How to Recover from Edibles

by Haley Mills · February 17, 2023

If you’ve overdone it on the edibles, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with tips on how to recover quickly and get back to enjoying your high.

how to recover from edibles with cookies on a plate and cannabis leaves

If you’ve overdone it on the edibles, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with tips on how to recover quickly and get back to enjoying your high.

The Effects of Marijuana Edibles

Edibles are consumed and digested, unlike many other consumption methods, encouraging the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to do its job. The endocannabinoid system comprises an extensive network of chemical signals and cellular receptors densely packed throughout our brains and bodies. 

The “cannabinoid” receptors in the brain — the CB1 receptors — outnumber many other receptor types in the brain.

They regulate the body through immediate feedback, turning up or down the movement of whichever system needs to be adjusted, whether hunger, temperature, or alertness. Our bodies produce molecules called endocannabinoids to stimulate these receptors, which have a structural similarity to molecules in the cannabis plant. 

Each individual will react differently to cannabis after it hits the digestive tract and then the bloodstream. What may be extremely potent for one person may barely affect the next. Often, this is due to some having higher tolerances to cannabis than others.

Tolerance can depend on the following factors:

  • Age
  • How often do you use (tolerance build-up)
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Metabolism
  • Product potency

How long do the effects last?

The effects of weed edibles stay for around six to eight hours, but that can vary depending on various factors, including dosage and your THC tolerance.

The effects can linger for up to twelve hours or longer with a larger dose. 

The peak of the effects is typically reached about three hours after consumption, unlike smoking marijuana which can onset within five minutes.

Here’s a general dosage guide:

  • 5 mg – low
  • 10–15 mg – moderate
  • 20+ mg – high

For newer users or first-timers, we recommend starting with a five mg dose and then trying 10–15 mg next time if you don’t feel the desired effects. If you are receiving medical cannabis administration, it’s best to ask a healthcare provider and trusted budtenders before choosing a dose.

How Long Edibles take to Kick in

Edibles typically take forty-five minutes to an hour to entirely go into effect; however, onset time depends on many factors. First, it depends on the active chemicals or cannabinoids. If the edible cannabis products contain a high concentration of THC, the effects could onset faster.

CBD edibles are non-psychoactive and don’t cause the “high” associated with THC-infused edibles. So, it could be more challenging to identify when CBD products have taken effect. For any edible, the onset time depends on where and how the edibles are broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream.

How Long does Weed Stay in your System?

A 2017 study estimated a three-day detection window for one marijuana joint, but it greatly varies depending on the person. The results showed:

  • For first-time cannabis smokers, drug tests may detect marijuana for about three days.
  • The detection window is five to seven days for a person who uses marijuana three or four times per week.
  • For those who use cannabis daily, drug tests may detect it in their system for thirty days or more.

The two most common types of cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)THC is broken down in the body and modified into molecules called metabolites. Approximately eighty metabolites are formed from THC and may affect the body’s endocannabinoid system. These metabolites are stored in our body fat and are gradually eliminated through our waste. THC metabolites have an elimination half-life ranging from twenty hours to thirteen days or more.

CBD is similar to THC edibles and can stay in your system for about eight to twelve days. However, most drug panels are not looking for this cannabinoid. Research shows that After four to five half-lives pass, the plasma levels of CBD are lower than a relevant concentration and considered eliminated.

Factors to Consider for Drug Testing

The following factors may affect the amount of time cannabis edibles stays in the system. The list includes:

Body Mass Index (BMI) – The more fat cells you have, the longer marijuana will stay in your system, stored in fatty tissues. 

Consumption method– The form of marijuana consumption impacts the time it’s detectable. If you smoke weed, THC levels in the body drop faster than ingesting marijuana orally.

Exercise – Those who exercise regularly will notice that THC leaves their body faster. It’s important to note that working out right before a drug screen can pull out older THC traces and cause a positive result. 

Frequency and Quantity of use – How often you use marijuana, how much you use it, and how long you have been using will all affect the amount of time it stays around.

Metabolism – People with faster metabolisms will rid cannabis and marijuana metabolites from their bodies more quickly

Sex – Women usually have higher body fat levels than men, so they often can metabolize THC at a slower pace.

