Edibles are a tasty way to enjoy weed discreetly for the long haul, but you may wonder, "How long do edibles stay in your system?" While the exact amount of time varies from person to person, they can usually be found in your system for up to 12 days. Read on to learn more about edibles, including how long they'll affect you and how long they can be detected in your body.
What are edibles?
Basically, edibles are foods that contain cannabinoids like THC, although the edible category also includes things like infused beverages, candies, tinctures, and capsules. More or less, if you digest it and it contains weed, it's an edible. A lot of people like eating weed edibles better than smoking flower or dabs since they last a lot longer than smoking or vaping. Some people even consider edibles somewhat safer than smoking since you're not putting anything yucky into your lungs.
How do edibles work?
When you eat an edible, it undergoes the process of digestion as it travels through the digestive system. During this journey, THC enters the liver, converting it into 11-hydroxy THC— a metabolite of the regular stuff. This conversion results in a more potent and longer-lasting high effect than what is typically experienced when you smoke or vape weed.
However, THC's effects in edibles tend to kick in much slower than smoking or vaping. Digestion requires some time, causing a delay of up to two hours before you can start feeling high. Depending on your metabolism and whether you ate beforehand, you might also feel the effects of an edible for anywhere from 4-12 hours. In contrast, smoking or vaping THC allows it to rapidly enter the bloodstream, which causes you to feel high almost instantly, and you'll start coming down after an hour or two.
The delayed effect in edibles can be problematic, though. While smoking offers instant feedback, and you can just put the joint down when you're starting to feel too high, edibles are more on the wait-and-see side of things.
That said, it can be easy to overdo it. Always start with a really small serving of around 2-5mg and wait two full hours before taking another edible. Gradually work your way up until you achieve your desired effects and find your ideal serving size. Some people have special enzymes in their digestive system that require them to eat 100mg or more to feel the effects, whereas most people will feel supremely stoned on 10-20mg.
How long do edibles stay in your system?
While you might only feel high from edibles for 4-12 hours, THC can stay in your system for a while. Precisely how long edibles last in your system comes down to several physiological factors, including your physical size and metabolism speed. It also comes down to how much THC you eat and whether or not you have a tolerance for it.
The half-life of cannabis varies depending on these factors, typically three to twelve days. The specific duration is influenced by the amount of THC you consume and whether or not you're a casual or habitual user. Habitual use can lead to tolerance and the storage of THC in your fat cells.
For example, THC and its metabolites are lipophilic, which means they have an affinity for binding to fat molecules. When THC enters the bloodstream, it can bind to fat cells in the body, including adipose tissue (fat cells) and organs that contain fat. This binding allows THC to be stored in the fat cells.
Unlike inhaled THC, which enters the bloodstream and is quickly eliminated from the body, the THC stored in fat cells from edibles is released slowly over time. This slow release is due to the gradual breakdown of fat cells in the body. As fat cells are metabolized and broken down, small amounts of THC are released back into the bloodstream, prolonging the presence of THC and its metabolites in the body.
This is why THC from edibles tends to stick around longer in the system compared to inhaled THC. The storage of THC in fat cells allows it to be gradually released over an extended period, leading to a more prolonged duration of its effects and a longer detection window in drug tests.
Compared to inhaled THC, edibles take longer to process and metabolize, thus staying in the body for a more extended period. In the case of marijuana smokers, THC levels diminish soon after the high subsides, whereas consumption of edibles can take around a day to observe a decrease in THC levels.
Habitual users may retain THC in their system from edibles for a month or more. However, casual users may eliminate it from their system in as little as one to two weeks, depending on the amount of THC consumed.
TLDR; if you smoke a lot of weed or take edibles frequently, THC might still hang around in your system for up to a month after you stop introducing it to your system. If you don't use edibles often, or your metabolism is really fast, and you have a small amount of fat in your system, it might leave your system earlier.
Do edibles show up on drug tests?
In short, yes— THC from edibles can be detected in a drug test. The method of ingestion, whether through ingestion or smoking, does not alter the fact that THC enters the body. In fact, due to the metabolic process involved in processing edibles, THC can be detectable much longer than other methods, like smoking.
Most drug tests are capable of detecting marijuana edibles. However, the duration of a positive test result can vary depending on factors such as the dosage and frequency of consumption, your overall health, and the distinction between THC and CBD edibles. It's important to note that THC-containing edibles tend to remain in the system longer than CBD edibles.
Several factors can influence the detection window, including:
Dosage of the edible
Type of edible consumed
Duration of edible usage
Type of drug test (Various types of drug tests, including urine, hair, blood, saliva, and sweat tests, can identify ingested THC.)
But with all that being said, it's hard to pinpoint exactly how long edibles stay in your system. If you're worried about being drug tested, we'd recommend not smoking weed or taking edibles for at least 30 days before the test and 90 days or more if your hair is getting tested.
Pros and cons of edibles
At the end of the day, edibles are beloved when taken correctly since they're easy to dose, odorless and discreet, taste great, and offer a potent, long-lasting high. But, like all good things, there are a few potential downsides.
For example, edibles put you at a higher risk of greening out or feeling too high. Greening out might cause you to feel anxious, paranoid, sweaty, nauseous, and overall just not good. Everyone has a bad edible plus a panic attack story, though. More or less, you're just high, man. You'll be alright.
However, in extremely high doses, edibles might feel like psychedelics and make you feel confused or see and hear things that aren't there. That being said, panic isn't good for your body, so if you're prone to heart problems and anxiety, you might want to pass altogether. Talk to your doctor before you take edibles.
Pro tips for edibles:
We talk about edibles a lot on this blog because, frankly, they're awesome. This complete guide breaks down all the important stuff you need to know before you take them. We condensed a lot of the information from that guide below.
The best dose for beginners is 5-10mg, adjusted based on body weight.
Start with a low dose (around 5-10mg) and gradually increase until the desired effect is achieved.
The perfect dose varies for each person due to genetics, metabolism, food in the stomach, and other factors.
If the initial amount doesn't have an effect, wait at least 2 hours before considering another dose. Avoid impatience.
Allow the edibles to take full effect before consuming more, as it can take up to 12 hours to stop being high, which can make you feel panicky.
Consuming edibles before a meal may accelerate their onset.
Consuming edibles after a meal may make them feel cleaner and less uncomfortable.
Unlike alcohol, food doesn't absorb edibles the same way. Eating during an edible high can reactivate the digestive system and potentially intensify the high.
Don't take edibles with alcohol, as THC and alcohol don't mix.
Remember to stay hydrated and eat a meal before taking an edible.
If you start to panic, use this guide to recover from edibles.
Get edibles delivery in Washington DC
Now that you know how long edibles stay in your system, it's time to treat yourself to a sampler (as long as you're not getting drug tested, of course.) Luckily, we've got one of the largest selections of weed edibles in Washington DC, here at Flower Ave. Find everything from cannabursts to sour patch edibles, or get yourself a few Wonka weed bars. You can even find a ton of new brands, like Errli, Sourz, and Puff LA weed gummies, on our extensive gift menu. So feel free to browse the menu and get weed edible delivery DC from Flower Ave today.