Start low

Many people are aware of the immediate psychoactive effect associated with smoking cannabis but may not be aware of the delayed onset and the extended duration of the effects associated with edible cannabis.

The psychoactive effect of cannabis is mainly caused by THC. Using low dose products containing no more than 2.5mg THC may assist you in determining your individual response to, and comfort level with, the effects of edible cannabis.

You may find that one 2.5 mg THC dose is enough, but if you choose to increase your dose, wait at least two hours before taking a second 2.5 mg THC dose.

This careful small-dose approach will help you avoid over consumption that can result in unpleasant effects including extreme sedation/inability to move, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, rapid heartbeat, or respiratory depression.

If you or someone else experiences these unpleasant or harmful effects, stop using cannabis and seek medical attention immediately.

Before experimenting with small doses of edible cannabis you may want to ensure you are in a safe place, like your home, with people you trust. Also, you may want to ensure you have at least eight hours free and that you will not need to drive, operate machinery or be responsible for others.

Go slow

Start with small amounts: 2.5 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or less for products that you eat or drink.

Don’t take more right away – effects from an edible cannabis product may not be felt for 2 hours, and may take 4 hours for effects to peak.

Clear your schedule – the effects from edible cannabis last 4 to 12 hours with some effects lasting up to 24 hours.

Label and store all cannabis securely. Edible cannabis often looks like regular food such as baked goods or candy; to reduce the risk of accidental consumption label your cannabis edibles and store them securely away from food products and out of the reach of children and pets.

Always obtain cannabis and cannabis products from a legal source.

If you or someone you know has accidentally consumed cannabis or consumed too much and is not well, seek immediate assistance


It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to begin to feel the effects of edible cannabis and up to 4 hours to feel the full effects. The intoxicating effects can last up to 12 hours, with some residual effects lasting up to 24 hours, so you could be affected into the next day.

How soon and how long a person experiences the effects of edible cannabis depends on individual factors including weight, metabolism, sex, and whether the cannabis is eaten on an empty stomach.

The psychoactive effect of edible cannabis has a relatively slow onset which increases the risk of over overconsumption. Pay attention to how long it takes to feel the onset and full effect, as well as how long the effects lasts.