Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 12, 2023

With weed being available in so many different forms nowadays, it’s hard to imagine there would be anyone whose needs aren’t being met. And with such weed galore, the only problem remaining is which cannabis product to choose.

One of the more inventive ways to consume weed is THC pills, which have been gaining some traction among the cannabis users in the community for quite a while now. They may seem unusual, but this weed product has found its home with many users.

If you’ve been wondering about THC pills, how they work, and how to take them, keep reading for the details.

What Are THC Pills

Broadly speaking, cannabis capsules are ingestible gelatin capsules filled with cannabis extracts as the active ingredients, suspended in vegetable oil, most often coconut oil. Homemade cannabis pills are usually infused with cannabis oil and they are not necessarily weed pills, or weed capsules per se. The extracts are in a concentrated form and they need to be mixed with oil because the natural cannabinoids in cannabis are oil-soluble. This is necessary so they can be absorbed once they enter the body.

Cannabis capsules may contain only one isolated cannabinoid, like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or CBD (cannabidiol), or they can be combined. This is mostly because cannabinoids work best synergically, they offer better health benefits, and in this way, the content of the pills is as close to a real cannabis plant as possible.

Therefore, THC capsules are capsules that contain only the natural THC compound. For this, the cannabis plant needs to undergo the process of decarboxylation for the THC to become active, because raw cannabis contains THCA which is the inactive form of THC.

There are also FDA approved synthetic THC pills such as dronabinol (brand name Marinol) that are usually prescribed by medical professionals for pain relief. These are pharmaceutical varieties of THC that lack the benefits of the real thing, and they’re somewhat weaker in potency. However, these synthetic cannabinoids are also known to produce adverse side effects (dizziness, confusion, nausea) and need to be used with high caution and under the observation of a professional.

THC pills are available in different concentrations, starting with 2 mg microdoses, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 25 mg of THC.

How Do They Work in Your Body?

THC pills resemble edibles in the way they work in the body because both need to go through your digestive system. This also means that, just like edibles, it will take longer to feel the effects, at least about an hour and a half, unlike with smoking, vapes, or tinctures. The pills are also way more concentrated than edibles and that’s what makes them more powerful and you’ll feel the psychoactive effects more intensely.

Once they enter the body, they’re absorbed by the stomach and dissolved, and then they go through the digestive system. Next, they’re processed by the liver where THC gets metabolized into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC, a stronger version of THC that has a longer half-life. Therefore, the effects of THC pills may last anywhere from 6-8 hours.

How You Should Take THC Capsules

The most important thing to pay attention to is the dose you need. Most THC oil capsules come in doses of 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, or 25 mg amount of THC, so if you’re new to taking THC pills, you’ll have to find the right dose for you.

Similarly to edibles, this is usually a trial-and-error process, so we recommend you start with the smallest dose and slowly increase the dosage as you go. During this process, it’s vital to monitor your reactions. Since the pills will take at least an hour and a half to kick in, you should definitely be patient.

If you take the pills recreationally, then take note of how long it takes for that particular dose to kick in, but don’t take any seconds the first time. If you’re taking them for medical reasons, for example, to relieve pain, then you should do the same, but also take note of how long the effects last, so you can calculate when it’s time for your next dose.

This is important if you’re trying to achieve prolonged pain relief, so if the effects of THC capsules last for about 6-7 hours, you should take the other pill about an hour before the effects of the first ones are expected to start wearing off.

Finding the perfect dose for your unique needs can be challenging if you’re impatient, but it will be worth it in the end.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of THC Pills

THC pills are a great choice for those who avoid the lung irritation and inhaling that comes with smoking cannabis. They’re vegan, and they’re perfect for when you want to be discreet because there is no smoke or any smell involved.

You can use THC in pill form as you would medical marijuana – for treating chronic pain or to get other medical benefits, like taking them to induce sleepiness or appetite, or for other medical conditions.

They’re very practical and time-efficient as you don’t need a ton of tools (lighter, atomizer, bong, paper sheet) to get the job done. Instead, they’re portable and easy to consume. Finally, dosing may be the biggest perk as it’s easy to control.

On the other hand, THC pills may be difficult to find even in states where weed is legal, so you may need to find yourself a reliable source if your local dispensary doesn’t have them. Another drawback is the delayed onset of effects and their potency.

As we mentioned, THC pills take a while to kick in and they can be very potent, so you will have to experiment before you find what is good for you.

Are There Any Side Effects?

The side effects are more or less the same as with any weed product that’s high in THC. If you’ve built up some tolerance, you’ll be unlikely to experience any. If you’re new to weed, you may experience dry mouth (cottonmouth), red eyes, increased heart rate, lightheadedness, and/or increased anxiety or paranoia.

However, the key here is the dose. Since a THC pill gives you great control over the dosage, it’s much easier than with smoking or vaping, for example. If an experienced user takes too much, they will probably feel some side effects. Similarly, if someone who hasn’t built up tolerance takes a larger dose, they will almost certainly experience side effects.

This is why starting with a lower dose is so important. Even inexperienced users will barely feel any side effects if they start small.


THC pills are a convenient way to consume weed for many reasons, primarily because they are easier to dose and they’re discreet while offering the same benefits of THC. Dosing is very important at the beginning before you find what works for you, and you should always start with a lower dose and wait for the THC pills to kick in. Side effects can be avoided if you stick to lower doses.

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.