If you have tried cannabis-infused edibles, you may have noticed that the high can be intense and long-lasting. In fact, it is much stronger and lasts a lot longer than smoking or vaping cannabis flower. Regulations in many legalized states are setting higher limits on the potency of edibles, making it important to understand why the edible high lasts so long.
Smoking Vs. Eating THC
When you smoke or vaporize cannabis, it enters the bloodstream directly through vessels within the lungs. This means the effects will hit you almost immediately and usually subside in 2-4 hours. Eating an edible is a whole different story. In this case, THC moves through the entire digestive system, which means many metabolic factors contribute to the way you feel after consuming.
THC & Your Metabolism
THC from ingested cannabis is slowly processed through the mouth, stomach, intestines, and finally, the liver, where it eventually makes its way into your bloodstream. The resulting effects depend on many factors that new or inexperienced users often overlook. Taking an edible while dehydrated or on an empty stomach will likely cause the THC to hit your system all at once, making you incredibly high. On the contrary, eating THC after you’ve already eaten a meal will generally cause a delay in the edible’s effects. That means you might not feel it until 2+ hours after eating it, and the effect can last as long as it takes for your food to break down completely.
Another reason the edible high lasts so long is that the body creates different THC by-products based on the method of consumption. When inhaled, delta-9-THC (the main psychoactive cannabinoid) remains unchanged. However, when eaten or drank, delta-9-THC becomes 11-hydroxy-THC, a faster-acting and more psychoactive form of delta-9 THC. Once your tasty edible has been digested, it has essentially become a super-powered form of cannabis that’s totally different from what you’ve encountered through smoking. Stronger highs and even hallucinations have been reported.
It is important to understand how your body reacts to cannabis edibles and to start with a low dosage. A standard starting dosage for edible THC is 10mg. For those completely new to THC, it’s best to start with 2-5mg and work your way up. If you’re a regular user but new to edibles, 10mg is a great start. Taking more THC before the effects kick in is a rookie mistake. You may experience heavy sweating, dry mouth, trouble breathing, or even anxiety and panic due to the high levels of THC in your system.
In conclusion, the reason why the edible high lasts so long is due to the way THC is processed through the body when ingested. The effects depend on many factors such as your metabolism, dosage, and method of consumption. It is important to be an educated consumer and understand the potential risks associated with consuming cannabis edibles. By starting with a low dosage and taking precautions, you can safely enjoy the long-lasting and powerful effects of edibles.