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December 19, 2023
8 min to read

How Many Hits to Get High from a Vape Pen? What to Know

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Hayley Heidelbaugh

When you vape weed, getting high may be the end goal, but there are different ways to get there. Do you want to reach your destination as quickly and efficiently as possible—or enjoy the experience and all its rituals?

Knowing the ideal number of hits you need to reach the high you want can help you pace yourself appropriately. As much as we wish there were a quick and easy formula, the reality is far more subjective. Everyone responds differently to cannabis products, including delta 8 carts and delta 8 disposables.

Weed tolerance can play a part, too; even the effects of THC-rich marijuana can be dampened by frequent use. To replicate a particular intensity, you may need to take more hits over time.

How much should I vape to get high: things to consider

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Let’s get our usual disclaimer out of the way: there’s no objective answer to questions about effects or user experience. Everyone’s body and genetics are unique, and vaping habits vary widely. There’s no rule that applies to everyone all the time.

For example, a chronic user might need twenty short hits to reach a pleasant buzz, while a new weed vaper could be stoned into oblivion by their fourth. It all depends on the variables below.

Tolerance and frequency of use

Tolerance has a huge effect on your body and mind’s response to weed. The steeper the tolerance, the more puffs you’ll need to reach the high you want.

To gauge your current tolerance level, consider the frequency of use and how long you’ve followed that pattern. Chronic, daily users may experience reduced CB1 receptor sensitivity. When THC enters the body, its affinity for this receptor helps determine intensity. The dopamine release triggered by cannabis can be normalized, and after a point, influxes of this hormone will hardly be noticeable. Dopamine is responsible for the euphoric, intoxicating effects of weed.

Chronic users require more hits to get high. Tolerances may also be specific to one cannabinoid. You could have, for example, a high tolerance to HHC, yet still feel the effects of delta 8 THC—even though it’s generally a weaker cannabinoid.

The speed at which you build a tolerance also depends on:

  • Genetics: Some users are predisposed to CB1 desensitization and could develop a tolerance faster.
  • Sex: Female bodies may be especially prone to rapid THC tolerance.
  • Age: THC tolerance can decrease with age.
  • Product quality

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    The quality and ingredients of your vape oil influence its potency. Care and storage should be considered as well.

    Only buy hemp products from trusted sellers with transparent safety testing. Likewise, marijuana products should come from licensed dispensaries. This is the only way to reliably avoid low-quality, contaminated products. Black market weed may have inconsistent effects, so there’s no way to predict the best number of hits.

    Even high-quality carts and disposables can become damaged. Store hemp and marijuana products in a cool, dry location and keep them away from sunlight. Exposure to UV rays, heat, and humidity can degrade cannabinoids and weaken the oil's effects.


    Cannabinoids and their potency

    Some cannabinoids are more psychoactive than others. It varies between users, but here’s a brief overview of commonly available products:

    • Delta 9 THC: The primary active cannabinoid in marijuana. Delta 9 will generally get you higher than most popular hemp derivatives.
    • Delta 8 THC: Said to be about half as intoxicating as delta 9 THC.
    • HHC: Approximately 70-80% as potent as delta 9.
    • THCV: Mildly intoxicating with a very high dose, so you’ll need more than a few hits.
    • CBN: Very mildly intoxicating, but you’d need to consume a massive amount.
    • CBD: Non-intoxicating by itself.
    • Many cannabinoids, including other THC isomers, will get you mildly or moderately high, but for most people, hemp-derived products usually require more puffs than a delta 9 vape to achieve similar effects.

      THC concentration

      Concentration is part of the puzzle, though it may not have as large a role as many believe.

      Carts and disposals with a higher percentage of THC may get you buzzed faster than those with a scant amount. The same applies to delta 8 products, as well as HHC carts and HHC disposables.

      Reputable hemp sellers will provide a full breakdown of the oil’s cannabinoid contents. Marijuana retailers are legally obligated to provide this information, and dispensary salespeople can explain the cannabinoid concentrations of the various products they sell.

      That said, high-THC carts and disposables won’t necessarily get you higher than those with lower concentrations. Try not to underestimate the entourage effect. Other cannabis components—terpenes and minor cannabinoids—can combine with the primary cannabinoids to amplify the overall effect.

