Last updated: 15 June 2023 & medically reviewed by Dr. Kimberly Langdon
THC edibles show up in your system within 24 hours and traces can be detected in drug tests up to 90 days after they were consumed. Read here to find out more about THC edibles half-life, detection times, and what affects how long they are in your system.
As edibles take longer to be processed by the body, they will often show up in drug tests longer after use than smoking cannabis.
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.
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.
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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.
Related blog: How Long Does Cannabis (THC) Stay in Your System?
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.
Do edibles show up in drug tests?
Yes, 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.
Edibles such as gummies and chocolate take longer to be processed by the body, they will often show up in drug tests longer after use than smoking marijuana.
Related blog: What is Hotboxing?
The drug detection times for edibles are as follows:
Type of drug test
3 to 30 days
3 to 4 days
1 to 3 days
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.
Related: Shatter (cannabis concentrate)
What affects how long edibles stay in your system?
Factors that influence edibles and marijuana metabolite detection rates include:
History of marijuana use (a chronic user will have traces of THC for longer in their system than an occasional user)
Quantity of marijuana taken (a heavy user will likely have more metabolites in their system)
Strain and strength of THC taken
Whether other substances were taken (such as alcohol or other depressants)
Body mass index
Pre-existing medical conditions (especially those involving the liver or kidneys)
Related blog: How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
Can you get a false positive for edibles?
Since 2018, hemp production has been legalized at the federal level and can be found in many items, including food. The most common form of hemp used in food products is hemp seeds in granola bars and hemp oil 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 in their system that will show up on certain types of drug tests.
Getting help with edible abuse
If you or someone you know is suffering from dependence or addiction to edibles or other THC-containing substances (such as marijuana addiction or weed vape addiction), some form of treatment may help.
Treatment for a substance use disorder can range from one-on-one counseling 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.