How Long Do Edibles Stay in your System? How long do edibles last?

Knowing how long edibles last is important. Whether you’re trying to pass a drug test or just wondering how long edibles stay in your system, the facts matter. Edibles are skyrocketing to the top of the popularity charts in places where cannabis is recreationally legal.  Sales have more than doubled across the board since 2016, and there’s no sign of slowing down.  The world of infused edibles is evolving every day and those in the business need to be practically clairvoyant to stay ahead of the curve.  An ever-changing market calls for innovation and originality.  As each year passes, the market has become increasingly more competitive.  With its growth in popularity, it’s important for consumers to understand the variety of effects of cannabis-infused snacks and foods.

Edibles Come in Many Forms

Cannabis edibles in the form of a traditional american dinner
Cannabis-infused traditional dinner

Edibles are smoke-free and discrete – making them easier for some people to consume.  The market has grown so much that it has begun to reach those individuals who are opposed to smoking even any substance.  This shift has spurred innovation in the edibles market.  They come in many forms, such as sweets like brownies, trail mix, drinks, and even infused entrees. Sugared candy is the most rapidly growing category of edibles.  They are easy to portion and appeal to a broad range of consumers. 

Manufacturers use cannabis in either butter or oil to make the treats.  This makes for a versatile foundation of almost any recipe.  Capsules are also considered edibles and provide the same effect.  The most important part of determining edible potency is to pay attention to the dosage.  If consuming homemade products, ask about the estimated dosage if it has not been written or listed on the package. 

How long does it take edibles to kick in?

One of the biggest downfalls of edibles is that there is a waiting period from when you consume and when the effect takes place.  If your edible contained only cannabidiol (CBD), you won’t feel any psychoactive effect at all.  Smoking or vaping can affect the brain in as little as 5 minutes.  Unlike smoking, edibles are processed through the digestive system and the liver before making it to your bloodstream. 

There are many factors that affect how long it will take for this process to occur, but it is a much longer process than smoking or inhaling.  Edibles can take as short a time frame as 30 minutes, or even as long as up to 2 hours to take effect.  This is where rookies can get into trouble.  The edible takes too long to take effect, and they eat a bigger portion – possibly the entire package – because they aren’t feeling high.  Unfortunately, this trial and error way of figuring out how much you should take is a reliable way to figure out how it will affect you.  Start slow, and see how you react. 

How Long Do Edibles Stay in your System?

THC & CBD chemical compounds
THC & CBD chemical compounds

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) affects everybody differently.  For this reason, it’s difficult to pinpoint how long edibles will stay in your system.  It depends on several factors, including gender, age, and weight.  Typically, the peak effects of edibles last 5 hours.  Depending on your dosage, you may feel effects for up to 10 hours.  Edibles are first processed through the body’s digestive tract and then delivered to the liver before it reaches the bloodstream.  This much longer period, due to the way your body processes edibles, provides for a more even, steady euphoric effect than the peaks and valleys from smoking cannabis. 

How long does it take to pass a drug test after taking edibles?

Cannabis drug tests are common for government jobs.

If you are worried about passing a drug test shortly after consuming edibles, you probably should be.  Once again, the time it takes an edible to pass through your system depends on several factors.  When was the last time you ingested THC?  How fast is your metabolism?  How much did you take?  Most importantly:  what kind of test is it?  Accuracy in detection varies between different types of tests.  The majority of the THC will be disposed from your body within 5 days – but small amounts could still linger for up to a month after consumption.   

Consuming cannabis and learning how your body reacts to it as an edible is an enjoyable experience.  If you start slowly and increase your dosage in incremental changes, you will find where you experience the best high.  The good news is that research into cannabis and edibles has grown exponentially over the past few years, and there’s no shortage of interest in scientists helping consumers find the most enjoyable experiences.    Researchers are expanding the field and there is much more to gain.

Purchased Products vs Homemade Goodies

Weed infused gummy bears
Cannabis-infused gummy bears

One of the great features of legal cannabis is knowing what you are buying.  Each jurisdiction has regulations that require certain facts about the product on the packaging.  This is great for newcomers to edibles.  Directions on a package are much more reliable than word of mouth instructions.  Knowing how much you’ve taken is a valuable tool in determining how long the substance will be in your system.  Homemade edibles are a different story.  Recipes made in a homemade setting could more likely be uneven by the batch and even by individual serving.  There is no guarantee of what you are purchasing with a homemade product.  Cooks should follow a dosage guide when making their goodies – so that they can easily estimate how much THC might be in each serving.  If you would like to make edibles at home, we have some delicious cannabis recipes here.

Proper Storage of Edibles

Cannabis edibles being stored on a shelf in an organized manner. All weed edibles are stored in mason jars.

Like most other food, edibles can lose their freshness.  So, proper storage is a must for enjoying the effects long after you’ve purchased them.  Cannabis left on the counter can attract bugs, be affected by sunlight or moisture, and even possibly grow mould or mildew.  As cannabis is sensitive to temperature changes, airtight containers, glass jars, or even freezing will keep it in tip-top shape for future enjoyment.  If you do freeze it, allow it to come to room temperature slowly.  Edibles are mostly best kept in the refrigerator, especially if they contain butter, sugar or other oils.  Noting the “best by” date on the package is a good rule of thumb for the freshness of your cannabis product.

2 thoughts on “How Long Do Edibles Stay in your System? How long do edibles last?”

  1. i was eating up to 50 miligrams of gummies daily. i stopped for 41 days & still failed a urine test given to me by the VA , damn how long does this stay in your system ? i have heard up to 3 months !

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