Marijuana edibles are a very broad term — virtually any recipe calling for fat can be converted into a cannabis-infused meal.
The increasing knowledge of cannabinoids and advanced extraction methods have allowed for obtaining high-quality marijuana foods that are both potent and safe consumption.
Cannabis is a great cooking ingredient on its own. It can accentuate or complement other natural flavors, pairing exceptionally well with herbs and spices.
That’s why marijuana edibles are so tantalizing to eat. However, they’re also difficult to dose and it’s easy to overindulge in them.
When you smoke the herb, it gets you high within minutes after inhalation. With edibles, it can take anywhere between 30–120 minutes until you can feel the effects.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about dosing marijuana edibles and how to ingest them properly to avoid potential side effects.
How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of Edibles?
When you ingest THC in the form of edibles, it gets metabolized by the liver into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC. This form is stronger than THC and also has a longer half-life. In addition, it has remarkable sedating properties — the reason why the high from edibles is heavier and lasts longer than what you get from smoking weed.
To answer the question, edibles may kick in within 30–120 minutes after you take them, but the average waiting time for most users is about 40 minutes.
How Long Do the Effects of Edibles Last?
Edibles need to pass through the digestive system before getting absorbed into the bloodstream, hence the slower onset of effects when compared to inhaled or sublingual marijuana. Edibles also last longer than other consumption methods; the average time is about 4–6 hours, but we’ve heard stories about people overdosing on edibles and being high off them after 10 hours.
How to Define a Dose/Serving of Edibles
Edibles should be dosed more cautiously than marijuana flowers because the high they provide is more intense. The potency of edibles is measured in milligrams of cannabinoids per product and per serving, instead of using the percentage metric system.
A marijuana edible should have both the milligrams of THC and CBD per serving listed on the container, plus the total cannabinoid content of the product. For example, a bag of weed gummies has 1000 mg of THC and the whole package holds 30 pieces. This provides you with about 33.3 mg of THC per treat. If your daily dose is 60 mg, you can take two pieces throughout the day. If you need 15 mg daily, you just cut one gummy in half.
What’s the Best Dose for First-timers?
Marijuana affects everyone differently, so it’s virtually impossible to figure out the optimal dosage for each individual. The effective and safe dose of THC in edibles depends on the user’s weight, metabolism, unique body chemistry, age, their tolerance to THC, and whether they’re seeking recreational or medical benefits.
We recommend starting with an initial dose of 5 mg of THC and waiting 24 hours to evaluate the effects. Adjust the dose by 2.5 or 5 mg every day until you reach your limit. Once there, you’ll know the potency range that gets you high and allows you to benefit from your strain’s therapeutic properties without any discomfort.
A Brief Overview of Different Marijuana Dosages for Edibles
Have a look at the table below to decide which range will be the best fit for your needs:
|Mg of THC per serving||Type of effects||Best for|
|1 – 2.5 mg||Mild stress relief, reduced anxiety, minor pains and aches, inflammation, and other symptoms. Improved focus and productivity.||Beginners and microdosers|
|2.5 – 5 mg||Moderate symptom relief; euphoria, elevated mood, altered sensory perception||Patients with moderate chronic symptoms; users who developed tolerance; experienced consumers dealing with sleep problems|
|15 – 30 mg||Strong euphoria; side effects in first-time users; impaired coordination||Users with a high tolerance to THC and those resistant to the effects of cannabinoids|
|30 – 50 mg||Overwhelming euphoria in novice consumers; likely to impair coordination and alter perception||Insomniacs, people suffering from chronic pain, heavy users with a high THC tolerance.|
|50 — 100 mg||Side effects such as racing heart rate, anxiety, nausea, and sleepiness; extremely altered perception and impaired coordination||Patients suffering from severe chronic diseases, heavy marijuana consumers|
The Science Behind Marijuana Edibles
Edibles are oral products, so they enter the body through the mouth and are absorbed in the gut. The absorbed ingredients then pass through the liver where they get broken down and transferred to the bloodstream. From there, THC and other cannabinoids travel from the blood to the brain — producing their effects.
How Are Edibles Made?
Edibles are made with various infusions, from weed butter and other fats to distillate, pure isolate crystals, hashish, or other ingredients. Virtually any food containing fat can be transformed into a weed-infused recipe.
If you want to accurately predict the effects of marijuana edibles, it’s important to understand different ingredients and methods they are made with. For example, weed-infused butter (made with dry herbs), will produce less potent effects than edibles made with hash or wax.
Can I Get High If I Just Eat Weed?
That’s not possible.
Raw marijuana plants contain THCA, which is an inactive (acidic) form of THC. The human is not able to convert THCA to THC, so if you want to eat raw buds — that’s good for you, but there’s no way they will get you high.
Marijuana buds must be first decarboxylated (heated) to activate the THC.
Key Takeaways on Dosing & Ingesting Marijuana Edibles Properly
Dosing marijuana edibles may be difficult for beginners, especially if you’re used to measuring the potency of your weed in percents. Moreover, the effects of edibles have a delayed onset, so you won’t feel their effects as fast as you would with vaped or smoked cannabis.
With that said, don’t take another bite if you can’t feel any effects after 40 minutes. Sometimes, edibles may take more time to kick in, and if you overindulge in your weed brownies, you’ll most likely end up with a bad trip — or, at least, with an unexpected nap.
Do you like marijuana edibles? What dosages are effective in your case?