Eating cannabis-infused food is not a new method of ingesting THC. For decades, if not centuries, cannabis users have infused food and drinks with weed products.

That said, many users have not yet tried edible products and may have questions about the process.

Below, we will answer the most common questions related to edible use, such as:

What Are Edibles?

The term “edible” refers to a cannabis-infused food product. These items usually come in the form of cookies and candy, and because they’re absorbed through digestion rather than inhalation, their onset and effects differ somewhat from smoking cannabis.

Because the products and effects differ from one another, many people wonder how long do edibles last when they are planning to try an edible product. Onset, duration, and body effects differ considerably, so these questions are well worth exploring.

Edibles vs Smoking

Aside from the method of ingestion, edible cannabis and smokable cannabis differ in several ways.

For one, edibles tend to have a far less intense odor than cannabis flowers. Edibles usually have a hint of a cannabis smell, or sometimes no smell at all, while flowers are incredibly pungent, especially after being smoked.

Additionally, dosage differs between the product types, onset times are different, and the duration of your high is often much longer when taking an edible.

New users often wonder, “how long do edibles last compared to smoking,” as well as, “how long do edibles take to kick in,” being that smoking effects usually present quickly.

How Long Do Edibles Take To Kick In?

Edibles can be somewhat tricky, and depending on the amount consumed, the THC levels, and your body’s own absorption properties, onset may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

In some cases, an hour will pass and you won’t feel any different. For late-onset items like this, it’s a good idea to wait for two total hours before deciding whether you need to take more.

The effects of edibles can somewhat “sneak” up on you, meaning that you feel fine one moment and affected the next.

Patience is a virtue when determining how long edibles take to work.

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System?

Before using an edible product, the most common question people have is, “how long do edibles last?”

Edibles are long-lasting, so after they have kicked in, you’ll likely experience your peak high between two and five hours in.

Depending on the potency and amount of the edible you consume, it may take between seven and 12 hours for the effects to wear off.

Edibles can be an all-day commitment, so it’s best to consume them during a time in which you don’t have anything expected of you. This way, you can lie down and relax, enjoying the full spectrum of the edible.

Common Forms of Edibles

Long Do Edibles

Edibles can come in many forms, but the most popular types of edibles are of the sweet variety. People tend to enjoy THC-infused chocolate, cookies, candy, brownies, and the like being that sugary, starchy food tends to mask the “weed taste” quite well.

In addition to desserts and snack items, edibles can also come in the form of cannabis butter, popcorn, ice cream, and even drink mixes (like teas and coffees).

If you’re not terribly fond of sweets, there are several cannabis-related cookbooks on the market that you can use to create edibles out of practically any food.

When making cannabis-infused food of your own, the answer to “how long do edibles last” can differ significantly, depending on the grade and amount of cannabis you use.

How Much Should You Take?

When you purchase an edible item from a dispensary, the recommended edible dosage should be listed on the packaging.

For example, if you purchase a chocolate bar, the serving size is listed as one brick of chocolate, which contains 10mg of THC.

If you have never tried edibles before, it’s a good idea to half the dose. This way you can avoid being hit too hard by highly-potent products. After two hours have passed and you feel like you’d like more, you can take the other half of the dose.

Benefits of Edibles

There are several features of edible cannabis products that make them ideal for certain users. Benefits may include

  • No smoke, and no smoke-related odors
  • Long-lasting effects, typically much longer than smoking cannabis lasts
  • Delayed onset, which gives users time to prepare themselves
  • Muscle spasm reduction
  • Anti-seizure effects
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Full-body relaxation
  • Pleasant taste
  • A product that’s not at all harsh on the lungs

Potential Side Effects

The effects of edibles, much like asking “how long do edibles last,” depends a great deal on how much product you use and how potent that product is.

Most of the time, an edible soothes anxiety, relaxes the body, and can sometimes induce sleep.

However, if a user takes more than the dose that’s suited for their body’s tolerance, side effects may include

  • Impaired motor function
  • A sensation of heaviness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Panic
  • Agitation

Edibles produce an intense body high, so when a user takes too much, he or she may start to worry about the effects as they take hold. Panic, in turn, can make the effects feel worse than they are, which can result in a negative experience.

For this reason, it’s best to take small doses if you’re inexperienced with edibles.

How To Get the Right Edibles from Market

Because there’s a wide variety of edibles on the market, it’s a good idea to ask questions when you visit the dispensary.

Ask about the different product types available, including

  • What is the taste like?
  • How do I preserve this product?
  • What is the potency?
  • How long do edibles last for compared to other products?
  • How long does an edible stay in your system?

Answers may vary depending on the product you’re inquiring about, so ask as many questions as you can. Dispensary employees are often very knowledgeable and helpful, so they will be able to provide product-specific information.

Once you have found a product that matches what you’re looking for (taste, potency, dosage, etc.), give it a try to determine whether it’s the right product for you.

When To Visit Your Doctor

A common follow-up question to, “how long do edibles last,” is often, “what do I do if edibles last too long,” or, “what do I do if the effect is too intense?”

Because it’s highly possible to experience adverse effects from consuming too much edible cannabis, it’s extremely important to dose according to product instructions.

If for some reason you feel that you have taken too much edible cannabis, or the effects are too intense, you may be wondering if you should contact your doctor or visit the emergency room.

Most of the time, the intense effects of edible cannabis will go away on their own, but if the duration is lasting too long or you’re feeling extremely unwell, it’s worth contacting a medical professional for peace of mind.

If you experience the following symptoms, you might want to seek medical attention.

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme confusion

These effects are rare, but in cases where too high a dose has been ingested, it’s best to get help rather than waiting it out.

The Takeaway

When considering, “how long do edibles last,” it’s important to take several factors into consideration. Dosage amount, THC potency, and your body’s own tolerance play key roles in the way you’re going to react to taking edibles.

Remember the following points in order to properly dose your edible products and experience the best results possible.

How much should I take?

Take HALF of the recommended dose if it’s your first time trying edibles. Otherwise, take the recommended dose.

How long do edibles take?

They kick in typically 30 minutes to 1 hour after ingestion

How long do I wait before taking more?

Wait at least two hours before ingesting another edible if you feel no effect after the first dose.

How long do edibles last?

Your peak high will be achieved between two and five hours after ingestion, and the product can take up to 12 hours for the effects to completely dissipate.

In addition to asking how long do edibles last, it’s wise to provide yourself with additional aid when trying edibles for the first time.

For example, have plenty of water within reach because you’ll likely need something to drink and will not want to get up.

Also, having a trusted friend or family member with you during your first edible experience is helpful. This person can help you manage your effects, keep you calm throughout the duration of the high, and provide you with pleasant company.


“How long do edibles last,” is one of many pertinent questions to ask when you’re trying edibles for the first time.

Knowing how much product to take, what effects to expect, when the effects may hit, when to expect your peak high, and how long the duration of the edible will last can help users keep their minds at ease when enjoying edible products.

As always, it’s crucial to get informed about the products you’re using beforehand, because knowing what’s normal to expect and what isn’t will empower you to use edibles correctly.

Cannabis edibles can be an excellent experience when the items are used as intended, and dosed according to their directions. For first-time users, it’s beneficial to experiment slowly. After all, you have time to perfect your dosage in the future.