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Understanding how cannabis edibles affect your body – and how long edibles stay in your system – is crucial knowledge. Indeed, it is vital consumer information for the age.
This understanding is particularly important as edibles are now one of the most popular ways to ingest cannabis. And not without good reason, as we will see later.
A big part of the cannabis edibles’ popularity is that they are easy to take, taste highly yummy, and eliminate the requirement for your lungs to become smoke-filled. These are just three great reasons to buy edibles. And strong selling points for the manufacturers.
However, there still remains for most people the proverbial elephant in the room. And that’s how long do edibles stay in your system? The implications are obvious and far-reaching, especially if a drug test is part of your employment contract.
Learned medical opinion is divided on the issue. Some sources on the web, such as Sprout Health Group, contend that traces of cannabis edibles remain in the body for some three to twelve days. Yet other authoritative medical sources claim that a cannabis edible remains detectable for up to six months.
The truth is that how long do edibles stay in your system, (THC) does not have a definitive answer. At best, there are only educated guesses, and even then, the longevity of edibles in your system varies wildly from person to person.
Cannabis edibles? What are they?
Cannabis edibles describe any form of cannabis product that you can eat (or drink). The term cannabis edible spans:
- candy bars
- cookies, and more besides.
This above is not a completely exhaustive list by any stretch. New cannabis products are continually being developed and marketed by the ever-innovative cannabis industry.
As the cannabis industry matures and evolves, all manner of foodstuff is being infused with marijuana. Typically, this is done using:
- cannabis butter
- live resin
- and a variety of hash oils.
At present, the most popular cannabis edible is gummies. But edible fans all have their own favorites depending on the particular setting or time of day.
How long do edibles stay in your system?
When asking how long do edibles last, THC is what is at issue. Or, to be more precise, which part of your system is being tested for THC. Some body parts retain traces of cannabis edibles way longer than others.
For example, the Sprout Health Group reckon THC will stay in your blood for around three to four hours. However, it can linger much longer elsewhere:
- Up to 72 hours in your saliva
- Up to 30 days in your urine
- Up to 90 days in your hair.
Meanwhile, Weedmaps is essentially in agreement, saying THC will remain:
- Four hours in your blood
- Up to 20 days in your saliva
- and up to 90 days in your hair.
Again, how long do edibles stay in your system is difficult to answer. Every person is different, and the detox process depends on two main factors: your consumption habit and your body type.
The THC in cannabis gets stored in your fat cells and eventually flushed out of your body in urine. This is where your body type becomes a crucial factor. If you have a lower body fat percentage and urinate frequently, the THC will leave your body significantly faster than bigger-built people.
The flip side is that those people with a higher percentage of body fat will take longer to become cannabinoid-free. This is the rationale behind why so many folks suddenly over-exercise when it is getting near time for a drugs test. However, there is no scientific backing that attempting to detox in this way is effective.
In answering how long do edibles stay in your system, the other main factor is how often you consume. Suppose you only eat edibles quite rarely; it will take anything from a few days to several weeks for the THC to disappear from your body. However, if you smoke every day of life, you can count on it taking several months before all traces of THC have entirely vanished.
While most answers to “how long do edibles stay in your system?” THC detectability is no more than educated guesses. That said, one thing you can count on is that getting rid of THC found in edibles will take significantly longer than the THC you get in cannabis flowers or concentrates. This is chiefly down to how your body processes edibles and the different variety of THC found in them.
How are cannabis edibles processed by the body?
The system within the human body that processes the cannabinoids in cannabis is known as the endocannabinoid system. You want this system to be functioning as efficiently as possible to rid yourself of telltale THC traces.
Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol is the type of THC with which you and your body are most familiar. You get this THC variety by smoking and vaping. It typically kicks in within minutes, and the high is over within a few hours. It’s pretty much the classic cannabis experience.
Consuming edibles, though, is a different story. The THC in edibles is substantially distinct from the THC ingested via smoking or vaping. This is why cannabis edibles frequently take much longer to kick in and produce their signature longer-lasting highs. However, it is not unknown for them to last overnight, according to anecdotal stories from users.
One expert in the field is Mike Hennessey. He is the innovation director at a leading Colorado infused product company. Talking about why edibles are so potent, Hennessey says that as soon as THC reaches the liver, the organ begins breaking it down. As a result of this chemical process in the liver, a new compound – 11-Hydroxy-THC – is formed. This new compound then finds its way into your bloodstream and gives you the by now iconic edible high.
According to Hennessey, 11-Hydroxy-THC is way more powerful than the Delta 9 you get from smoking or vaping. This potency is because 11-Hydroxy-THC passes the brain’s blood barrier much more quickly and takes longer to be detoxed out of your body in your urine.
In other words, your high is due to a different drug than those who smoke or vape cannabis. They are getting high on Delta 9 while edible users are doing the same via 11-Hydroxy-THC. But thanks to the liver’s metabolization of cannabis, the outcome for edible users is a more robust and longer-lasting high.
In short, edibles, compared to smoking or vaping, contain longer-lasting THC. This is because to get into your bloodstream and removed in urine; edibles have to be processed by your metabolism and digestive systems like any other food.
Another factor to bear in mind is when you choose to consume your cannabis edible. For example, suppose you have taken a cannabis edible as a little after-dinner treat. In that case, it’s going to be a while before the onset of effects. This delay is because your system has a lot of work to do to digest both dinner and cannabis. So, inevitably, the absorption of cannabis will take longer than if you consumed an edible on an empty stomach.
How can you speed up getting cannabis edibles out of your system?
In the same way, there’s no straight answer to how long do edibles stay in your system; THC removal is equally ambiguous. So again, there’s no definitive answer to how long do edibles stay in your system.
If you have arrived at this article in search of drug test passing hacks, you are probably feeling somewhat disappointed at this point. Apart from sincere apologies, the only stoner advice is to pee much and pee often.
Exercising may assist you in burning off some fat cells ahead of your appointment date. But there’s a lack of any scientific research on the matter. There’s simply no data proving one way or another that exercise is at all effective in accelerating THC removal from the human body.
The only glimmer of hope – a 2011 study hinting that zinc may reduce the ability to detect THC in urine – is still little more than a longshot at present. Ultimately, the only known tactic that seems to work is peeing as much as you can.
To help with this, downing water all day is a good starting point. But there are plenty more types of food and drinks that increase your urine output. For example, coffee and tea are two beverages that are almost guaranteed to get you heading for the restroom.
WebMD, meanwhile, recommends acidic citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, clementines, and grapefruits. But, of course, eating them or drinking them as juice works equally as well.
In addition, another respected medical source, Healthline, proposes that eating tomatoes, products containing tomatoes, and cranberries may also do the trick.
In the end, though, those are unproven and not guaranteed as a quick fix. The only tried and tested way to flush your body of THC is to stop consuming and wait it out.