Dosing cannabis edibles can be a tricky business. The experience of consuming edibles varies significantly from person to person, thanks to the unique chemistry of our bodies and the myriad factors that influence how edibles affect us.
In this blog, we will delve into the fascinating world of edibles, exploring the question: “How long do edibles take to kick in?” We will also shed light on why edibles take longer to work compared to smoking and uncover the various factors that play a pivotal role in determining the onset of their effects.
How Long Do Edibles Take to Kick In?
When it comes to edibles, the most common question is: “How long does it take for them to kick in?” Unlike smoking or vaping cannabis, where the effects are nearly instantaneous, edibles require patience. This delay arises from the unique way edibles interact with our bodies.
When cannabis is smoked or vaporized, the active compounds, including THC, enter the lungs and swiftly make their way into the bloodstream. Consequently, users often experience the effects within minutes. In contrast, consuming edibles entails a journey through the digestive system and liver before the effects are felt. This digestive process significantly elongates the time it takes for the cannabinoids to exert their influence, typically ranging from 45 to 60 minutes or sometimes even longer.
To navigate this delay, it is advisable to adopt the mantra of “starting low and going slow.” This means beginning with a low dose of edibles and patiently awaiting the effects to manifest. If, after an hour, the desired effects are not achieved, one can consider consuming a bit more. However, caution is paramount, as doubling down on edibles before the initial dose has taken effect can result in both doses kicking in later, potentially leading to an uncomfortably potent experience.
For individuals new to cannabis or those with a low tolerance, it’s prudent to commence with as little as 2.5 mg of edibles or even less. Gradually increasing the dosage in small increments can help fine-tune the experience. Remember, it’s easier to consume more if necessary than to mitigate the effects of an excessively strong high.
Why Do Edibles Take Longer To Work Than Smoking?
Now that we’ve touched on the basics let’s delve deeper into the science behind why edibles take their sweet time to kick in. As mentioned, when you inhale cannabis through smoking or vaping, it races into your lungs, and from there, it swiftly enters the bloodstream. The result? Rapid onset of effects, often within minutes.
Conversely, when you consume edibles, the story takes a slower, more complex turn. Your digestive system becomes the stage for the main act, where cannabis compounds are broken down and metabolized in your stomach and liver. This intricate process takes considerably longer, but it also leads to a more potent and prolonged experience. This fundamental difference in the route of administration explains why edibles have a delayed onset compared to smoking or vaping.
Factors That Can Affect How Fast Edibles Work
Now that we’ve explored the fundamental mechanics of edibles, let’s delve into the multitude of factors that can influence how quickly they take effect:
The Type of Edible
Edibles come in various forms, from gummies and baked goods to beverages. The type of edible you choose significantly impacts the onset time. Edibles like gummies, brownies, and beverages must undergo digestion in the stomach and liver, typically requiring 45 to 60 minutes for effects to manifest. However, some products, such as mint strips, lozenges, and lollipops, are designed for sublingual absorption, meaning they dissolve under the tongue, allowing THC to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream. This method results in much quicker effects, often within minutes.
The potency of the edible is another crucial factor. Edibles with higher doses, such as 10 mg or more of THC, may kick in more swiftly than those with lower doses. However, higher doses also increase the risk of experiencing overwhelming effects.
Your cannabis tolerance level is pivotal in determining how edibles affect you. Regular cannabis consumers, often referred to as having a high tolerance, may find that even a moderate dose of edibles has a milder impact on them. On the other hand, individuals with a low tolerance, including those who rarely or never consume cannabis, are more likely to experience pronounced effects from the same dose.
Your body’s unique metabolism also contributes to the variability in the onset of edible effects. Some individuals metabolize food and edibles more rapidly, experiencing quicker results, while others have a slower metabolism, leading to a delayed onset. Additionally, factors like body weight and composition can influence how long the effects last and how potent they are.
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