Cannabis Science

How Long Do Weed Edibles Stay in Your System?

weed edible on a brown coaster on top of a cannabis plant leaf that is on a brown wooden table

Edibles are a popular way to consume marijuana. There are so many varieties of edibles. You can find weed-infused cookies, brownies, sour candy, drinks, and more. If you’re wondering how long weed edibles stay in your system, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you have a test coming up or you’re just curious, here’s everything you need to know about how long weed edibles stay in your system.

Photo: Unsplash

How Long Will Edibles Make You High?

Usually, you’ll feel the effects of edibles in about 30 to 60 minutes according to an article published in The International Journal of Drug Policy. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will reach peak levels in your blood about 3 hours after you start feeling the effects. You can feel these effects for over 6 hours. 

These times can vary between people due to many factors such as biological factors. 

Even though you’ll typically stop feeling the effects of the edible within a day, it’s still detectable. 

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System?

Cannabinoids from the edibles will stay in your system for varying lengths of time. In order to understand this, we have to look at metabolism. 

In this case, let’s look at THC’s metabolism.

According to Very Well Mind, THC has around 80 metabolites and they’re stored in our fat cells. A Mayo Clinic Review stated that cannabinoids love fat cells, “Cannabinoids are highly lipophilic and are extensively stored in lipid compartments throughout the body”

That means after you eat an edible and the THC is broken down, the body stores some of that. Naturally, it won’t stay there forever and it will be excreted in large part through the feces and urine. 

As a matter of fact, the elimination half-life for many of THC’s metabolites is 20 hours.  On the other hand, some have a half-life of 10-13 days. Very Well Mind says, “It takes five to six half-lives for a substance to be almost entirely eliminated.” 

Just so you know, the elimination half-life refers to the time it takes for a substance’s concentration to decrease by half its starting dose. 

So we mentioned all that to say, the cannabinoids, especially THC from the edible will stay in your body for quite some time. What people are typically concerned about is how long weed will be detected, which we will tackle next. 

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System For Drug Tests?

So does it make a difference whether or not you smoke or eat an edible? In some ways yes and in other ways no. Eating edibles could cause the marijuana to stay in your body longer due to fact that it’s processed differently. 

However, regardless of whether you eat or smoke, as long as there was THC involved, the metabolites will be in your system. It just so happens that drug tests look specifically for THC metabolites. 

Whether or not the test will pick up any metabolites depend on certain factors.

According to a Mayo Clinic Review regarding urine tests factors that influence detection of marijuana include:

  • route of administration
  • dosage 
  • potency of marijuana
  • frequency of use
  • body mass
  • metabolic rate

Even though the review was talking about drug tests, these factors influence the detection of any test. In addition to that, these same factors play a role in how long the metabolites of the cannabinoids stay in your system. 

For example, if you’re a chronic smoker, marijuana can be detected for longer periods of time. 

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Urine?

According to Pharma Drug Test, edibles can be detected in the urine for 1-5 days. On the contrary, using weed in other ways, like smoking has a detection time of about 2-3 days after. 

However, these times could vary based on the factors mentioned above, such as how much you use weed. 

According to the Mayo Review:

  • Chronic smokers may have THC metabolites present in their urine to 30 days after they stopped smoking.
  • New users can have their THC metabolites cleared in as a little as 72 hours. 

By the way, urine tests are typically for recent substance use and not usually suitable for when you’re already high, according to Very Well Mind. The reason you probably won’t see metabolites showing up in your urine while high is because it takes time for metabolites to reach your urinary tract. 

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your Blood?

According to Very Well Mind, since marijuana doesn’t last long in the blood, the blood is rarely tested for THC. However, blood tests are more likely to be positive if you’re high. 

Medical News Today says that blood tests can detect THC for about 3-4 hours after use. This may be the case for THC detection after smoking. We posit that for edibles, the detection window may be longer since THC would be in the blood longer. 

In addition to that, remember other factors, like what we mentioned above may affect the detection window. 


The length of time weed edibles stay in your system will vary between individuals. Chances are you’ll feel high longer if you have a weed brownie instead of a joint. However, the THC from the edibles remains in your body even after the high wears off. In terms of detection via testing, edibles may cause THC metabolites to be in your blood longer than if you had smoked. If you’re a regular consumer with a test coming up, you may want to avoid using weed for up to a month. If you’re not your break can be shorter and still get a negative test.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].