How Long Do Edibles Last? - Marijuanally

How Long Do Edibles Last?

How long do edibles last, is a question concerning all those who want to try marijuana-infused food and snacks for the first time. Consuming weed this way and getting high, or simply medicating with CBD infused food, is a fairly interesting and popular concept that some people prefer over smoking cannabis. No odor, no smoke, safe to be consumed in public and pretty discrete.

Namely, edibles are a very popular way of consuming marijuana and can offer a number of benefits. First, they remove the health risks linked to smoking. They are also more convenient and can offer a longer, more potent high using less marijuana.

The high from the foods made with cannabis last anywhere from 4-12 hours, but many factors influence exactly how long do edibles last, including dose, tolerance, metabolism, and gender, among the many factors that can affect the duration and strength of the high. So let’s start from the beginning,

What Happens When You Take Edibles?

How long do edibles last depend greatly on your body? Namely, all the food is absorbed through the gastrointestinal system. First, they enter the stomach, then pass through the intestines, move through the liver, enter the bloodstream, and end up in the brain.  This lengthy digestion process means the effects of the edibles usually won’t be felt for 40 minutes to 1 hour, so edible users will have to exercise some patience before consuming more product.  The reward can be great, from 1 to 8 hours, depending on the amount and your tolerance. It’s important to remember that everyone’s metabolism is different, so how long edibles last may vary depending on height, weight, and a variety of other factors.

Cannabis is versatile in so many ways, one of those being the manner in which it can be consumed.  To harness its benefits, you can smoke it, apply it topically, vaporize it, or ingest it in an edible product.  Each method has a unique effect.  When it comes to consuming edibles, the most incentivizing effect is the long lasting high it produces. However, our bodies absorb cannabis-infused edibles very differently from inhaled cannabis flower. So, you can’t measure how long do edibles last in the same way as smoked cannabis or ingested otherwise.

Inhaled marijuana flower is absorbed through the lungs.  The millions of alveoli located on the lungs absorb the cannabinoids and transfer them to the bloodstream.  From there, the cannabinoids are pumped to the heart and then sent to the brain.  This process results in a quicker high, but because only a small amount of cannabinoids is released at a time, the high only lasts a few hours.

Unlike smoking, it can take time to start to feel the effects of edible marijuana. Smoked marijuana enters the bloodstream very quickly through the lungs. Edible marijuana, on the other hand, has to first be digested and metabolized before you can start to feel the effects. When you consume an edible, it is digested in the stomach before traveling through the intestines and then to the liver, where THC is converted to 11-OH-THC. 11-OH-THC is much more potent than THC, making you feel higher when eating an edible compared to smoking the same amount of marijuana. This affects how long do edibles last big time.

Body Processing Method

How long do edibles last also depends on your body and how it digests food and interacts with foreign substances. For instance, consuming an edible while dehydrated or without accompanying food will allow the THC to completely overwhelm your digestive system, resulting in an extremely intense high.

If you consume an edible along with a meal, the other hand, your metabolism will take longer to break down your food (and the edible), resulting in a delayed high that lasts as long as it takes for your food to completely digest.  A warning for those who are also taking pharmaceuticals: because prescription drugs are ingested the same way as an edible, it is important to talk to your doctor about how the two substances may interact before consuming both at the same time, because how long do edibles last depends on this too.


The method of cannabis consumption also affects the plant’s chemistry.  For example, inhaled cannabis does not alter the delta-9-THC, but when cannabis is digested, the cannabinoid breaks down into 11-hydroxy-THC, a more psychedelic version of the chemical that passes the blood-brain barrier quicker than delta-9-THC does.

This means that edible produced highs are much stronger and longer lasting than inhalation produced highs, something that can either be a gift or a nightmare depending on the user’s needs.  A medical patient looking for chronic pain or insomnia relief might thrive on the powerful longevity of the edible, whereas a novice recreational user may feel overwhelmed and panicked by the potency.

How Long do Edibles Last?

A quick answer to is from 4 to 12 hours. However, it is important to note that it can take anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours before you start to feel the effects of an edible.

Many people accidentally consume too much marijuana because they do not know that it takes longer to feel the effects of edibles than it does for smoking or vaporizing. The peak high is usually felt around 2 to 4 hours after ingestion. Of course, there are a number of factors that can affect how long do edibles last, and how strong the high will be. The following points below have the biggest effect on:


How long do edibles last depends perhaps the most on the dosing. If you take a very large dose, you may experience effects for much longer than the usual 4-12 hours, and may even feel some lingering effects for a couple of days. A typical starting dose for edibles is 10mg, but if you are new to edibles, you can still feel effects from smaller doses. Also, you should know that the time of being high depends if edibles are commercial or homemade. It’s important to note that many commercial edibles have inaccurate dosing labels. A 2015 study found that only 17% of edibles had accurate labeling of THC contents. The rest of the samples either over- or under-reported the amount of THC in the product. So this changes the exact answer to how long do edibles last.

As a very rough approximation to how long do edibles last, smoking a 1⁄2 gram standard joint by yourself would lead to similar levels of highness as a 10 mg THC edible. 5mg will get most people without a tolerance “solidly high” – perhaps a 7-9⁄10.

