This article was scientifically reviewed by Daniel Hanna, PharmD

Edibles can provide intense highs without the need to inhale smoke or vapor. As a result, both CBD and THC edibles have become quite popular in recent years.  There’s a lot to know about edibles before you start taking or even making your own cannabis-infused treats.

In this guide, we’ve curated answers to some of the internet’s most frequently asked cannabis edible questions. Continue reading below to find the most important things you need to know about cannabis edibles.

1. How much is too much?

For both THC and CBD edibles, there are no clear dosing guidelines that apply to everyone. Since it isn’t psyhchoactive, you typically won’t notice if you’ve ingested too much CBD. You may experience gastrointestinal distress or perhaps fall asleep.

THC, however, can have a profoundly strong effect, especially in novice users. Just how strongly THC can affect you when ingested orally is mostly a function of your individual tolerance and experience with cannabis. Most edible products come in around 10mg, but try starting with 5mg (or even less) THC your first time and increase the dose as desired going forward.

2. How long does it take for edibles to kick in?

Cannabis edibles can vary in activation time depending on the specific type of cannabinoid and other ingredients used. Generally speaking, you can expect to notice THC or CBD edibles taking effect within 30-45 minutes.

The peak of the edible experience usually occurs at around the one-2 hour mark with effects gradually reducing in intensity after this point. If you still haven’t felt the effects of your cannabis edible 2 hours after ingesting it, consider waiting another hour since your individual metabolism can slow the release of the edible. Taking another dose too soon might lead to more amplified effects than you initially intended. 

3. What does an edible high feel like?

The edible high often comes on slowly, but can rapidly build in intensity once the initial onset of effects is felt. Smoking or vaping cannabis can provide a powerful high, but it dissipates much more quickly than an edible. Taking THC in edible form, provides long-lasting effects that can be more powerful than the high provided by inhalation, especially at higher doses.

For novice users, taking edibles is more likely to produce the stronger effects of THC: potentially both the wanted and unwanted effects. You may feel euphoric or even experience interesting visual distortions, but the experience can shift quickly into an “anxious high” and a feeling of paranoia with overpowering sensory experiences that have the potential to be overwhelming.

It’s best to be cautious with the edible dose you select, especially if you’re relatively new to cannabis.

4. How long does an edible high last?

Depending on how much you take and your tolerance levels, orally ingested THC can make you feel high for anywhere from an hour-and-a-half to more than six hours. Cannabis users who have more experience and thereby tolerance can expect to feel effects for around 3-4 hours with 10mg dose of THC. 

5. Do edibles have side effects?

Like any other herb, drug, or medication; cannabis edibles can have side effects that vary depending on the cannabinoid or cannabinoids they contain. 

While the physiological side effects of THC remain roughly the same in edible form, the psychological side effects can become more severe due to increased effectiveness and longer duration of the effects. Luckily, the difficult feelings you may experience from will subside with time as the THC is broken down in your body, and, overall, cannabis is very safe compared to many other medications.  

6. Do edibles make your eyes red?

Yes, consuming cannabis edibles can make your eyes red—often more red than if you had been smoking cannabis buds. This confuses even experienced cannabis users, who tend to think it’s cannabis smoke that makes their eyes red.

THC acts as a vasodilator in your eyes, which means it widens the blood vessels in your eyes. Even though your eyes aren’t irritated, they appear red anyway due to this increased blood flow. Since edibles commonly contain more THC than you would ingest by smoking, they are even more likely to cause eye redness than smoking or vaporizing.

7. Do CBD edibles make your eyes red?

While CBD also appears to be a vasodilator, it doesn’t appear to cause the same eye redness as THC. Eye redness is not a commonly reported side effect of CBD regardless of the way you ingest this non-intoxicating cannabinoid. 

8. How do you fix red eyes from edibles?

As the primary effects of THC wear off, your eyes will lose their redness naturally. If you can’t wait, however, the most common remedy is using eye drops commonly found over the counter in a pharmacy. Just look for the ones that are indicated for ‘red eyes’. 

9. Do edibles mess up your voice?

If you’re a novice cannabis user, the intoxication of taking edibles might change the way your voice sounds to others. THC doesn’t directly cause any changes in your vocal cords, but the relaxation of the experience could make you sound chilled out or slower than usual.

10. How do you make canna-sugar?

Cannabis sugar or ‘canna-sugar’ is sugar that has been infused with cannabis extract. It serves as a great baking sweetener, and you can make it simply by placing a sealed mason jar filled with cannabis flower and alcohol in an oven at low heat. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  • Decarboxylate and grind an eighth (3.5g) of cannabis
  • Place the cannabis in a mason jar with just enough alcohol to cover it
  • Tightly close the lid, and place the jar in the oven at 200°F for 30 minutes
  • Strain the alcohol through a cheesecloth to remove the plant matter
  • Slowly add the sugar to the alcohol, using enough sugar to absorb it all
  • Spread the infused sugar on a baking sheet
  • Bake the mixture at 200°F, until the alcohol has dissipated

11. How do you store canna-sugar?

Canna-sugar is one of the easiest types of cannabis extract to store. Once it is ready to use, simply keep your cannabis sugar in a small mason jar just like any other homemade spice or sweetener. Store canna-sugar in a cool, dark place, and stir it every once in a while to prevent clumping. You can also refrigerate your canna-sugar if desired. If stored properly, cannabis sugar should remain usable for 12-18 months.