Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Edibles are among the most user-friendly and enjoyable methods of cannabis consumption, as patients get to eat delicious food and experience long-lasting relief. However, dosing edibles is a delicate process; too high a dose can induce more of a high than you’d like.
When you’ve taken too many edibles, some tricks, such as hydrating, exercise, and a quick nap, can go a long way to alleviating a lousy experience.
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How Long Do Edibles Last?
Weed edibles affect everyone differently, and the speed and length of their onset and intensity are impacted by a person’s weight, metabolism, diet, exercise habits, tolerance levels, and other factors.
A cannabis edible may take up to 90 minutes to kick in, and its effects may last over six hours. However, this is only a rough estimate and can depend significantly on dosage and the user’s tolerance. A particularly strong edible, for example, may have effects that last a full day.
The high from cannabis edibles lasts much longer than smoking or vaping since it has to make its way through your digestive tract, eventually converting THC into the 2-3 times more potent 11-hydroxy-THC. This extended and more powerful high is a boon for medical users who need more THC to address their conditions, but it’s easy for this experience to turn sour.
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5 Ways to Recover From Edibles Quickly
Often, people will think edibles aren’t working when they don’t feel any effects in the first hour and decide to consume more. Best practices dictate to wait at least two hours before eating another dose of edibles and to stay hydrated while you wait. But if you’ve gone overboard, the following tactics should help you recover more quickly.
Hydration is key in mitigating the negative psychoactive intensity of overconsuming THC via edibles. Drink liquids that improve hydration, such as water, drinks with electrolytes, coconut water, cucumber juice, or herbal teas.
It’s best not to consume edible cannabis on an empty stomach, as a full stomach will act as a buffer against nausea. Eating food after taking too high an edible dose is also helpful. Choosing nutritious food options like fruits, complex carbohydrates (e.g., beans, whole grains), and nuts will help soak up the cannabinoids from your system and give you the energy to metabolize them more quickly.
Exercise is another quick-acting recovery method, but you should consider some things before jumping in. Exercise can help lower blood pressure and relieve anxiety, while sweating may help distract you from any overwhelming experiences. Conversely, too much physical activity could be too hard if you feel unwell.
If you’re up for exercising or yoga, go for it. Simply walking outside in the fresh air may do wonders for bringing you down from an overwhelming or unpleasant experience with edibles, but avoid risky physical activities like lifting heavy weights or using complex workout equipment. Be sure to listen to your body and only attempt what you think you can handle.
Sleep is perhaps the most straightforward way to handle overdoing it on edibles. Thankfully, cannabis helps fight insomnia, so even those experiencing high levels of cannabis-induced anxiety or paranoia should have little trouble falling asleep.
Nap time can help the body peacefully recover from over-intoxication and make your overall subjective high feel shorter. While you may wake up a bit groggy, sleeping safely carries you through the worst effects.
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Take a Detox Pill, Or Utilize CBD
Since edibles are digested just like regular food, some have found that detox pills are valuable tools for quickly getting rid of a high gone wrong. Detox pills or drinks help to speed up your metabolism, allowing your body to expel the cannabinoids in your system more quickly.
There are a few detox pills on the market designed specifically for flushing out THC, some of which start working around an hour after use. They contain unique blends of herbs, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to boost your energy. However, detox pills take a while to kick in, so you’ll probably want to mix them with some of the other methods mentioned in this list.
There is also no definitive evidence that detox pills work for flushing out THC. A better bet might be to use some CBD if you have taken a THC-rich edible. This won’t get rid of the THC, but CBD can dampen some of the psychoactive effects.
Things to Avoid
Take each of the above tips with caution and avoid taking them to the extreme by overeating, overexercising, or taking too many detox pills. If you’ve taken too many edibles, utilize the tactics that work for you and rest in a relaxing environment that won’t further stimulate or overwhelm you.
Stay calm, don’t take any more edibles, and avoid consuming other intoxicating substances such as alcohol or other drugs that could complicate or worsen the experience. The high will pass with time, and while negative side effects can be highly unpleasant, they don’t last forever.
The Bottom Line
Edibles are among the strongest medical marijuana products on the market, which make them both useful for those in need of high doses and easily overwhelming for folks who don’t often consume cannabis. It’s essential to start with a low amount, between 2-3 milligrams of THC, and wait at least two hours to see how your body responds.
As you become more used to cannabis, you’ll know what your body can handle and will be able to avoid becoming overwhelmed in the first place. But when needed, sleep, hydration, food, and exercise are among the strategies available to help calm you down.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can edibles give you a hangover?
How do you dose cannabis edibles?
When dosing edible products, it’s essential to start with a low dose and consume slowly, waiting two hours for the effects to kick in. We recommend starting with 2-3 milligrams of THC and taking another 2-3 milligrams only if needed and up until your symptoms subside. The key is to find the spot between symptom-free and over-intoxication.