Edibles are becoming one of the most popular ways to enjoy the wonderful benefits of cannabis. For those who are newer to the cannabis world, it’s a great place to start if you are still unsure about smoking, or if are in a situation where you are unable to smoke and need a different outlet. Edibles are relatively cost-effective and the best part about them is that you can make them yourself, so you can create them based on your personal preferences.
The Edibles Effect: Different, Stronger, and Longer Lasting
When it comes to feeling the actual effects of an edible after ingestion, results vary for everyone. While one may indulge in marijuana recreationally or medicinally on a daily or chronic basis through smoking or vaporizing, edibles act within the body – from ingestion to digestion – in a very different (and stronger) way.
Compared to smoking or vaporizing (in which THC is absorbed through the lungs), ingesting an edible takes an entirely different route through the body. Since it is technically food, the body treats it like anything else you might eat; it passes through the digestive system, which can take a while. While the effects of smoking or vaporizing are near instantaneous, edibles take much longer to take effect due to the digestive process which can vary from person to person.
So How Long Do Edibles Take to Kick In?
In the case of regular marijuana-infused food products such as brownies, cookies, candies, etc., the average onset time can range from thirty minutes to well over an hour, in some cases even taking as long as two hours to kick in. Inexperienced users many times make the mistake of assuming the edible did not work because it has been longer than what they were told at the dispensary and eat more, only to be hit a short time later with increased effects that last much longer.
When purchasing an edible, always look for labeling and dosage. Some edibles come in one single 10mg dose, while others come in a package with many pieces, each equal to 10mg but accumulate to a higher dose when taken in greater quantities (i.e. gummies that come in a package of five or ten). Always ask your budtender what they recommend for first time edible users, and make an informed decision.
Empty Stomach = Faster Effects
The main thing to keep in mind after ingesting an edible is patience. If on an empty stomach, one can expect an edible to hit much faster, no matter the dosage. However much faster in the case of edibles still ranges between thirty to forty-five minutes of waiting and wondering how long does it take for edibles to kick in. Many dispensaries and professionals recommend eating a small amount of normal food prior to ingesting an edible so the effects do not come on too strong and too quickly.
Eating food after ingesting the edible, if on an empty stomach, can increase the speed at which the effects come on, as putting more food on top of the edible can push it down more quickly through the digestive system. So, if you’re looking to feel the effects as quickly as possible, eat or consume the edible on an empty stomach and eat something small about 10-15 minutes afterward to help speed up the digestive process.
Your metabolism impacts the edible experience
One of the most common mistakes novice cannabis consumers make when dabbling with edibles is not giving your body enough time to metabolize the laced treat before assessing whether you should eat more. It’s hard to know sometimes because it can take anywhere between five minutes to two hours for an edible to kick in. The onset depends on a few factors: what type of edible you’re consuming, your metabolism, how much you’ve eaten that day, and your surroundings.
The best advice is to err on the conservative side: start small and wait two hours. Or “start low and go slow,” to use a canna-cliche. Depending on how much you’ve eaten that day — and how soon after eating you consume an edible — will determine how quickly you feel high. So if you’ve eaten a big lunch with lots of carbs, it might take closer to two hours to feel the effects of an edible, regardless of how many milligrams it contains. If you decide to pop an edible first thing in the morning, it’s likely you’ll feel it closer to the 30-minute mark. If you eat an edible after eating a solid salad, you’ll likely feel the magic around the 45 to 60-minute mark.
Some edibles will hit you quicker
“When you put it in your mouth, [the cannabinoids] are absorbing immediately through your carbohydrate uptake pathways. Your body recognizes it as a carbohydrate. Getting absorbed through this specific pathway increases early onset. So it’s possible to feel the effects within 10 to 20 minutes.
Then there are edibles with sublingual technology. These infused meds usually come in the form of breath strips, sprays, or tinctures, and require being put under the tongue to trigger the technology and allow the product to work accurately. This application is rooted in science and among the most effective ways to consume cannabis. It’s also utilized by an array of over-the-counter medications. Since cannabis is absorbed through saliva glands, one should expect to feel the THC-onset between five and 15 minutes.
Are There Side Effects Associated With Edibles?
There are not a lot of potential side effects of edibles. The largest risk comes from ingesting too much THC, too fast, in which case you will probably get too high and might start to feel a little overwhelmed. This is why it is highly recommended to go slow so you can experience an enjoyable high, not one where it feels like you are trying to fend for your sanity.
Other common side effects are:
- Extreme sleepiness or drowsiness
- Anxiety or stress
- Increased agitation
- Nausea and vomiting
If you follow the basic tips and make sure to listen to your body–keeping in mind your tolerance level–you will have pleasant and positive experiences with edibles. Take the time to find the proper dose for you and choose the right type of edible that works for you! Next time you’re looking to pop an edible, kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
First Timer Tips
As a newbie, here are some of the main notes about edibles to know before trying your first edible:
1. You can’t overdose on edibles, but taking too much can lead to a very bad time
2. Edibles affect everybody differently, so don’t get upset if someone who took a similar edible feels it before you.
3. How long do edibles take to kick in? Depends on a variety of factors from metabolism to dosage to how it is made.
4. Nobody has ever died from a marijuana overdose. You will come back down from the effects, and you will return to normal.
5. Be patient and have a good time!