If you spend enough time on Instagram or Reddit, you might have seen the ever-so-accurate “5 Stages of Edibles” meme circulating around. Yes, it’s hilarious, but it’s also true for many first-time edible eaters. Edibles are an entirely different experience from smoking marijuana even if you consider yourself a high-tolerance individual. Let’s break down the five stages of edibles.

First things first, this is more of a general outline of what typically happens when eating edibles. There is no “guaranteed” experience since we all react differently to a certain substance. Your journey may differ from your friend’s, so just know that it’s perfectly normal to skip a stage from the list below.

Stages of Edibles

The 5 Stages of Edibles

Stage #1: Nothing’s Happening

Unlike marijuana flower, edibles take significantly longer to work their way into your bloodstream and produce the “high” effects. Your first bite of an edible may take 30-40 minutes to kick in…and in some cases, up to an hour. The effects of edibles are known to last between 6-8 hours, unlike the 2-4 hours when you smoke marijuana. Strap in for a long high! As you become impatient, though, your first thought might be, “Man, I got ripped off! Should I eat some more just in case?” That brings us to Stage #2.

Stage #2: Should I Eat More?

Please, do not make this rookie mistake. Do *not* consume more until you’ve waited the full hour. If you do, you might “green out” and succumb to the negative side effects of edibles, like paranoia, sweating, and anxiety. We’ve talked to many consumers over the years who admit they had a horrible first-time edibles experience simply because they weren’t patient enough. The “greening out” effects of edibles also include extreme cottonmouth, red eyes, rapid thoughts, dizziness, blurred vision, short-term memory loss, and disorientation.

Stages of Edibles

Stage #3: I Feel Kinda Funny

Yep, that’s a clear-cut sign that your edible is working its magic. Beginner edible consumers might feel uneasy or nervous during this time as they’re not used to the wave of effects. Remind yourself that what’s happening is *meant* to happen as it’s all part of the process. It’s normal to feel your heart rate increase, or your muscles melt into the couch. It’s normal to forget what happened in the previous episode because you weren’t able to focus. If you start to panic, these are some of the ways you can calm yourself down:

  • Go for a walk/step onto your balcony/get some fresh air
  • Turn on your favorite TV show or movie
  • Take a shower/relaxing bath
  • Talk to yourself/tell yourself that everything’s fine
  • Eat an easy, quick comfort meal (got cookies in the pantry?)
Stages of Edibles

Stage #4: I’m On Another Planet

The internet is full of “spaced out” edible memes. Some include lying on the floor, appearing zoned out, and curling up on the couch in multiple layers on blankets. The bottom line is, once that initial wave passes, it’s all smooth sailing for here. If you can make it past that initial shock period, you’re in for a great ride! Now’s the time that you’ll be able to relax and give in to the stages of edibles. You may experience calmness, euphoria, creativity, lethargy, and an extreme case of the giggles. Remember that edibles affect each of us differently, so while you may want to fall asleep, your friend may want to write or paint—something creative. This is hands down one of the best stages of edibles.

Stage #5: What Just Happened?

Roughly 6-8 hours later, your edible will begin to wear off gradually—so gradually that you may not notice when you enter your natural state again. After a long period of feeling high, it’s common to question what happened…what that real? It’s common to forget the experience altogether. Unlike an alcohol bender, a 6-8-hour rollercoaster ride with edibles does not leave you with a hangover. You may feel perfectly normal and back to your usual self. Still, you may not want to drive or handle machinery after your edible wears off just to be on the safe side of things.  Most people feel ready for bed after an edible, which is one of the safest ways to make sure the effects are fully gone before you drive the next day.

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