How Long Do THC Edibles Stay In Your System?

The amount of time edibles stay in the human system can vary from person to person based on multiple factors, as well as the THC content of the edible eaten.

How long do weed edibles stay in your system?

On average, the THC in edibles will enter the system within a couple of hours and traces can remain there for up to 90 days. 

Cannabis edibles take longer to get into the system as they have to be digested to release the THC in them. When smoked, marijuana enters the bloodstream quickly through the capillaries in the lungs. This means smoking marijuana has more immediate and shorter effects but is processed by the body faster. Edibles take longer to process as they make their way through the digestive tract. 

As with all substances, the length of time they stay in the human body depends on the drug's half-life. As the half-life of THC varies depending on the strain and purity of the substance, the half-life can vary between three and 12 days.

Additionally, marijuana metabolites from edibles take longer to be processed than inhaled weed, meaning the THC levels in the body take longer to drop with edibles.

Get help during covid-19

Get help during Covid-19

At Recovered, we recognize the impact COVID-19 has had and the continued challenges it poses to getting advice and treatment for substance use disorders. SAMHSA has a wealth of information and resources to assist providers, individuals, communities, and states during this difficult time and is ready to help in any way possible.

Speak to SAMSHA

Do edibles show up in drug tests?

Regardless of the method of consumption, all cannabis products containing 11-hydroxy THC and delta-9 THC will show up on all standard drug tests. As edibles take longer to be processed by the body, they will often show up in drug tests longer after use than smoking marijuana.

The drug detection times for edibles are as follows [1]:

Type of drug test Detection time
Urine testing 3 to 30 days
Blood testing 3 to 4 days
Saliva testing 1 to 3 days
Hair testing up to 90 days

Read here to learn more about how long substances and alcohol stay in your system.

How long does it take to feel the effects of marijuana edibles?

Someone who has consumed an edible will often begin to feel effects between 30 minutes and two hours after ingesting. The length of time it takes to feel the effects of edibles varies from person to person, as do the exact effects themselves. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and is also used in edibles. For some people, THC provides feelings of euphoria and relaxation, while others may feel paranoia and anxiety. 

When THC enters the bloodstream from edibles, it does so by being absorbed in the stomach. It can take longer to feel the effects of edibles if the person has recently eaten or if they are overweight. Inversely, those with faster metabolisms and lower fat BMIs will often feel the effects of edibles much faster.

What affects how long edibles stay in your system?

Factors that influence edibles and marijuana metabolite detection rates include[1]:

  • History of marijuana use (a chronic user will have traces of THC for longer in their system)

  • Quantity of marijuana taken

  • Strain and strength of THC taken

  • Whether other substances were taken (such as alcohol or other depressants) 

  • Body mass index

  • Gender

  • Age 

  • Pre-existing medical conditions (especially those involving the liver or kidneys)

Can you get a false positive for edibles?

Aside from the obvious result of smoking weed alongside using edibles, there are other ways to get a false-positive result for THC use, namely from hemp.[2] 

Since 2018, help production has been legalised at the federal level and can be found in many items, including food. The most common form of hemp use in food is through hemp seeds in granola bars and hemp oil being used in other products. 

The THC concentration is very low, around 0.3%, and not high enough to cause intoxication on its own. However, if ingested often enough, the THC in hemp can accumulate in the body’s fat cells and may be present for up to 5 weeks.  

This means that even if someone hasn’t taken an edible containing THC, there may still be traces of the substance in their system that will show up on a drug test.

Getting help with edible abuse

If you or someone you know is suffering from a dependence or addiction to edibles or other THC containing substances (such as cannabis or weed vapes) then some form of treatment may help. 

Treatment for a substance use disorder can range from one-on-one counselling or therapy to a residential stay in inpatient rehab. Visit our rehab directory today to see what help is available for edible dependence in your area.