produce a “clear-headed” high. Thoughts become sharper and it may be easier to focus on a specific task or idea. You will lose this concentration as the high fades.
  • Reduced psychoactive intensity: It’s a given, but as your high from delta 8 wears off, so will the psychoactive effects. Heightened sensations and euphoria will slowly vanish.
  • Shifts in mood: When euphoria fades, expect to see a change in your mood. You’ll find yourself returning to a baseline emotional state as delta 8 is metabolized.
  • Loss of relaxation: Many of us use delta 8 products to relax. Reduced feelings of physical or mental relaxation, including increased muscle tension, point to the compound wearing off.
  • Normal appetite: Depending on who you ask, delta 8 causes an increase or decrease in appetite. It’s common for the substance to cause appetite changes, but these will wane and return to normal.

Delta 8 dosing: start low and work up

The best way to avoid a high that lasts too long is to start low. A 3-8 hour range is significant, and you won’t know how your body responds until you try particular products for the first time.

Rather than a full edible, start with a quarter of gummy, or about 5 mg of delta 8. One puff of your vape or a drop of oil under the tongue should also do the trick. Wait until the effects hit before bumping up your dose.

Everyone has their own sweet spot with delta 8. Taking the time to find yours ensures the best possible experience.

I'm a Pennsylvania-based cannabis enthusiast and writer. As a part of the Vaping360 team, I'm eager to help cannabis consumers explore vaping and get the most out of their experience. You can also find me @faeberrystudios on Instagram.