In the realm of cannabis consumption, edibles have emerged as a novel and enticing option, offering a discreet and often flavorful way to experience the effects of marijuana. However, there exists a puzzling phenomenon where some individuals don’t seem to respond to edibles as expected. In this article, we’ll delve into the scientific underpinnings behind why edibles might not work for certain individuals, relying on reliable information from the cannabis community.

The Complex Metabolism

The journey from ingesting an edible to feeling its effects is a complex process influenced by our body’s metabolism. Unlike inhaling cannabis through smoking or vaping, which rapidly delivers cannabinoids to the bloodstream and subsequently to the brain, edibles take a detour through the digestive system. This path significantly delays the onset of effects.

Within the liver, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, undergoes a transformation. It gets converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, a compound that’s even more potent. This metabolic conversion introduces a notable time lag in the emergence of effects, leading some individuals to assume that the edible hasn’t worked and tempting them to consume more. This can result in an unexpectedly intense high once the delayed effects finally kick in.

The Dosing Conundrum

Accurate dosing is a fundamental challenge with edibles, as finding the right amount can be more complex than it seems. In contrast to the rapid effects of smoking, where users can gauge their tolerance on the spot, edibles require patience. This can cause individuals to consume additional doses, mistakenly believing that the initial one was ineffective.

Furthermore, our bodies metabolize THC at different rates due to factors such as metabolism, weight, and personal tolerance levels. A dose that’s appropriate for one individual might be overwhelming for another. This intricacy underscores the importance of starting with a low dose and resisting the urge to consume more before the effects fully manifest.

The Waiting Game

The concept of delayed gratification takes centerstage when exploring why edibles might not work for certain individuals. Experts advise allowing ample time for the effects to set in before considering another dose. This waiting period can be challenging, especially when users are anticipating immediate results. Waiting at least 1 to 2 hours before re-dosing is recommended to avoid the trap of overconsumption in the hopes of expediting the effects.

Personalized Responses

The variations in individual responses to edibles can be attributed to the uniqueness of each person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS plays a pivotal role in regulating various physiological processes and is also responsible for how our bodies interact with cannabinoids. Variations in the number and sensitivity of cannabinoid receptors within the ECS can account for the differing responses to edibles.

Recognizing that our bodies’ interactions with edibles are influenced by this intricate interplay between the ECS and cannabinoids is crucial. What might be an enjoyable experience for one person might not yield the same outcome for another due to these inherent biological differences.

In Conclusion

The evolving landscape of cannabis consumption, edibles have carved a niche for themselves as a favored option. Yet, the perplexing question of why some individuals don’t seem to respond to edibles remains. By exploring the scientific insights discussed here, we’ve unraveled some of the complexity surrounding this phenomenon.

From the intricate metabolic processes to the dosing challenge and the personalized nature of our responses, there are various factors contributing to this puzzle. For those who have found themselves perplexed by the underwhelming effects of edibles, understanding these scientific nuances can pave the way for a more informed and potentially satisfying experience. Patience, cautious dosing, and an appreciation for the diversity of individual responses all play a role in unlocking the enjoyment of edibles.


 Until next time,
Dr. Judd, MD