Drug and Alcohol

Edibles: How Long Do They Stay In Your System?

Edibles: How Long Do They Stay in Your System?

What are edibles? Cannabis products can stay in your system for a surprisingly long time. Learn more about edibles in our blog.

Edibles are products that contain cannabis. It is prevalent among the masses as it is more appealing and accessible than smoking weed and other similar products. They are pretty small in appearance, and you may have seen them in candy-like form. This cannabis-containing product has a psychoactive effect that can be achieved just by consuming it orally.

Many people prefer edibles over other drug substances, considering them a lot safer. But are they safe? Do edibles carry health risks? Are there any side effects to them? How long do edibles stay in our bodies?

By the Numbers:

The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) states that around half of the population above 12 has used some illicit drug substance at least once. Marijuana, in particular, is one of the country's most commonly abused illicit drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 18% of Americans, or about 48.2 million people, misused this drug in 2019 alone.

Most of our population considers marijuana and cannabis-related products harmless as they are not as potent as other products such as heroin or cocaine. Even though this is very true that marijuana and cannabis products are not as addictive as hard drugs like opioids or other synthetic drugs, it does not mean that there are no negative effects. It also does not mean it cannot create mental and physical dependence.

What Are Edibles?

Edibles are food products known by terms like cannabis edibles, weed edibles, cannabis-infused food, etc. As you may guess, edibles are infused with marijuana/cannabis and are legally produced and sold in America. It is an easy way to consume and feel the effect of cannabis. They are consumed by people for two broad purposes, either recreationally to get high or to get relief from the pain they are experiencing.

Edibles come in many forms, including:

  • Brownies and other baked goods

  • Chocolate

  • Gummies, mints, and other forms of candy

  • Soft drinks and other beverages

  • Tinctures

Edibles produce psychoactive effects that temporarily prevent us from feeling pain and anxiety. Some research also claims that edibles successfully prevent seizures and are very effective in weight management programs. Edibles contain decarboxylated cannabinoids that are extracted as an active ingredient for the product from cannabis. They are available in various forms, such as candies, gummies, baking goods, chocolates, beverages, and tablets.

Edibles are mostly homemade or commercially produced for pharmacies and dispensaries. If they are made at home, their psychoactive ingredient, the THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, is extracted in oil or butter form. This oil or butter can be utilized in cooking items.

Even though smoking cannabis remains the most popular form of consuming marijuana, edible users are rapidly growing. It is quickly becoming a popular way for even those people who cannot or do not know how to smoke. Are there any differences in the effects generated by both forms of consumption? When a person smokes cannabinoids, it is inhaled directly into the lungs. It is rapidly passed into our bloodstream, and the effects can be felt within eight to ten minutes. The cannabinoid's effects last for a few hours and then wear off.

On the other hand, when a person ingests a cannabis-infused edible, the effects are not instant and cannot be felt within a few minutes. It can take a few hours to ingest the edible, and its effects may peak in two to three hours. It can last for as long as six hours of consumption. Apart from this, food and beverage-related edible products may have different potency. 

What Are Cannabis Edibles?

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System?

It is not easy to estimate the duration of the effects of edibles in our system because many factors influence it.

A few factors that impact the duration for edibles to be flushed from our system are:

  • The half-life of the edible product.

  • Type of product's active ingredient.

  • The amount of THC concentration in the product.

  • The number of edibles consumed by a person.

The nature of consumption is vital as habitual users may have created tolerance for the drug. This means that they would require more amounts to get high. In addition, if a person ingests the drug without adequately processing and metabolizing it, it would stay longer. 

Apart from the above effects, if we look at the average time taken by edibles to be flushed from our system, it would be between one and two weeks. The factors mentioned above can change the timeline. Let's learn more about the half-life of edibles. 

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What Is the Half-Life of Edibles?

For those unfamiliar with the term half-life, it is the duration for a drug to be reduced by half. In short, half-life refers to the amount of time half of the drug takes to be flushed from our body. Here also, the time estimation is totally dependent on individual factors like the user's body. Hence, it can vary from one person to another. Some people can flush half of the drug in a few hours, while others may take several weeks.

