Drug and Alcohol

Edibles: How Long Do Cannabis Edibles Stay in Your System?

How long do edibles stay in your system? Cannabis edibles can hang around for a long time. Learn more, including info about drug tests, in our blog.

Edibles: Cannabis Edibles and How Long They Stay In Your System

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

November 3, 2023

The Forge Recovery Center

Imagine taking a single bite of a delicious brownie infused with cannabis and finding yourself uncomfortably high. Dry-mouthed, anxious, and feeling intense nausea, the effects of edibles can be astonishingly long-lasting, leaving you to wonder just how long THC-infused edibles stay in your system.

Most people smoke (or vaporize) cannabis. But cannabis edibles have been catching up for the last few years. Edibles are a popular food product that has been a hit amongst the younger demographic. Whether pot brownies, gummies, or soft drinks, edibles have undergone massive changes in recent decades.

What Are Edibles?

Edibles, also known as edible marijuana, cannabis edibles, or cannabis-infused edibles/food, are food products that can be both homemade and commercially purchased items. 

These items include candies, baked goods, beverages, and more. These items often have marijuana or active ingredients like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). There are various ways to consume marijuana, but oral consumption, like with edibles, produces an effect that has a delayed nature.

Edibles are made with various types of cannabis:

Edibles: CBD

CBD edibles are beneficial as they can help relieve anxiety and pain. They are generally used for medical purposes and do not generate THC-related euphoria or high. 

Edibles: Sativa

Sativa edibles are used for the energizing effects they have on some people

Edibles: Indica

Indica edibles are generally used by people for their sedating effect to achieve better sleep. 

Edibles: Hybrids

As the name suggests, hybrid edibles contain both sativa and indica strains.

What Types of Cannabis Edibles Are There?

There are many kinds of cannabis edibles on the market. Here are a few of the more common ones:

Edibles: Cannabis Cookies

Baked products containing cannabis are the most popular form of edibles. And among all the baked food items, people prefer cookies. 

Edibles: Cannabis Candies & Chocolate

There are many confectionary items, such as chocolates, candies, truffles, lollipops, and hard candies infused with cannabis. 

Cannabis-Infused Drinks

Some people think that edibles are only in food form. Well, various kinds of beverages and drinks are sold in the market. Cannabis-infused sodas, sports, and energy drinks have recently gained tremendous popularity. Apart from that, there are also teas, coffees, and even water infused with cannabis. 

Other Forms of Edibles

There are some miscellaneous edibles like breath mints, beef jerky, ice cream, and more available with cannabis in them. 

Where Do Edibles Come From?

Did you know that one of the earliest mentions of edibles can be traced back to India? Bhaang is a famous cannabis-infused drink whose history can be tracked as long as 2000 BC. During the Middle Stones, people consumed cannabis before these cannabis-infused simply orally. They used to pop the leaves and flowers in hopes of finding and discovering something nutritious.

Afterward, during the Neolithic period, cannabis became a preferred form of plant cultivated by people. Similarly, in medieval times people discovered the medicinal purpose of cannabis, and it became a seasoning on food items.

There is a general misconception that drugs, especially edibles, became popular during the hippie era of the 1960s. Edible products have been around since at least the 1800s. During this period, edibles were used as a medicinal aid. Products such as cannabis tinctures and marijuana-laced candies were purchased to treat conditions like colds and hives and for pain management too. During the 1920s, the government banned narcotic substances and their related products.

Today, edibles and all cannabis products are federally under Schedule I of controlled substances. This means a prohibition against growing, processing and selling cannabis. This is because Schedule I substances have a great potential to be abused and have no medical value, as per the government. However, many states have legalized cannabis edibles for medicinal and recreational use.

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What Do Edibles Do to You?

It is a general consensus among the users, especially young ones, that marijuana edibles are harmless and cannot lead to the development of cannabis addiction. They believe that marijuana is not as potent or addictive as a hard form of drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, opioids, etc., and that they do not harm our physical or mental health.

This is a misconception, as its frequent use can lead to overconsumption, which can cause severe side effects. In addition, underage edible consumption can work as a gateway to other, more dangerous forms of drugs. Hence, it is pretty easy to miscalculate the dangers of using marijuana edibles. Let's talk about some of the health risks of abusing edibles.

What Do Cannabis Edibles Feel Like?

Most people consume edibles for the effects they create. Edibles make people feel relaxed, talkative, and/or introspective. They can also make people feel paranoid, anxious, and nauseous.

Because of their slower onset, it can be very easy to take too many edibles, resulting in an unpleasant experience. While not fatal (you can’t really overdose on cannabis), taking too much cannabis can make people feel awful.

Here are the side effects of cannabis:

  • Feeling relaxed and sedated

  • Drowsiness

  • Impaired judgment and reflexes

  • Increased appetite

  • Increased heart rate

  • Anxiety

  • Minor hallucinations

  • Paranoia

  • Nausea and vomiting

What Happens if You Mix Cannabis Edibles with Other Drugs?

Some drugs, especially alcohol, can amplify the effects of cannabis. This can result in a person feeling high for far longer than they intended to. Also, there are additional risks to mixing cannabis edibles with other drugs, including antidepressants and ADHD medications.

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Yes, in certain areas. However, possessing cannabis edibles in a state where you either need a prescription to have them or they’re simply illegal, can get you into serious trouble.

What are the Health Risks of Using Edibles?

