Why Don’t Edibles Get Me High?

by Emjay
Photo courtesy of Lost Farms_Emjay Blog

Edibles are one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis. Adults across the country in legal marketplaces seem to be having a wonderful time experimenting with edibles, but you can’t seem to feel the effects. What gives?

There are several reasons why you might not feel as high as you want to feel when you use edibles. Some of them are rookie mistakes, and others can be a little harder to pinpoint, hinging on genetic makeup and your own personal body type. Make sure you’re using the right edibles and choosing a dose that will work for you

How do edibles work?

When you eat an edible, it has to be digested by your body before you can use it. This metabolization process takes a long time. Your digestive system is very unique, and some people metabolize cannabis slower than others. 

When you eat edibles, your body processes the THC, turning it into something called 11-hydroxy-THC. The reason why edibles hit so hard is that 11-hydroxy-THC is a little stronger to the system than the THC you smoke. This leads to a more intense and sustained high than the high you’d get from bypassing your digestive system and allowing your body to use the THC in flower form, where it is absorbed through the blood system.

For some people, including some well-versed cannabis aficionados who have been smoking weed for decades, the high from edibles is very strong. For other people, depending on the way their body handles the THC in edibles, it may produce a more subtle effect.

Edibles require experimentation, especially if you’re new to them. Start with a low dose. If you feel your edibles aren’t getting you high, it could have something to do with the way your body processes the THC. It could also be because you haven’t found your perfect dose.

5 reasons edibles may not be working for you

There are a few reasons why edibles may not be working for you. Most of them are simple to identify and easy to fix. Some simply require patience.

Many people who find that edibles aren’t getting them high either aren’t waiting long enough, are using the wrong kind of weed to make edibles, or are using edibles that aren’t intended to get them high. In some cases, absorption issues may impact the way edibles work with your body. 

They’re going to kick in any second now…

If you landed here because you took an edible an hour ago and nothing is happening, you aren’t done waiting. Your digestive system is complicated, and some people have slower systems than others. It isn’t unusual to wait two or even three hours for the effects of an edible to kick in

If you ate a full meal before you took your edible, you could be waiting even longer. Your body has to contend with the food already in your digestive system before it can process any more. Next time, save the big bowl of pad thai for later if you plan on eating an edible. 

Do not take another edible if you haven’t felt its effects quite yet and it’s only been an hour. Wait two hours. 

Did you put regular weed in your brownies?

When making homemade edibles at home, there is a crucial step that some people miss.

Did you grind your weed up and sprinkle it into a recipe? If so, you’ve seasoned your brownies. That’s about it because the THC has not been activated. You cannot put raw cannabis into food or eat it as it is. Cannabis that is freshly harvested, as well as cannabis that has been dried and cured, contains cannabinoids in their acid form. This means your weed is packed with THCA and CBDA, instead of THC and CBD. 

Cannabinoids are converted into their bioavailable form when heat is applied directly to them. Before you make edibles, you have to decarboxylate your weed. This is a process that involves applying low heat to your ground cannabis for a little while, at a low temperature. Once the THC is active, you can use it to make butter or infused oil for cooking. 

If you didn’t decarb your cannabis first, your edibles aren’t going to get you high. If you bought edibles from a trusted brand in the legal marketplace, don’t worry, this decarb process has undoubtedly taken place. 

Are you sure those were THC edibles?

Hemp or CBD edibles don’t contain THC. If you purchased your edibles in a national chain drugstore or a storefront that doesn’t sell cannabis, you probably have non-intoxicating edibles. Double-check the packaging. If they contain THC, the packaging will state how many milligrams are in each gummy or dose. If your edible does not contain THC, it’s not going to get you high. 

Was your dose too conservative?

Edibles aren’t as predictable as smoking weed. If you smoke regularly, you already know how much of what strain it’s going to take to get you as high as you want to get. Because the weed you smoke begins to work quickly, you’ll know almost immediately, within 20 minutes, if you need to consume more. 

Edibles take a long time to metabolize and enter your system, as well as a longer time to wear off. If you decided to eat a very small amount of THC, you were on the right track. You can always add more THC, but once you’ve eaten it, you can’t take it away.

If you had 1 milligram of THC and you have a slow metabolism, you may not feel anything. Conversely, someone with a fast metabolism who takes 1 milligram of THC might feel the effects quickly. It varies from person to person.

10 milligrams of THC is a standard dose in legal markets across the country. This may be a little strong for beginners, so cut it in half and start at 5 milligrams. If you aren’t sure how much THC you need, start with 2.5 milligrams. If you aren’t feeling anything, go for a 5 milligram edible. You’ll know if this dose is too much or too little after you’ve tried it. If 5 milligrams is too little, try taking a 10-milligram edible and see how you feel. Everyone has their own magic number. 

Do you have digestive or absorption issues?

THC needs to bind with fat in order for the body to properly process it through the digestive system. That’s why so many edibles are made with cannabis-infused butter or oil. You’re getting your cannabis in conjunction with fat, making it easier for your body to use the cannabis.

There’s only one problem. If you have fat absorption issues or experience malabsorption in your digestive tract, your body may be passing most of the cannabis without using it. This is the rarest scenario. Absorption issues are a medical condition that requires medical attention. If you believe you may have absorption issues, you need to speak with your doctor. 

Alternatives to edibles

If you want to enjoy weed without smoking it and edibles aren’t working the way you’d like them to, you can always try sublingual THC tinctures. 

Sublingual THC tinctures are liquids, usually oil-based, that come with a dropper. You place the THC under your tongue and hold it there. The small particles of THC enter your bloodstream through the skin inside your mouth rather quickly, and they never need to pass through your digestive system to deliver their effects. 

THC-infused topicals and suppositories will achieve the same effect if you’re willing to give them a shot. Transdermal or topicals mean THC enters your body through your skin, and are great for targeted pain relief. THC suppositories release THC into the thin tissue of your body as they begin to melt. Suppositories definitely aren’t for everyone, but they really get the job done. 

The takeaway

Edibles will work for most people. It’s just a matter of figuring out what kind of edibles you need and determining the appropriate dose. If you’re going the DIY route, make sure you’re decarboxylating your weed and infusing it into butter or oil before you eat it. If you don’t, it won’t produce the effects you’re looking for. 

If you want an edible that will work for you, Emjay has tons of beloved California edible brands to choose from. We offer low dose, medium dose, and high dose edibles that will suit everyone’s needs, preferences, and tastes. Best of all, we deliver your edibles right to your door in about half an hour. Blessed.

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