THC infused foods (also called “edibles”) can produce effective, long lasting, and safe effects. Medical marijuana edibles consist of a vast array of orally administered products such as baked goods, capsules, teas, and even candies but if you can’t answer the question of “how long do edibles last,” you might be hesitant to even try them yourself.
Compared to regularly combusting flower, edibles are in a league of their own. Their potency often blindsides novice users who are accustomed to their strength causing many to swear off of them after suffering from one bad experience.
If you want to dose safely and not suffer a potential green-out, you need to know how long do edibles last, how long it takes for them to kick in and how to dose them properly – all questions we’ll answer in our guide below!
The Difference between CBD and THC
CBD is known as the non-psychotropic compound in cannabis. THC on the other hand, is the cannabinoid that produces the sensation of feeling high. With that said, overconsumption of THC poses a far greater risk than overconsumption of CBD. Since these consumable cannabis treats are usually heavy on the THC, the main focus will be on THC and its mechanisms.
Why Is Eating Edibles So Different?
Understanding how each method of consumption affects THC absorption within the body is essential to understanding why eating cannabis is different from smoking it. Where smoking cannabis involves absorption through the lungs, ingesting cannabis involves absorption through the digestive tract.
When THC is administered orally, it must travel through your digestive tract and metabolize in your liver, where the THC undergoes oxidation. The process of oxidation alters the chemical structure of the THC consumed and converts it into 11-hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC).
11-OH-THC is also much more potent than standard THC, with potencies upwards of 3 times the strength of standard THC, while also possessing the ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier much more efficiently.
The difference in consumables lies in the ratio of 11-OH-THC to THC in the body. When inhaled, THC also goes through the same oxidation process, although the amount of THC actually metabolized by the liver is much less as the brain and fatty tissue absorb some of the cannabinoid before it gets the chance to reach the liver. As a result, edibles leave users with a higher concentration of 11-OH-THC, which explains the sheer intensity of the high achieved with edibles.
How long for edibles to kick In?
As a result of having to travel through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream, edible cannabis typically takes much longer to kick in. While smoking cannabis has proven to be one of the most expedient ways of administering THC, edible cannabis may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 120 minutes to register within your system.
There of course is variability within that range as several factors dictate the speed of the onset. Those factors are not limited to the individual’s amount of sleep, the amount of food consumed prior to the dosage, and the type of cannabis product itself.
How Long Do Edibles Last?
Typically, edible cannabis is known to induce effects that may last upwards of 8 hours with some cases leading up to effects lasting 24 hours after administration. It is advised to rely on an edible dosage chart to fine tune the desired experience from the edibles. Common practice dictates that a slow and steady start under 10mg THC is the best course of action.
When consuming edibles, it is prudent that taking multiple doses in succession is avoided due to their compounding effects coupled with the sheer potency of cannabis edibles. The staggering effects of multiple doses in a short period of time could induce forms of extreme discomfort such as nausea and anxiety.
Over consumption of edibles may also have extended effects on new users, causing symptoms of a weed-like hangover the following day. For those who are new to edible cannabis, it is suggested to take a cautious approach, increasing dosages in increments of 5mg at a time.
It is important to note that homemade cannabis edibles may prove to be unreliable in their dosages as reputable retailers must follow strict guidelines to ensure proper dosage and distribution of THC within their products.
Benefits of Edibles
Edible cannabis products provide a handful of benefits where smoking does not. These benefits include:
Convenience. Most cannabis edibles are easy to transport and administer when medication is required.
Discretion. Unlike smoking cannabis, edibles offer the benefit of stealth, leaving no fowl odours when consumed. The lack of odour produced also allows consumers to enjoy cannabis in areas they would otherwise not normally engage in smoking.
Value. Edibles are an extremely cost effective way to medicinally administer cannabinoids. Strong effects can be achieved at a reasonable cost.
Final Thoughts on Dosing Edibles
The popularity of THC infused foods demonstrates the diversity in the amount of options available in the cannabis market. Edible cannabis reigns supreme in areas such as stealth and value, and as such, can also provide the benefit of immense symptom relief as well as long lasting effect. Edible cannabis can be a great alternative to smoking if consumed safely and responsibly.