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So you’ve taken an edible and want to know how long it will last? Or, maybe you’re thinking about splurging on a little treat for yourself— CBD chocolate fudge sounds good, no? In the last few years, cannabis science, specifically CBD-infused edibles has really started coming into its own.
In this post, we’ll be talking about,
- What CBD edibles are
- How long they take to kick in
- How long the effects of edibles last
- And, what factors play into their effectiveness
What Are CBD Edibles?
CBD edibles are foods or drinks that have been infused with CBD derived from federally legal hemp plants. The edible experience tends to differ from traditional smoking or vaping experiences due to how potent edibles can be and how long the experience lasts.
Edibles come in all shapes and sizes including, but not limited to, candies, baked goods, syrups, soft drinks, and more. If you can eat it or drink it, chances are that someone has already found a way to infuse CBD into it.
Read more: CBD Coffee: What You Should Know
How Long Do Edibles Last?
The effects from edibles generally last much longer than if you were to consume a similar amount of CBD via smoking or vaping. Edibles can last anywhere from 6 to 8 hours after consumption.
Of course, some factors can shift that 6 to 8-hour window in either direction.
- Did you eat a second edible while waiting for the first to kick in (we don’t recommend ever doing this)
- How strong are the edibles that you took?
- Are you an experienced CBD edible consumer?
Predicting how long the effects of CBD edibles will last isn’t yet an exact science. In a 2016 study, researchers analyzed over 100,000 tweets and found that edible “unpredictability” was one of the most common adverse effects listed.
How Long Does It Take For Edibles To Kick In?
Edibles start to kick in anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes after consumption— a big window. There are a whole bunch of factors that play into how fast edibles come on.
We’ll talk about them shortly, but it is worth noting that, unlike THC edibles, edibles infused with pure CBD are non-psychoactive; they don’t cause the “high” typically associated with THC edibles. That said, it may be harder to figure out when a CBD edible takes effect.
Type of Edible
Some edible products like hard candy, gum, and lollipops are examples of edibles that are ingested without actually being swallowed. Their CBD is absorbed through the mucus membranes in your mouth (known as sublingual ingestion— the same as taking a CBD oil tincture!) These edibles will take effect faster.
Edibles that pass through your digestive system like baked goods, chocolate, and drinks will take longer to take effect because the CBD is being absorbed in your digestive tract. When the CBD reaches your liver via your digestive tract, you’ll begin to notice some effects.
When in edible form, your CBD is going to be digested at the same rate as regular, non-infused food. If you have a higher metabolism rate, you’re more likely to feel the effects of your CBD edible more quickly than someone with a naturally lower rate.
The flip side of this is that consumers with higher metabolism rates will experience CBD’s effect for a shorter duration of time.
Did You Eat Your Edible On An Empty Stomach?
It’s usually recommended that users take their CBD edible after or with a meal. That said, if you decide to eat your edibles on an empty stomach, the effects will come on quicker and much stronger. If you’re new to CBD edibles, definitely heed the advice.
Read more: The Dos & Don’ts of CBD Edibles
How much CBD you eat can also determine how fast/ if you feel any effects from your CBD edible. A bigger dose may come on faster and stronger.
That said, the general rule of thumb with edibles of any kind is to start low and slow. Eat one dose at a time and wait a full hour before indulging again. You don’t want to overdo it.
This advice is especially pertinent if you’ve made your own CBD edibles. You may not know what the exact dose is, so start slow.
Do CBD Edibles Expire?
While edibles are a great and tasty way to ingest your CBD, it’s also important to consider shelf life. Cannabinoids degrade over time, but not necessarily as fast as the butter turns rancid.
Keep your edibles in the fridge if you want to extend their shelf life (or the freezer if you want to save ‘em long-term)
- Lamy, Francois R et al. ““Those edibles hit hard”: Exploration of Twitter data on cannabis edibles in the U.S.” Drug and alcohol dependence vol. 164 (2016): 64-70. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.04.029