Marijuana use in the United States is becoming more medically and recreationally acceptable. While many states have made critical steps to legalize its use, the stigma around the pot in the workplace still lives on. So, does the use of marijuana after a long workday affect your performance?
Research shows that it all depends on when you are using marijuana and how much you consume after a shift has no impact on your next workday. However, the use of marijuana before and during your workday can affect performance. To understand the effects of smoking weed after a stressful workday, you need to consider several factors.
The high associated with cannabis use usually lasts anywhere between 2 to 10 hours. The hours you experience the high depends on:
- How much of the marijuana you have consumed
- Your overall body fat and body weight percentage
- Whether you have had a meal
- The amount of THC a product contains
- Your metabolism
- Your tolerance
Marijuana contains several chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. THC is part of these cannabinoids and it is responsible for the “high”. A close examination of the THC timeline of high and how to shorten it can help.
How fast the effects of THC manifest themselves depends on the method you are using, for example:
- Vaping or smoking a joint—You feel the cannabis effects in about 2 or 10 minutes because THC in your lungs enters the bloodstream within minutes of inhalation.
- Eating—The digestive system must metabolize marijuana in food products, so it takes a while. THC in edibles takes about 30 to 60 minutes to kick in, but may take as long as 2 hours sometimes.
- Dabbing—A popular method that involves smoking marijuana in a concentrated form using a special pipe. This method provides a higher THC content compared to other methods, so the high is most likely instant.
The length of THC effects also varies depending on the potency and dose. High use leads and high THC levels mean the effects are likely to stick around longer. Further, how you consume can also affect the peak effects and how long you feel them.
For example, the effects of vaping or smoking marijuana can peak in about 10 minutes and last for between 1 to 3 hours, but some effects may last up to 8 hours. Keep in mind that the effects of cannabis are different for everyone.
While there is no evidence that marijuana can help with work, researchers agree that use after work might be beneficial. The effects identified above may help in relieving work-related stress. The induced relaxation effect might help you restore the energy lost during the workday.
You go back to work the next day with more stamina to devote to your work. But there are no workplace drug policies that address the unique elements of marijuana. The currently illegal substance tests carried out can only detect marijuana’s presence and not its consumption time. This makes it hard for organizations to defend instituting a blanket no-marijuana policy.