You've been saving those baked goods with tasty THC for the end of the week. Because boy, it's been a long one!
But have you ever stopped and wondered about how exactly edibles work? There's a lot more to edibles than you might think.
Below, you'll learn how edibles typically work in your system. And maybe it'll even give you something to ponder the next time you're eating an edible.
See Related: How To Store Gummy Edibles
What are cannabis edibles?
Cannabis edibles are any cannabis-infused food products. These can range from delta 9 gummies to baked goods like brownies or cookies.
Even lozenges and yes, cannabis butter. (No, seriously, cannabutter actually exists and you should check it out because how cool!)
But these types of cannabis edibles tend to interact with your body differently from other forms of cannabis. Namely, because they're traveling through your digestive tract.
So how exactly does the body absorb an edible? We're so glad you asked.
How edible cannabis gets absorbed by the body
(For this next part, just imagine you're on the Magic School Bus. And our narration is in the voice of Ms. Frizzle! Just for fun...)
Cannabis edibles take quite a journey throughout the body. After they travel down your esophagus, these edibles land in your stomach.
There, edibles get digested by the various acids and enzymes in your digestive system, allowing the edible to break down into its component parts. Namely, CBD and THC.
Once the CBD and THC have been absorbed through the lining of the stomach, they get taken to the liver. And this is where the fun part begins.
In the liver, THC and CBD get transformed into super-versions of themselves. This can make them more potent and can even cross the blood-brain barrier more easily than if you're smoking cannabis.
So all in all, edibles that travel through the digestive system may take longer to take effect. But they tend to produce stronger effects than other forms of cannabis.
How long do edibles take to kick in?
Well, that was fun! But getting back to business, let's take a look at some of the factors that affect how long it can take for cannabis edibles to take effect.
Type of cannabis edibles you're consuming
Typically, cannabis edibles such as brownies, drinks, and gummies will take longer to take effect. And that's because they're having to travel through both the stomach and the liver.
You can expect these types of edibles to take about 45 to 60 minutes to take effect. But for some, this period of time may be even longer. (More on that later.)
On the other hand, edibles such as mint strips, lollipops, and lozenges don't take as long to produce mild effects. Because they have a rather different journey from The Magic School Bus adventure we went on.
Instead, these types of edibles are absorbed sublingually under the tongue. With these types of edibles, you can expect effects to occur within a couple of minutes even.
And that's because you're absorbing both THC and CBD straight into your bloodstream. Didn't think there was such a spectrum of cannabis edibles, did you?
How much THC and CBD you consume
If you have an edible with high THC levels, you can expect your edible to take effect more quickly. And last longer in your system.
But when it comes to taking edibles, you'll always want to start small. You can always take more edibles if you want to increase the effects.
But you can't undo how many edibles you take. So remember to pace yourself and start with a conservative helping.
Your tolerance level
Some people use cannabis edibles on a daily basis. And if that's the case, then their tolerance level will be significantly higher than someone who uses edibles once a month.
This will certainly affect the amount of cannabis you decide to take. Something as small as 5mg may feel quite mild to someone who's used to taking edibles on a regular basis.
Then again, if you're new to edibles and THC, 5mg may be the max you can handle for the time being. That's why it's always a good idea to start small and see how your body reacts to the THC in your system.
Your body weight and metabolism
CBD and THC are both fat soluble. So once they get absorbed into your bloodstream, they settle in your fat cells.
This means that CBD and THC will sit with people differently depending on their body weight and metabolism. Someone with a higher percentage of body fat may store THC in their system for longer.
And someone with a fast metabolism may burn off THC much faster than others. This not only affects how long it takes for your edible to kick in.
But how long the edible lasts in your system and how strong it will be. Again, taking an edible is incredibly unique to your body, so always be sure to listen to what your body needs.
Whether you're taking it on an empty stomach
This one has a little bit of a caveat to it. Yes, taking an edible on an empty stomach may yield you the effects much faster.
But when it comes to the bioavailability of CBD and THC, experts say to take your edible with food or after a meal. This way, all of the other nutrients you've ingested can mingle with the CBD and THC in your system.
And they may help to bolster the effects of both in a more prominent way. Then again, you may just want fast effects with little bioavailability.
Either way, it's important to know how your body will react to taking an edible on an empty stomach too. So if you plan to do that, start with a small amount.
And to be safe, follow it with some nutritious food. This will help your system acclimate to the new compounds in your body. And you'll increase their bioavailability in the process.
