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Edibles: Real vs Fake

We do not refer to a particular product when we talk about edibles, but rather to a type of product. Among our cannabis edibles are THC or CBD-infused foods and beverages, such as THC brownies, gummies, and even tea.

In this post, we will discuss different types of edibles, as well as the effects of consuming edibles versus smoking cannabis.

THC vs. CBD Edibles

High-THC edibles are the ones you’re likely more familiar with – you might even have tried them before. The sensation of “couch lock” and feeling spaced out are most often associated with THC edibles, as THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the “high” commonly experienced from cannabis.

CBD edibles, on the other hand, are unlikely to incapacitate you. That’s because CBD edibles contain the non-intoxicating cannabinoid, CBD (cannabidiol).1 Like THC edibles, they come in a wide range of food and beverages, with CBD gummies being one of the most popular kinds of CBD edibles.

Effects of Edibles vs. Smoking

Many consumers wonder about the effects of edibles vs. smoking. The effects of edibles are very different from those produced from inhalation, since edibles are processed by your body’s digestive system instead of the lungs . Rather than entering the bloodstream almost immediately, THC and other cannabinoids are slowly absorbed by the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Keep reading to find out how the effects of edibles vs. smoking differ.

How long do edibles take to kick in?

If you’re wondering “How long do edibles take to kick in?”, you’re not alone. Many people who are not regular consumers of edibles are unsure about how long the effects of edibles take to kick in.

If you are used to smoking or vaping cannabis, you know that the onset of effects from inhalation is almost instantaneous. With THC or CBD edibles, however, it can take up to 2 or 3 hours for the full effects to be felt. For a new consumer, we suggest starting with a very small dose and waiting a full day to determine how it affects you.

How long do edibles last?

Answering the question “How long do edibles last?” is challenging because it can vary greatly.

Factors that affect how long the effects from edibles will last include recently consumed foods, the individual’s unique Endocannabinoid System (ECS), and the individual’s tolerance for cannabis edibles, a measure that increases with more frequent consumption.

Comparing the effects of edibles vs. smoking, edibles last much longer. While the effects of inhaled cannabis usually last only a couple of hours, edibles can last for 6-8 hours or longer.

Remember to never operate a vehicle within 24 hours of consuming an edible.

How long do edibles stay in your system?

While there is no definitive answer to this question, one study found that an individual with no THC in their system who eats a low-dose edible will have detectable amounts of THC in their system for up to 14 days. This figure could be much higher for a frequent consumer who eats more potent edibles.


Fake marijuana edibles resembling popular candies such as Sour Patch, Starburst, and Nerds have popped up more in recent months, mimicking a massive boom in these counterfeit products across Canada.

Often packaged under monikers like “Medicated Starbursts,” “Stoner Patch,” and “Infused Gushers,” the candies have sparked a larger investigation into the world of black market THC products.

In September of 2020, a research facility in South Long Beach, Calif. was requested by an anonymous client to analyze nine “Medicated Nerds Ropes.” The facility, BelCosta Labs, determined each of the nine ropes contained less than 10mg of THC and trace amounts of foreign materials—though it wasn’t stated what those foreign materials were. The results of these tests were ultimately posted for public viewing by–a highly-regarded online platform for all things cannabis, known for its honest and critical viewpoint, and its support for smaller non-corporate dispensaries.

BelCosta Labs announced that though the tested batch wasn’t likely to cause any issues for individuals of age to consume, the wide variety of individual sellers means that this round of testing likely only applies to a select number of products on the market.

Other batches, produced by more unscrupulous dealers, could be cut with any cheap material that is soluble in the THC distillate—including pesticides, various oils such as MCT and vitamin E, or even more harmful substances like motor and vegetable oil.

Ready-to-seal product bags can be found in bulk online and, “all dealers need to do is unwrap bulk quantities of real Nerds Rope or Sour Patch candies, spray them with cheap THC distillate, and repackage them in the pre-labeled edible bags.”

In most cases, the distillate used is chemically identical to the illicit products used in the counterfeit vape cartridges that dominated headlines in 2019. It is unlikely these tainted edibles could result in a health crisis as severe as those caused by inhaled products, but the potentially unsafe manufacturing and varying potency could lead to a host of other problems—including improper usage, possible toxic contamination, and short-term digestive issues.

A CU student buyer we’ll call Jane Doe-A, frequently uses THC products and says that, though there aren’t many readily available on-campus, she’s seen these synthetic edibles more than ever before around the school.

“It’s really hard because you’re getting charged a lot for these ‘dank’ edibles and I feel no higher than I did before I ate them. I don’t trust any of those parodies anymore. My roommate is selling them and she tries to talk them up, but I know they’re bunk,” she said. “Personally, I worry that the game of running bunk edibles and dab carts that are cheaply made is gonna affect how we get good, reliable weed.”

Often cut with pesticides, chemicals, and unknown substances when mass produced, Doe-A says the packaging is an unreliable measure of what’s in the bag. Most of these products tout a whopping 400-600mg of THC in each with anywhere from 30-60mg per piece, however often times, the numbers simply don’t add up.

“The bag will say starbursts 500mg, 30mg a piece, and you open the bag and there’s only six pieces. So only, what, 180mg total? Not even close to 500mg,”

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