While nowhere near as dangerous as harder drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, or meth, edibles still have risks of their own. Here are some of the risks of cannabis edibles:

Short-Term Risks of Cannabis Edibles

The short-term health hazards of using edibles include confusion, drowsiness, anxiety, panic, paranoia, delayed response, fainting, increased heart rate, and risk of having a heart attack.

Long-Term Risks of Cannabis Edibles

The long-term health hazards of using edibles include addiction, decreased concentration level, liability to make level-headed decisions, and the development of mental issues such as psychosis and schizophrenia. 

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System?

Various factors determine how long it would take for edibles to be flushed out of the system. Estimating the exact length of the stay is difficult as it can vary from one user to another. There are factors like the half-life of edibles, the amount of THC concentration in the edibles, the number of edibles ingested, active ingredients, tolerance created in the user's body, and more.

All these factors determine the length of time that edible will remain in the system. The THC in the edibles enters directly into our bloodstream when we consume them. Some THC is stored in fatty tissues and organs, while others are flushed out through urine and tools. There is no fixed time when the substance is excreted, as that will depend on the amount of THC and how healthy our body's metabolism is.

For instance, it takes more time to expel the edibles from the body if a person has kidney-related issues. Similarly, chronic edible users can have edibles in their system for even a month as they do not have proper time to flush the substance out before taking the next dose. The occasional user would find that edibles can take one to two weeks to remove from the body.  

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What Is the Half-Life of Edibles?

A drug's half-life is when it takes half of a substance to be removed from the body. This concept helps estimate how long it will take for any drug to be removed from the body. Even the half-life of any drug depends on individual factors that can change from person to person.

For example, the half-life of edible, which is cannabis, is anywhere between three to 12 days. 

How Long Do Edibles Last?

It is essential to understand that how a person takes cannabis can determine how long the effects of cannabis last. Cannabis is absorbed quickly when it is either smoked.

Edibles, on the other hand, are consumed orally. This means that edibles are absorbed at a slower rate in our bodies. As a result, the effects of edibles can last between thirty minutes to one hour. This is not true when cannabis is smoked or injected directly into the bloodstream. Also, the type of edible also impacts the lasting effect. For instance, cannabis-infused lollipops and mint breaths are not quickly swallowed by the user. Our mucus membranes absorb the active ingredient slowly, resulting in a quicker high. 

On the other hand, edible and chewable edibles are not as intensely absorbed as the edibles mentioned above. They instead have to go through the digestive system, after which the substance enters the bloodstream to the liver and then again to the bloodstream. Towards the end of the process, the drug reaches our brain, which results in experiencing the effect of the edible.

Generally, people take multiple edibles to achieve the desired high. This is because edibles often take more time to kick in. The best and safest way to take edible food is to wait at least 24 hours before taking the next dose. It will give your body time to flush out entirely, and there would be less risk of developing tolerance. The high achieved from an edible can, on average, last for six to eight hours. The peak is achieved after three hours of use. 

Diagnosing Edibles in Your System

Almost all drug substances containing narcotics can be traced in the body. In addition, there are several kinds of drug tests where edibles can be easily traced. These tests include blood, urine, saliva, and hair drug tests. 

Edibles can be identified through the following drug tests:

Blood Tests for Edibles

A blood test can detect edibles in the system for three to four hours.

Urine Tests for Edibles

Urine tests can trace edibles in a time window of three to thirty days.

Saliva Tests for edibles

Saliva tests can identify edibles for 24-72 hours after they were last used.

Hair Tests for Edibles

All hair tests can detect edibles for up to 90 days after they were last used. 

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How to Recover From Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD), or cannabis addiction, is treatable. Anyone suffering from the symptoms mentioned above due to continued or frequent use of edibles should seek help from drug rehab centers. Every condition is unique, just like every patient is unique.

This is why addiction treatment may differ from one person to another. For instance, some people suffer from co-occurring mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Therefore, their treatment should include a dual diagnosis which would totally differ from that of other patients. This is why individualized plans are imperative to make a holistic recovery.

First, let's talk about the commonly found treatment for edible or cannabis addiction.

Drug Detox

Drug detox is a medical procedure in which a patient's body is cleaned. Then, the addiction specialists and rehab staff would use various medications. These meds will manage the withdrawal symptoms because once the patient's body is cleaned of all the toxic substances, it will experience withdrawal side effects.


Behavioral counseling is an integral part of comprehensive treatment. These sessions will address the mental damage done during the abuse period. Some counseling methods include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, and motivation enhancement. 


Aftercare plans are as vital as primary treatment. These commence once the patient finishes the regular treatment program. Various aftercare plans include support groups, alumni programs, and 12-step groups. 

Feel Like Your Cannabis Edibles Use is Out of Control? The Forge Recovery Center Will Help

At The Forge Recovery Center, we understand the allure of edibles. However, it's important to recognize that indulging in edibles can lead to cannabis use disorder (CUD) or cannabis addiction. While edibles may seem harmless, they can have severe side effects like other drugs. It's crucial to acknowledge that edibles are not as potent or dangerous as hard drugs like heroin or cocaine, but they still warrant caution.

When addressing signs of CUD or any other addiction related to edibles, seeking guidance from medical professionals is recommended. The Forge Recovery Center is happy to help. Our team of dedicated professionals has a deep understanding of drug addiction. We’ll help you build a new life where you don’t need cannabis edibles to enjoy life.

Want to learn more about our successful evidence-based cannabis treatment program? Reach out to The Forge Recovery Center today.

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