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How Long Do Edibles Take To Kick In And Start Working?

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The attractive high from ingesting THC will usually kick in 45 minutes after consumption. While that's the expectation, it could take up to two hours for edibles, like THC gummies, to begin working. Cannabinoids, like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), become bioavailable once your liver metabolizes them, a longer process than vaping and smoking THC.

Table of Contents


To start things off, here are the key takeaways from this article:

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How long does it take for the effects of an edible to kick in?

You can expect to feel the effects within 45 minutes. Consumers with fast metabolisms can feel effects as early as 20 minutes, with the average experiencing psychoactive effects in 30 minutes.

Why do edibles take so long to kick in?

The main reason is that the cannabinoids in edibles are metabolized in the liver and must go through the digestive system’s first phases before you feel any THC effects.

What factors can affect how long it takes for edibles to kick in?

Factors like individual biochemistry, body weight, low or high tolerance for THC, experience with edibles, amount of THC consumed (mg of THC), the type of edible ingested, and even the food you paired with your edible all play a role.

How long do you wait before eating another edible if the first one didn't work?

Since it usually takes food to leave your stomach in 2-4 hours, this is the time frame to stand by. If you haven’t felt the desired effects within 3 hours after your first edible, you’ve reached the recommended safety zone to try another dose.

How To Know If An Onset Of Adverse Effects Are Kicking In?

In regards to adverse effects that could lead to THC intoxication, these negative side effects usually begin with feelings of anxiety and paranoia.

How The Type of Edible Consumed Impacts The Effects of Edibles

We find writers breaking down the types of edibles into many different categories, but in terms of the onset time, edibles should only be broken down into three categories.

  1. Ingestibles (THC Confections andamp; Baked Goods)
    Products like these include THC gummies, cakes, cookies, and pot brownies.  The source shows that the peak effects are felt within 1.5-2 hours. These offer less bioavailable results in comparison the next two types.

  2. Nano/Water-Soluble-Based Ingestibles (THC Beverages, Sublinguals, Hard Candies)
    THC tinctures, THC beverages, lozenges, mints, and lollipops are all great examples of this category. Nano-technology is showing to increase the bioavailability of THC by 116% . Sublingual absorption allows the cannabis extracts to avoid the digestive tract and enter the bloodstream quicker with less compound loss.

  3. Fatty-Rich, Lipid-Rich, Oil-Based Carriers (Syrups, MCT Oils, and Cannabutters)
    These products are reported to be more bioavailable with fatty acids and compounds, especially MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), being quickly absorbed by the body and used for energy. Cannabinoid-infused in chocolate and oils offered the highest Δ9-THC content compared to other products.

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A Look Inside The Digestive Process And The Exact Time You Will Begin Feelings The Effects

The effects of edibles will begin when your body’s CB1 receptors interact with the newly consumed THC molecules; here’s what that process looks like.

  1. Once you put a THC gummy in your mouth, saliva breaks down the food. Cannabinoids are oil-based and lipophobic, so they’re not necessarily being absorbed just yet.

  2. As THC passes through the esophagus, it enters an organ where most of the cannabinoids get lost, the stomach. From here, the magic will start to begin.

  3. THC molecules will reach the liver and begin metabolizing through enzymatic processes, and as these processes complete, THC will begin entering the bloodstream.

  4. Once THC molecules reach the bloodstream, they can begin their journey to the brain and interact with unique cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 receptors.

  5. At this very moment, the effects of THC-infused edibles will kick in, and you will begin feeling the calming, blissful, psychoactive, and psychotropic effects you’re aiming for.

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How Long THC Edibles Last Once They Kick In

I won’t go into too much detail here as I’ve covered this topic in another article. If you wish to learn more about the research behind this topic, visit How Long Do Edibles Last?

The THC In Your System After The Edible Effects Wear Off

Just like the previous sub-topic, we’ve also covered this topic in another article. If you wish to learn more about how long THC stays in your system, click here.

How To Make Edibles Kick In Super Fast

When it comes to cannabis consumption, vaping and smoking cannabis products are the fastest ways to feel the psychoactive effects of THC. Since these types of products don’t have to pass through the digestive tract and go “straight to the head,” as some say, consumers will always experience faster effects going this route than edibles.

Nonetheless, you can always consider following the suggested tips from an article I wrote that teaches you how to make edibles hit harder and faster. .

Nonetheless, you can always consider following the suggested tips from an article I wrote that teaches you how to make edibles hit harder and faster. .

With that said, there are steps you can take to make the effects of edible cannabis products kick in as fast as possible while also ensuring you get the highest bioavailability.

Step 1: Drink Water 10-Minutes Before Taking An Edible To Increase Your Metabolism

Several studies corroborate that if you drink water before a meal, it increases your metabolism. This study showed that drinking 500 ml of water before meals increase metabolism by 30%!

Step 2: Eat THC Edibles On An Empty Stomach.

According to, food can remain in your stomach for 2-4 hours after a meal; my personal experience also corroborates this.

I’ve been working with cannabis edibles for seven years. Whenever I get the opportunity to work with first-time consumers, I educate them intending to achieve the highest cannabinoid bioavailability possible. My first recommendation is always to drink water first, then eat on an empty stomach, followed by consuming a fatty-rich meal.

Step 3: Eat With A Fatty-Rich Meal To Increase Bioavailability.

The reason you should supplement the consumption of cannabinoids with lipids and other fatty acids like MCTs is that studies show it increases the overall bioavailability. According to this study, bioavailability was 2.5 times greater with THC and three times greater with CBD.

If you’re going to pay for 25 mg of THC per gummy, wouldn’t you want to ensure that you get as much of those 25 milligrams as possible? Eat your edibles with a fatty-rich meal; it’s a no-brainer!

General Guidance For Edible THC Dosing

If you’re a beginner and are new to cannabis edibles, it’s best to start with a 2.5-milligram dose of THC for your first time – 5 mg of THC is generally accepted as the standard introductory dosage.

Medical dispensaries and online THC Gummy Superstores, like, offer various THC and CBD edibles with introductory THC doses.

For experienced THC consumers, 5 mg of THC might be a low dose. Finding your THC sweet spot just depends on your THC tolerance, and you’ll learn what that ease by trying the different THC levels offered on a per-serving basis.

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Conclusion andamp; Final Remarks

If you read the whole article, you know when, how, and why Edibles take so long to kick in, and you should now have a much better grasp on what to expect in terms of timing. 

As referenced in this article, we recommend to begin with small doses when trying out edibles for the first time. Starting low and going slow will help ensure that once the THC reaches your CB1 receptors, you won’t be overwhelmed by the undesired adverse effects of overconsumption of THC. 

And remember – if you’re seeking a faster onset time for your THC edible experience – water first, take on an empty stomach, and follow it with a fatty-rich meal. 

Lastly, make sure you buy the highest-quality THC gummies when trying to get the best efficacy out of your edibles. In doing so, you’ll further guarantee that your edible experience will be more enjoyable.


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