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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) explains, “Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant.” The plant organically contains THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the active chemical that produces psychological effects.

Though the legality surrounding marijuana is shifting in the United States as certain states have decriminalized the substance and/ or legalized marijuana, it remains classified as a Schedule I substance by the DEA (the United States Drug Enforcement Administration), which are defined as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Marijuana is known as the second most used psychotropic drug in America, after alcohol.

How Long Will It Last?

There are several methods of ingestion such as smoked via hand-rolled cigarettes, also known as joints, packed into pipes, and/ or smoked out of water pipes (bongs), inhaled, or vaped via a vaporizer (using marijuana extract), baked into food (edibles), or steeped into a tea to drink. If an individual smokes marijuana, whether it is via a dry pipe or water pipe typically the effects of the drug are felt within ten minutes and will last between two to four hours (in some cases longer). When a person eats marijuana by mixing it with food or liquids, the effects occur around thirty to forty minutes post ingestions, as one’s body must digest the drug through their digestive tract. The effects can last longer and be more intense when eaten. Marijuana remains in one’s system long after the effects have worn off. The half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of marijuana is approximately 67 days.


A drug overdose is the body’s physical response to an inability to adequately metabolize the excess of substance or substances a person has ingested. Addiction Center defines an overdose as an individual’s “biological response to when the human body receives too much of a substance or mix of substances.” When a physical body is bombarded with a substance or substances that it is unable to process, whether it is due to the potency of the substance or the amount used, it must react. Some people will be able to recover fully from an overdose experience, while others may be left with permanent organ damage and/ or other life-long side effects. A drug overdose can be a result of an individual accidentally ingesting a toxic combination or quantity of drugs, or it may be intentional. It is not physiologically possible to overdose on marijuana the same way one could overdose on another abused substance (e.g., opioids, alcohol, etc.). Additional research is required to arrive at a clear understanding of whether it is possible to overdose on marijuana. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at [email protected] We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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