What is the half life of Edibles? This image describes the half life of Edibles

How Long Do Edibles Take to Kick In?

You may be surprised to find this; hundreds of food and drink items are infused with cannabis and CBD edibles. Nearly every food and drink product has some amount of edible infusion. When people consume an edible, they experience a long-lasting effect as opposed to other forms of marijuana like vape or weed. They are highly popular among various demographics because they are smokeless and easily consumable. Let's learn how edibles work in our system and how long it takes to kick in.

When a person ingests an edible, it interacts with our digestive system. When the edible is digested, the cannabis goes to our liver. In our liver, the delta-9 THC is converted to 11-hydroxy THC. When this conversion occurs, the effect experienced is more psychoactive than smoked THC. It is important to remember that the THC in edibles takes a longer time to kick in as compared to vaping or smoking THC. Due to the interaction with the digestive system, edibles may take around thirty minutes to two hours to feel the effects kicking in. If we compare this with THC inhaled, it directly reaches the bloodstream, kicking in effect within five minutes. 

For a chronic smoker, it is dangerous to try edibles as the delayed effect may lead to the possibility of ingesting excessive edibles that ultimately lead to overconsumption. Although edibles are of different varieties, all of them can vary in potency. For instance, some edible chocolates and candies may work faster and show effects quickly compared to baked cookies and other similar products. Why? Because chocolates and candies have a high possibility of melting in our mouths. This leads to THC reaching our bloodstream quicker than by eating baked goods. Another thing to note about edibles is that their effects last significantly longer. It can make a person high for more than ten hours even. 

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What Effects Do Edibles Have?

Edibles have the same effect as other cannabis products, although many people experience them differently.

When a person smokes cannabis, THC enters their bloodstream via their lungs immediately. With edibles, the edible has to be digested in a person's system, which means most people tend to not feel the effects of the edible right away. Depending on a person's individual physiology, digestive system, and anything they've eaten, an edible can take anywhere from a half-hour to a few hours to take effect.

Also, many describe an edible high as being somewhat "heavier" than a high from smoking cannabis. Plus, it's easier to take too much cannabis with edibles. It's far easier to consume an edible gummy than it is to smoke multiple joints.

Side effects from cannabis edibles include:

  • Feeling drowsy

  • Increased hunger

  • Sleepiness

  • Dry mouth

  • Hallucinations

  • Vomiting and nausea: Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is a condition being increasingly researched

  • Anxiety and paranoia

  • Heart issues, including an increased heart rate

  • Bloodshot eyes

Edibles Drug Test: How Long Can Edibles Be Detected in Your System?

If you think that edible is a prevalent form of product that is orally consumed and hence it will not be detected in drug tests, then the answer is no. Edibles can be easily detected in various forms of drug tests. Therefore, THC edibles will appear in drug screening, and the form of consumption and entry into our bodies is redundant. Four types of drug tests can detect traces of edibles. This includes blood, saliva, hair, and urine tests. Let's learn the time window of these drug tests for detecting edibles. 

How long does Edibles stay in your system? This chart shows how long Edibles stays in urine, saliva, blood, and hair

Type of drug tests for detecting edibles:

Blood Test

The THC from the edibles can be detected in the blood after its consumption within 3 to 4 days.

Saliva Test

An edible can be detected in the saliva for 1 to 3 days. 

Urine Test

This is a bit extensive as the THC traces can be detected in urine for around 3 to 30 days. The time window is dependent on the quantity of consumption. 

Hair Follicles Test

Like any other drug in hair follicles test, edibles can be traced back for 90 days after consumption. 

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Addicted to Edibles? The Edge Treatment Center Treats Cannabis Addiction

The best and most convenient way of getting treated for edible abuse and marijuana addiction is to seek help from a drug rehab center. At The Edge Treatment Center, we're able to free people from cannabis abuse by using evidence-based treatment and other methods to help people live without cannabis edibles.

If the routine of cannabis addiction is disrupting your life, you need help. Contact The Edge Treatment Center today to learn more.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

March 29, 2023