If you have an upcoming drug test for work, it’s most likely a urine test. The most common workplace drug testing types are:

Urine test

Urine is the most common and is used by the U.S. Department of Transportation for regulated drug tests. A standard 5-panel drug test is a prominent urine test option for many companies and organizations.

It typically screens for the “NIDA 5,” NIDA is an acronym for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A 5-panel test will check for the use of marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP).

Hair test

In hair tests, hair follicles are removed from the body and lab-tested for marijuana. The 2017 Drug and Alcohol Review study shows that hair tests are a good indicator of daily marijuana use within three months. However, they cannot reliably show how frequently a person uses cannabis. 

Saliva test

Saliva tests are cheap to buy and show immediate results. A swab is taken from your mouth to test oral fluid for cannabis use within a three to forty-eight hours window.

Blood test

The detection window for a marijuana blood tests is relatively short. Blood tests accurately detect THC levels in the bloodstream for up to two days after consumption. As with the other types of drug tests, THC may be detectable in the blood of chronic users for longer.

False Positives

Many workplaces utilize random drug testing, which often involves screening bodily fluids or hair samples. Certain anti-inflammatory prescription drugs, such as ibuprofen, have caused false positive tests. However, most typical drug tests will not have this issue and you will only test positive if you have used it recently.

Marijuana Detection Window

  • Urine tests can detect illicit substances for up to ten days. Marijuana is the exception as it can stay in the body for up to thirty days, especially if you are a regular user.
  • Blood testing is a more expensive option and can only detect drugs for up to a few hours.
  • A saliva test is the less invasive option and has a detection period of no more than twenty-one hours.
  • Hair follicle drug test kits are the least common but can go back the farthest, up to ninety days for drugs and alcohol.

Common Forms of Cannabis Edibles

Here are some of the most common types of edibles you’ll find online and at your local dispensaries:
  • Beverages
  • Baked Goods (brownies, cookies)
  • Gummies
  • Gourmet Candy
  • Hard Candies 
  • Savory Snacks 

Labeling and Dosage

Most edible products will show on the label how much THC or CBD is in a single serving for cannabis consumption. Sometimes, the manufacturer lists the THC or CBD content of the whole package, so a bit of math is needed. For example, a container might contain 100 mg of THC, so that’s 10 mg per gummy if there are ten total.

Dosing food items such as brownies and cookies can be obscure, especially if homemade. It’s essential to read the label carefully before consumption. Look for the THC/CBD content on the label, and identify whether the serving size refers to the entire product or one individual piece. There are a lot of variables at work, so it’s best to start with a low dose and work your way up to an amount that produces the desired effect.

The Benefits of Edibles

The potential benefits of consuming cannabis for medical treatment are vast. Specific cannabinoids can produce a therapeutic potential for patients with different health conditions.

Peer-reviewed studies suggest that cannabinoids have varying health benefits. They have been used throughout history to manage various health concerns and ailments. While research continues, more evidence suggests that cannabis and cannabinoids can benefit human health.  

A few studies offer information that suggests specific cannabinoid combinations act with different compounds to provide the following potential benefits:

  1. Addiction Treatment 
  2. Appetite Stimulation
  3. Digestive system aid
  4. Sleep Aid
  5. Muscle Function Improvement
  6. Seizure Control 
  7. Pain management 
  8. Anti-inflammatory benefits

Studies are being done worldwide to see how cannabis may aid in fighting cancer, slowing down tumor growth, and if cannabinol delays symptom onset for certain chronic pain conditions involving peripheral analgesics.

Different cannabinoids and consumption methods (oral fluid cannabinoid pharmacokinetics) are also being looked at as options that may benefit those who suffer from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS. 

The Next Day after Edibles

Here, we have a few steps to help you recover from an edible hangover:

  • Hydrate. Drink a lot of water and possibly Pedialyte if dehydration is severe.
  • Take some ibuprofen or CBD for headache
  • Try drinking green tea or coffee (caffeine) for fatigue
  • Take a shower
  • Eat a well-balanced meal

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s your first edible experience or your hundredth, there are various factors that influence how, when, and for how long your weed edibles will affect your body. We recommend reading labels, learning about dosing different cannabinoids, and starting with a low dose. Each time you take THC edibles, it could be different so be open-minded and prepared will do a lot for your comfort levels after consumption.

Last Updated: January 30, 2024

Get Your Medical Card

Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes

medical marijuana card example on leafy doc

Keep Reading