How Long Do Edibles Take to Kick In? Your Questions Answered

How Long Do Edibles Take to Kick In

It’s a fact: cannabis edibles have come a long way from the era of bootleg brownies.

Today, in many states where marijuana is legal, you can easily buy an entire basket, ranging from candies, gums, brownies, cookies, tinctures, and more; the list is endless. Of course, you can also make them in the confines of your house.

However, for most novices, the biggest question they ask before swallowing a piece of a cookie is how long it takes for edibles to kick in. More often than not, people complain about overeating and having extremely unpleasant effects, or not eating enough and then feeling nothing afterward.

How long before edibles really kick in?

I will say the answer to the above question isn’t a straightforward one. There’s no known universal time that works for everyone. Depending on what you’re consuming, the amount of cannabis in the edible, as well as your metabolism, we can say there’s an average time that edibles take to kick in based on what most people experience.

Average Time Edibles Take to Kick in 

As mentioned, there’s no reliable onset time for the marijuana ‘high’ to take effect. It varies from person to person, and mostly depends on the amount of cannabis in the portion you’re eating, your metabolism, weight and many other factors like whether you’re dosing on an empty stomach or not.

The universal average time, however, is anywhere from thirty minutes to a couple of hours. However, most people report feeling high after about 45 minutes. It takes about 2-3 hours for the edibles to be fully absorbed into the system- and this is when most people feel the full effects of the THC.

Most people, especially those who are new to cannabis, often become impatient when they eat a cookie and don’t feel high right away. So they eat more or opt to try out more substantial doses, and that’s when everything goes south.

All of a sudden, they start to feel as if the world is spinning, and everyone is against them. Overindulging very often results in the most unpleasant experiences – THC kicks in at double strength and takes forever to dissipate.

It’s important to be aware of the late onset of the ‘high’ and limit the dosage to consume.

What’s the Recommended Dosage to Take?

The best dosage for cannabis edibles is 10mg THC. But read the label keenly.

Some packages come with several doses of 10mg. If you buy a package that has 100mg, only eat a tenth of it. Otherwise, it could easily lead to disaster.

Beginners who have never taken edibles before should begin with 5mg THC or a mixture of both THC and CBD for a more mild effect.

What to Know Before Consuming Marijuana Edibles

Experts will tell you that it’s best to start with a low dosage when consuming edibles. 5mg is the limit when starting out.

If it doesn’t take effect after 2 hours, you can eat more. If you become impatient and eat more immediately, the effects will hit too fast and strong, and you will wish you hadn’t even taken them at all.

Consuming Edibles on an Empty Stomach

There’s a lot of hullaballoo over whether eating cannabis on an empty stomach makes you high faster – but there’s no study that proves this claim. However, some reports found that eating marijuana when hungry can slow down your metabolism by up to 50%.

Other studies claimed that people who eat before consuming cannabis end up absorbing a higher concentration of THC and feel the effects faster and longer.

What’s clear is that THC is fat-soluble and can remain in your body for up to 4 weeks. This means that if you eat a cookie while hungry, the THC won’t have anything to bind to, and you won’t be able to feel its full effects.

So, while this isn’t conclusive, most people feel that eating edibles on a full stomach will help your body process more of the THC. As a matter of fact, eating fatty foods such as fries and pizza will give you a faster and stronger high.

So, if you’ve eaten a cookie and aren’t feeling anything after 1 hour, you can consider eating something along those lines before you eat another edible.

One’s metabolism is also a significant determinant of how quickly or slowly the ‘high’ takes before it comes into effect. That’s why it’s recommended to drink tea or coffee after consuming an edible because they naturally increase one’s metabolism in the body.


Edibles affect each person differently, so the best way to consume them is to start slow (5mg doses of THC) and wait at least 2 hours before consuming another dose. Soon enough, you’ll find the perfect dosage that’s just right for your body.

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