Cannabis Science

Why Don’t Edibles Get Me High?

hand holding gummy edibles

Your friends wonder why you always opt to smoke a bong over eating edibles like weed brownies. You’re probably tired of explaining to people that edibles don’t get you high. Some find that hard to believe, and others think you’re flat out lying. We’re here to tell you that you’re not alone. Many people report that they don’t feel high or feel much of anything after eating edibles. Here are some possible reasons why that happens. 

Photo: Unsplash

Why Don’t I Feel Edibles?

According to WayofLeaf’s YouTube video, it may have to do with your genes. 

First of all, when you eat edibles, they experience first-pass metabolism in the liver. First pass metabolism refers to the metabolic breakdown by the intestines or the liver. A result of first-pass metabolism is a reduction in the substance’s concentration. The effects can be dulled since this happens before it reaches the circulatory system. However, with weed, the effect is the opposite. When people eat edibles, they usually report more potent and longer-lasting highs. 

However, the problem for people who don’t feel high from edibles lies with a group of enzymes, particularly cytochrome P450, otherwise known as CYP enzymes. As WayofLeaf explains, these enzymes metabolize decarboxylated THC. Therefore, someone with normal levels of these enzymes will be better able to process delta 9 THC and convert it to 11-hydroxy THC. Once that happens, you’re on your way to getting the high you expected from edibles.  

On the other hand, if you don’t have sufficient amounts of this enzyme, THC won’t be converted to its psychoactive form, and you won’t get high. 

Remember when we mentioned this was genetic? The amount of CYP enzymes you have is dependent on your genes. The Boston Globe says that most people who reported they didn’t get high from edibles had a close family member with the same problem. In addition to that, the gene that codes for these enzymes has been identified. The Boston Globe also mentioned that people who have difficulty getting high from edibles have an uncommon subtype of the CPY2C9 gene,

In addition to insufficient CYP enzymes, another hypothesis was put forward.

Your Enzymes are Too Efficient 

Dr. Staci Gruber, the director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery programs at McLean Hospital, told The Boston Globe that some people were just really effective at breaking down cannabis. 

In other words, your body may be converting the THC to its active form after all. However, it converts it to an inactive form soon after. Therefore, before you can feel the effects form the active form, your body has already converted it into an inactive form. 

Gruber told The Boston Globe, “You’re breaking it down so fast it doesn’t have an opportunity to create the psychoactive effect.”

In addition to that, Gruber says the way people metabolize fats could also be significant. 

Remember, scientists are still trying to figure out how cannabis works, and there are no direct studies investigating why some people don’t get high from edibles.  

Other Reasons You’re Not High After Eating Edibles 

There are also several other reasons why you may have just eaten an edible but aren’t feeling high such as:

  • Not waiting long enough
  • Having a high tolerance
  • You ate the edibles on a full stomach
  • You didn’t take enough
  • Ineffective decarboxylation 

Not Waiting Long Enough

If you’re used to smoking a blunt or a bong, you may wonder if your edible is working after not feeling the effects after a couple of minutes. The truth is that edibles take longer to deliver the effects. Typically, you’ll feel the impact between 30-60 minutes after eating an edible. However, the time may vary on several factors such as metabolism, weight, and whether or not you’ve recently eaten. 

It’s not recommended that you eat more edibles while waiting for the high to kick in. While it won’t harm you, it can be overwhelming and unpleasant if the high does kick in later. Healthline suggests waiting at least 24 hours before taking more, while the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services suggests waiting 2-4 hours. 

High Tolerance

Did you know that you can develop a tolerance to weed? That means you’ll require a higher dose to feel the effects you’re used to. Therefore, if an edible made with 10mg of THC used to make you feel high and now you’re barely feeling it, that could be the reason.

While you could always up the dosage, really high doses of weed increases the risk of cannabis use disorder and unpleasant effects of THC such as shaking. 

Fortunately, there is another solution. You can take a weed tolerance break to reduce your tolerance. 

Eating Edibles on a Full Stomach

If you ate your edibles on a full stomach, you might have a delay of effects. It can take up to two hours for the effects to kick in if you have edibles on a full stomach. It can take even longer since other factors may be at play, such as your metabolism. 

The solution to this is to just wait for the effects. The next time, you can eat less food for a stronger and quicker effect. 

Not Eating Enough

Maybe you’re not feeling the effects of your edible because you didn’t eat enough. That could mean your tolerance has increased, or you had just a tiny piece of an edible already low in THC. The solution is to wait a couple of hours a day before consuming more. 

Ineffective Decarboxylation 

If the weed weren’t decarbed properly, you probably wouldn’t feel much from your edible. According to WayofLeaf’s YouTube video, if the weed in the edible wasn’t decarbed properly, you’re mainly eating THC-A. THC-A does not have psychoactive properties, so that you won’t get high. 

If you’re the one making your own edibles and realized that you didn’t decarb properly, check out our handy guide on decarbing weed. 


If you’ve ever asked the question, Why don’t edibles get me high? Just know you’re not alone. There is a chance that due to genetics, the enzymes required to convert THC into its psychoactive form are insufficient or too good at metabolism. There weren’t any studies on why some people don’t get high from edibles, so these are all theories. Either way, don’t worry, nothing is wrong with you!  However, if you’ve felt high from edibles before and are confused about why you don’t feel high now, there could be many other factors. 


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].