How Long Do Edibles Last?

Edibles are notorious for being the most unpredictable way to consume cannabis. It seems like almost everyone has a story about the time they got too high from edible cannabis, and it's easy to see why.

I mean, who looks at a brownie and thinks, “That looks great – I'll just have a quarter of it!” No one, unless they already know what eating an entire weed brownie entails.

Experience may help determine how long edibles last, but not everyone wants experience overindulging in edible cannabis. Sometimes it's better to learn from the mistakes of others, especially if you want to find out how long edibles last.

What Type of Edible Did You Take?

The word 'edible' (in this context) is used to describe any food item that contains cannabis oil. This means, quite simply, that there's no end to the edible weed products that can be created. And while variety is great, it does make controlling the duration of an edible high difficult.

THC Content

By knowing the THC content of an edible cannabis product, you can estimate how long the high will last. Mainstream edibles range anywhere between 5mg THC to about 175mg THC, with room for extremes on either end. Even with such precise numbers, the problem remains that THC content alone isn't enough to determine exactly how long edibles last. THC is important, but there's more to consider when it comes to edible cannabis.

Forms Of Edible Cannabis

Instead of choosing an ol' edible, consider taking the time to decide what kind of edible cannabis is best for you. Small dose or large, sweet or savory, liquid or solid – the choice is yours!

  • Baked Goods: The classic edibles like brownies, cookies, and such can all be classified as baked (and generally good too). It's easy to whip together a dessert using cannabis oil, and the results are often as tasty as they are potent.
  • Candies: Lollipops, gummy bears, chocolates — there's no end to the constant parade of weed-infused candy products. But beware the innocent exterior as cannabis-infused candy packs a punch. One gummy bear can go a long way, so take care!
  • Mints: Cannabis mints are low-impact compared to other available edible weed products. Usually between 5mg to 10mg of THC, mints are perfect for people who are new to edibles. Getting too high off such a small dose is virtually impossible, so they're as safe as they are tasty.
  • Drinks: Yes, drinks can get you high too! Drinkable edibles (or should we say drinkables?) are gaining popularity in the cannabis community. Now you can get your weed fix from cannabis beer, coffee, and even soda!
  • Meals: Edibles don't just come in snack form anymore. Full on weed-infused food now offers a unique way to experience edible cannabis. Any of your favorite meals, from spaghetti to salad to steak, can deliver an awesome high.

What Else Affects Edible Duration?

It's good to know how much THC you're going to consume, but that isn't always an option. Homemade edibles have no warnings or guides, and that's when it's important to know what else affects the duration of edible weed:

Portion Size

How long an edible lasts depends largely on how much cannabis you consume. Eating a small portion of an edible to start increases the control you have over the length of your edible high. On the other hand, eating large portions of edible cannabis at once gives you no option but to ride the high until the end (and that could take a while).

Metabolism

No two people metabolize edible cannabis products at the same rate, which may be why it's so hard to know exactly how long edibles last. Other forms of cannabis consumption, like smoking and vaping, don't rely as heavily on your personal metabolism. This difference is due to the way your body absorbs edibles versus smoke. A slow metabolism means that the edibles take longer to process, which in turn makes the high last longer.

Tolerance

Measuring tolerance is difficult, but consider this: Person A has never tried cannabis and Person B is a chronic stoner. Who do you think sobers up from weed faster? Person B, who has a higher tolerance to cannabis, is going to get over edibles before Person A. This difference may not be expressed in hours or minutes, but that doesn't mean tolerance is negligible when determining how long edibles last.

How Long Do Edibles Last?

The main question that consumers have about edibles are, how long do they last? Well, it is important to consider a few things. One, do you take the edible on a full or empty stomach.

On an empty stomach, it generally takes longer for the high to kick in and is not as effective.

On a full stomach, the THC has something more to combine to and is ingested quicker. This also ensures that most of the THC content is not lost during the digestion process. The mere fact that we have to wait for our bodies to break down the food shows why edibles take longer to kick in, and to wear off.

How Long Does It Last
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Now, exactly how long does it take for an edible to work? It is recommended that a beginning consumer should eat no more than 10 mg at a time, and should wait around 1 to 2 hours for the effects to kick in. There are instances where it won’t take an hour to kick in, and there are cases where it takes more than a couple of hours to feel the effects of cannabis edibles.

This is why it important to start out with a low dosage and work your way up. There are a lot of consumers that think if you don’t feel it then you should eat more. This is not the case. Make sure to wait up to 2 hours until trying more. For this reason, I recommend starting at a dosage of around 5 mg for a true beginner. This way if it is not enough, you have some room to slowly work your way up to the recommended dosage.

The duration of the high from an edible depends on the dosage you ate, your tolerance to cannabis, and what you ate before the edible. It is safe to say that the average length of an edible high is around 4 to 6 hours. However, if a consumer eats more than the recommended dosage then it is possible for the high to last longer.

Again, this is why it is important to start low and work up slowly. An edible is a cannabis product that is great for a day off but is usually not the best for a busy day. It is also good to understand that cannabis affects every person differently. So keep a journal of how certain dosages made you feel. It will help you as a consumer to know your tolerance level.


Make sure that as a consumer you are educating yourself on the products you are consuming. Ask your local budtender how edibles work for them and gather your own knowledge. These products are very new. It is important to ask questions and know what you are purchasing. Edibles, in particular, are not for everybody. Be a smart consumer and understand the product before trying it. One last tip before you go eat a delicious pot brownie: If you ever get a little too high from an edible, just take a little CBD to mellow you out!

Updated by: Isabella Cook


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Justice Council
Justice Council is a freelance writer, CBD specialist, and cannabis enthusiast located in Denver, Colorado. His wide range of experience as a budtender, delivery driver, and CBD sales rep has given him a unique look into this new world of cannabis. Throughout his career in the industry, Justice has written many pieces on culture, economics, product knowledge, and career opportunities within the cannabis space. He takes pride in being part of a truly pioneering industry.