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How Long Does It Take for Edibles to Kick In?

Published On:
March 12, 2024

Read time:
4 Minutes

Four edible orange gummies arranged on an orange background

It can take edibles anywhere between 30 minutes to over two hours to kick in, which, if you’re used to the near-immediate effects of smoking cannabis, can be quite the shock. 

This is often what leads people to mistakenly eat too much in one sitting. So, for those new to consuming edibles, knowing the answers to “How long do edibles take to kick in?” and “When do edibles peak?” is a must.

If you’re wondering why your cannabis-infused treat isn’t working yet, you’ve come to the right place. Come with us as we explore the ins and outs of cannabis-infused edibles, dosing recommendations, and general tips for consuming edible cannabis.

What Are Cannabis Edibles?

Let’s first establish what cannabis edibles are. Essentially, they’re classified as any food or drink item that contains cannabis extracts. It’s a blanket term that covers a wide variety of cannabis-infused food and beverages, but most commonly refers to:

A spread of cannabis-infused edibles including cookies and chocolate on a table with a glass of milk

How Long Do Edibles Take to Work?

As we mentioned, edibles can take up to two hours to kick in. This is because when you eat an edible, the active compounds in cannabis (like THC) have to first pass through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream and travelling to your brain. This digestion process takes some time and is responsible for the delay in effects.

With that said, everyone’s body chemistry is unique and these differences contribute to the intensity of the cannabis experience when you take it via oral ingestion. Some other factors that affect how long edibles take to hit include:

Generally speaking, you’ll often feel the effects sooner when consuming liquid edibles compared to solid cannabis products like gummies or brownies.

How Long Do Edibles Last?

Now that we’ve answered “How long does it take for edibles to kick in?”, let’s turn our attention to how long their effects last. An edible high can last up to eight hours, with the peak spanning over two hours after onset. After that, the effects of edibles tend to taper out over the remainder of the high.

Edibles Dosing Guide

When taking edibles, proper dosing is extremely important. Taking too much can lead to bad trips—and nobody likes those! Here’s a general dosage guide to consuming cannabis edibles: 

Category THC content What to Expect
Microdose 1 to 2.5 mg THC Most users won’t experience psychoactive effects or intoxication at this point
Low Dose 3 to 5 mg THC At 5 mg, many new and/or inconsistent consumers feel a “high”
Moderate Dose 10 to 15 mg THC New users may feel overwhelmed at this dosage, so it’s recommended for more experienced users
High Dose 20 to 30 mg THC Expect strong effects and impaired coordination/perception— only take this if you’re an experienced edible consumer!

The key here is to start low and go slow! Even experienced users who consume cannabis regularly should exercise caution when trying a new edible for the first time. Keep in mind how personal factors affect you relative to this chart, too. 

Tips for Consuming Edibles

 A close-up of Mollo 5 Lime cannabis-infused beverage positioned on a wood railing

If you’re asking “How long do edibles take to work?”, you’d probably also appreciate some extra tips to have the best experience with them. Here are some good practices to help you enjoy cannabis-infused edible products safely:

🍃 If you’re unsure how much to take, it’s smart to cut a gummy or cookie into quarters and try just a small piece before working your way up.

🍃 As you experiment with edibles, make notes on your phone about dosages and times so you can dial in the perfect amount the next time. 

🍃 Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your edible experience.

🍃 The onset period after consuming edibles can feel like an eternity, so keep yourself occupied with music, movies, video games, your favourite podcast, etc.

🍃 Avoid combining edibles with alcohol or other substances to prevent the potential adverse effects that come with mixing. 

🍃 Have a small, healthy snack on hand like nuts, fruit, or vegetables for once the munchies kick in (because trust us, they will). 

🍃 Always review the informational label on the package to ensure you understand the THC content in the edible you’re about to take.

🍃 If you plan to try a higher dose than you normally would, have a sober friend on hand, especially for first-time edible experiences.

🍃 Don’t be tempted to re-dose too quickly if the effects of edibles seem mild—those “these edibles ain’t sh-t” memes are real. 

Treat Yourself to the Best Cannabis Edibles at True North

If you’re still wary about eating edibles or aren’t sure where to start, visit your local True North Cannabis Co., Ontario’s largest independent cannabis retailer, for guidance!

Our friendly and knowledgeable budtenders can help with product selection and education, offering some of the best prices on the market. Whether you’re hankering for baked goods, gummies, drinks, or chocolates infused with cannabis, we have it. 

Shop online or visit your nearest dispensary to see what’s in stock. Psst, we also offer a 10% discount on select edible products every Tuesday!

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