There is one question that cannabis newcomers and seasoned users alike often wonder about: How long does it generally take for cannabis products to take effect?

The short answer is that it’s essential to remember that individual onset time experiences may vary. But there are several factors can influence how quickly cannabis takes effect, including your body chemistry, metabolism, the specific product consumed, and even your tolerance level. Let’s explore some general guidelines.


Smoking and Vaping: Fasten Your Seatbelts 

If you’re looking for a rapid onset of effects, smoking or vaping cannabis is your best bet. When you inhale cannabis smoke or vapor, the cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, enter your lungs and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. In most cases, you can expect to start feeling the effects within minutes, with peak intensity reached in about 10-30 minutes. It’s a quick ride, indeed!


Edibles: The Slow Burn

Edibles are a different story altogether. When you consume cannabis-infused goodies like brownies, gummies, or chocolates, the cannabinoids must go through the digestive system before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This process takes time—typically around 30 minutes to 2 hours—to feel the initial effects. However, don’t be fooled by the delayed start. Once the cannabinoids kick in, the effects can last much longer than with smoking or vaping.


Sublingual Products: A Middle Ground 

For those seeking a balance between rapid onset and prolonged duration, sublingual cannabis products offer an appealing option. These include tinctures, sprays, and strips that are placed under the tongue. By doing so, the cannabinoids bypass digestion and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the thin tissues in your mouth. As a result, you can expect to feel the effects within 15-30 minutes, with a duration similar to edibles.


Topicals: A Different Kind of High 

If you’re interested in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects, topicals are the way to go. Creams, lotions, and balms infused with cannabinoids are applied directly to the skin, offering localized relief. While topicals won’t get you “high” in the traditional sense, they can provide soothing relief to specific areas within minutes.


So, What’s the Takeaway? 

Remember, cannabis affects each person differently, and finding the right product and dosage for your desired experience may involve some trial and error. Always start low and go slow, especially if you’re a beginner. Keep in mind that the duration of effects can also vary, ranging from a few hours to several hours, depending on the product, dose, and your own physiology.

Lastly, it’s important to respect local laws and regulations surrounding cannabis use in your area. Stay informed and enjoy responsibly!