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Marijuana or cannabis remains the most widely used illegal substance across the United States. With increasing number of states legalizing it, the substance is now available in different forms, such as edibles. Edibles are regular beverages and food items containing different combinations of marijuana compounds, such as CBD (cannabinoids), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), or a mixture of both. From chocolates and candies to gummies, lozenges, and baked goods, edibles are available in different forms, and people are free to buy whatever suits them the most.
Most people generally prefer edibles as they are a much more discreet way to use cannabis every day. While their effects may not be as high as smoking cannabis, many people find them relaxing. Many people who regularly rely on these cannabis products have questions about the duration of their stay in their bodies to pass mandatory drug tests. So how long do edibles stay in your system? The answer is complex and can vary depending on the type of edible used and the test used to detect it.
An Overview of How the Body Processes Edibles
People who vape or smoke marijuana can confirm that this method of consumption delivers almost immediate results as the body quickly absorbs cannabis and delivers it to the brain. However, if you are eating an edible with cannabis, it may take up to an hour to experience the effects as these products have to move through the digestive system and break down before the bloodstream can absorb them. As a person consumes a cannabis-infused edible, it passes through various digestive processes in the liver and other bodily systems.
Once it reaches the liver, the organ breaks down its active compound called delta-9 THC and converts it into 11-hydroxy THC. The latter produces a much stronger psychoactive high, but because of the delay caused due to this extra step, this effect occurs slowly and more gradually. Remember that the rapid effects of an edible can also vary depending on the type of food you are eating. For instance, chocolates and baked goods with infused cannabis can reach the bloodstream faster as they quickly melt in the mouth and are generally easier to digest.
How Long Do Edibles Show Up in Drug Tests: The Determining Factors
Multiple factors determine how long it takes for a body to process edibles and get them out of the body. Depending on these factors, each person may retain the edibles in their bodies for different time durations and may test positive unless they flush them out completely.
Let’s review the factors controlling edible processing time in the body:
- Age: Aging can slow down metabolism and digestive activity. Hence, older people may keep edibles longer in their bodies than younger ones.
- Gender: Generally, females have a slower metabolism than men, which means they are more likely to retain edibles in their bodies for longer.
- Strength/Strain of Edible: The more THC an edible has, the longer it will stay in the system.
- Body Mass Index: Experts agree that a person’s metabolism heavily relies on their body mass index or BMI. People with higher BMIs usually retain edibles in their bodies for much longer.
- Usage History: People who occasionally use edibles retain them for a shorter time than those consuming them more regularly.
- Quantity of Edibles Consumed: The more edibles an individual consumes, the longer they will linger in their system.
- Pre-Existing Medical Issues: Certain pre-medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, or Cushing’s syndrome, can naturally slow metabolism. Consequently, edibles may last in the body for a much longer time and remain detectable on blood tests for extended periods.
How Long Does an Edible Stay In Your System Depending on Drug Test Type?
Cannabis products, including edibles, deliver THC to the body that binds to fat cells. Consequently, this drug remains in the body longer than most substances. This window of detection varies depending on the body part you are testing or the drug test type.
How long do edibles stay in urine?
Urine tests are the commonest way to perform a drug screen because they have a large detection window. First-timers or occasional users who do not use edibles more than thrice a week can expect to test positive on a urine test for up to three days following their last edible dose. For those eating edibles four to seven times a week, the urine test can detect traces of THC for up to 7 days following the most recent intake.
For daily users, the detection window can expand up to 10 to 15 days. There is a further chance of extension in people who use edibles daily and in high quantities. For them, the window can extend to a month or even longer. The rule applies in this situation: The more edibles a person consumes, the more it collects in their fat cells. This stored cannabis keeps metabolizing steadily, consistently leading to positive urine tests.
How long do edibles stay in the bloodstream?
Interestingly, the detection window for blood tests is much lower than for urine tests, possibly because the former use a more direct approach to confirm the presence of THC. Given these circumstances, most authorities rely on blood testing in people to rule out any recent use of cannabis.
THC remains detectable through blood tests for up to two days following the last dose. However, just like urine tests, this window can prolong up to twenty-five days, especially in people who regularly use or consume edibles in heavy amounts. On the other hand, Occasional users can be assured that their blood tests will most likely not pick up any THC traces 24 hours after the last intake. Some experts even believe these detection times to get as low as in hours, especially in people using certain edible varieties with delta-8 THC varieties.