Even doing 2mg will get people without a tolerance high – at this dosage, you may still find it reasonably easy to have conversations with people, and as the dosage goes beyond 5mg conversing will get increasingly difficult for most people. If 5mg isn’t enough, wait 2 hours to make sure it’s taken effect, and then try taking another 5mg. Don’t add on 10mg – you’ll still have much of the 5mg in your system. If 5mg wasn’t enough, next time start with 7.5mg or 10mg – don’t jump to 20mg. It would be even smarter to try 5mg two more times, as about 40% (anecdotal reports) of weed users find it hard to get high the first few times they use. If you don’t have experience with altered states of consciousness or are concerned about possible anxiety, try 2mg of THC for your first 3 times, and then try 5mg, before going any higher.

It is especially hard to get an accurate answer to how long do edibles last from homemade edibles. Start low and go slow with anything that you are unsure of or unfamiliar with.


How long do edibles last, apart from dosing varies on your body’s tolerance too? Your tolerance can potentially affect how long your edible high lasts. If you are a frequent marijuana user, you may not feel the effects for as long as a novice user. Edibles are often discouraged for people who have never consumed marijuana before, as the high may be too intense and potentially unpleasant.


Much like your metabolism can affect how quickly you may feel the effects of alcohol, it can affect how quickly you experience a high from consuming marijuana. If your metabolism is faster how long do edibles last will be easily dispelled because the sooner you will feel the effects of your edible and they will also pass quicker? People with slower metabolisms may feel high for longer.


Women may experience the same dose of THC differently than men and need less THC to get the same high. Of course, the relationship between marijuana and gender is very closely related to body size. A larger woman may need more of an edible to get high than a smaller man.


Duration of being high also depends on other substances? Mixing marijuana and alcohol may result in a much stronger high, and can increase the chances of overdose.

Mixing drugs can often have unpredictable effects, so it is important to always be cautious when doing so.

Dehydration and Hunger

Consuming an edible when you are dehydrated or have not eaten anything else can mean that you will experience the high all at once in a very intense way.

Being well hydrated, eating an edible with a meal, and having non-marijuana snacks can help to lessen the high.

How To Eat Your Edible Responsibly

As with every substance, there is always a potential for misuse, and given the nascence of the legal marijuana industry, there is a need for more education on the safest way to consume edibles.  Here are a few tips from HIGH TIMES on safe consumption.

Take a low dose, and wait: The recommended dose of THC is 10 milligrams.  It’s a good idea to start here or lower.  Remember that it can take your body a while to register the effects of the edible, so wait at least two hours before consuming more.

Label, label, label: Don’t make it easy for unsuspecting friends (or children) to mistakenly consume cannabis-infused treats.  If you are making homemade edibles, label them clearly to avoid an accidental high or panic attack.

Other substances and cannabis: either or, not both: Alcohol or pills can magnify the effects of cannabis, and given the increased potency of edibles, play it safe and stick with one substance at a time.

Brownies in the Owen


Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

Don’t take edibles on an empty stomach: Ingesting edibles without an accompanying meal will cause the THC to hit your system all at once, resulting in a very powerful and potentially uncomfortable high.  Eating unmedicated food along with your edibles will both slow your metabolism and result in a longer lasting, more enjoyable experience.

Stay in: Protect yourself and others and avoid driving or operating any heavy machinery.  If it is your first time-consuming edibles, it makes sense to do so in the comfortable and safe environment of your home.

Keep unmedicated snacks available: So eating only a portion of a delicious cannabis-infused, chocolate chip cookie in order to stay within the recommended dosage is going to be hard.  Who eats one piece of a cookie at a time? It’s going to be even harder to resist eating the whole thing when the munchies kick in.  To avoid the temptation of eating the entire edible, bring an unmedicated cookie along with you so you can satisfy the desire to eat without risking an overwhelming high.

Childproof your stash: Edibles look just like the tasty treats that attract Edible High Last, label edibles to protect children.  Make sure that you keep your edibles locked away from children who may eat the entire cookie thinking that it’s just a cookie.

Keep a stash of CBD capsules nearby: Cannabidiol (CBD), the highly therapeutic, non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in the marijuana plant, acts as a natural buffer to the effects of THC. If you’re baking yourself, incorporating a CBD rich strain like Charlotte’s Web could help you avoid an intense high. If you need to come down quick, taking a CBD capsule may provide relief.

Don’t panic: If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew and begin to feel anxious and paranoid, do your best not to feed into those feelings, and remember that this will eventually pass.  You will not die.  You cannot overdose on marijuana.

Do not play games with edibles: As tempting as it may be, do not prank someone by covertly giving him/her a cannabis-infused edible.  That is illegal, extremely inconsiderate, and dangerous since you don’t know how that person may react to the edible and since they are totally unaware of what they are consuming and so will likely eat far more than the recommended 10 milligrams.

What To Do If You’ve Taken Too Much

Taking too much of an edible is a common, but often unpleasant experience. Here are some tips for if you feel you’ve taken too much:

The first thing to do is to remind yourself that this feeling will pass.

Nobody has died from consuming too much marijuana, but the experience can be very unpleasant.

Drinking water and eating some non-marijuana snacks can help to curb some of the high.

Practice deep breathing.

Try distracting yourself with your favorite TV show, movie or music.

Call a friend over — having someone with you can help to take the edge off of any paranoia.

Getting some fresh air can help, but do not operate heavy machinery or drive a car.

For many people, sleeping off the effects is the easiest way to pass the time until they come down.

Overall, it’s important to get the dose right when using edibles to prevent negative side effects. While there are many factors involved, the effects of edibles tend to last from 4-12 hours on average.

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