Have you eaten a cannabis brownie and don’t feel it hours later? There are several reasons why you may not be feeling the effects of THC.
From metabolizing issues in your body to not having the proper dosage, we can break down the possibilities of why you are not getting high into five primary reasons.
Read on to see what could be the issue, so the next time you eat a cannabis edible, you get the buzz you want.
How Edibles Work: Slow Weed
Weed takes longer to work when eating edibles and remains in your body longer than if you vaped or smoked your cannabis.
This has to do with the fact that edibles are processed by your body differently.
For example, if you vaped or smoked your cannabis, it goes almost directly to your bloodstream, which travels to your brain, causing effects that start around 2 minutes later and can last up to an hour or so.
But, when you eat an edible, it first has to be broken down by your digestive system and then metabolized by your body.
This process begins in your stomach and then is absorbed and filtered by your liver and all this takes time.
The Digestive System Is Slow
In the liver, THC is broken down into the metabolites 11-OH-THC (active) and then THC-COOH (inactive).
These enter your bloodstream and then finally your brain. This process is why it can take up to four hours for an edible to be completely felt.
Depending on your metabolism, what you have in your stomach before taking a THC edible, and how long it takes for your body to process the THC all play a role in how fast an edible may hit you.
The effects are also slightly different in an edible versus smoking it. Not only does it take longer to feel the effects, but the way the edible hits you are also different.
It is harder to gauge how much THC your body absorbs. You actually absorb less THC into your system, but the effects last longer, creating a buzz that hits up to four hours after you eat the edible, but with results that we can feel much later too.
Reasons Why Edibles Might Not Get You High
There are quite a few reasons why THC edibles might not get you high. Below we dive into the most common reason most people struggle to make edibles work:
Edibles Not Working After 3 Hours
If you are sitting around waiting for your THC edible to kick in, and it’s three hours later, it could be that you haven’t waited long enough for the edible to be processed through your digestive tract.
You must wait for up to four hours before eating any more because sometimes your body is still digesting due to a slow metabolism and is taking its time absorbing the THC via your liver.
Related Read: Eating Edibles When Full
If this is the case, and you top up on edibles to get it to kick in faster, you are going about it in the wrong way.
The more recent edible will still take as long as the previous edible to kick in, but it may cause you to essentially overdose on THC, leading you to green out.
Greening out occurs when your endocannabinoid system is overloaded with THC, and your cannabinoid receptors are given more THC than they can handle, making you feel the adverse effects of too much THC.
To avoid this, be sure to wait a minimum of four hours from consumption to feeling the edibles.
If you’re going on five hours with no effects, it’s reasonable to consume more.
But remember to titrate your dose in small increments to prevent hitting an (unenjoyable) all-time high!
The THC Isn’t Activated Aka Decarboxylated
Sometimes when you eat a cannabis edible with weed that has not been properly decarboxylated, the buzz from the edible will not occur.
This is because decarboxylation is crucial for activating the psychotropic compounds found in cannabis.
For example, when you smoke a weed joint, the flame breaks down the cannabinoid acids like THCA into THC, thus making it bioavailable and allowing for THC to cross the blood-brain barrier – aka getting you high.
Either heat or ultraviolet light achieves this outcome, so when consuming edibles, it’s essential that the weed has been ground and baked slightly before use.
THCA is non-psychotropic, so without decarbing, you will not get high from it, but heating it in an oven (which most homemade edibles are decarbed in) will activate the THCA turning it into THC.
The easiest way to do this is to grind the bud, spread it on a baking sheet, and put it in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20 minutes.
After this, whatever edibles you make will be activated without additional heat.
So, yes. If you are eating a weed edible that has not been appropriately decarbed, you are wasting your time and precious weed.
Sometimes the reason you are not getting high from edibles has to do with dosage, and you won’t feel it if you don’t ingest enough THC.
This is the time to figure out your cannabis tolerance level – this can be different for edibles vs other forms of cannabis.
If you are new to edibles, a good baseline dose is around 5 mg of Delta 9 THC to understand how your body processes and deals with THC.