How long do edibles stay in your saliva?
Saliva continues to hold THC from cannabis for up to three days after the last consumption. However, heavy or frequent usage may mess with this detection window, complicating things. Saliva testing is rarely recommended for detecting cannabis use as it provides lesser reliable results and can lead to many false negatives.
How long do edibles stay in your hair?
THC from edibles can persist in hair for up to three systems before the body gradually flushes them out. That said, few authorities rely on hair testing as it is difficult, and results may take longer to return than a much simpler and quicker urine test. Moreover, many experts argue that hair testing does not provide the most accurate THC detection times, as one would come home with up to a 50% chance of false negatives. Hair testing for cannabis is more commonly used to test abstinence from drugs in people undergoing rehabilitation or for research purposes.
How long do edibles stay in your sweat?
Sweat tests can detect cannabis in your system for seven to fourteen days following the last time you used an edible. This test is straightforward and can give a result right away. However, not many people rely on it as many outside contaminants can affect sweat and alter the results. For instance, a person who comes in contact with someone who used edibles in a way that directly or indirectly transfers their sweat to them may falsely test positive.
How to Kick Out Edibles from Your System: Easy Ways to Get Over an Edibles Hangover
Remember that there is no sure-shot way to kick out edibles from the system at a rate faster than normal. However, the following strategies may help people get over the comedown smoother and easier.
Eat and hydrate
The first and most crucial tip to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC delivered through edibles is to ensure that you eat and drink well. Eating and drinking watchfully can give the body the energy to recover while assisting it in flushing out cannabinoids from the system. Try drinking liquids that up your hydration levels, such as lemon water, plain water, herbal teas, cucumber juice, coconut water, and milk. Additionally, pick healthy things to eat, such as fruits, pine nuts, pine nuts, pasta, oranges, lemons, whole wheat bread, and peppercorns, to expel cannabinoids from the body.
Exercise can be a good way to relieve anxiety, promote mood, and distract yourself from ongoing hangovers. Moreover, it also promotes sweating which enhances the rate at which the body flushes out cannabinoids coming from edibles. However, be mindful of the type and severity of exercise you choose, as intense physical activity might be too hard for the recovering body. In general, do not do something that your body cannot tolerate or that makes you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
Take a power nap
Sleeping is one of the easiest and best ways to deal with an edible hangover. Because cannabis promotes sleep, people who have consumed edibles may not struggle much to take a nap. As they nap, their bodies maximize rest and recovery activities while helping them pull out from the ongoing intoxication and high. Although some people complain about groggy when they wake up, sleep does not worsen the overall edible experience.
Get professional help
If you feel like you cannot cope with the symptoms of an edible high yet cannot stop taking it, you might suffer from edibles addiction or cannabis use disorder. Such circumstances warrant immediate professional help to seek much-needed help and get over excessive cannabis use safely and effectively without harming the body.
Do edibles stay in the body longer than smoking?
People who smoke weed can process and cycle it faster than edibles. The biggest reason for this sped-up processing is that smoking weed sends its active ingredients directly to the brain, leading to an immediate high followed by the subsequent effects. Interestingly, smoking also delivers THC in a much higher quantity to the brain than edibles; however, the latter usually take much longer to get out of the system. For people who smoke cannabis more frequently, the body makes take almost equal durations of time to get rid of cannabis as it would if they ate edibles.
Can consuming any substance other than edibles lead to a false positive test Remember that using certain non-cannabinoid substances can lead to a false positive result on your cannabis drug test. These substances include naproxen, ibuprofen, efavirenz, and baby wash. The first two agents are popular anti-inflammatory drugs, whereas efavirenz assists in treating the human immunodeficiency virus. Baby wash can lead to a false positive in young kids, but this effect is unlikely for adults.
How long will I experience an edible-induced high?
In general, the effects of most edibles linger for six to eight hours. However, the exact duration may vary depending on personal factors, such as the dose of THC in edibles and your tolerance to cannabis. People consuming higher doses of edibles can continue to experience the consequent effects for up to 12 hours or longer. In contrast, those with a high THC tolerance may find these results subsiding within four hours. It generally takes three hours for a cannabis edible to become fully active.
Can I metabolize edibles faster?
Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up the processing speed or rate for edibles because it depends on many non-modifiable factors, such as age, natural metabolism, and pre-existing conditions. Following certain tips, such as hydrating well, napping, and performing light exercises, can make some difference.