Bonus: What Is Broad Spectrum CBD?
How to produce effects faster
May 45 to 60 minutes seems like too long of a wait for you. Well luckily, there are ways to produce effects faster with your cannabis edible.
Using sublingual edibles
Remember how we mentioned that sublingual edibles get absorbed directly through your bloodstream? Well, if you're wanting fast effects, then a lozenge or candy will do the trick.
They won't necessarily provide instantaneous effects. But waiting about 15 minutes should be enough time for them to start working in your system.
Taking a break from consuming edibles
Another way to get edibles to produce faster effects is to stop taking them. The more frequent your cannabis use, the higher your tolerance.
So taking a break from edibles will allow your tolerance level to die down. Then, once you go back for an edible, you'll find a smaller amount to have stronger effects than before.
How are cannabis edibles different from other cannabis products?
There are plenty of other ways to enjoy cannabis other than consuming edibles. But again, each of them have their own journey (cue the Magic School Bus theme song!).
Smoking or vaping
Smoking and vaping cannabis certainly yield much faster effects. In fact, sometimes those effects are instantaneous.
That's because when you inhale cannabis, it's passing through your lungs and directly into your bloodstream. While you may feel the effects faster this way, you won't experience the effects for longer.
Because just as soon as they go in, they go out. And also a word of caution on smoking and vaping:
Research suggests that vaping can be bad for both your heart and your lungs. So when it comes to choosing a healthier form of consuming cannabis, choose edibles instead.
Edibles will not only last longer in your system. But they will have a more potent effect too.
Like lozenges and candies, CBD tinctures are taken sublingually. And because of this, they can definitely yield much faster results than edibles.
Simply place the dropper under your tongue, apply the desired amount, then hold it under your tongue for 30 to 60 seconds. This will allow the CBD or THC to enter your bloodstream directly.
And actually, you can use these directions for your pet CBD oil too!
But for humans, it's a much better alternative to feeling effects fast without taking on the risks of smoking or vaping. All in all, a great choice!
Topical CBD products like lotions and CBD rubs access your body's endocannabinoid system a little bit differently. These products have to travel through various layers of your skin.
So you won't feel its effects instantly. But over time, the CBD will be doing its work as it slowly enters your bloodstream after traveling through those various skin layers.
Topical CBD is particularly useful for those looking to address localized areas. And some topical products also contain other ingredients like essential oils for a soothing scent to accompany.
Additional tips for cannabis edibles
We know this post is mainly about understanding how edibles really get to work. But here at Clean Remedies, we like to invite you in and leave you with just a little bit more to ponder.
Besides, these are just great tips. So, you're welcome!
Start with a small amount
We mentioned earlier that with any cannabis product, you should always start with a small amount. And we cannot stress this enough!
Giving your body time to adjust to CBD and THC is crucial. Because only you will be able to know how your body reacts for future use.
Wait a few hours before adding more
Since edibles can take some time to take effect, you'll need to be particularly patient before consuming any more than you need. For some people, edibles can take up to 2 hours to take effect.
So even if you feel like you could use a little bit more, wait it out. Just to ensure that it's not still working through your system.
You don't want to have an overwhelming effect. So just ride it out and wait before adding on to what you've already consumed.
Store your cannabis edibles properly
All CBD and THC products should be stored properly. But for edibles, it's doubly important.
Take CBD brownies for example. These brownies don't just have CBD in them. They also have all the other ingredients you need to make brownies.
So you don't want to leave this out on a windowsill in direct heat. Or leave it longer than a couple of days before consuming.
Instead, it's best to keep these types of products in cool, dark places. That way, you're not speeding up the degradation process with direct heat or sunlight.
And with some products, you can even store them in the fridge to help them last longer. If you're unsure though, always contact the company you bought from.
They'll know the best way to store their own products. After all, they made them!
The bottom line
Cannabis edibles are a fun way to enjoy both CBD and THC. Not only do their effects last longer, but they can become stronger as they get metabolized in the liver.
Additionally, they're a much better alternative to smoking or vaping. Even though the wait time is significantly longer than an instantaneous effect.
But all in all, we hope you've learned just a little bit more about how edibles work in your system. It really is like a Magic School Bus adventure if you think about it.
And with this new knowledge, we hope your cannabis experience is made all the more insightful. So go on and enjoy that edible - and know what all it's doing on the inside too!
Keep Reading: How Much THC Is In CBD Oil?
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