      While a potent distillate will get many users high within a few hits, people with an exceptionally high THC tolerance may get better results with live resin or rosin oils that have a broader profile.


      Does vaping get you higher than smoking bud?

      Vaping is likely to get you equally high in fewer puffs than smoking, simply because there is more THC per puff in a vape cart than a joint. Most marijuana strains test between 15% and 30% THC. That’s significantly less than what’s found in the concentrates contained in vape carts.

      Don’t forget to consider your typical mode of consumption, however. If you’re a regular vaper and have an impressive tolerance, smoking might surprise you. Switching up your method can partially refresh the body’s response to THC.

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      How many vape hits are equal to a joint?

      One gram of distillate has roughly the same total THC as an eighth ounce of bud. It may feature more or less, though, depending on the strain.

      You’ll probably get four to six joints out of that eighth ounce. By this math, a joint is equivalent to approximately 20% to 25% of a one-gram distillate cart. You’d need quite a few hits to get there, but again, potency is rarely so simple in practice. Total THC content isn’t the sole determinant.

      Focus less on the numbers and more on trial and error. Smoke a joint one night, then take a few hits of your vape another. Some users are more sensitive to particular modes of consumption, especially if it’s unfamiliar.


      Do big vape hits get you higher?

      Taking long, powerful draws of your vape will probably get you high faster, sure. Whether it’s a good idea is another question.

      First, consider the integrity of your cart or disposable. You don’t want to pull more oil than the atomizer can vaporize in one go. Every time you draw for five seconds or more, you’re boosting the risk of a clog or flooded chamber. You could even pull oil right through the mouthpiece.

      A faster high doesn’t mean much if you’re getting fewer sessions out of your cart or disposable. To maximize the lifespan of your products, keep hits to three or fewer seconds. Draws should be slow and gentle to avoid overwhelming the atomizer.

      Pace yourself—especially if you're brand new to weed oil. No need to wait long for the effects to kick in, since our lungs rapidly absorb THC and send it to the bloodstream and brain. Start with a few short puffs, wait ten to twenty minutes, and assess how you’re doing.

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      How long should I wait between hits?

      The amount of time you should wait between hits depends on tolerance, history with weed, and what you want out of the vaping experience.

      New vapers shouldn’t take a dozen hits right out of the gate. Unless you’re already a regular consumer of bud or edibles, your tolerance is likely at rock bottom. Spend your first session figuring out how the oil affects you. Be sure to pace yourself and take periodic breaks. If the high settles in and you’re not satisfied, vape a little more. Experiment first so you’ll have a knowledge base for future sessions.

      Sometimes, the goal isn’t to get high as quickly as possible. This probably won’t impact the total number of hits, but it definitely alters how long you linger between puffs. Users who want to soak in the experience may wait a minute or more before taking their next hit. If you enjoy experiencing the flavor, taking a few giant hits and holding your breath won’t be of any use.

      Of course, if you put down your vape for an hour, there’s a chance the effects will begin fading. In that case, you will require more puffs.

      How many hits of a 1:1 to get high?

      Live resins and rosins contain a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes, but other vape products contain high concentrations of specific compounds. Some carts and disposables are known as 1:1 products, as they contain equal parts THC and another cannabinoid, such as CBD or CBN.

      The second cannabinoid in a 1:1 blend is often non-intoxicating and can affect how you react to the THC portion of the oil. For example, unless you’re looking for a good night’s rest, don’t rely on a 1:1 containing THC and notoriously dozy CBN to get you high.

      If you personally need ten hits to get high from a standard THC cart, you’ll likely need more to feel the psychoactive effects of a 1:1 product. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should take twice as many puffs. The interplay between cannabinoids can modify the intensity and nature of your high, so again, you’ll have to experiment to know how it works for you.

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      Hayley Heidelbaugh

      Vaping since: 3 years

      Favorite products:

      Favorite flavors: White Wedding, Northern Lights, Platinum Valley, OG Kush

      Expertise in: Oil carts, cannabis concentrates, cannabis flower

      Hayley Heidelbaugh

      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.

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