Edibles refer to any food or drink infused with cannabis. Consuming marijuana in this way is pretty common and many opt to eat their cannabis instead of smoking it. According to a study, edibles make up 45% of cannabis sales in the state of Colorado. The study said, “in Colorado in 2014, 1.96 million units of edible medicinal cannabis-infused products and 2.85 million units of edible retail cannabis-infused products were sold, which accounted for about 45% of the total cannabis sales in the state”. Featured photo source: Unsplash.

Edibles come in different forms including cookies, brownies, gummies as well as in liquid form such as coffee, tea, energy drinks etc. While many people use cannabis with primarily THC to get high, there are edibles that only contain cannabidiol (CBD). If you’re new to edibles, you may be wondering how long edibles last. Before we examine that, let’s look at why people use edibles in the first place. 

Benefits of Using Edibles

There are a couple of reasons why people opt for edibles over another method of weed consumption. 

Better For Your Lungs 

According to Medical News Today, smoking cannabis has certain risks that eating edibles do not. The article mention that edibles do not give chronic cough or cause phlegm production, unlike smoking. Healthline also noted, “edibles don’t pose risks to the respiratory system — unlike smoking marijuana.”

Health Benefits

As said before, there are edibles that contain primarily CBD. According to Healthline, CBD only edibles have health benefits. The article said, “CBD-only edibles have even been found to help treat ailments such as anxiety and chronic pain.”

Longer High/Effects

Edibles, due to how they’re processed by the body, typically give longer highs than smoking cannabis. If someone wanted a longer high, then they could opt for an edible. 

Discreet

According to Healthline, people can discreetly consume edibles. It’s discreet in comparison to smoking for example since it won’t leave smoke behind and you can do it in public without anyone knowing. 

How Long Does it Take to Feel the Effects of Edibles? 

The length of time between you consume the edible and start feeling the effects vary. However, according to a study, you’ll typically feel the effects within 30-60 mins after consumption. There are many reasons why this time frame may vary from individual to individual. 

Biological Factors

Having a faster metabolism or consuming the edible on an empty stomach, according to Medical News Today means that your body can process the drug faster and so you’ll feel the effects quicker. According to Healthline and Medical News Today, the following are biological reasons may affect how quickly you feel the effects of edibles:

  • diet
  • metabolism
  • sex
  • weight
  • age
  • tolerance to cannabis

Type of Edibles

As said before, there are different types of edibles. According to Healthline, edibles that bypass the digestive system would be absorbed faster. Lozenges, gum, and lollipops, which are absorbed sublingually, meaning via the membranes in the mouth, should cause you to feel the effects faster. 

As a matter of fact, according to Medical News Today, “hard candies may kick in within 15–45 minutes, whereas other edibles can take 60–180 minutes”.

Edibles such as cookies and brownies that pass through the digestive system may take a longer time to be absorbed. According to Healthline, the reason is the edible has to pass through the digestive system where absorption will occur first. Afterward, the active ingredients are metabolized in the liver then released back into the bloodstream where they will make contact with the brain. When the cannabinoids reach the brain then you’ll feel the effects.  

The Marijuana Used for the Edible 

Healthline suggests that if you use marijuana that has a higher THC content then the effects may be felt sooner. In the case of CBD edibles, it’s hard to know when exactly the drug starts to kick in. 

How Long Do Edibles Last?

The effects of edibles usually last longer than smoking. According to Healthline, the effects lasts for about 6-8 hours. A study done said that the effects may even last longer than 6 hours. The same study also mentioned that after about 3 hours, the blood concentration of THC  would have reached its peak and this is when users will feel the strongest effects. 

Unfortunately, people sometimes take more than they should because they don’t feel the effects right away and assume something is wrong with the edible. Chances are, the effects are just delayed. According to a study, many consumers ingest too many edibles and suffer adverse effects. National Institute on Drug Abuse said that people have ended up in emergency rooms as a result of edibles. It may be because of people consuming too much. 

Healthline says that you should wait at least 24 hours or a day before taking another dose if you’ve taken one already. 

If you’re worried about a drug test, THC shows on drug tests over varying periods of time and it depends on what test you’ll be taking and how quickly your body gets rid of THC among other factors. 

How to Use Edibles Safely 

Edibles, although may be tasty and seem low risk, there are some things users, especially those who have never tried it have to bear in mind.

Dosage

It is easy for people to consume more edible than they need to achieve a high. As said before, that is as a result of the effects being delayed. According to Healthline, if you’re a novice, you want to start with a smaller dose 5-10mg if you wanted a strong effect. The article also mentioned that using more than 30mg can cause undesirable effects. It said, “doses that exceed 20 to 30 mg per day are associated with an increased risk of negative side effects, including dependency.” You can peruse the table below for more details.

EffectLimited to no THC toleranceSome THC tolerance (smoking)THC tolerance (smoking)THC tolerance (edibles)
mild> 2.5 mg2.5–5 mg5–10 mg10–15 mg
moderate2.5–5 mg5–10 mg10–15 mg15–30 mg
strong5–10 mg10–20 mg15–30 mg> 30 mg
Source: Healthline 

Adverse effects of THC edibles, according to Healthline include:

  • cognitive impairment
  • motor impairment
  • extreme sedation
  • agitation and anxiety
  • increased heart stress
  • nausea and vomiting
  • hallucinations
  • delusions
  • psychosis

Healthline also said that for people using CBD edibles, they should start with smaller dosages too. According to a review the effects of CBD edibles are:

  • tiredness
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in weight

If you’re buying edibles already made you’ll have to be very careful with who you’re getting it from. According to a study cited in Healthline, only 17% of the products were correctly labeled. Healthline also noted that, “ Among products that were inaccurately labeled, 23 percent contained more THC than stated, and 60 percent contained less THC than stated.” Make sure to read the label and try to make sure the product is coming from a good source. 

Allergic Reaction 

According to Medical News Today, cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, need fat in order for the body to process them. Bearing that fact in mind, manufacturers typically use dairy products in their edible so people who are lactose intolerant should be aware of that. In addition to that, people allergic to wheat and nuts should be on the lookout and should inquire if there is a possibility of cross-contamination. 

When to See a Doctor

Healthline posits that you see a doctor from before you even start to consume edibles since they might interfere with your supplements or medication. However, if you have already used edibles you may have to see a doctor if you consumed too much. According to Medical News Today, if someone is experiencing a severe reaction from having too much should seek emergency care. The article also said, “Anyone experiencing concerning symptoms, such as a rapid heart rate, chest pain, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.” It should be noted that, according to Medical News Today, overdosing is not usually a cause for serious concern. 

Conclusion

Edibles are a common way of consuming marijuana for its health and other benefits. They typically last 6-8 hours but time may vary from individual to individual because of a variety of factors. If you’re a novice, it’s best to start with low dosages until you get more and more comfortable with it. Do not keep consuming edibles because you’re not feeling high, it’s highly unlikely that it’s delayed and excessive consumption may have adverse effects.

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