Curious to know how long do edibles last? The high from marijuana edibles last about 4 to 6 hours on average. Understand however that if you ingest a large quantity of THC through an edible, you are likely to experience a high lasting up to 12 hours depending on the amount you consume.
Another slant on the question how long do edibles last, is how long THC remains potent in edibles, or how long does the THC stay in your system before it is eliminated? We’ll touch on those takes on the question below, but first we’ll discuss how long you can expect to be high for after you consume edibles.
Physiological Response to Edibles
It will be helpful for us to start here with a basic clarification on how THC is synthesized differently when marijuana and its THC are ingested via an edible product. In these instances, the THC is converted into 11-hydroxy THC rather than remaining as 9-delta THC, the standard form of the cannabinoid that you experience as you smoke. 11-hydroxy THC is 10-15 times more psychoactive than 9-delta THC. You can and should expect to have a more powerful high from eating edibles.
So, we’ve now established how body function processes dictate that a stronger high comes from eating (or drinking) marijuana compared to smoking it. It’s an important point to make, but it doesn’t expand on the answer to our question of how long do edibles last.
So, getting back to that, users who eat marijuana should understand two important aspects of an edible pot high:
- You will experience a delayed response to the THC due to the fact the liver metabolizes it rather than it passing straight into the bloodstream via the lungs when smoking. Typically, this is 1 to 2 hours after ingestion, and a whole host of factors can play into variances here. We’ll discuss them in greater detail below.
- The peak high usually occurs 2 to 4 hours after ingestion.
Primary Determining Factors
In reference to point 1, there are 4 factors that dictate how quickly you begin feeling an edible marijuana high. The first is your body mass, or more technically your BMI (body mass index). In the same way it is for alcohol, a lighter weight person will begin to feel the effects of orally-ingested marijuana more quickly.
A heavier person won’t experience the same response for a much longer time, and as such their answer on how long edibles last will be different. They won’t begin to feel high as quickly, but accordingly they’ll be high for longer once the effects kick in.
Next is the role your metabolism, or basal metabolic rate, affects the speed with which you start to feel high. Generally speaking, younger people have a faster metabolism. If you’re in the physical prime of your life, then you’ll likely get high much more quickly.
Whether or not you’re ingesting edibles on an empty stomach is also a factor to consider. Eating edibles without anything in your stomach will result in you getting high more quickly. However, this usually comes with a much more powerful peak period that many people will find overwhelming. The recommendation is to eat them with at least some food in your stomach. This will both delay the onset of the high and make it much more pleasant / tolerable.
The last consideration for how long do edibles last is the most basic of the bunch; if you’re an experienced user with a high tolerance for THC then you will have a slightly delayed onset and less overpowering response to it. Also, certain prescription medications can speed up or delay your response to edible marijuana.
Our discussion of how long do edibles last needs to also include a brief discussion of additional variables. Ones that also play a role in determining the timeline for how long you’ll be high after eating marijuana.
First, you should consider that the concentrations of THC are often unevenly distributed across batches of unbaked product. One weed cookie may be packing much more a THC wallop than other identical cookies from the same batch.
For this reason, the best advice is to eat small portions of the edible at timed intervals to control your high. Waiting at least 1.5 to 2 hours on average before eating more is a good guideline. 5mg is the ideal starting dose, and 10mg for experienced cannabis users.
Do not make the ‘it’s not working’ mistake and consume more thinking you haven’t ingested enough to get high. First time users should not exceed the 5mg dose guideline, and particularly if the product contains high-test marijuana.
In addition, cooking for a longer time at lower temperatures improves the decarboxylation process and creates a higher potency product. Something to consider when baking your own and wondering how long do edibles last.
Potency (Shelf Life)
The THC in marijuana edibles does not lose potency, and this is true even if you freeze them. However, the same does not apply to the rest of the ingredients that make up most of them. If the edible contains ingredients that can spoil, then it may spoil and render the product inedible.
Smell tests will usually suffice here. In reference to how long do edibles last as far as their shelf life is concerned, the THC will remain potent indefinitely. However, the delivery vessel for it may not depending on its ingredients. One quick note before we go – cannabis coconut oil can last a long time without refrigeration as compared to cannabis butter.