How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System for Drug Tests?

Clinically Reviewed by Linda Whiteside, LPCC

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System?

Table of Contents

The effects of marijuana, or the high it produces, tend to fade quickly. However, traces can remain in one’s system for up to 90 days, depending on the amount and type of marijuana consumed.

Many wonder, “how long do edibles stay in your system?” or “how long does an edible stay in your system?” The time it takes for edibles to be processed and eliminated from the body depends on many factors. The subjective effects wear off on average 3 to 6 hours after use.

However, the drugs inevitably leave traces of THC and other chemical compounds. Even if you don’t feel any effects, your body may still contain detectable traces. It takes time for one’s body to begin eliminating traces of this drug, which include fat cells breaking down what is not used by your body.

What Are Edibles?

Edibles are food products infused with cannabinoids, primarily tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These compounds are active ingredients found in cannabis plants.

Edibles are a popular alternative to smoking marijuana and come in many forms, including baked goods like brownies and cookies, candies such as gummies and lollipops, and even beverages or tinctures that can be added to food and drinks.

People consume edibles primarily for medicinal or recreational purposes. Medicinally, edibles can relieve chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Recreationally, they offer a discreet and often longer-lasting alternative to smoking or vaping cannabis.

Despite their seeming simplicity, many users are unaware of what goes into making marijuana edibles. Some edibles contain other drugs besides cannabis, including opioids like fentanyl, which can be extremely habit-forming or even lead to fatal overdoses.

How Does the Body Process Edibles?

When you consume edibles, the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is absorbed through the walls of your intestines and into your bloodstream. However, the absorption can be delayed depending on how much of the edible you consume and how much other food is in your stomach.

Edibles take the longest to be absorbed into your system but last 8 to 12 hours. After you eat an edible, it travels to your stomach and liver before getting into your bloodstream and brain.

The liver converts THC into a stronger form, which is why edibles can be more potent than other forms of cannabis. The effects of edibles usually last between 3-10 hours, depending on the individual and the amount taken.

How Long Does It Take for Edibles to Take Effect?

Edibles typically take around 30 to 60 minutes to kick in. However, onset time depends on many factors, such as the dosage, type, and whether it is chewable.

Chewable edibles like gummies, cookies, and brownies may have longer onset times because absorption first occurs in the digestive tract. From there, active ingredients enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver, where they are metabolized before they are released back into the bloodstream and enter the brain, at which point the effects appear.

The effects of edibles usually last between 3-10 hours, depending on the individual and the amount taken.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Edibles?

The most common side effects of edibles are listed below:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Mood changes
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Agitation
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired motor ability
  • Respiratory depression
  • Heart problems, ranging from irregular heartbeat to heart attack

What Factors Affect How Quickly Edibles Take Effect?

Factors that affect how quickly edibles take effect include:

  • Dosage: A low dose will take longer to be felt than a higher dose
  • Type of edible: Chewable edibles, such as gummies, cookies, and brownies, may have longer onset times because absorption first occurs in the digestive tract
  • Metabolism: If you have a fast metabolism, the effects of the edible will kick in faster than someone with a slow metabolism
  • Non-cannabis ingredients: The edible’s non-cannabis ingredients can affect how soon someone can feel the effects of edibles
  • Body weight: Body weight can affect how soon someone can feel the effects of edibles
  • Gender: Gender can affect how soon someone can feel the effects of edibles
  • When a person last ate: When a person last ate can affect how soon someone can feel the effects of edibles

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System?

When you eat a cannabis-infused edible, it is subject to digestion by the liver and other bodily systems. Once processed by the liver, the body breaks down delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy THC, which leads to stronger psychoactive effects than when marijuana is smoked because it takes time to digest.

Some classes of edibles, for instance, certain baked goods and chocolates, may result in THC reaching the bloodstream at a quicker pace because they “melt” inside the user’s mouth and are thus more easily digested. How long edibles stay in your system will depend on a multiplicity of factors, such as marijuana’s half-life.

For someone who takes in THC and is then tested on a regular basis, the half-life of marijuana remains in the body for different amounts of time. For example, someone who smokes a joint may have THC remain in their body for about three to four days before it dissipates, but it might be three to 12 days for someone else who consumes a marijuana edible.

The exact amount of time that a consumed edible stays in the system depends on a lot of factors like tolerance, frequency of use, the type of strain, as well as dosage and quantity consumed.

What Factors Affect How Long Edibles Stay in Your System?

Factors that affect how long edibles stay in your system include:

  • Dosage: The amount of THC in the edible affects how long it stays in your system.
  • Frequency of use: Habitual users may have THC in their system from edibles for a longer period of time than casual users.
  • Metabolism: Individual metabolism can affect how quickly the body breaks down and eliminates THC from edibles.
  • Type of edible: Different types of edibles can have varying potencies and absorption rates, which can affect how long they stay in your system.
  • Method of consumption: The way you consume edibles can affect how quickly they are absorbed into your system and how long they stay in your system.
  • Type of drug test: Different types of drug tests can detect THC from edibles for varying lengths of time.

