Medically Reviewed

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System?

- 6 sections

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

As more states consider and pass legislation to legalize recreational cannabis use, millions more Americans are gaining access to marijuana-based products and using them. The laws around legal marijuana use are still being developed, and many people are finding that they may still need to take drug screening tests for employment or other purposes.

Edibles are a fast-growing segment of the legal cannabis market. Many people across the country have easy access to gummies, baked goods, beverages, and other products laced with THC.

With more people experimenting with edibles or using them regularly, some may wonder how long edibles stay in your system. Some may be curious about how long the effects may last and how long THC will be detectable on a drug test.

This article will outline how long edibles stay in your system, the effects and risks of these products, and where to find support if you need substance abuse treatment. Reach out to the specialists at PAX Memphis now to learn more about our holistic substance abuse treatment programs or to find help during any stage of your recovery journey.

What are Edibles?

Edibles are food products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Some common edible THC products include:

  • Brownies
  • Rice Krispy treats
  • Cookies
  • Chocolate bars
  • Hard candies
  • Gummies
  • Tea
  • Soft drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages

People may make their own edibles at home by baking THC into cakes, cookies, or brownies. THC can also be incorporated into savory meals. Homemade edibles are unregulated and not subject to any state or federal laws. The amount of THC in a homemade edible is often unknown, and the effects may vary widely from item to item.

Legal, commercially produced edibles are created in professional kitchens and production facilities. They must meet specific criteria and are subject to local and state laws. Legal edibles are often much more expensive than homemade products but have a more consistent potency and quality.

The Effects and Risks of Edibles

Edibles are gaining popularity among people who prefer not to smoke cannabis and those who want to experiment with THC. Some of the benefits of edibles vs. smoking include:

  • No smell
  • Easy to use
  • Discreet
  • Easier to regulate the dosage
  • Longer-lasting effects

People often experience physical and psychological effects when using THC products, including:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Increased appetite
  • Impaired judgment
  • Heightened perception
  • Memory impairment

Some people may experience unwanted side effects when using edibles, especially in large doses. These include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Agitation
  • Psychosis
  • Vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Impaired motor ability
  • Depressed breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart attack
  • Hallucinations

People who use edibles may experience a delayed onset of symptoms. They may use more edibles than they intended and accidentally ingest an excessive amount of THC. For example, if someone takes a gummy and doesn’t feel anything within 20 minutes, they may take another–and this could be too much for their body to handle.

Some people have reported dangerous or erratic behaviors while using edibles, including self-harm and violence toward others.

How Long Do Edibles Stay in Your System?

Compared to smoking, consuming THC edibles can have a much slower onset of symptoms. Some people do not feel the effects of edibles for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how much they’ve eaten recently, metabolism, and other factors.

How long do the effects last?

Typically, the effects of edibles last for several hours. Many people experience symptoms for around 6 hours or more. This timeline can be affected by your metabolism and the dose you’ve taken.

How long can THC be detected on a drug screening?

Many people want to know how long edibles stay in your system because they want to determine when they’ll be able to pass a drug screening test. This can vary from person to person. Here is a breakdown of the type of drug screening test and how long each can detect THC in the body:

  • Urine: 3-30 days
  • Blood: 1-2 days
  • Saliva: 1-3 days
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

Generally, people who use edibles or other THC products every day will have longer windows of detection than people who use them only occasionally.

If you are worried about passing a drug screening or you feel like you’re not in control of your substance use, you may require professional treatment and support. While many people don’t think it’s possible to become physically addicted to marijuana, some users experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it and may struggle to stop if they want to. Substance abuse treatment can help you regain control over your substance use and help you live the healthy lifestyle you choose.

Get Help Now

If you struggle with substance abuse or you want to learn more about the effects and risks of edibles, reach out to the knowledgeable specialists at PAX Memphis now. Our dedicated professionals can help you gain the confidence and skills you need to make healthier decisions about substance use and take back control over your future. Call us today to set up an intake assessment or to learn more about our programs.