There’s a common belief that alcohol is more potent at higher altitudes. While the Federal Aviation Administration has debunked this myth, it persists. People still claim to feel a difference. As cannabis use grows more popular, people are beginning to wonder, what effect does altitude have when it comes to cannabis use? Do you get higher at higher altitudes? Let’s take a closer look. 

Cannabis Use at Higher Altitudes

Just as drinking alcohol at higher altitudes doesn’t get you drunker, using cannabis at higher altitudes doesn’t get you higher. It can, however, feel that way. The reason for this is due to what being at higher elevations does to your body, especially if you aren’t used to it. 

hiking with cannabis

So, What Effect Does Altitude Have?

If you’ve lived your entire life closer to sea level, visiting higher altitudes can do a number on your body. One of the most noticeable things you’ll experience is feeling more winded and lightheaded. Why? Well, at higher altitudes, there’s less pressure. As a result, your lungs pull in fewer O2 molecules. While your body does eventually acclimate as you spend more time at higher altitudes, the effects can be a bit jarring at first, especially if you’re doing something like drinking alcohol or using cannabis. 

Tips for Using Cannabis at Higher Altitudes

So, what can you do if you want to enjoy a joint with friends at a higher altitude but don’t want to feel like you’re totally baked when you’re really just a little high? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:


While hydration is always important (especially when it comes to cannabis use), it becomes even more crucial when you’re smoking at higher altitudes. Lower air pressure leads to faster dehydration. Be sure to always have water with you and drink it throughout the day. 

Consume In Well-Ventilated Areas

When you’re new to higher elevations and breathing in fewer oxygen molecules, one of the last things you’ll want to do is smoke in a confined space. You’ll only deprive your body more, which allows lightheadedness and nausea to overtake you, leading to a very unpleasant situation. Instead, consume in well-ventilated areas. 

Keep Moving

Physical activity can actually help to acclimate you to higher altitudes faster. Go for a hike or take walks around town. Keeping your heart rate up can help your body to adjust more quickly to fewer oxygen molecules. 

Avoid Excessive Physical Activity

While some physical activity can be beneficial, you don’t want to overdo it. Your body is already in overdrive trying to keep up your oxygen levels. Rigorous exercise could actually lead to fainting. So, while you should exercise, go easy.

Enjoy Cannabis at Any Altitude

A change in elevation doesn’t have an impact on your high. Rather, it primarily affects your body, which can impact all of your experiences at higher altitudes, including what happens when you smoke or use other cannabis products. Taking steps such as staying well-hydrated and avoiding strenuous activities can help to ensure that you have a great time, no matter where you are.