How Long Do Edibles Take To Work (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 30 – 60 Minutes

Edibles are foods or drinks that contain cannabis extract. Cannabis edibles can be different for different people. They can be described as food products that have been infused with marijuana. These products come in a variety of different forms, such as baked goods, gummies, candies, chocolates, and beverages.

Cannabis contains compounds such as cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound responsible for the “high” that people associate with the drug.

It takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour for the edibles to kick in the following ingestion. The edible high can peak in 2 – 3 hours after consumption, while the muted effects can persist for 5 hours or more after that. Its effects can last 7 – 12 hours in total.

How Long Do Edibles Take To Work


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How Long Do Edibles Take To Work?

Objective Time
Average onset time30 – 60 minutes
Recommended waiting time2 hours
Peak high2 – 5 hours
Come down7 – 12 hours

Edibles take time to show their effects on the body. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to experience the effects of edibles. If only small amounts are taken, the effects of edibles could come down relatively quicker and normality may resume as soon as six hours after the edibles are eaten. However, if the dose is particularly high i.e. 20mg and above, the effects can last much longer.

This delay can result in some people consuming a greater than intended amount of drug before it has taken effect inside the body. Thus, with the delayed onset and its uncertain potency, people using edibles unintentionally consume excessively high amounts of THC present in them. One of the consequences of taking too much of the said drug is that the users can become very violent and unaware of their actions. These individuals with an overdose may evince self-harming behaviors or hurt others.

The effect of edibles will always differ depending on how much was consumed, the THC potency, the contents of a person’s stomach, and their digestive health.

Why Do Edibles Take So Long To Work?

According to research, edibles are slower to kick in but last longer compared to smoking where cannabis is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and distributed rapidly in the brains, edibles first need to enter the digestive system.

As edibles are taken orally, oral ingestion of THC requires 30 -90 minutes for effects to begin which reach their peak only after 2 – 3 hours. Some factors that affect how soon someone starts experiencing the effects of edibles are the non-cannabis ingredients present in the edibles, bodyweight of the person, metabolism, gender, and even the time when the person last ate.

According to one study, the effects of edibles last 4 – 12 hours, depending on the dose and a person’s characteristics, such as tolerance and metabolism. The recommended average dose for an edible in legalized places such as Colorado and Washington is 10mg of THC per dose. Since the reaction is delayed, one can start with a low dose such as 5mg or 10mg and can go slow as time passes.

The symptoms associated with eating highly potent edibles are very severe. Some of the adverse effects associated with the consumption of edibles include drowsiness, confusion, vomiting, anxiety, panic attacks, agitation, Psychotic episodes, hallucinations, paranoia, impaired mortar ability, respiratory depression, and heart problems ranging from irregular heartbeat to heart attack.


Edibles at their basic level can be any baked goods like a cookie, brownie, chocolate bar, gummy bear, or any other food item, that are laced with cannabis chemicals like THC and CBD. Edibles take longer to exert their effects to make the “high” last longer.

These as the edibles are digested rather than inhaled, they affect the body in far more potent ways. They start taking effect 30 minutes to 1 hour after their consumption. This could even be several hours long for a person who has a slow digestive system. It is vital to keep these edibles away from infants and children, who may accidentally eat them as they look and taste similar to regular candies and gummies.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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