How Long Do Edibles Last?  

by Emjay

Hold up before you eat that weed cookie. Do you know what to expect?

Edibles aren’t going to give you the same experience that a blunt will. Your body processes them differently, and the effects are a little less predictable.

If you want to control your experience, you need to understand the way edibles work, when they kick in, how long they last, and what it’s like when they wear off. If you don’t, you might wind up high at your mother’s birthday party.

What are edibles?

Edibles are weed that you eat. There isn’t a specific kind of edible. Cannabis can be baked into cookies or brownies, mixed into peanut butter, infused into candy, chocolate, mints, or even drizzled over a pizza. Edibles can also be very straightforward, coming in the form of THC tablets.

CBD also comes in edible form. THC’s non-psychoactive cousin can be infused into every kind of food or drink. This is great news for people who love CBD but a cautionary tale to seeking THC. Be sure that you’re getting a THC edible instead of a CBD edible. Read the package and look for percentages before you pick it up.

How do edibles work?

Edibles will get you high without the involvement of your lungs. If you aren’t keen on the idea of smoking or inhaling anything, edibles are a great workaround. The THC is delivered through your digestive system, removing coughing and clouds from the equation.

You eat a premeasured dose of THC, and as your body digests it, it’s sent to your bloodstream and eventually to your endocannabinoid system. Once it reaches your endocannabinoid receptors, the high kicks in.

If your edible is a candy, lozenge, lollipop, or mint, it’s going to get to work sooner. When you hold them in your mouth and let them melt, some THC is absorbed sublingually. It enters your bloodstream through the thin tissue beneath your tongue. That THC will take effect before the THC you chew and swallow.

Why is smoking or vaping so different?

Your lungs are made of thin, wet tissue. Anything you put into your lungs will hit your bloodstream almost immediately. You can take a single puff of weed and know within a minute or two how it’s going to affect you. You can stop if you’re feeling good, or you can go back for more if you’re not quite where you want to be.

Edibles won’t afford you the same luxury. When you’re in, you’re in. You’re committed to it until it wears off. If you want more THC, your body will be almost finished processing the first round before the second round starts to work. There isn’t a buildable effect with edibles. That’s why properly dosing edibles is so important. You get one shot to get things right.

What strength of edible do I need?

Edibles can get you very, very high. A lot of people have interesting stories about how edibles drastically exceeded their expectations. This is likely because our serving sizes of food and our serving sizes of weed are very different. Smoking a joint seems like a small, controlled portion of weed. Eating a brownie seems like a reasonable portion of dessert.

Many people fail to consider how much-concentrated THC could be hiding in a whole weed brownie. One brownie may equate to four joints. Reading the label to understand portion sizes and THC per portion size will keep you from doing something you’ll regret a few hours from now.

People new to cannabis should stick to edibles with 2.5mg THC or less. It’s a gentle ride that will help you learn the way your body reacts to edibles. If you have some experience with cannabis, you can go all the way up to 15mg. It all depends on how comfortable you feel with THC.

Once you exceed 15mg, things start to get a little different. Edibles above 15mg are strong enough to trigger negative side effects, AKA a bad high. If you’re prone to anxiety or paranoia when you smoke too much, stay below 15mg.

If you’ve been smoking high THC cannabis for years, you probably won’t be intimidated by edibles above 15mg THC. Edibles can go as high as 100mg, but it’s important not to bite off more than you can chew. Try a 20mg edible before you decide to sprint right to a 30mg edible. Pace yourself.

How fast do edibles work?

How quickly edibles work depends on your metabolism. You probably have an idea of how fast your metabolism works. If your stomach feels empty a few hours after you eat, your metabolism is likely on the quicker side. If it takes a while for energy from food to perk you up, you probably have a slower metabolism.

Edibles will generally begin to work anywhere between 20 minutes and two hours after you eat them. The effects may come on suddenly or at a delay. You can feel sober for a long time and suddenly find yourself very high, very quickly. This is something you’ll want to plan for. You might not want to go grocery shopping believing that your edible is mild, only to have it kick in at full strength while you’re weighing your produce.

If three hours pass and you aren’t feeling anything, there’s a good chance that your edible wasn’t strong enough. It likely cycled through without making a noticeable impact. You can try more edibles or a different form of cannabis if you’d like to, but it might be smarter to wait a full 24 hours to reach for another dose.

How long do edibles last?

Edibles typically last between 4 to 12 hours, much longer than your “average” high of 1 to 4 hours. The effects also build in intensity over time as the THC begins to accumulate in your bloodstream. When you start to feel your edible working, that’s only the beginning.

When you smoke cannabis, your body uses it immediately. When you eat it, your digestive system uses it slowly. It keeps you in a steady stream of high that’s slower to fade away. If you plan on eating an edible, plan on staying where you’re at. Food delivery and ride-sharing apps are going to be major parts of your life during this window.

This time doesn’t include the time you spend waiting for the edible to kick in, which can be as long as 2 hours. People with slower metabolisms might find that edibles take up to a full day from eating them to coming down. This is either an amazing or terrible thing, depending on what you have planned. If you’ve never used an edible before, it’s best to schedule your first venture on a weekend when you don’t have anything else going on.

What happens if I eat too many edibles?

This is a common fear and a common scenario. The best way to avoid overconsumption of edibles is to stick to a minimal dosage until you’re positive about the way your body reacts to edibles. If you misunderstood the dosage or decided to get a little too brave, there are a few things you can do to help.

Putting yourself in a calm environment away from loud noises or lots of people will keep your senses from feeling overwhelmed. Drinking lots of water can help your body clear out your system a little faster.

A solution that may work to block some of the effects of THC is a broad-spectrum CBD sublingual tincture. CBD is a cannabinoid that competes with THC, diminishing its potency. Since CBD can be used sublingually, it will begin to work right away. THC will continue to enter your bloodstream. It will be met by the opposing force of CBD and slightly crippled in its effects.

This isn’t a perfect solution, and it won’t prevent the THC from working. At the very least, it may help calm you down if your bad experience makes you feel paranoid, wired, or anxious.

CBD won’t reverse your high, but it may prevent a bad situation from feeling worse. If you’re going to keep edibles around, it helps to keep a tincture somewhere within reach if you make the split-second decision that you want to diminish your high.

The takeaway

Edibles are a very different experience from smoking cannabis. The high affects individuals differently, it lasts for much longer, and the ride is less predictable. If you’re willing to start low and slow, edibles can be a fun time. If you’re nervous about how they might affect you, no worries. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy cannabis without the unpredictability of edibles.

Emjay is ready to deliver you cannabis in any form you enjoy it. We have edibles, flower, vapes, extracts, and all the accessories you need. We’re ready to deliver it to your front door in about half an hour. That’s all it takes.

You make your order, and in just a little while, you’re ready to indulge in your weed. It couldn’t possibly be easier to have a great night in.

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