Don’t panic! How to recover from edibles

different types of cannabis edibles how to recover from edibles

The last few years have seen an increase in edible consumption thanks to their ease of use, discrete nature, and wide availability. However, it’s also easy to go overboard, leading to intense effects or edible hangovers. Some common side effects of eating high doses of cannabis include abdominal pain, drowsiness, brain fog, nausea and vomiting, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. So, how do you recover from edibles?

If you experience any of the above symptoms when you consume edibles, chances are you’re overdoing it, and it might be time to tone down. This article explores tips and tricks to discover how to recover from edibles quickly and effectively. 

What are edibles?

Edibles are food or beverage products that you infuse with cannabis extract containing active compounds like THC and CBD. They are a suitable way of consuming cannabis without smoking, and you can make them at home or buy them from a manufacturer. The amount of THC or CBD in the product can vary widely; they may contain anywhere from 2.5mg to 100mg or more of cannabinoids. 

Edibles come in several forms, such as baked goods, candies, chocolates, gummies, potato chips, seltzers, and herbal tea. The most important factor to consider when making edibles is to use food that contains butter, milk, or any fatty substance for easy infusion with THC or CBD. When made correctly, edibles are more potent and have a longer-lasting effect than smoked cannabis. However, they do take longer to kick in. CBD gummies have become increasingly popular thanks to their ease of use and perceived health benefits.

cannabis infused pesto pasta how to recover from edibles
A bowl of pasta with homemade cannabis pesto. Photo: David Kadlec / Getty

How do edibles work?

The reason why edibles take longer to kick in but have long-lasting effects than smoking cannabis is mainly due to the way the body absorbs it.

If you’ve smoked or vaped cannabis, your body absorbs the cannabinoids through the lungs and rapidly to the bloodstream, kicking-in in about 10 minutes. But when you consume edibles, the digestive system and the liver process the cannabinoids before they enter the bloodstream. This can take 30 minutes to two hours. 

Due to this delayed onset of psychoactive effects, you may find it difficult to gauge the appropriate dosage, leading to overconsumption. What you experience will vary depending on the dosage, individual tolerance level, and the type of edible consumed. The effects can also last longer than smoked cannabis, usually six to eight hours, and sometimes stretch up to 12-24 hours.  

The edible high may also feel different than when you smoke. This is due to the fact that the delta-9-THC in cannabis edibles converts to something called 11-hydroxy-THC. This compound tends to have even stronger effects than delta-9-THC, so it’s important to tread lightly.

cannabis chocolate pops how to recover from edibles
Cannabis infused chocolate THC lollipops. Photo: Sarah Pender / Getty

How to recover from edibles if you overdo it

If you are new to consuming cannabis edibles, you might not know how much you need until you achieve your desired effects. It’s essential to start with a low dose and wait at least two hours before eating any more. But in case you overdo it knowingly or unknowingly, try one of the following tricks.

Stay hydrated

You are likely to experience unpleasant effects such as dry mouth if you are not drinking enough fluids when taking edibles. Stay hydrated by drinking liquids, such as water, coconut water, cucumber juice, drinks with electrolytes, or herbal teas. These can help you recover faster if you’ve consumed too much THC by eating edibles.

Eat something to soak up and flush out the cannabinoids in your body

Consuming nutritious food like complex carbohydrates, nuts, and fruits can also help decrease the effects of the edibles and provide the energy your body needs to metabolize them. You can also try eating something high in protein before taking an edible to reduce the likelihood of feeling nauseous. 

Stay calm and avoid panicking 

Some people feel anxiety after eating too many THC-laden goodies. But the truth is, you’re not likely to need any medical attention. The best treatment involves getting into a quiet place to relax; don’t be afraid to phone a friend. Go outside and get some fresh air, and maybe try taking a walk.

Eat black pepper to counter the effects of THC

Black pepper contains terpenes such as pinene and caryophyllene, which can interact with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD to modulate the effects of cannabis. Pinene acts as a potent bronchodilator. On the other hand, caryophyllene binds to the same receptors as THC and CB2 receptors throughout the body, making it a non-psychoactive compound for improving airflow to the lungs and increasing oxygenation.  


Exercise like yoga can help boost metabolism and speed up detoxification after an edible overdose. You could also try going for a walk to increase blood flow and oxygenation, speeding up the detoxification process. 


CBD works as a THC antagonist, meaning it acts against the effects of THC. It accomplishes this by raising the level of anandamide in the bloodstream, which attaches to THC receptors, effectively inhibiting its activity. Using CBD may also relieve anxiety, which can go a long way when everything feels heightened.

Use a marijuana detox pill or supplement

You can use marijuana detox pills or supplements to speed up the elimination of THC from your system. When buying detox pills, ensure you purchase from a reputable brand and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully. It’s important to note that these may not taper the effects of edibles and should not be relied on if taking a drug test.

How to recover from edibles—final thought

Edibles are a popular option for consuming cannabis due to their discrete nature and ease of use. You can also make them in the comfort of your home if you don’t like buying commercially produced products. However, they are easy to overdose due to their prolonged onset time, and weed hangovers can definitely occur.

If you accidentally take too many edibles, you can recover faster by staying hydrated, eating nutritious food, exercising, and using CBD. It’s important to remember that recovery time can vary from person to person, and it’s essential to use regulated products and choose appropriate dosages to avoid unwanted side effects.

This article was submitted by a guest contributor to GreenState. The statements within do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GreenState, Hearst, or its subsidiaries. The author is solely responsible for the content.

Michael Kibunja