It’s important to note that the length of time that edibles stay in your system can vary from person to person, and it can take anywhere from a few days to a month for your body to break down and eliminate the THC.

Do Edibles Show Up on Drug Tests?

Yes, edibles are a THC-containing product and all THC-containing products can show up on drug tests and drug screens. In fact, because edibles take longer to process and remain in the body longer than marijuana smoke, edibles generally have a longer detection window.

Ultimately, however, the length of time marijuana can be detected by drug tests depends on which type of test is being administered.

What Are the Different Types of Drug Tests That Can Detect Thc from Edibles in Your System?

The different types of drug tests that can detect THC and the detection time for each test are listed below:

  • Urine tests: within 3 to 30 days.
  • Hair tests: up to 3 months and sometimes even a bit longer.
  • Saliva tests: 1 and 3 days.
  • Blood tests: 3 and 4 days after consumption.

Are Edibles Illegal?

The legality of edibles varies depending on the state or country. In the United States, cannabis edibles are legal in certain states as long as they are produced using Clean Green Certified™ cannabis and/or hemp.

The laws surrounding edibles vary from state to state and even with cities and counties within those states. In some states, edibles can be sold in their original packaging or they can be repackaged into child-resistant packaging with a clearly marked imprint that says “Keep out of the reach of children”.

However, marijuana edibles are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so manufacturers are not required to provide consumers with ingredients or labeling. It is important to note that even if edibles are legal in a particular state, there may be restrictions on where they can be consumed and who can purchase them.

How to Get Help for Edible Addiction and Abuse?

If you or someone you know is struggling with edible addiction and abuse, seeking help is important. Here’s what you can do:

  • Reach Out to a Healthcare Professional: A medical or mental health professional can provide personalized guidance and support tailored to your situation.
  • Support Groups: Joining support groups or therapy sessions can connect you with others facing similar challenges. This can provide a sense of community and understanding.
  • Counseling and Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other therapeutic approaches can help address underlying issues and develop coping strategies.
  • Hotlines and Helplines: Helplines and crisis hotlines can offer immediate assistance and direct you to resources in your area.
  • Treatment Centers: Consider inpatient or outpatient treatment programs specifically designed to address substance abuse.
  • Online Resources: Utilize reputable online resources that offer information, advice, and tools for managing addiction.
  • Talk to Loved Ones: Open up to trusted friends and family members about your struggles. They can provide emotional support and encouragement.

NuView’s Los Angeles rehab center specializes in evidence-based treatment for addictions. We work with clients to develop new coping skills and address the fundamental reasons for their substance abuse. Our flexible outpatient programs work with your schedule, so that you can get the help you need while continuing to live your best life. Reach out today for a free and confidential consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System

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THC gummies, like other edibles, can stay in your system for up to 90 days. This duration is influenced by various factors such as the dosage consumed, how frequently one uses them, and the individual’s unique metabolic rate. It’s essential to note that while the effects wear off, the THC traces linger for a more extended period.

Yes, THC from edibles can indeed be detected in drug tests. The detection window can vary based on the specific type of test administered, whether it’s a urine, blood, or hair test, and individual factors like metabolism and the amount consumed.

The duration a 10mg edible stays in your system can be quite variable. While the immediate effects might wear off within hours, THC from the edible can be detected for up to 90 days in some cases, especially if one has a slower metabolic rate or consumes them frequently.

Just like a 10mg edible, a 20mg edible can leave traces of THC in the system for up to 90 days. The exact duration depends on individual factors such as metabolism, frequency of use, and the overall health of the user.

While the psychoactive effects of edibles might wear off within a few hours, traces of THC can remain detectable in the bloodstream for days or even weeks. This duration is influenced by the potency of the edible, the user’s metabolism, and how frequently they consume cannabis products.

Absolutely, even if someone consumes edibles just once, they can test positive for THC in a drug test. The detection is especially likely if the test is conducted within days of consumption, given that THC can linger in the system even after the effects have subsided.

THC from gummies can stay in the system for a similar duration as other edibles, potentially up to 90 days. The type of edible, whether gummies or baked goods, often has a comparable THC retention time in the body, though individual factors can cause some variance.

Combining edibles with alcohol can lead to intensified and prolonged effects of both substances. This combination can result in increased impairment, making activities like driving extremely dangerous. Additionally, the combined consumption can lead to unpredictable health risks and heightened side effects.

There’s no guaranteed way to speed up the metabolism of edibles. Staying hydrated, exercising, and maintaining a healthy diet may support the body’s natural processes. However, it’s important to prioritize your overall well-being and make informed choices.

Additional Information

Cocaine Comedown Time: Addiction Recovery

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Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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