The Shelf Life of Cannabis: How Long Does It Stay Good?
by Olivia Swann
Edibles are arguably one of the best means of recreational cannabis consumption—you get to eat a treat AND experience a long-lasting high. But it’s easy to end up dealing with some unwanted side effects due to the variability of these THC-packed goodies, which come in the form of brownies, cookies, gummies, chocolate, and so much more.
Aside from the fact that edibles affect everyone differently depending on certain biological factors, people often end up consuming too much because they aren’t yet feeling the delayed-onset effects or don’t know how to properly dose. While time is the only way to truly end a poor edible experience, there are a handful of simple things you can do to make yourself more comfortable and speed up the process.
Maybe you—or a friend—overdid it with your marijuana edibles, or perhaps you simply want to make the comedown from your edible a little smoother. These easy-yet-effective tricks should have you feeling refreshed in no time.
The first way to negate the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) overconsumption via edibles is to make sure your body is hydrated and fed. Eating and drinking assist with edible recovery by giving you energy and helping to soak up and flush out the cannabinoids in your body.
Drink liquids that promote hydration, such as water, lemon water, coconut water, milk, cucumber juice, herbal teas, and aloe water/juice, as per NDTV Food’s list of the most hydrating drinks. For food, try eating clean, healthier options like fruits, nuts, and carbohydrates to assist with soaking up and expelling the cannabinoids from your body. Examples include pine nuts, almonds, lemons, oranges, pasta, peppercorns, and whole wheat bread.
The next method for recovery is exercise—but there are some things to consider before you jump straight into it. Exercise is a good means of lowering blood pressure, relieving anxiety, and distracting yourself, and sweating may help get rid of the cannabinoids in your fat cells, but intense physical activity like running could be too much if you’re not feeling well.
You must listen to your body and what it can handle; this cannot be overstated. If you feel like you can handle working out, go for it. If you think it might make things worse, opt for a gentler activity like yoga or walking. Simply getting some fresh air can do wonders for bringing you down from an overwhelming edible high. No matter what, you should avoid risky activities like lifting heavy weights or using equipment.
Sleeping is arguably the easiest way to deal, or not deal, with too much edible intake. Luckily, cannabis promotes sleep, so even people with super active brains should have no trouble dozing off. Taking a nap can help your body rest and recover from its intoxication and make your high feel shorter—since you’re asleep for half of it. Although you might wake up feeling a little groggy, sleep will never make your edible experience worse.
Edibles are processed just like normal food, which can be flushed out with detox drinks (or, as mentioned earlier, by hydrating). Detox pills can assist with edible recovery by speeding up your metabolism so that the compounds can be expelled faster. The length of time they take to work, however, might be a reason to opt for other methods.
There are a variety of detox pills specifically designed for THC, some of which can start to work around an hour after consumption. These pills usually have a variety of herbs, vitamins, and minerals to boost your energy. Some examples of detox pills are Toxin Rid and Nutra Cleanse.
Have you ever woken up after a night of edibles only to find yourself feeling…hungover? The concept of a hangover—uncomfortable symptoms caused in large part by dehydration from drinking heavily—generally applies to alcohol. Although cannabis has not been found to dehydrate people in the same way drinking alcohol does, some folks report “edible hangovers” that involve brain fog, dizziness, mental lag, fatigue, headaches, dry eyes, and dry mouth.
Professionals are still unsure of what causes these edible cannabis hangovers. Those who are new to edibles, and especially those who accidentally consume more than their body can handle, have the highest risk of experiencing these day-after symptoms. The intense, long-lasting effects of THC edibles can simply be hard on your system. Not hydrating properly while you’re on edibles can also lead to a hangover; the combination of an intense high and dehydration is often enough to leave you feeling under the weather.
Considering the lack of scientific evidence we have on edible hangovers, there’s no set time frame for how long one can last. However, you can expect it to be much shorter and less intense overall than an alcohol-induced hangover—most likely no longer than half a day. There are also some steps you can take to get rid of those pesky hangover symptoms faster:
For most people, a cannabis edible-induced high will last anywhere from 2-10 hours. That’s a very rough estimate because edibles affect everyone differently. Unlike cannabis that is smoked or vaped, edibles are processed by the body’s digestive system, meaning that a consumer’s weight, metabolism, and recent diet factor into how quickly and intensely one feels the THC.
Have you found that you don’t get high from THC-infused edibles no matter how much you consume? You could be “ediblocked.” Learn more about this phenomenon here.
The amount of edibles you consume, combined with your tolerance level to THC, also plays a significant role in the length of your experience. Again, this varies for each individual. Heavy doses have been known to linger for up to 24 hours, sometimes hitting in waves. This persisting lethargy could be part of what some consumers describe as an edible hangover and demonstrates the importance of “starting low and going slow” with edibles.
The unique effects offered by edibles can be great for both recreational and medical purposes, but it’s easy for the experience to turn sour. Avoid eating edibles on an empty stomach, wait at least 2 hours before consuming more, and keep yourself hydrated. Check out this post to get a better idea of what to expect when consuming edibles.
Edibles are some of the strongest cannabis products on the market, especially for folks who don’t consume regularly, so it’s important to use caution and care for yourself when taking them. If it’s your first time eating edibles, start with a low dose (5-10 milligrams of THC). Hydration, food, exercise, and sleep are simple ways to help your body recover from too much THC. You can also try detox pills, but keep in mind that their efficacy is still up in the air.
Learn more about ending an uncomfortable high in this post: How to Stop Being High Fast: 12 Ways to Counteract THC Effects
The Coronavirus has been around for a few years. During this time, researchers conducted studies on a wide range of topics. A 2022 study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research explored cannabis consumption and COVID-19. Researchers found that those who consume cannabis were associated with lower COVID-19 severity among those who have been hospitalized,…
Gilbert Anthony Milam Jr., American rap artist and founder/CEO of the cannabis brands Cookies and VIBES Papers, is celebrating the launch of his new Cookies store in Thailand. Gilbert, whose stage name is Berner, described the Southeast Asian nation’s first cannabis store opening as “a huge step into the global market.” Berner, who has released…
Have you wondered what the best cannabis subscription boxes are on the market today? If so, you’re not alone. Many consumers wonder which monthly box is actually worth the money, and what you can look forward to in the mail each month. There are many different types of boxes out there. Most of them only…
Chicken soup for the soul? Well, if it’s infused with cannabis, it’s going to do more than soothe the soul! Whether you consider yourself a talented cook or someone who merely enjoys dabbling with different dishes in the kitchen, this cannabis-infused chicken soup recipe will have you yearning for another spoonful after each gulp. But…
Is there anything that cannabis cannot do? As more research is conducted, the list of health benefits grows. One recent discovery indicates that the cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) might just be the next big thing for treating testosterone imbalances. Studies have outlined that CBD — a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, rich in anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties — may…
For many people, cannabis has become the vice of choice- leaving behind alcohol and other illicit substances. Which makes sense when one…
A Black-owned farm in Florida received a cannabis license for the first time, German officials are looking to California for cannabis industry…
Fresh plans have been released regarding the launch of New York state’s first-ever recreational cannabis retail stores. The news emerges almost a…