Edibles are cannabis-based food products. They come in many different forms, from gummies to brownies, and contain either one or both of marijuana’s active ingredients: THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
With the legalization of marijuana, edibles are increasing in popularity. CBD-only edibles have even been found to help treat ailments such as anxiety and chronic pain. As an added benefit, edibles don’t pose risks to the respiratory system — unlike smoking marijuana.
The edible experience tends to differ from that of other cannabis products. The “high” from edibles can feel more intense, and it may last longer than the high you get from smoking.
Edibles also take longer than smoking or vaping cannabis to kick in, although many factors affect the timing.
Keep reading to learn more about edibles, including how long they take to kick in and how long the effects last, along with dosage, side effects, and precautions.
How long does it take before you begin to feel the effects of edibles?
Edibles typically take around 30 to 60 minutesTrusted Source to kick in. However, onset time depends on a lot of factors.
First, it depends on the product’s active ingredients. If the product contains a high dose or concentration of THC, it could take effect faster.
Keep in mind that CBD-only edibles are not psychoactive. They don’t cause the “high” typically associated with THC-infused edibles. As a result, it may be harder to identify when CBD products have taken effect.
For both types of products, onset time also depends on where in the body the edibles are being broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream.
Lozenges, gum, and lollipops kick in faster because they’re absorbed sublingually
Some edible products, such as lozenges, gum, and lollipops, are ingested but not actually swallowed. In these cases, absorption occurs through the mucus membranes of the mouth. This is called sublingual absorption, and the effects are more likely to appear faster.
Chewable edibles take longer to kick in because they’re absorbed through the digestive system
Chewable edibles, such as gummies, cookies, and brownies, may have longer onset times. This is because absorption first occurs in the digestive tract. From there, active ingredients enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver.
In the liver, active ingredients are metabolized before they are released back into the bloodstream and enter the brain, at which point the effects appear.
Other factors affecting onset time
Other factors that can affect how quickly you start to feel the effects of ingested edibles are related to your habits and physical makeup. They include your:
- tolerance to cannabis
Since edibles don’t kick in right away, it can be tempting to take more soon after your first dose. This can lead to taking too much.
Weed Candy: A Great Alternative To Smoking
As already mentioned, marijuana candy is a great alternative for those who can’t smoke, or don’t want to smoke. Those on supplemental oxygen can still get the benefits of marijuana without the risk of explosion and death. Similarly, patients suffering from eating disorder, digestive disorders, and nausea due to chemotherapy can find relief from their symptoms by directly ingesting the low doses of cannabidiol (CBD) found in cannabis candy.
Another great reason people choose to consume their cannabis via candy is because it’s more discreet. No smoke. No smell. No coughing. No open flame. You can get your fix wherever you are, whenever you want.
Another interesting effect of getting your THC via candy—and one that many people prefer—is that the effects last for quite a bit longer compared to smoking. This is because the candy, and the weed it contains, must first be digested. Smoking/inhaling, on the other hand, is a much faster process because the smoke moves directly through your lungs into your bloodstream without the need for intermediary steps.
Different Types Of Marijuana Candy
Variety is the spice of life and consuming weed candy is no exception. Marijuana candy takes many forms, the most popular of which are lozenges (like Jolly Ranchers), lollipops (food on a stick is always better), and gum.
The type of candy you choose will depend on your situation. For office workers, class attenders, and those concerned about appearances, the lozenge is the most discreet. At other times, though, a nice lollipop or piece of gum can really liven up a slow afternoon.
How Marijuana Candy Is Made
Whether it’s made professionally or in your own kitchen, the process of cooking up marijuana candy is the same.
All you need is white corn syrup, flavoring of your choice, food coloring, water, sugar, and dry powdered marijuana. All you have to do is heat the corn syrup and the sugar in a pot until the mix hits 300 degrees and is melted together. After that you just add the marijuana and food coloring, stir, and pour into molds to harden. Joila! Marijuana candy.
How Marijuana Candy Enters Your System
Marijuana candy enters your system in two ways: through the mouth and through the stomach. When the marijuana candy begins to dissolve in your mouth, cannabidiol is absorbed into the bloodstream via ducts under your tongue. This is known as oral uptake.
As the marijuana candy continues to dissolve, it’s mixed with saliva and swallowed into the stomach. Here the sugary solution is further digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. This is known as gastrointestinal uptake.
For marijuana candy, the majority of the uptake occurs orally. That said, there is still a small portion that is swallowed into the stomach. That’s why the effects of weed candy often last longer than smoking—because they are slowly released via digestion.
While marijuana candy falls decidedly into the oral uptake category with most of the absorption occurring in the mouth, other edibles like brownies, cookies, and pills rely on gastrointestinal uptake. Additionally, some edibles are designed to be absorbed in both the stomach and the mouth. These types of edibles are called hybrids. Infused drinks and chocolate bars fall into this category.
Impacts Of Weed Candy On Your System
As mentioned earlier, the impacts of marijuana candy on your system can be thought of in terms of speed and duration.
Smoking your marijuana is like a drag race: its effects are felt almost immediately but they’re over just as quickly. Cannabis candy, on the other hand, is like a NASCAR race: the experience, though still great, takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to get going. In addition, the effects of marijuana candy tend to last quite a bit longer (from 2 to 6 hours) because the cannabidiol is slowly digested in the stomach.
Who Can Benefit From Weed Candy
The benefits of marijuana candy are wide ranging. Individuals suffering from both acute and chronic disorders can find relief inside a marijuana candy. Those suffering from chronic pain, autoimmune disorders, insomnia, nausea, muscle inflammation, nervous system disorders, and muscle spasms can benefit by the way marijuana candy is processed into the body.
Individuals who suffer from gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s Disease are especially benefitted by marijuana candy and other edibles. This is because Crohn’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. Marijuana candy can deliver cannabinoids directly to the site of the disorder and provide much-needed relief.
Quality Concerns Regarding Marijuana Candy
Quality is always a concern when it comes to marijuana. Whether you get your fix by smoking or ingesting, you should at least verify the quality of the product you’re consuming. As it applies to marijuana candy, it’s important to keep a few simple things in mind.
Currently, there is no regulatory agency in place for marijuana candy. What this means is that there is no way to ensure the same commercial food-prep standards that apply elsewhere. This can mean that trace amounts of allergens (gluten, nuts, pet dander, lactose) can find their way into the marijuana candy. For people allergic to these things, major problems can occur and interfere with the healing effects that the marijuana candy offers.
Similarly, there is no way to determine the quality or amount of the cannabis used in the marijuana candy. Because the weed is hidden in the mix, it’s very easy for candy companies to dispose of reject marijuana that can’t be sold for smoking. It’s not always possible, but purchasing a marijuana candy that has been lab-tested for potency and contaminants is preferable. At the very least, it’s important to get your marijuana candy from a trusted source. The local dispensary that you’ve frequented for a number of years is a good place to start. If they don’t already sell marijuana candy, they might be able to find a reputable supplier.
Where To Start With Marijuana Candy
If you’ve never tried marijuana candy before, we suggest that you purchase a piece or two from a trusted source and see what you think. If you like the taste and the effects it produces, you could then try cooking up your own batch of marijuana candy. As with every other method of weed consumption, the important thing is that you enjoy the ride. So don’t stress about whether oral uptake is better than gastrointestinal or pulmonary. Just try a variety of delivery systems and go with your favorite.