If combusting cannabis isn’t your preferred option of choice due to not liking how the smoke feels on/in your lungs or not wanting to deal with its very indiscrete pungent aromas, then weed edibles are one of the top choices for many recreational and medical users.
If you’re new to the world of cannabis, then “edibles” are foods or drinks that are infused with cannabis. In short, they can effectively deliver cannabinoids to your body via your mouth and digestive system. However, no matter how experienced a user you are, always knowing exactly how strong an edible is, how long it will take to kick in, and what the duration of its effects should be can be confusing to keep track of.
As such, we wanted to provide you with an easy-to-reference run-down on all of these things. Do keep in mind that everything provided here is based on the general rule of thumb, and that, for example, just because 10 mg gummies from companies A, B, C, and D begin to work within 30-40 minutes doesn’t mean that Company E’s 10 mg gummy will take the same time–as theirs could take a full hour to kick in.
Effects and Duration of Weed Edibles
Note that the information on edibles that will be shared in this piece is all based on products you would purchase at your local dispensary as opposed to the “special” brownies that your next-door neighbor made.
In general, edibles are either available as pure or hybrid combos of indica, sativa, or CBD; or a “general” combination of THC:CBD, THC:CBD:CBN, or CBD:CBN, etc. While not impossible, you’re less likely to find something like a Purple Urkle strain-specific tin of gummies being sold at your local dispensary. So, for example, when I buy edibles, I just ask the budtender for their recommendation on a hybrid gummy. If I asked them for a Jack Herer gummy, they’re likely to respond with something like: “The closest we have are Brand X’s gummies, which are a pretty balanced indica/sativa blend.”
When you combust cannabis, you know that its effects will hit either immediately or within a few minutes. Meanwhile, with weed edibles, it could take anywhere from 15-180 minutes! The reason for this massive spread has to do with the type of edible, along with your age, gender, metabolism, and how much food you ate before consuming your edible.
That said, here are some generals about weed edibles and how long they take to kick in. Usually an edible can take 30-90 minutes to kick in, but some edibles, like hard candies, start to take effect in 15-45 minutes and other kinds of edibles where absorption might not begin as quickly can take anywhere from 60-180 minutes. Fortunately, any edible sold in a dispensary will have this timeframe listed somewhere on the packaging, and you can always ask your budtender.
While weed edibles do take longer to take hold, their effects can last 6 or more hours, whereas when combusting cannabis the effects usually last around 1-4 hours.
Weed Edible Strengths
Once again, do remember when purchasing edibles, the best thing is to ask your budtender about the different brands and dosages they sell as every manufacturer makes their products differently. Not only will the strain and THC content affect the strength of an edible but so will factors such as cooking temperature and time.
Provided in the list below are the average milligram (mg) doses that you will commonly find weed edibles available, along with some generals around their potency and effects.
.5-2.5 mg THC: Good for first-time users or microdosers; However, most would say that 2.5 is the lowest dosage that can deliver effects.
5-10 mg THC: Good for those who use cannabis on a regular but not daily basis or where 2.5 mg wasn’t quite enough, then 5 mg should be good.
10-15 mg THC: Good for those who use cannabis consistently and have a slightly higher tolerance level. This provides even stronger medicinal potency but could be overwhelming for those with a low tolerance for THC. Basically, an indica-dominant in this range is good for insomnia, and a sativa-dominant is good for socializing. Once you get above 15 mg, you are going into the “significant THC tolerance” range.
15-30 mg THC: Good for seasoned users who want heightened euphoria and/or relaxation. It’s also good for medical patients who have developed a tolerance to lower doses. However, this is definitely not recommended for inexperienced users as paranoia is likely to happen.
50-100 mg THC: Good for those who can make even seasoned users seem like newbies, as even seasoned users have been known to experience paranoia or increased heart rate at these doses. Impaired coordination and perception are likely.
Over 100 mg THC: Basically, anything more than 100 mg in weed edibles has a good chance of leading to nausea and paranoia. In fact, very few medical patients would ever need anything over 100 mg. However, there are the few and rare whose THC tolerance levels are so high that they can handle insanely high THC doses, and these are really the only ones who are likely to fully enjoy the experiences that come with consuming an edible that contains 100 mg or more of THC.
Written By Kim Thompson
Along with being an award-winning creative and literary writer, Kim works as a freelance copywriter, editor, and proofreader both domestically and internationally.
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