If you are an experienced consumer, then the suggested standard dose is to start at 10 mg of Delta 9. Wait the recommended four hours, and if you are not feeling any effects, like euphoria or relaxation, then up your dose to an additional 2.5 mg or 5 mg.
Another way you can figure out the best dose for you is by consuming different amounts over a few different sessions.
For your first time, try 5 mg. If that doesn’t work for you, the next time you have an edible, try 7.5 mg, then the next time, try 10 mg until you find the sweet spot.
Keep in mind that if you do this with gummies, and the next time you want to try a sucker or chocolate bar, these edibles may hit you differently.
Stick to one type of edible, or if you want to try something new, be sure to go up in increments from a 5 mg baseline as you did for the first type of edible. This may also save you from greening out
In my opinion, the type of edible also plays a role in how the effects hit us differently too. Personally, I find that milk chocolate edibles hit me harder than dark chocolate ones.
This may partially have to do with the fat content, as THC needs to bind with fat in order to be able to be processed by your digestive system.
However, if you are making edibles at home, it is hard to judge how much THC is in each piece without a THC potency testing kit.
If you do not have a kit, start dosing incrementally each time you eat edibles until you achieve the buzz you want. Note the dosage and use accordingly.
CBD Edibles Won’t Get You High
Occasionally, newcomers to the cannabis market purchase CBD edibles instead of THC edibles. If this is the case, you will not feel high.
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that is found both in cannabis and hemp. All legal, hemp-derived CBD products contain <0.3% D9-THC. So there isn’t enough to feel a buzz.
The other exemption are products enriched with Hemp-Derived D9 THC, as these are manufactured to get you high while falling into a gray area of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Related Reads: Hemp-Derived D9 Gummies
Delta 8 is said to have a milder high than Delta 9 THC (which is the common cannabinoid associated with Cannabis). In contrast, HHC is said to be even more psychotropic than regular cannabis.
If you are looking for an alternative buzz, try some other edibles such as D8 gummies to see if these are right for you.
If you aren’t getting high on edibles, it could also be because you are “ediblocked.” This term is used to describe individuals who cannot get high from edibles.
The exact cause of this phenomenon is unknown, but it really exists. According to the Boston Globe, a small percentage of cannabis users can get high off a joint, but it takes them much more to feel edibles.
In one of the mentioned cases, it took a particular individual upwards of 700 mg of THC in edibles to even feel anything! This is multiple times higher than the general public can usually handle.
The Globe outlines that some theories state that this disorder may be caused by the presence of liver enzymes that metabolize THC into THC-COOH too well, making the body excrete the THC metabolites into waste so that it doesn’t get absorbed into the bloodstream.
Another alternate theory claims that the liver enzymes are very inefficient and, therefore, little THC is metabolized.
Right now, this is all speculation, but it’s something to be aware of if you have cross-checked the other points listed in this article and find edibles still don’t get you high.
Other Ways To Consume Cannabis
If you’re not getting high off edibles, there are alternate ways cannabis consumers can enjoy weed that is much easier to dose.
You could try smoking weed in joints or use a bong or a pipe to inhale it. Or you can vape it through either a tabletop vaporizer or a handheld one made specifically for weed.
Another way is to dab concentrates using a dab rig (which is pretty much a bong but with an attachment called a banger).
Although, be aware that dabbing isn’t beginner-friendly, and it can lead to you getting very high, very quickly.
You use a torch to heat the banger, put a dab (a small piece of concentrate) on a dab tool, stick it in the banger, and then inhale it through the rig. There are also electronic dab rigs that don’t require torches.
These concentrates are potent, but you can take whatever size dab you want to achieve a stellar high like you would with edibles. And yes. This is all without waiting for your digestive system to break down the weed.
When consuming edibles, remember to be patient (at least a few hours).
If you’re impatient, maybe stick to just smoking weed and avoid waiting for your digestive system to kick in.
Finding that perfect dose for an edible high that has you leveled nicely can be a journey too. So hang on and learn your body processes before giving up on eating weed edibles!