You ate some weed edibles, didn’t you? Got a little too high on some cannabutter cookies or THC gummy bears, huh? You’ve probably been high for a couple of hours now. You’re probably wondering when in the hell you’re coming down. But wait, are you still getting higher? So, how long do you stay high after eating edibles, exactly? Longer than when you smoke weed, for sure. And it’s a totally different experience. Specifically, eating edibles will give you a high that will last on average about 3 to 4 hours. Maybe longer. So buckle up!
Of course, the exact length of time you’ll be high depends on a few factors. Read on to find out exactly how high you’ll stay after eating edibles.
How Long Do You Stay High After Eating Edibles? How Much Did You Eat?!
As anyone who’s baked or eaten edibles before will tell you, dosing is a tricky thing with edibles. Because the psychoactive cannabinoid THC and its best bud, the medicinal CBD, bond to cooking fats like butter and oils, the distribution of cannabis in a single cookie or brownie is a bit unpredictable.
In dispensaries, edibles and other oral cannabis products are typically a bit more exact. Candies like gummies and suckers usually have a fixed amount of cannabis. That’s typically about 25 mg THC, a decent dose. Many folks get by with something about half that amount.
However, with baked goods, especially homemade ones, it’s totally common for one cookie to produce a mild high while the next one sends you to Neptune and back.
As a result, many people will eat more edibles than they probably need to. Judging the best amount is hard, too, because it can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes for edibles high to kick in. Then it’s anywhere from another 30 to 60 minutes for the high to fully develop and peak.
And at a certain point, eating too much can leave you marooned on high island for several hours at a time. Occasionally, the high can be so intense and durable that panic and anxiety sets in. No wonder states have begun putting limits on the potency of edibles sold in legal weed shops.
Why Do You Stay So High For So Long After Eating Edibles?
The longer, more potent effect of cannabis edibles is a result of the way your digestive system handles the cannabinoids.
In other words, the answer to “how long do you stay high after eating edibles” is different than when you smoke or vape because your body is absorbing the THC along a totally different pathway.
When you smoke weed, the THC and other important cannabinoids enter your bloodstream almost immediately through the lungs.
But when those cannabinoids end up in your stomach, there’s a bit of a delay. So what’s going on during that time?
First, the THC gets separated from the other ingredients in the edible by your stomach. Next, the THC is absorbed through the lining of your small intestine, but not into your bloodstream.
The next step is actually the liver, where your metabolism breaks it down and feeds it into your blood. Interestingly, this pathway is very similar to the way alcohol makes us drunk.
But the liver does something unique to the THC it receives. The liver actually converts the decarbed THC into an even more potent version, 11-OH-THC.
Digesting Edibles Creates A More Potent Form of THC
According to a study in Therapeutic Advancements in Psychopharmacology, 11-OH-THC is hyper-potent. And it effects the brain in stronger ways than ordinary THC.
There’s also more of it. More power in a larger quantity means extremely intense psychoactive results. No wonder edibles can be so strong!
From here on out, the length of time you spend high depends entirely on the speed and efficiency of your metabolism. This is why it takes a while for the high to subside.
Your digestive system takes several hours to process the edible, produce that hyper-potent for of THC, and work through all the metabolites. Prescription meds, and even whether or not you ate a meal before your edibles, also impact the length of your high. Eating food beforehand can increase the delay before you begin to feel high.
The Final Hit: How Long Do You Stay High After Eating Edibles?
So even though you may have been a little too late to this information this time, next time, you’ll be prepared. Just make sure to clear your schedule for half a day, at least until you figure out how your body ultimately reacts. This will make for an enjoyable recreational experience every time you chow down on, say, some delicious weed bacon.