Edibles are a fun and diverse way to consume cannabis. They come in a variety of form factors and are tasty and discreet. But just like smoking or vaping marijuana, THC edibles will cause you to fail a drug test. Unfortunately, drug testing is still common among many employers, and if you find yourself facing a drug test, you may be wondering when you last ate those THC gummies. So how long do edibles stay in your system?
Read on to learn more about detection times and how to cleanse your system of THC to pass a drug test.
THC Edibles Overview
Marijuana edibles are a popular choice these days, especially as more and more people want to try cannabis products but are less interested in smoking or vaping. There is no shortage of options for THC-infused goodies in dispensaries, which makes for a fun shopping experience. Gummies are the go-to for many people, but you can also find infused baked goods, mints, beverages, hard candies, taffy, chocolate, savory snacks, and so much more.
How Does the Body Process Edibles
Eating a THC edible is a much different experience than smoking. When inhaled, the cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream right away, making their way to the brain for quick onset effects. However, rather than entering your bloodstream right away, edibles must work their way through the digestive system.
This digestion process takes longer than inhalation, but the effects are also prolonged, meaning that edibles hit later but linger for hours. After eating an edible, initial effects can begin within 30 minutes, but full effects take up to two hours and can last up to eight hours or longer depending on the dosage. When inhaled, the effects often set in within minutes and wear off within two to three hours.
Cannabinoids (like THC) are more bioavailable when inhaled by smoking or vaping weed. Bioavailability refers to the body’s ability to use THC. In that case, you may be wondering why edibles tend to produce stronger psychoactive effects. This is because edible cannabis must pass through the digestive system, and when it meets the liver, the THC is broken down into a metabolite called 11-hydroxy-THC. And as it turns out, 11-hydroxy-THC is more bioavailable than THC itself, resulting in a more potent high.
Common Effects of Weed Edibles
Cannabis edibles are dosed in milligrams per gram. States with legalized recreational or medical marijuana programs have dosage limits, and typically portion out a designated serving size in each package. To achieve the ideal dose for your desired experience, it’s very important that you read the packaging labels carefully and understand how much THC is in each serving. When necessary, you might need to divide that gummy or cookie into smaller portions to experience the type of high you want.
A microdose of THC is anywhere between 1-5 milligrams. If you are new to cannabis edibles, start with one milligram and wait up to two hours before eating more. A microdose provides mild pain relief and reduces stress and anxiety. It can also improve focus and enhance creativity.
If a microdose is too light for you, step up to a mild dose between 5-15 milligrams. This dosage can provide even more pain relief and lead to feelings of tiredness and lethargy for some people. Alternatively, others experience euphoria and increased happiness.
A moderate dose is somewhere between 15-30 milligrams. Effects continue to strengthen, and the stoning feeling may lead to altered perception and impaired coordination. A moderate dose is suitable for a good night’s sleep and will provide full-body relaxation.
For experienced consumers, a large dose is somewhere between 30-50 milligrams. Expect strong sedative effects, elevated feelings of euphoria, and some alteration to coordination and perception.
Megadoses are often used by medical patients looking for deep rest. This dose is somewhere between 50-100 milligrams and produces strong sedative effects that are best suited before sleep. This is not a dosage for newcomers and may produce very unpleasant side effects.
How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System?
How long edibles stay in your system is unique to each individual. There are various factors at play, including body mass, levels of hydration, and age. Additionally, frequency of consumption and tolerance level are perhaps the two most relevant determining factors in how long it takes to detox from THC. So you need to first consider the type of test and its detection time.
The most common way to test for THC is by urinalysis. THC and its metabolites will remain in urine for as little as three days for a light, infrequent user and up to 30 days for a more moderate consumer.
Marijuana can linger in hair for 6-12 months. However, a hair follicle test is only looking at the last 90 days worth of growth. Although this test is less common, it is used in some circumstances and has higher accuracy than others.
A saliva test can find THC anywhere between 24-72 hours after last use. This test was designed to detect recent use and is most commonly used when a person is suspected of smoking while driving.
THC is detectable in a blood test for up to two weeks. But, again, frequency of use and potency play a role in detection time.
Do You Have an Upcoming Drug Test?
If you are facing a drug test, don’t panic. First and foremost — stop the use of all cannabis products immediately. Your body will naturally begin to flush THC metabolites via urine, so stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you do not have time to let your body detox naturally, consider a detox kit or detox drink as an effective option to rid your body of THC.
If you have a little notice, a 5 day detox or 10 day detox may be a good option for you. Each of these will cleanse the body from all toxins quickly and include home test kits to check your progress before your actual test. If a drug test is ever something you might have to consider, keep a 24 hour detox on hand in case of emergency.
Since THC drug tests are not yet evolved enough to determine the specific cannabinoid consumed, even people using only CBD can fail a drug test!
If you enjoy consuming cannabis edibles yet still have concerns about a pending drug test, we hope this has helped provide you some assurance that you can pass your test and go on to enjoy the many benefits of cannabis.