Imagine being served a tray of homemade brownies at a friend’s dinner party. Only, instead of ordinary baked goods, this batch of brownies is infused with cannabis. Before sampling one for the first time, it’s worth giving your friend a nudge to ask, “How long do edibles last?”

Edibles are a popular method for consuming cannabis besides smoking and vaping. Due to the potency and prolonged effects of edibles, it’s worth knowing the duration, whether you’re a new or an experienced user. If you want to know how long edibles last, this is a quick guide for you — we’ll look into the longevity of edibles in the body and the factors affecting their duration.

First things first — what are edibles?

Edibles are food products infused with cannabis. They come in various forms, including baked goods, gummies, chocolates, and beverages. Eating any edible product with cannabis, or other drugs, has been in practice since 1000 BC. In India, they drank bhang, a cannabis-infused drink, during the early celebrations of the Holi festival. In more recent history, the legalization of recreational and medicinal substances like marijuana has led to an explosion in the popularity of edibles. Not everyone wants to smoke cannabis — and consuming edibles offers an alternative for users with specific preferences.

So, how long do edibles last?

Ultimately, one question that forms in the mind of every marijuana user, whether they’re experienced or still experimenting, is, “How long do edibles last?” Unlike smoking, which delivers immediate effects, edibles undergo digestion. There’s a delayed onset and extended duration of effects, from a creative boost to pain relief.

The short answer to this question is: it depends. Generally, smoking or vaping effects last for 1 to 3 hours, while edibles can last anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. The onset of effects usually occurs between 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion, peaking around 3 to 4 hours. However, there are still several factors influencing how long edibles last, from the dosage to how much you consume, and users can have different experiences with cannabis.

The exact duration of your edible high can depend on the following:

  • Dosage — Think of the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in edibles like the spices in your food — the amount you add can drastically change the experience. A little goes a long way, and this is especially true with THC. A 5 mg THC gummy might give you a light and fleeting high, but if you up the ante to a 20 mg THC chocolate bar, brace yourself for a more intense experience that lasts longer. The amount of THC you introduce affects how long edibles last in your system.
  • Metabolism — Just like some people can wolf down a pizza and not gain a pound, metabolism plays a huge role in how long edibles last and affect you. If your body processes things quickly, you might feel the high from an edible much sooner, but it’ll dissipate earlier, too. On the flip side, if your metabolism takes its sweet time, the effects might take a while to show up but hang around longer. This variability is one reason why the same edible can affect people differently.
  • Tolerance level How long edibles last also depends on your history with it. Regular cannabis users will tell you that over time, they need to infuse more cannabis — or eat more of the edible — to feel the same effects. This is due to a higher tolerance level. If you’re new to marijuana, a small dose can do the trick, but for veterans, it might take a bit more to reach the same high. The more familiar your body is with THC, the more it may need to really feel the impact.
  • Type of edible — Not all edibles are created equal, and the form they come in can make a huge difference in the duration and impact of the effects. A liquid edible, like a cannabis-infused drink, gets into your system more quickly and gives you a faster reaction. But if you’re munching on a heavy, THC-laden brownie, it might take its time. This type of edible might offer a slower but potentially longer-lasting effect. Next time you purchase an edible, it might not be enough to ask how long edibles last, but also consider how fast it can deliver the effects.
  • Contents of the user’s stomach — Eating edibles is not just about what you eat, but also what’s already in your stomach. Knock back a THC gummy on an empty stomach and you might feel like you’re on a fast and intense ride. However, if you’ve just had a big meal of something rich and fatty, your edible might have a slower onset and longer-lasting impact.

Treat yourself to a premium edible — visit a Shango dispensary!

Looking for some delicious and high-quality cannabis treats? Check out Shango! We’ve got an awesome lineup of fruit-flavored gummies and some seriously rich chocolates. Swing by our dispensaries across the US and see what’s on the shelf. We’re in Nevada, Oregon, Michigan, and California, where you’ll find all sorts of edible goodies from our own kitchen and other great brands. Plus, we have experienced staff who can tell you all about how long edibles last — don’t hesitate to ask!

Stay in the loop with the latest in edibles and cannabis trends by following us on Instagram @goshangocannabis!