Informed High - Becoming Informed about Cannabis

How Long till I feel Baked? Cannabis Effects, Consumption Methods, and Time

Disclaimer: Practical Pointers are based on my personal experiences and education. This is not advice to be blindly followed. What follows are insights I am sharing for you to think about and be critical of while you read. What works for me might not work for you, see a doctor before making any significant choices. I want to help create informed consumers making informed decisions.


How Long till I feel Baked? Cannabis Effects, Consumption Methods, and Time


People who are new to blazing, and those trying out new delivery methods for Cannabinoids may be uncertain about timing. How long does Cannabis take to make me Feel High? Is there a difference between Eating, Smoking, and other methods of delivery for Cannabinoids?


The Answer is Yes


Different methods of delivery for Cannabinoids affect the time it takes to feel high or baked. It also influences the time needed for these effects to subside. It takes our body time to break down all the THC floating around inside of us making us feel stoned.



Cannabinoids are Not All Alike


A critical point to note is that this post is talking about Psychoactive Effects, feeling High, Baked, or Stoned. If you are consuming CBD only, you’ll never experience any High. You can wait as long as you like, CBD is not PsychoactiveTHC is the Psychoactive Cannabinoid that we care about most. THC is the cannabinoid that makes us feel High or Baked. THC is the substance that we’re waiting for to kick-in when we talk about these timeframes. Read more about the Pharmaclogic Effects of Cannabis by Body System.


Consumer Information – Cannabis


Luckily, there is this nice handy chart that I have adapted from Health Canada’s “Consumer Information – Cannabis” Fact-sheet. As the science behind Cannabis create new forms of delivery, and new timelines for effects, this information may change over the years. That said, it’s a great place to start.



Cannabis Consumption Timelines

How Long Till the Effects Kicks-in? How Long Till the Effects Fade-away
Smoking / Vaporizing Seconds to Minutes Up to 6 hours
Swallowing (food/capsules) 30 minutes to 1.5 hours Up to 12 hours
Under the Tongue 5-30 Up to 12 hours


Smoking as the Crudest Delivery Method


Burning plant biomass like Dried Cannabis does have adverse effects on the human respiratory systems. Side-effects like coughing and phlegm production occur more in the short-term. In the long-term, these effects can have serious consequences. It is critical to point out that Smoking is a crude delivery form for Cannabinoids. As Cannabis legalization comes into effect and more money is spent on other types of Cannabis products, we may see less and less burning of Dried Cannabis. Cannabis oils and Capsules will also be sold starting October 17, 2018. So there are already ways to avoid the burning aspect, and hopefully, improve the state of your respiratory system at the same time


Double-Dosing Edibles


One of the problems with ingested forms of Cannabis relates to the longer time-period before the commencement of effects. As someone who may have smoked weed before, the ingestion time can feel like forever in comparison to how quick blazing effects you. This can lead consumers to have a double-dose of Cannabinoids. Edibles will not be sold (link), along with Cannabis concentrates until next year sometime. That said, consumers are allowed to create their own edibles using Cannabis they buy legally. For this reason, I think it is important to stress this point now, long before most people will be trying edibles.



Intuitive Understanding of Timeframes


When you inhale Cannabis, the cannabinoids cross the cell lining of the lungs and flows through our bloodstream. This is why the effects occur so quickly. Alternatively, when we ingest Cannabis, we have to wait for THC to move through our system and get processed in our digestion system and Liver. This results in delayed effects with lower peak concentrations that are cleared more slowly. So you don’t get as high overall, but you get a more extended and smoother baked experience. Smoking weed results in more immediate effects, with higher peak concentrations and quicker resolution.


New delivery Methods


As sprays, lotions, capsules, and beverages all start to include Cannabinoids, this chart will have to be updated as we learn more about the specific processes that occur inside our bodies. As we learn about this new and insightful information, I’ll do my best to share it with you. If you learned nothing else from this point, remember this: If you are consuming Edibles containing Cannabis, start slow and wait before you eat more! I know the food may be yummy, and you may be getting hungry, eat something else instead. Always have an alternative snack, so you don’t inadvertently consume far too many Cannabinoids. This can lead to ‘greening out’ which means you fall asleep, but it can also lead to anxiety, panic, and stressful experiences. You can avoid all of this by remembering the timeframes for Cannabinoids and various Delivery Methods.



Cannabis Effects and Driving


I hope you understand a bit more about why Driving after consuming Cannabinoids is a bad idea. Regardless of how you got baked, it can take hours to sober-up. The current best advice is just to plan not to drive if you are getting baked. Find another driver, take the bus, or don’t consume Cannabinoids. As informed Consumers of Cannabis, I hope we work together to reduce high driving and save lives in the process. Thanks for Reading!


Arnold Warkentin

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