(Last Updated On: November 9, 2023)

Edibles have become a popular way to consume cannabis, offering an alternative to smoking or vaping. However, one of the most common questions about edibles is, “How long does it take for them to kick in?” Unlike smoking or vaping, which provide almost immediate effects, edibles can take a while to take hold. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that influence the onset of effects, what to expect, and tips for safer consumption.

Understanding Edibles

Edibles are food products or beverages infused with cannabinoids, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). These products come in various forms, from gummies and chocolates to cookies and drinks. Edibles are preferred by many users because they offer a discreet and smoke-free way to experience the effects of cannabis.

Factors Affecting Onset Time

The time it takes for edibles to kick in can vary significantly from person to person. Several factors contribute to this variability, making it challenging to predict precisely when you’ll feel the effects. Here are some of the key factors:

Metabolism: Your metabolism plays a crucial role in how quickly your body processes the cannabinoids in edibles. People with faster metabolisms tend to experience the effects sooner than those with slower metabolisms.

Body Weight: Generally, individuals with higher body weight may require more time to feel the effects of edibles. This is because cannabinoids can be stored in fat cells, and it takes longer for them to circulate in the bloodstream.

Tolerance: Frequent cannabis users tend to develop tolerance, which can affect how long it takes for edibles to kick in. Those with higher tolerances may require more significant doses or more time to feel the effects.

Empty Stomach vs. Full Stomach: Whether you consume edibles on an empty or full stomach can influence the onset time. Edibles are typically absorbed faster when your stomach is empty, which means you may feel the effects sooner. On a full stomach, the process may be slower, and the effects may be less pronounced.

Cannabinoid Content: The cannabinoid content of the edible also matters. Edibles with higher THC concentrations are likely to produce faster and more potent effects compared to those with lower THC levels.

Individual Sensitivity: Everyone’s body reacts differently to cannabis, so individual sensitivity is a significant factor. Some people may be more sensitive to THC or CBD, resulting in quicker or more intense effects.

Typical Onset Times

On average, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for edibles to kick in. However, there are reports of it taking even longer in some cases. This wide range is due to the variability in individual factors and the different formulations of edibles.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the typical onset times for different users:

Beginners: If you’re new to edibles, it’s advisable to start with a low dose, usually around 2.5 to 5 milligrams of THC. For beginners, effects may start to be noticeable after 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Regular Users: Those who consume cannabis more frequently may need a higher dose, around 10 to 20 milligrams of THC. On average, effects may kick in within 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Experienced Users: Individuals with significant cannabis experience may require even higher doses, but they should be cautious. For experienced users, it may still take 1 to 2 hours for the effects to manifest.

Rare or Occasional Users: People who consume edibles infrequently may experience a longer onset time, sometimes up to 2 hours or more.

It’s crucial to be patient and avoid consuming additional edibles if you don’t feel the effects immediately. Overindulgence can lead to discomfort or unpleasant side effects.

Duration of Effects

Once the effects of edibles kick in, they can last for a more extended period compared to smoking or vaping. On average, the effects of edibles can persist for 4 to 6 hours, but it can be longer for some individuals. The duration is influenced by factors such as the dose, individual sensitivity, and metabolism.

Safety Tips for Consuming Edibles

To ensure a positive and safe experience with edibles, consider the following tips:

Start Low and Go Slow: If you’re new to edibles or trying a new product, begin with a low dose and wait for the effects to fully kick in before consuming more.

Wait Patiently: Avoid the common mistake of consuming more because you haven’t felt the effects yet. Be patient, and give it time.

Be Mindful of Your Environment: Plan your edible consumption in a comfortable and familiar setting, especially if you’re unsure of how the product will affect you.

Avoid Mixing with Alcohol or Other Substances: Combining edibles with alcohol or other substances can amplify the effects and increase the risk of adverse reactions.

Read Labels Carefully: Always check the packaging for accurate dosing information and ingredient lists. Stick to recommended servings.

Stay Hydrated: Drinking water can help alleviate dry mouth, a common side effect of edibles.

Seek Medical Help If Necessary: If you experience severe discomfort, anxiety, or panic, don’t hesitate to seek medical assistance. A healthcare professional can provide appropriate care.

In conclusion, the onset time for edibles can vary widely based on several factors, making it essential to approach them with caution and patience. Understanding your body’s response, starting with a low dose, and waiting for the effects to kick in are key principles to have a positive experience with edibles. Always prioritize safety and adhere to recommended guidelines for responsible consumption. Lastly, it’s important to stay updated with the latest information and regulations regarding edibles, as they can vary from one location to another.


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