Dr. David Pompei, PharmD, MS
Are you wondering, “how long does it take for weed to kick in?” In this article, we will answer, “how long does it take to get high after smoking weed?”, “how long does it take to get high off of edibles?”, “how long does it take to get high off cannabis sublinguals?” Read on to learn everything you need to know about weed timing and how long you need to wait for weed to kick in using different ingestion methods.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that the length of time it takes weed to kick in varies from person to person due to three primary factors. Firstly, how quickly your body metabolizes cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) will dictate the time it takes before the effects become noticeable. This factor is related to your unique endocannabinoid system. Secondly, how you consume cannabis (your ingestion method) makes a huge difference in how long it takes for weed to kick in. Finally, how empty or full your stomach is when you ingest cannabis, as in how much you've eaten that day, can also impact the time it takes for weed to kick in.
When trying to determine how long it takes to get high after smoking weed, you should know that smoking or vaping weed (inhalation) is the quickest way to get high. When you smoke weed, THC travels through your lungs and directly into your bloodstream. From there, the onset of the high comes on nearly instantly, although it can be anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, and lasts 1–4 hours. While vaping marijuana produces a similar onset and high to smoking, the psychoactive effects from vaping are often stronger.
How long does it take to get high off edibles infused with cannabis? For new cannabis users or those who previously only smoked or vaped weed, you may be wondering, “how long does it take edibles to work?” The time it takes edibles to kick in varies much more than if you smoke weed. When you smoke weed, you are primarily feeling the effects of THC. However, when you eat a cannabis edible, you also get 11-OH-THC (11-hydroxy-THC), which is a metabolite of THC produced when you orally ingest THC products. Since edibles require digestion and being processed by your liver before the active ingredients reach your brain, this process takes much longer. This means you might start to feel the effects of edibles within 30 to 60 minutes, but it can take as long as two hours for the high to set in. While THC levels in the blood do not peak until 3 hours later, the high can last more than 8 hours.
We have discussed edibles and flower, but how long does it take to get high off cannabis sublinguals? THC sublinguals are discreet and perfect for a range of wellness uses. Sublingual simply means something is placed under your tongue, where it dissolves instantly. Our mouth's mucous membranes are highly permeable, so they're great for rapidly delivering substances. If you've ever used Listerine strips, you have a general idea of what sublingual means in terms of the rapid dissolvability of a substance that isn’t swallowed. Cannabis sublinguals act similarly.
Most often in the form of strips or tablets, this convenient delivery system kicks in faster than edibles and tinctures (most tinctures are not kept in mouth long enough for oromucosal absorption.) Weed sublinguals typically take 15 to 30 minutes to take effect compared to edibles, which take up to 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the ingredients. Another difference between edible and sublingual consumption is that cannabis sublinguals bypass the gastrointestinal tract. By dissolving in your mouth instead of eating or drinking it, sublingual cannabis strips avoid the effects of “first pass metabolism” in your liver.
Generally, if the sublingual product is placed under the tongue (not on top), you should feel the results within 15 minutes. As for the taste, it varies from brand to brand. They tend to taste fruity or minty, so use caution and take care not to confuse them with your minty mouthwash strips. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long it takes for weed to kick in, but we can tell you that the time varies depending on a few varying factors. So, the next time you and your friends are smoking, vaping, or trying out tasty edibles and someone asks how long it will be before they feel the effects, you can confidently tell them that it depends on many different aspects, including individual metabolism. And if you’re curious about how long it will take for weed to kick in for you specifically, download the Jointly app to track your cannabis experience.
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