Ganja Guides

How Long for Edibles to Hit on Empty Stomach?

weed edibles

Whether you’re looking to have a trippy high on your own or with some friends, taking edibles can make for a fantastic time. However, figuring out how to dose yourself correctly and patiently waiting for the high to come on can be tricky. One of the most common questions that comes up regarding edibles is how long it takes for edibles to hit on an empty stomach. Keep reading more to learn about how edibles are absorbed on both empty and full stomachs. 

Photo: Pexels

How Edibles Work

It’s no secret that the body absorbs THC differently depending on whether you’re ingesting or smoking your cannabis. With smoking and vaping, the THC immediately hits the bloodstream after a hit, and therefore makes you feel high much quicker. However, the high from smoking lasts for less time because the brain quickly breaks down the THC when inhaled. On the other hand, with edibles, the high will come on much slower but lasts a lot longer. By eating a weed gummy or brownie, THC is released through the body much more slowly than with smoking, as digestion is a slower way to receive nutrients.

Do Edibles Work Less On A Full Stomach? 

Edibles don’t work less on a full stomach, but they will take longer to hit. In addition, with a full stomach, the high will wash over you more slowly rather than coming on all at once. At the same time, you probably don’t want to eat edibles on a completely empty stomach. Having a small bit of food in your system will prevent you from getting nauseous or way too high.

How Long For Edibles to Hit on a Full Stomach

In reality, everyone’s body will react differently to edibles. There’s no exact amount of time that answers how long it takes for edibles to hit on a full stomach. However, a general range of time is always helpful to know before embarking on your trippy edibles journey. On a full stomach, weed edibles can take about 1½ to 3 hours to start working. With a full stomach, the high can last from 6 to 8 hours or more, as digestive processes slowly release the THC into the bloodstream. In contrast, if you haven’t eaten much, you might start to feel the effects as quickly as in 30 minutes to 1 hour. On an empty stomach, you’ll also digest your edibles quickly and can expect a high that lasts around 4 to 6 hours. Again, the length and potency of an edible high will always vary because everyone’s metabolism and tolerance is different.

Eating Edibles on an Empty Stomach 

Going without food before eating an edible will usually make a high come on faster. The digestive acid and enzymes in your stomach aren’t working on breaking down any other food, so the nutrients in an edible will naturally be broken down first.  This is very similar to the way in which drinking alcohol on an empty stomach makes you a lot drunker in less time.

edibles cannabutter
Edibles made with cannabutter are better for even digestion because of fat content (Source: Unsplash)

There is one exception in which having a full stomach before an eating edible can make the high stronger. Eating naturally fatty foods like milk chocolate, butter, or avocado before taking an edible can actually strengthen your high. Why? After entering the stomach, most of the THC from an edible is processed by the liver, an organ that breaks down fatty lipids during digestion Therefore, your liver will engage with the food and break down the THC faster, allowing it to enter the bloodstream quicker and for longer. For example, cannabutter infuses fat, which the liver digests quickly, with THC. This makes the high from edibles made with cannabutter feel so potent and smooth!

Recommended Edible Dosages

Its always recommended to start low and slow when eating edibles. Even if you’re a seasoned smoker, it’s best to start off with 10mg of THC, and wait about 2 hours before taking more. After all, the high from eating edibles is entirely different from smoking weed. If you’re taking an dose of edibles that has more than 10-20mg of THC, whether you eat some food in advance won’t make much of a difference. This is because larger amounts of THC will get you super high whether or not you’ve eaten beforehand.

Enjoying the High

The amount of food you’ve eaten before taking an edible isn’t the most important part of having a great high. Instead, making sure you’re feeling comfortable, safe, and happy is the first priority. Therefore, starting with a low lose and working your way up to a larger dose slowly will ensure an awesome edible experience. Grab some snacks for when you get the munchies, and have fun with where the high takes you!


About Olivia

Olivia, our Oakland-based cannabis guides writer, graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She's an independent writer, cannabis enthusiast and Sales Lead at her local dispensary. She's also a recent grad, history buff, and has a passion for animals. You can reach her at [email protected].