What Are the Side Effects of Edibles?

Do Edibles Have Side Effects? What Are They?

Edibles generally refer to food or drink infused with cannabis. Edibles come in a variety of forms, i.e. hard candies, baked goods, drinks, chocolate, oils, tinctures, and more. The dose and strength of edibles vary a great deal. According to Life Hacker, points out that edibles are sold in a variety of categories. They are often marketed as Sativa, Indica, Hybrid, or CBD. The variety of edibles on the market is one of the numerous reasons why people opt for edibles. If you’re new to edibles, you may be wondering about how to use edibles and the side effects of edibles.

How to Use Edibles

When you’ve decided to use edibles, especially for the first time, ALWAYS start with a smaller dose. The ideal dose varies from person to person. Many clinical experts encourage newbies to start with 2.5 mg to 5 mgs of THC the first time. Remember, edibles are MUCH stronger than smoking or vaping. Even experienced smokers or vapers should start with a lower dose of edibles.

Taking too much at once can produce a very uncomfortable experience as we explain later on in this article.

How long does it take to get high?

What many first-timers don’t know about edibles is that it takes MUCH longer to feel the effects of edibles compared to smoking or vaping. When smoking or vaping, the effects can be felt almost immediately. Alternately, the effects of edibles tend to kick in between 30-60 minutes after oral consumption, however, in some rare cases, it can take up to 6 HOURS for some individuals to feel the full effects.

The time it takes to work, varies from person to person and is based on a number of factors. For example, other factors that may affect your experience are weight, sex, metabolism, and the health of your digestive system. Whether or not you’ve eaten also affects how long it takes to feel the effects of edibles. Also, keep in mind, edibles don’t work for everyone.

The characteristics of the edible itself can also affect how and when you experience it. The edible’s potency and how much you take will definitely change how you experience it.

The reason why it takes so long to feel the effects in contrast to smoking a blunt is that edibles have to travel through the digestive system. After that, they’ll need to be metabolized by the liver before they get to the brain. This will convert delta 9 THC into 11-hydroxy THC. Then the 11-hydroxy THC travels to your brian. That’s when you’ll start feeling the effects.

Not only does this process take a lot longer, but additionally, 11-hydroxy THC is more potent than delta-9 THC. THAT’S why the side effects are often more pronounced with oral consumption.

The feeling from 11-hydroxy THC also has a longer effect. The length of high that edibles provide is usually much longer than smoking. The high typically lasts about 6-8 hours and peaks around 3 hours. Of course, those timelines vary from person to person.

Consumers should wait at least two hours after consuming a dose before trying more.

Side Effects of Edibles

Naturally, edibles, like all cannabis products can have side effects. Some of the side effects are the exact reason some people use them. Others might not be so desirable. Side effects vary a great deal from person to person and are often dose-dependent. That means if you take a smaller amount, you might not experience the side effects any longer.

One well-known side effect of taking an edible is euphoria, which people often refer to as getting high. That’s what most recreational consumers hope to achieve when they eat an edible.

For many people, edibles can have stronger side effects than smoking or vaping. Cognitive side effects, motor impairment, and sedation can be much more pronounced. It’s imperative that people know their tolerance and side effects before operating any sort of machinery after consuming an edible. No one should ever operate machinery, including a car, when they are intoxicated.

Again, the side effects of edibles are usually dose-dependent. If you experience a negative side effect, you probably ate too many edibles. If you take a smaller amount, you might not experience side effects. Most of these side effects are associated with too much THC, but too much CBD can have side effects as well.

Side effects of too many edibles may include:

Changes in heart rate
Changes in blood pressure

CBD Edibles

CBD edibles with low doses of THC, or no THC at all, are growing in popularity. CBD is non-intoxicating which means CBD edibles won’t make you feel high. However, CBD can still cause side effects. The most commonly reported side effects of CBD edibles according to one study are fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite or weight.

Safety Concerns

An adverse reaction can cause a person to never want to use cannabis again. This is a common outcome for someone who’s experienced a THC-induced panic attack after consuming too much THC.

Too much THC can make someone new to cannabis or edibles feel like they are experiencing a medical emergency. Many people have gone to the emergency room after eating too many edibles. These individuals are usually experiencing panic attacks.

No one, in the history of the universe, has ever died from a marijuana overdose. Most people, simply need to remain calm and wait for the THC-induced anxiety to pass. Of course, if you’re having difficulty breathing, experiencing a rapid heart rate, chest pain, or psychosis, it’s best to seek medical attention.

Sometimes people forget that marijuana is a drug that may interact with other drugs. Therefore, be aware of other medications and drugs you take before you eat or drink an edible. Antidepressants, blood thinners, alcohol, and antibiotics may interact with marijuana. It may be worth it to seek medical advice before using if you’re on any medication.

Be careful of where you obtain your edibles. Edibles sold on the illicit market are often not tested and may contain toxins.


Edibles are a popular way of consuming marijuana. Like all substances, there are potential side effects but you can prevent many of the less desirable ones by starting with low doses and not consuming too many edibles at once. Be patient! Edibles typically take a while to kick in. Don’t take too much too soon. As always, keeping up with the latest cannabis science research is a good idea.

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