Since the legalization of hemp, edibles have become increasingly popular. From gummies to energy bars, chocolates, and even beverages, you’re spoilt for choice if edibles are your thing.
But why should you do edibles as opposed to inhalable or topical cannabis? It all comes down to the all-important variable – onset time. The various forms of cannabis we see around have different “kick-in” times.
Generally, inhalable cannabis has the shortest onset time. But what about edibles? Well, read on to learn more about the intricacies of cannabis action.
- Edibles are one of the many ways of taking cannabis. These are cannabis-infused foods taken for recreational or health benefits.
- Edibles take a while to kick in, somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour.
- Their effects also tend to last longer depending on potency and dosage, among other factors.
- Edibles are not overly safe and are the leading cause of emergency visits due to cannabis overdose.
What Are Cannabis Edibles
Cannabis edibles are foods infused with cannabis extracts. These could be gummies, chocolate, candies, capsules, pills, brownies, drinks, etc. Cannabis is versatile and can easily be incorporated into many food products.
Taking cannabis in different ways influences the overall experience. When you smoke cannabis flower, you feel different effects. That’s because the consumption method dictates how your body processes the cannabis molecules entering your bloodstream.
What Are the Effects of Cannabis Edibles
The effects of cannabis edibles depend on their bioactive ingredients. Of course, cannabinoids produce different effects – the psychoactive “THCs” are known for their palpable mental and physical effects, while the non-psychoactive cannabinoids typically produce “body effects.”
So, the effects of an edible depend entirely on its bioactive ingredients. For example, THC-infused edibles can give intense mental effects. These are the go-to for a euphoric, uplifting experience. Of course, taking too much THC can produce intense effects you didn’t bargain for. So, go easy on these.
The key to enjoying edibles without unwanted side effects is moderation. This is particularly vital with THC edibles because the body metabolizes THC into a more potent metabolite called 11-hydroxy-THC. It’s thought that this compound is more psychoactive than THC, explaining why THC edibles produce stronger effects.
This is not to say throw all caution to the wind with the likes of CBD, CBC, and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids. While these typically don’t induce intoxication, they could produce unwanted side effects like nausea, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, appetite loss, etc. So, either way, moderation is key.
How Long Does It Take for Edibles to Start Working
Firstly, you’ve got to understand that we have different body chemistries. Two people taking the same amount of edibles can experience different effects. How long it takes for edibles to kick in depends on a host of factors. The key ones are:
- Body characteristics, e.g., body fat content, metabolism, activity levels, etc.
Generally speaking, edibles take between 30 and 60 minutes to kick in. However, it’s possible to wait several hours before feeling the effects. That’s why taking breaks between doses is crucial to avoid accidental overdosing.
Determining Factors for How Long It Takes for Edibles to Kick In
Let’s go further into detail and explain the factors determining how long it takes for edibles to kick in.
Type of Cannabinoid
Cannabis has two types of cannabinoids – psychoactive and non-psychoactive. The former are typically characterized by their mental effects, which can be mild or intense depending on potency. So, Delta 9 gummies, for instance, will give more potent effects than Delta 8 gummies or CBN edibles.
Still on Delta-9-THC, users say its edibles have a higher potency than other forms. The reason is that the body metabolizes THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is much more psychoactive. As a result, the effects kick in fast.
Strength of Edible
The strength of an edible depends on its composition. An edible made with full-spectrum extracts is stronger than another made with isolates.
The reason is that full-spectrum extracts contain all the bioactive ingredients of cannabis. As a result, they mutually enhance each other’s qualities – a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.”
How Much Food Is In The User’s Stomach
In case you didn’t know, the amount of food in your stomach can affect the onset time of edibles. Have you ever wondered why some medications are taken after meals or with food?
Taking edibles on an empty stomach typically leads to faster kick-in times. That’s because the digestive system isn’t tasked with much work as it would be when the stomach is full. In other words, the edibles are promptly digested, leading to faster onset times.
Your metabolism rate is also critical in determining how fast (or slow) edibles kick in. Generally, the higher the rate, the faster the effects kick, and vice versa.
Tolerance is essentially the body’s capacity to withstand the effects of edibles. High-tolerance users feel the effects much slower than low-tolerance users.
Tolerance is built by the frequency of use – the higher the frequency, the higher the tolerance. This is why newbies can experience intense effects, whereas experienced users barely feel any. It’s simply because their systems are not used to higher levels of bioactive ingredients in edibles.
On the same note, heavier people tend to feel the effects of edibles much slower than lean people. That’s because it takes considerably longer for blood to carry the cannabis compounds around their bodies hence a delayed onset of effects.
However, one advantage heavier people (read high-fat content) have over leaner people is that the effects last longer. As mentioned earlier, cannabinoids have a strong affinity for fat molecules. Therefore, the fatty molecules act as stores from which cannabinoids are slowly released into the bloodstream.
The science behind age affecting how edibles kick in is straightforward. As we get older, our metabolism slows down. As a result, it takes longer to digest and metabolize edibles which means the effects kick in slower.
Females are thought to be affected more quickly by edibles than males. That’s because men are generally larger, meaning it takes longer for bioactive ingredients to move around the body.
However, females tend to have more body fat. So they feel the effects much longer.
Potential Medication Interactions
Studies indicate that cannabinoids can interact with certain medications. THC, for instance, has been shown to interact with over 400 prescription medicines, while CBD can affect even more! Some drug-cannabinoid interactions can slow down or increase how fast the body absorbs cannabinoids.
How Different Cannabinoids Can Affect the Onset Time
We know that the body digests and metabolizes cannabinoids differently. This also plays a role in determining how fast (or slow) the effects of edibles kick in.
