Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 9, 2023

As a result of the cannabis legalization laws in the US, the cannabis market continues to grow exponentially. New cannabis products appear on the market daily including tinctures, hard candy, lollipops, and weed brownies. The popularity of cannabis edibles resulted in an increase of the global market of cannabis edibles to approximately $8.4 billion.

Imagine this scenario. You go into your local dispensary intending to buy a cannabis edible as a first-time user while not knowing anything about the proper dosing when it comes to edibles. Moreover, as a first-time user, you’re not expected to know how long it takes for the weed brownies to kick in.

While dispensaries need to have proper labeling and dosage information on their cannabis edibles, the amount of time it takes for the edible to kick in may vary among users. That is why the information we’ll provide for you will be extremely useful. So stick with us if you want to find out more about cannabis edibles, recreational and medical marijuana, as well as how long you’ll need to wait for the desired effects of cannabis to kick in.

What Are Cannabis Edibles?

Cannabis edibles are food products made from the cannabis plant that contains the main cannabinoid compounds tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Edibles with higher THC levels have psychoactive effects, while edibles made up of CBD are used for relaxation and treating medical conditions.

While vaping and smoking cannabis are the most popular cannabis consumption methods, edibles are slowly gaining momentum. After all, smoking is an entirely different experience compared to consuming cannabis-infused food products.

The most common cannabis edibles include: hard candy, lollipops, weed brownies, chocolate bars, lozenges, gummies, and baked goods like cakes, cookies, and brownies. On the other hand, cannabis-infused drinks are called drinkables.

How Is the Weed From Brownies Absorbed?

Compared to smoking cannabis, consuming edibles requires the cannabinoids to pass through the digestive system. The digestive system, along with the liver, converts THC to  11-hydroxy-THC, which allows it to enter the bloodstream and affect the brain. This is how the psychoactive effects of cannabis affect users.

The Benefits of Marijuana Edibles

Consuming weed brownies medicinally can have a wide array of positive benefits. Below, we’ll give you information on the most popular ones.

Marijuana Edibles Can Decrease Anxiety and Increase Relaxation

Cannabis is considered as the number one recreational drug used to decrease tension and take the mind off of a stressful week at work. While THC provides the psychoactive effects, CBD has a calming effect on the central nervous system.

Marijuana Edibles Can Treat Chronic Illnesses

Cannabis edibles with high levels of CBD have powerful anti-inflammatory properties which are useful for treating chronic pain and other medical conditions like cancer, arthritis, depression, and migraine.

Marijuana Edibles Can Have Anti-seizure Effects

CBD is known to improve seizure controls in patients with epilepsy, so adding CBD to your brownies may be therapeutic and have anti-seizure effects. Since 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved Epidiolex as a treatment option for two forms of epilepsy, therefore CBD brownies don’t sound like such a bad idea. 

Marijuana Edibles Can Help With Weight Loss

Cannabinoids are known to increase appetite and food consumption which can help people who struggle with weight loss or lack of appetite. This is a common occurrence in patients with heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and cancer diagnoses, so eating cannabinoid-rich edibles may increase their appetite as well as provide them with a sweet treat.

How Long Do Edibles (Weed Brownies) Take to Kick In?

So, how long do edibles take to work? Well, when talking about the effects of edibles and the onset time for their psychoactive effects, we need to state that this depends on the individual. The amount of time you’ll need before the desired effects of cannabis kick in depends on a variety of factors including:

  • The tolerance level of the user;
  • How many edibles they’ve consumed and how potent they were;
  • Their metabolism;
  • How often they consume cannabis.

While smoking and vaping cannabis can produce effects in about 10 minutes, the same isn’t true for consuming cannabis edibles. You can expect to feel the first effects of the edibles between 30 to 60 minutes, and in some cases even 90 minutes after consumption. The peak amounts of THC in the blood are expected 3 hours after ingestion and they depend on the milligrams of THC that the weed brownie contains.

Should You Eat Cannabis Edibles on an Empty Stomach?

Ingesting cannabis is very different from smoking cannabis since the cannabinoids take a longer time to get to the bloodstream. After you consume your weed brownie, the body absorbs the THC through the digestive system, and only after going through the liver, does it enter the bloodstream and reach the brain – which is why it takes a longer time for users to feel the effects. 

However, does eating cannabis brownies on an empty stomach result in a faster onset of the effects? Studies have shown that to be true. The cannabinoids present in weed brownies are absorbed in the small intestine which is where the stomach releases the partially-digested food. Having eaten prior to consuming edibles will require your stomach to digest the meal, which will slow down the gastric emptying and result in you feeling the effects of the edible later on.

Side Effects of Weed Brownies

Below, we’ll go over the most common side effects of consuming weed brownies.

Long-Term Use

As with consuming cannabis any other way, long-term use of cannabis may affect brain development, heart health, memory, and cognition. Therefore, consuming them every day may intensify these side effects.

Accidental Ingestion

Accidental ingestion is another problem when it comes to consuming edibles. If you have small children and pets, you risk them accidentally getting into your edible stash. To prevent this, make sure you keep your brownies away from your pets and kids (to prevent accidental ingestion).

Interactions With Medications

Similar to other controlled substances, weed brownies can interact with alcohol and other medication. The effects of certain medication may be canceled or intensified by THC, so make sure you don’t mix weed with other drugs (or alcohol), or consult with your doctor prior to doing so.


Following the increasing trend of cannabis legalization around the US, cannabis edibles are also increasing in popularity among cannabis users. They’re sought after by both recreational and medical marijuana users as a way to decrease stress and anxiety, reduce chronic illness, treat epilepsy, help with weight loss, and treat other health conditions. 

Compared to smoking marijuana, edibles take a longer time to kick in. When smoking, you’ll feel the effects after about 10-15 minutes, while edibles can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes to start producing their effects. 

The important thing to remember when consuming weed brownies (and other kinds of cannabis edibles) is to start low with your intake, and only increase the dose after 90 minutes if you’re not getting the effects you’re after. 

Edibles can be a fun option to consume weed (in a different way), and apart from producing the psychoactive and sedative effects, they are a rather delicious treat.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.