Edibles are incredibly popular for good reason: Cannabis-infused food and drinks offer a convenient, smokeless alternative to enjoy the plant. As edibles continue to grow even more popular, the experiences with them often produce three common questions:
1) When will I feel the effects?
2) How long will they last?
3) How much should I consume?
Consuming gummies and other edibles is a more straightforward experience, but it can produce different effects than smoking or vaping. For example, edibles typically require longer onset times and last for longer periods of time. Products can differ, but the following are some basic guidelines for these three commonly asked questions.
When Will I Feel the Effects?
The stomach and liver need time to metabolize an edible, which is why it takes longer for people to feel its impact, but digested THC ultimately crosses the blood-brain barrier with more effect and potency. Generally speaking, it takes between 30 minutes and two hours to feel the effects. Beverages tend to fall on the faster side because they’re more easily digested than solids, as do hard candies like lollipops that dissolve slowly and enter the bloodstream more directly through the mouth and tongue. Conversely, eating an edible along with other foods may result in longer onset times. New technology also helps decrease wait times. For example, several KANHA products include our exclusive NANO technology that shrinks cannabinoids for faster absorption, dropping onset times to as little as 15 minutes.
How Long Will the Effects Last?
Edible experiences tend to last from four to eight hours, with the experience peaking two or three hours after ingestion. That said, the effects can also wane after a few short hours or last what seems like an entire day. Various factors can influence the length of time, including higher dosage (which produces longer-lasting effects and often faster onset) and differences in metabolism and how each body reacts. Likewise, our aforementioned NANO technology tends to limit overly long journeys.
How Much Should I Consume?
Start low and go slow. If you aren’t feeling any effects, give your body at least an hour before consuming more. This doubly applies to products you haven’t tried before and for edible newbies who often become impatient and consume again too early. You want to avoid overconsumption, which can involve side effects like dizziness, anxiety and paranoia. THC content is typically measured in milligrams (mg), and the following are recommendations for how many milligrams to consume at one time.
First timer: Start with a 2.5mg dose. If effects are not felt after (at least) one hour, take another 2.5mg dose.
Rookies: Relative newcomers – including those who haven’t had edibles in a while – should start with a 5mg dose. If effects are not felt after an hour, take additional 2.5mg doses each hour.
Moderates: Experienced edible consumers who understand the potential range of effects are better equipped to start with a moderate dose, 10mg, and slowly add dosage as needed.
High Tolerance: Cannabis veterans who tend to consume on most days can start higher – maybe 25mg or more – based on personal experience and preference and then add dosage as desired. Only experienced consumers with high-tolerance levels should consume more than 25mg.
Patients: In some cases, a patient suffering from a serious disease may consume especially high dosage in an effort to treat severe symptoms. Such dosage levels should be determined by the doctor and patient.
Starting with a lower dose and adding incrementally is the best way to ensure a safe, effective and pleasant edible experience. Not feeling the full effects from a lower dose is preferred to the side effects of overconsumption.
What If I Consume Too Much?
Here’s a bonus question: If you accidentally consume too much THC, how can you minimize the side effects? The following are recommendations that may help.
- Focus on staying calm and relaxed
- Take CBD to help reduce anxiety, promote sleep and interfere with THC binding in the body
- Smell and then chew on two or three whole peppercorns for the caryophyllene terpenes
- Squeeze lemon juice into water and drink it for the hydration and calming effects of limonene terpene
- Eat something to avoid an empty stomach – ideally pine nuts for the pinene terpene
KANHA uses independent labs to test its cannabinoid content, but many brands don’t, in which case the dosage you think you’re taking might actually be more or less than what you expect. This is another reason for taking a low and slow approach to edibles, especially when trying a brand for the first time.
Whatever dosage or edible you do prefer, always make sure to give yourself enough time to enjoy it safely and responsibly.