THC edibles are quite common owing to the easy availability of this cannabinoid. THC is the most abundant compound in landrace strains, but its (∆9-THC) concentration is quite limited in hemp as per the stipulations of the 2018 Farm Bill.
There are different types of THC cannabinoids, but Delta-9-THC is the bona fide THC compound. When we mention THC, we primarily refer to Delta-9-THC. Other THCs include Delta 8, HHC, and Delta 1.
Ever heard about HHC? Full name hexahydrocannabinol, HHC is a naturally occurring psychoactive cannabinoid that has gained prominence for its health and wellness benefits, e.g., pain relief, relaxation, and anti-stress.
HHC is slightly milder than THC (has roughly 80% of the potency of THC), and users claim it produces longer-lasting THC-like effects albeit milder.
How the body digests this compound is unclear, but it probably depends on similar principles to THC.
Delta 8 is a “tetrahydrocannabinol” quite similar to THC save for the position of a double bond in their cyclic chain. In Delta-9-THC, this double bond is at the 9th carbon; in Delta-8-THC, it’s at the 8th carbon atom.
This difference is responsible for the different pharmacological actions of these compounds. Delta-8-THC is the less potent of the two and produces mild THC-like effects.
Being a weaker “THC,” it’s probable that Delta 8 edibles kick in slightly slower than Delta 9 edibles.
We mentioned earlier that the body digests ∆9-THC forming a metabolite called 11-hydroxy-THC. This compound is more potent than ∆9-THC, so, expectedly, it hastens the onset of Delta-9 edibles’ effects.
Delta 10 is another lesser-known cannabinoid that is also understudied. Therefore, its effects are not well understood. But anecdotal reports suggest this cannabinoid produces similar effects to Delta 9.
Out of the THCs discussed herein, Delta 10 is the weakest, so its effects are understandably mild. It may take longer in terms of onset time owing to its low potency.
Do Edibles Kick in Faster Than Oils and Tinctures
No, edibles don’t kick in faster than oils and tinctures. That’s because they are absorbed into the bloodstream via the digestive system. Once in the digestive system, it takes several hours for the edibles to be digested and eventually absorbed.
Also, keep in mind that edibles are subjected to the first-pass process. This further reduces the amount of ingredients that enter the bloodstream. Of course, the smaller the amount absorbed, the longer it takes to feel the effects.
Oils and tinctures are directly absorbed into the bloodstream via the sublingual method. A large network of capillaries beneath the tongue allows for the direct absorption of substances into the body. Because they are not subjected to the first-pass process, oils and tinctures typically kick in within minutes.
How Long Does an Edible Last in Your System
As with onset time, the duration an edible lasts in your system depends on several factors. These include metabolism, tolerance, weight, dose, and potency.
Generally, the effects of edibles last much longer than smoked or vaped cannabis. For example, peak plasma THC levels typically occur around three hours post-administration. This is when the effects are most intense.
Overall, the effects of edibles can last anywhere from six to eight hours. However, it’s not uncommon for the effects to last up to 12 hours, especially with larger doses.
Why Do Edibles Take Longer to Kick in Than Smoking
Edibles take longer to kick in due to how the digestive system works. Edibles, like other foods, go through a lengthy digestion process that can take 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the food type.
Of course, denser foods take much longer to digest.
With smoking and vaping, the ingredients are directly absorbed into the system via the lungs. For example, if you smoke THC cannabis, the effects kick in within 5 to 10 minutes, depending on its potency.
Are Edibles Safe
Edibles are the leading cause of emergency room visits for cannabis overdose. And the main reason for this is that many users don’t understand that these products have delayed effects.
The key to taking edibles safely is moderation – start low and slow. If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting with no more than 10mg of THC. Experts advise that 2.5 to 5mg is ideal for your first time out the gate.
The attractive packaging can also be misleading. Some edibles like candy or gummies may look appealing, but they can pack a punch, especially THC edibles. However, when taken within the recommended doses, there’s no reason to think edibles are unsafe.
Final thoughts — How Long Does It Take for Edibles to Kick In
Edibles are a fun and easy way to take cannabinoids. Different forms of edibles affect the user differently, with sublinguals generally kicking in faster than orals.
For users seeking quick relief, edibles may not be ideal; inhalables or sublinguals might be better options. However, the effects of edibles last longer, making them suitable for addressing chronic conditions.
Concerning safety, edibles demand a cautious approach, especially those with psychoactive cannabinoids. The delayed onset time can promote overconsumption and accidental overdosing. The recommended THC dose is 2.5mg to 5mg for anybody just starting on edibles.
Where to buy HHC, Delta 8, 9, and 10 Edibles Online
If you’re looking for great edibles, Botany Farms should be your first port of call. Visit our website for some well-crafted Delta 10 THC gummies infused with 30mg of Delta 10. These gummies help you relax and enjoy a wave of relief with an enticing mango flavor without the intense effects of THC.
We also have these rare HHC gummies perfect for experienced users looking for a different cannabis experience. With up to 25mg of HHC per gummy, these edibles are ideal for nighttime use as they can produce a heavy effect.
If you’re looking for some relaxing moments at the end of a busy day, try our Delta-8-THC gummies. With 30mg of Delta 8 and 2mg of Delta 9, these are some of the most potent gummies on the market. Rarely producing the unwanted side effects of Delta 9, these may help users looking for a good night’s sleep.For the experienced user seeking the archetypal effects of cannabis, these Delta-9-THC gummies are the real deal! With 10mg of THC and 14mg of CBD per gummy, these edibles are crafted to provide the ultimate bliss.