Edibles – one of the final frontiers of weed and weed products that tokers both new and experienced can comfortably enjoy. However, one thing that’s confused cannabis users ever since edibles have made their popular debut is the question of “how long do edibles last?”
With everyone’s physiology being different, finding the answer for how long edibles take to activate or kick in is a difficult question. In this guide on cannabis-infused edibles, we’ll be learning about the science behind why the effects are different from smoking or vaping weed. We’ll also discuss what first time users should look out for when trying out edibles or if they want to increase their dosage!
Why is eating cannabis different from smoking it?
Why do edibles feel different, and how long do the effects last? To answer those questions, we first need to understand a little bit about the science behind edibles.
The main reason why edibles cause different effects than smoking is that absorption occurs via the digestive tract instead of the lungs. When you smoke cannabis, the THC is absorbed through your lungs and into your bloodstream. From there, the compounds circulate the body and brain, slowly being distributed throughout and getting broken down over time.
When you swallow THC, it travels through the stomach and into the intestines, where the majority of absorption occurs. This THC absorption and absorption of many other nutrients we need to survive, enters the bloodstream after passing immediately through the liver.
This is called first-pass metabolism. The actions of your liver metabolizing drugs entering your bloodstream induce changes in the chemical composition. The THC itself is oxidized into a slightly different version, 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC).
This transformation also occurs with smoked cannabis, as the blood containing THC absorbed from the lungs travels through the body and eventually reaches the liver. The difference is in the amount of 11-OH-THC in the body and the ratio with THC.
THC that is absorbed via the lungs has plenty of time to be absorbed by other parts of the body, including your brain and fatty tissue, before reaching the liver, and so less reach the liver. With edibles, such as weed chocolate or weed brownies, much more of the THC goes directly through the liver after being digested in the stomach, leading to a more balanced ratio of THC to 11-OH-THC.
Why is 11-OH-THC so strong? Research indicates that this compound has better capabilities of entering the brain and inducing psychoactive effects. In other words, 11-OH-THC appears to cross the blood-brain-barrier more efficiently.
If you’re candy edibles or weed brownies, properly dosing can be a challenge. Instead of solid edibles, consider stopping by at an online dispensary Canada and trying edibles in liquid form instead. Drink edibles are easier to dose accurately with measuring cups and tea spoons and you’ll feel the effects much more rapidly than solid edibles!
How long for edibles to kick in?
Due to the alternative digestion and absorption process described above, edibles take much longer to produce effects than inhaled cannabis.
With smoking, the effects begin within seconds to minutes. With edibles, effects can take 30 minutes to two hours or more to feel the full effects.
There is a massive amount of variability in the absorption of edibles, depending on your body, your experience, and even factors from that day (how much sleep you’ve had, what you had to eat). This is why it is hard to provide concrete guidelines, and smokers should instead exercise caution as they find the dose that works for them.
An edible high often feels different compared to inhaled cannabis, and the effects of edibles can last longer than expected or will last beyond the time when people still want to be high from edibles.
How long do edibles high last?
Smoking cannabis can cause a high that can last up to six hours. The edibles effect, however, can last for up to 12 hours. Some people who have taken unexpectedly high doses can, at times, feel high for up to 24 hours consuming.
For the average consumers of edibles, there is a simple rule to go by, ‘start low and go slow.’ The first time someone consumes, who does not have experience with smoking cannabis, should begin with the lowest dose possible. Somewhere in the 2.5 mg of THC is an excellent place to start for the edible.
People are often told to wait until the first effects are felt before having a higher dose. A slightly more cautious opinion would be to avoid multiple doses altogether. Taking what you need to feel effects and riding it out, and not taking more until your next time doing marijuana edibles.
This next dose could be increased slightly if the effects were less than desired, maybe moving up to 4-5-mg of THC. The problem with having multiple doses, unless you have enough experience with edible cannabis, is that edibles will continue to compound.
You can always consume more the next time you want to get high. And while this trip may not provide the high you desire, it is better than developing negative side-effects and ruining the whole experience. Especially when you consider that one overdose can screw up your entire next day, making it unsafe to drive and difficult to perform your usual duties.
To provide some concrete numbers, one study gave participants THC in weed brownies and found that the low dose, 10-mg, was tolerated well without side-effects. In contrast, the effect of edible doses at 25- and 50-mg induced unpleasant side-effects in some consumers.
Those with plenty of experience and a high tolerance may consume well over 50 mg, but that is far from where the average person should start!
Concluding Thoughts on Edibles High
There’s a lot to consider when you’re using edibles. Those of us who’re overzealous run the gambit of potentially having a high that’ll last well into the next day if we’re not careful! Following the “low and slow” route is definitely advised – especially if you’re a first time or novice user of cannabis.
For everyone else, there’s plenty of edibles products that allow for easy separation into lower dosages. Twisted Extracts, for example, have edibles that come in jelly-block form that lets you divide up the 80mg THC block into a 10mg serving. If you’re interested in more fun cannabis news and information, check out https://theweedlink.com/weed-news-information/