Some people choose edibles rather than smoking to avoid harm to their lungs, whereas others actually prefer the high that an edible brings.
In general, cannabis products are nontoxic, and there is a very low risk of a dangerous overdose.
A review article notes that the THC effects of edibles can appear in some individuals at doses as low as 2.5 mg, while others need doses of 50 mg to experience any of the effects of THC. This range is very wide, reinforcing the idea that individuals should start with a low dose.
Eating an edible means that the active ingredients, such as THC, have to go through the digestive system to reach the bloodstream, rather than the lungs. This process takes time.
That said, anyone who has eaten an edible and does not feel the effects should wait for at least 2–3 hours before deciding to eat more or use other cannabis products. Everyone is different, and the effects may simply take longer to manifest in some people.
When trying out a new edible, it is important to start with a low dose to see how the body responds. With edibles, it is easier to take an excessively high dose and feel negative side effects than it is with smoking.
Edibles are cannabis-infused foods or drinks. They deliver cannabinoids to the body through the mouth and digestive system and are generally an alternative to smoking or vaping cannabis.
It is possible to ingest too much THC, though, which can cause some uncomfortable side effects. Research in the International Journal of Drug Policy notes that this THC overconsumption is more likely with edibles, as, unlike with smoking, the body does not give the person any warning signs. By the time any signs of overdose are apparent, it is too late, and the body is already processing the edible.
While edibles take a long time to kick in compared with smoking or vaping, they also tend to last much longer. The average dose from an edible can last 6 or more hours, with the strongest effects occurring about 3 hours after ingestion.
Edibles are cannabis-infused foods or drinks that deliver cannabinoids such as THC and CBD to the body through the digestive system. Learn more here.