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How Long Do Edibles Last?  

Before eating cannabis edibles, you want to know what you’re getting yourself into. 

How strong are edibles really? And how long do edibles last? 

Well, compared to smoking cannabis and other consumption methods, edibles hit harder and last longer. Even when you’re smoking or vaping the same dose, edibles have stronger effects because of the way they’re processed in the body.

An edible high can also be affected by how much food you’ve eaten and how much THC is in the product you’re consuming. Of course, there are other important biological factors at play. 

Here we’ll take a deeper look at how long edibles last, what influences the effects of an edible and what you can do to help your body absorb them faster.

thc edibles on a psychedelic background

Key Takeaways: How Long Does An Edible High Last?

  • There are several things that influence the effects of cannabis edibles. 
  • The type of edible you consume impacts how quickly it’s absorbed by the body. 
  • Your body composition, metabolism, and tolerance will affect how long edibles last.

What Influences The Effects Of Cannabis Edibles?

Cannabis edibles typically set in after 30-90 minutes and can last from 6-9 hours. The peak high generally occurs 2-3 hours after consumption.

This differs from smoking cannabis, which takes effect almost immediately.

The main things that influence the effects of cannabis edibles (and how long they last) include: the edible dosage, the type of edible, how much food is in your stomach, your metabolic rate and your THC tolerance. 

Keep reading to learn more.

The Type Of Weed Edible

The effects of the edible and how long they last depend on the type of edible you consume. 

Baked goods like brownies and snack bars must travel through the digestive tract before being broken down by the liver. This process can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes.

Cannabis edibles like hard candy and lozenges, on the other hand, are absorbed through the mucus membranes in your mouth and reach the bloodstream quicker. This kind of absorption results in cannabinoids circulating within the first 15 minutes.

Cannabinoid content is also something to pay attention to. If you’re looking to get out-of-this-world high, edibles with a high THC content and low CBD content are your best bet.

If you’re looking for a more balanced high, search for products with at least a 1:1 CBD / THC cannabinoid ratio. Research suggests that THC edibles with CBD reduce the risk of adverse effects associated with gummies that contain a high THC content.

A product’s specific terpene profile can also impact the resulting high. When these terpenes are preserved in the extraction process, they work synergistically with the strain’s cannabinoids for more desired effects.

Lastly, the type of cannabis extract used impacts the cannabinoid content of weed edibles and how long they last. It can also impact whether terpenes are preserved in the final product.

Products made with THC distillate are made by extracting natural THC from the marijuana plant. Because the THC is isolated from the plant to make distillate, terpenes are typically added back into the product. However, many other plant components don’t make it into the final product.

Some edibles are made using decarbed cannabis flower. When the flower is exposed to heat, the cannabinoid acids are converted into active cannabinoids.

This is the easiest way to make cannabis edibles at home. Decarbed flower can be combined with butter or oil that can be used to make a variety of infused baked goods.

Products made with live resin or live rosin preserve the most natural terpenes, cannabinoids and other valuable compounds from the plant while maintaining a high potency of THC.

Edibles made with live resin or live rosin may produce stronger effects than other types of edibles.

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How Much Food Is In Your Stomach

How much food is in your stomach can impact the duration and effects of an edible.

Edibles can hit quicker and harder if eaten on an empty stomach. Eating a meal before consuming edibles is a smart way to avoid undesirable side effects–particularly for beginner cannabis consumers.

The type of food you eat before consuming edibles can impact the effects. The cannabinoids CBD and THC are lipophilic, meaning they dissolve into fats and are better absorbed by the body. 

Studies show that when edibles are taken alongside fat-heavy foods, the cannabinoids work with this fat in the endocannabinoid system to slowly increase exposure. Your body breaks down and absorbs the cannabinoids slower, resulting in longer duration of intense and  desired effects.

One easy way to ensure you’re consuming fat with your cannabis is choosing products that already have a high fat content. Chocolate bars, for example, are generally made with milk, which contains saturated fat.

Otherwise, eating regular food with a high fat content can allow for easier absorption into your body.

Consuming edibles inevitably results in something called the “first-pass effect.”

The first-pass effect occurs when the liver initially metabolizes the cannabis before it is absorbed into the body. This initial metabolism can result in reduced concentration and milder effects.

Eating a meal before consuming can help increase the total absorption of cannabinoids to help counteract the first-pass effect, ensuring that you feel stronger effects from the cannabis product.

Your Metabolic Rate 

Your metabolism also plays a huge role on how quickly cannabis is digested and processed in the body. Things like age, biological gender, medications and water and fat distribution influence your metabolic rate. 

If you have a high metabolism, THC edibles will process through your digestive system faster. Essentially, this means you’ll feel the effects of edibles quicker than if you had a slower metabolism.

It also impacts how long the edible lasts. Higher metabolisms process edibles more rapidly, meaning the effects generally won’t last as long as in someone with a slower metabolism.

THC Tolerance

Your tolerance to THC is also a huge factor that influences your edible experience. 

If you’ve got a high weed tolerance, you’ll need to consume more edibles with a higher THC content to achieve the effects you desire. 

It works something like this. THC activates CB1 receptors in the brain. After repeated THC exposure, CB1 receptors in the brain are reduced to maintain normal activation patterns, which weaken the effects of THC. In order to achieve the same high, you have to consume more.

People with different tolerances will have different experiences, even if eating edibles with the same concentration.

If someone with a high THC tolerance consumes the same dose as someone with a low THC tolerance, they’ll both feel different effects. 

For the person with a low tolerance, the effects will feel stronger and could last longer.

The person with a high THC tolerance would have to consume more in order to feel effects of this same degree.

Wrapping Up: Cannabis Edible High Duration

The duration of the cannabis edible high depends on a few things. 

The type of edible you consume combined with its cannabinoid and terpene content will both influence how long the experience lasts.

So does your body composition, metabolism and how much food you consume before eating an edible infused with weed. 

If you’ve got a high tolerance to THC, the duration of your high is likely going to be a lot shorter than someone new to cannabis. 

The best thing about determining how long cannabis edibles last for you? Consuming them of course!