How Long Does the Cannabis Edible High Last?

How Long Does the Cannabis Edible High Last?

How can anything that tastes that good be a problem? Cannabis edibles have a problem. They go down differently.

Smoking puts THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in your blood system right away. Leaching through the lungs, they go through the body and to the brain with the first puff. It's reason enough to take a break after a few puffs.

Cannabis edibles, on the other hand, must be digested and then metabolized through the liver. No harm, no foul. But it takes a while before you feel the effects. So, how long does the cannabis edible high last?

It's all relative

So much depends on your psych-physical profile. As with any food or beverage, cannabis edibles will metabolize according to your body type and weight. Shorter, thinner users are likely to feel the effects sooner. Taller, heavier users will take a little longer to notice the impact.

In general, it takes at least 30 minutes to kick in. For some people, it may take two hours. But, the effects will linger longer than smoking. That's because the liver converts THC to 11-hydroxy-THC. When it hits the brain, it will likely produce a more elevated high that takes longer to diminish.

You could graph the effects with the smoking impact hitting within 10 to 60 minutes and trailing off within 30 to 60 minutes. You light up to start the cycle again. But, with cannabis edibles, that curve is more graceful, slowly taking effect, lasting for a good time, and trailing off slowly.

That's the risk

Without standardized universal labeling, you don't have all the information you need—for example, the strain used to smoke processes differently as it is prepared for eating. The THC impact will differ whether the preparation is at home or at the grower's.

As the Huffington Post points out. "THC can cause increases in heart rate, heavy breathing, dry mouth, red eyes, slower reaction times and, in cases of excessive use, severe paranoia and anxiety." Consuming too much THC may not kill you, but it will make you very uncomfortable.

Without information on content, shoppers may not determine the sensible dosage. Experienced users suggest that new users start by working slowly towards a 5mg dose. Those same veterans say to take your time building one milligram at a time up to 10 mgs. No one recommends consuming more than ten mgs at a time.

The only exception to the 10mgs rule belongs to medical marijuana patients who need the added strength for their specific health problems.

There's also the added risk that the slow onset and the edibility may mislead users regarding their ability to drive or operate machinery. Smoked or eaten, any dose can be high risk for certain people.

But there's more to think about

The "cannabis edibles" category covers a lot of inventory. Each of those edible forms is digested and metabolized differently.

When you hear "edibles," most think brownies or chocolates. But it can be more complicated than that. For instance, if you make your own edibles, you have more control over how much weed you include in your recipes. If the recipe calls for cannabis, you can weigh it and adjust recipes for taste and impact.

You can also include canna-based butter and canna-infused oils to replace dairy butter, corn oils, or fats and lards. If you do, you are also adding potency to some degree, which you should work into your dosing. For example, if you infuse your biscuits or muffins with cannabis, you should not slather it with additional cannabutter. And, if you give your edibles away as gifts, you must provide your "customer" with information on the contents.

If you purchase your edibles, you should read the label available for ingredients, density, and dosage. You must adjust your expectations, dosage, and intake frequency where the edible identifies the strain involved.

"Edibles" include teas, beverages, chewables, and lollipops. SFGate recently reported on the gathering of dozens of women who were "most wearing cocktail dresses and vintage hats." Nibbling on finger sandwiches, they sipped a line of cannabis-based teas.

Your system processes each form differently; experience will teach you sooner than product descriptions. So, you are free to pursue some trial and error in developing your cannabis edibles habit.

Final cautions

Precisely because the cannabis edibles create a slow and lasting high, you have new concerns. Drinking alcohol while consuming edibles will increase your experience negatively, producing nausea and dizziness.

It would help if you did not try edibles on an empty stomach, or it may cause nausea before improving your experience. Likewise, you may want to keep cannabis-free snacks and CBD capsules on hand to offset the THC hit.

And, considering the risks of consuming cannabis edibles without the necessary info, you never want to slip someone an edible as a joke. For instance, the Los Angeles Times reported on 19 people hospitalized after consuming cannabis-laced gummy bears at a quinceañera celebration. Guests between 6 and 18 were "hospitalized after they suffered rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, high blood pressure, dizziness, lethargy, confusion and nausea."

A closing confidence

Cannabis edibles, commercially or personally prepared, taste great. They come in many forms that just about anyone can consume—even though you seriously must keep them out of the reach of children.

They are not just another version of pot. They enter your system differently and process uniquely so that the THC has a higher potency than when smoked. The fact that edibles are slower to hit you can mislead you. And the longer-lasting high may tempt you to make moves you should avoid under the influence.