Cannabis edibles are one of many cannabis products that people use to consume THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound of marijuana.
The high from edibles can last for six hours or longer, depending on the person, the types of edibles they have consumed, and how much THC they have ingested.
When it comes to determining how long substances work, the method of ingestion makes a difference.
For example, weed edibles take much longer to work but last longer in comparison to vaping or smoking cannabis. Here you’ll find information on how long edible cannabis products last.
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How Long Do The Effects Of Edibles Last?
THC edibles are food products that contain cannabis extract. Examples include hard candies and lozenges, gummies, and baked goods, such as cookies and brownies.
Edible products have to pass through the digestive tract before the cannabinoids can enter the bloodstream, so it can take up to ninety minutes before the psychoactive effects begin.
However, some people experience the effects of cannabis edibles as little as 30 minutes after it enters the digestive system. An edible’s effects can last up to six or more hours after ingestion.
Some of these effects may include a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and possible pain relief for people who take medical cannabis for chronic pain.
How Long Do The Side Effects Of Edibles Last?
The effects of cannabis-infused food are similar to the effects of smoking or vaping cannabis.
These effects generally last for the duration of the high, but a few lingering effects may remain for up to a full day.
Due to the delayed effects of edibles, many people consume a higher amount of THC than intended. Overconsumption can produce stronger effects that may cause lingering symptoms.
Some side effects of edibles include:
- cognitive impairment
- increased appetite
- increased heart rate
- altered sensory perceptions
- altered sense of time
What Factors Influence How Long Edibles Last?
The duration of the effects of an edible can vary widely because multiple factors can influence how long this substance lasts.
For example, the type of edible that a person consumes can make a difference.
Hard candies may begin working in as little as 15 minutes, according to a medical marijuana study, while baked goods may take much longer to work.
Other factors that can influence onset and duration include:
- THC content
- whether you have an empty stomach
- the shelf-life of the product
- amount of edibles consumed
- previous experience with cannabis use
How Long Does An Edible Last Compared To Smoking Weed?
While even a low-dose edible can last for several hours or longer, the effects of smoking weed are much shorter.
When a person smokes or vapes cannabis, they may feel the first effects within a few minutes.
The resulting high will be much shorter as well, reaching its peak after roughly 30 minutes and subsiding within one to two hours.
How Long Do Edibles Stay In The Body?
Like all aspects of edible duration, the half-life of edibles can vary widely.
A drug’s half-life is the amount of time that it takes for half of the substance to leave a person’s blood plasma.
For edible THC products, the half-life can last from 1.3 days to 13 days depending on the THC level.
Edible half-lives are usually shorter for people who do not take edibles often and longer for those who use them frequently.
A substance is not fully eliminated until five to six half-lives have passed.
Therefore, somebody who rarely uses cannabis can expect the product to be eliminated after eight days at the most.
Somebody who frequently takes cannabis may have to wait for three months or longer for the THC to exit their system completely.
How Long Can Marijuana Edibles Be Detected By A Drug Test?
THC from edibles will cause a positive result on standard drug tests. The metabolites from THC can be detected in urine for up to 30 days.
Urine tests are the most common and preferred drug tests for THC.
Other drug tests and detection times include:
- blood tests: up to four hours
- saliva tests: up to 72 hours
- hair follicle tests: up to 90 days
How Long Does A Withdrawal From Cannabis Last?
Withdrawal from cannabis, including edible cannabis, is mild compared to withdrawal from many other substances.
However, withdrawal symptoms are possible. When it does occur, withdrawal from cannabis edibles may last for up to three weeks.
These symptoms are a result of the body expecting THC, so when a person stops taking cannabis, the body has to adjust to its absence.
Some symptoms of cannabis withdrawal include:
- anxiety and depression
- disturbing dreams
- nausea and vomiting
Symptoms are most likely to occur in people who use cannabis regularly and heavily.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding The Duration Of Edibles
As cannabis legalization becomes increasingly prominent, many people have additional questions after learning how long edibles last.
Here you’ll find some of the most common questions about edibles, cannabis, and addiction.
Are THC Edibles Legal?
Several states have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use. Others have legalized it for medicinal purposes only. In these states, dispensaries can sell THC legally.
However, several states have not yet legalized delta-9 THC, so check your state’s laws before consuming cannabis.
Is There A Lethal Dose Of Marijuana?
Taking a lethal dose of marijuana is technically possible but extremely unlikely.
Marijuana-related deaths have occurred, but they are most often tied to polydrug abuse and accidents that take place while a person is under the influence.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Marijuana has less addictive potential than many other drugs, but it does impact several neurotransmitters that play a role in addiction.
Cannabis addiction is relatively uncommon, but some may be more susceptible to addiction than others.
Can I Drink Alcohol After Taking An Edible?
No, mixing alcohol and marijuana can be dangerous. The combination can heighten adverse side effects and increase the chances of overdose.
Can CBD Edibles Cause A High?
No. CBD (cannabidiol) is the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, while THC is the active ingredient that causes a high.
Some people have reported taking CBD for relaxation and anxiety relief, but it doesn’t cause euphoria.
Recover From Drug Use
Cannabis addiction isn’t as common as addiction to other substances, but it is possible. Furthermore, cannabis is often involved in addictions to multiple drugs.
While addiction is difficult, it is possible to recover from cannabis use and polysubstance abuse.
If you or a loved one need addiction care, contact Addiction Resource to learn about treatment options.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Canadian Centre on Substance Use And Addiction
- Harvard Medical School
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- National Library of Medicine