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Edibles, or marijuana-infused foods and drinks, are one of the most popular options for canna enthusiasts. They’re great for patients who don’t want to inhale weed smoke, need to be discreet and odorless, or just desire that giddy (and sometimes couch-lock-esque) experience.

But picture this: you’ve consumed a gummy, and all your friends are on cloud nine. But you’re sitting there, stone-cold sober. So, what gives?

For some people, eating a weed edible produces zero effects. If you’ve thought, “It seems like edibles don’t work for me,” on multiple occasions – this is for you.

Elevate Holistics is here to explain it all: how edibles work, why they might not work for you, and we’ll even offer some great cannabis product alternatives. Let’s get started.

How Do Edibles Work?

First, we need a quick briefing on how edibles work. Traditional edibles like weed brownies, cookies, and gummies work differently in the body than other cannabis products.

While other forms of consumption, such as inhalation and tinctures, directly absorb into the bloodstream, your body must digest edibles, allowing them to be absorbed through your intestines and metabolized by your liver first.

Once the THC is in your liver, the body converts it into another THC variant, 11-Hydroxy-THC, before reaching your bloodstream. 11-Hydroxy-THC is even stronger and more psychoactive than standard delta-9 THC, which is why the effects of edibles can be so unique compared to other cannabis highs.

How Long Do Edibles Take to Kick In?

The effects of edibles take at least 30 minutes to set in, and they last longer than your average high.

But how edibles affect you is not just about how many milligrams of THC you’re consuming; it’s about how your body is wired. So, if you’ve wondered, why don’t edibles work for me? It likely just comes down to your body itself.

Why Don’t Edibles Work for Me?

This is usually the result of a variety of possibilities and is different for each person.

Some reasons include body size and tolerance, rapid drug metabolization, and digestive issues

Let’s dive deeper into them:

Your Physical Factors and THC Tolerance

The simplest reason someone might say, “Edibles don’t work for me,” is due to their THC tolerance and physical factors like body size. The edible you’ve consumed might just not contain enough THC to match your physical factors and tolerance to cannabis. 

If you are a seasoned canna consumer and think the THC contents of your edible might just be too low, cautiously experiment with higher THC levels.

Your Body Metabolizes Drugs Too Quickly

Why don’t edibles work for me? A lot of the time, it could all be based on your genetic profile. Certain enzymes in the body called CYP enzymes help metabolize most drugs. Depending on the genes you inherit from your parents, these enzymes can either be encoded to metabolize drugs more rapidly or more slowly. 

Illustration of a woman with weights, water, an apple and provoking a healthy lifestyle.

 


Studies found that THC levels in people’s blood varied dramatically depending on which type of enzymes they had. 

This means that for some people, THC (and other compounds) could produce a much more pronounced, drawn-out effect, while others might metabolize the drug so quickly that it doesn’t make any effect. In the case of enzymes metabolizing THC too quickly, THC becomes an inactive product before the active form can even enter the bloodstream. 

THC must bind with fat for the body to process it through the digestive system, so the rate at which people absorb and metabolize fat could also be a factor.

Tummy Troubles

When a patient says, “Edibles don’t work for me,” gastrointestinal issues like inflammatory or irritable bowel syndrome could be the issue.

Endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome could be the cause of IBS.

If your body doesn’t digest food well, it is unlikely to absorb THC well either.

Maybe It Just Hasn’t Kicked in Yet!

If you’ve only thought, “Edibles don’t work for me” a couple of times and tend to fall asleep not too long after consuming one, it is possible that it just didn’t kick in before you went to bed. 

It can take your body between 30 minutes and 2 hours (in some cases, even up to 3 hours) to process the THC in your system.

If you consumed an edible an hour ago and aren’t feeling it, it’s possible that the sweet weed treat just hasn’t hit you yet. And if you ate a big meal before consuming the edible, it will take even longer for the THC to kick in.

Be patient, and don’t eat more of the edible while waiting.

What Should I Consume Instead of Edibles?

Don’t feel too disappointed; there are other great cannabis options! 

It might take a bit of experimenting to find the method of cannabis consumption that works best for you – but hey, that’s super fun. 

Of course, flower and concentrates are the most popular options.

However, for patients who want to consume cannabis products that have a similar effect to edibles and don’t involve inhalation,
these are a few cannabis product alternatives: 

  • Tinctures and sprays: Sublingual or under-the-tongue options, like tinctures and sprays, deliver THC directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane beneath the tongue. A tincture or spray is typically a cannabis oil in a small bottle with either a dropper or a spray top. Hold the product under your tongue and let it soak in.
  • Sublingual mints, suckers, and other candies: A tastier sublingual option is similar to an edible, but instead of you swallowing it, the body absorbs the cannabinoids through the soft tissues of your mouth. Sublingual options, like tinctures or mints, take about 15 minutes to kick in and the effects fade away more quickly than a traditional edible.
  • Transdermal patches and topicals: When a cannabis product for the skin is described as “transdermal,” that means that the THC it contains enters your body directly through your skin and can produce psychoactive effects. Patches and topicals that are not transdermal provide pain and inflammation relief but do not get you high. Topicals and patches are perfect for targeted pain relief.
  • Suppositories: Cannabis suppositories, which you can insert into either the vagina or anus, release THC into the thin tissue of your body while they melt. Suppositories are known to be a highly effective way to receive cannabis medicine.

Marijuana leaves with tincture, pill bottle, lotion bottle, lab bottle, pills, containers.

Exercise Caution and Explore Your Options

If you are a part of the “Edibles don’t work for me” community and think you might just have a really high THC tolerance, be sure to exercise caution when experimenting with other cannabis products.

Just because a certain level of THC doesn’t affect you in an edible doesn’t mean the same amount won’t hit you hard through an under-the-tongue tincture.

And if you’re only interested in the medicinal benefits of cannabis and don’t want to get high, look for full or broad-spectrum CBD products. These products contain compounds from the full cannabis plant that are needed for maximum medicinal efficacy but don’t produce psychoactive effects.

Elevate is Here to Improve Your Cannabis Journey

So why don’t edibles work for me? For certain people, the typical edible just doesn’t seem to work. This could leave patients a bit hopeless, but there’s a cannabis treatment plan that’s right for you. If you’ve thought, “Edibles don’t work for me,” try diving into other cannabis options.

Do you want to improve your cannabis journey so you can feel better naturally and have access to a variety of cannabis products? The first step is to get your medical marijuana card. Elevate Holistics offers a fully online, simple, and secure way to get your MMJ card. 

We virtually connect you with a doctor for med card approval and help you throughout the rest of the process. The time is now.

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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