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Can Edibles Raise Your Heart Rate?

Understanding Edibles

Edibles are food and drink items infused with cannabis, either for recreational or medicinal purposes. Consuming edibles can take longer to produce effects than smoking or vaping cannabis because it must be digested, metabolized, and absorbed into the bloodstream first. It can take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours for the effects to kick in, and it can last for four to six hours.

How Edibles Work

When cannabis is ingested, it travels through the digestive system and then makes its way to the liver, where it is metabolized. The liver converts delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in cannabis, into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is more potent and able to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily than THC. This is why the effects of edibles can be more intense and long-lasting than smoking or vaping.

Types of Edibles

Edibles come in various forms, such as baked goods, gummies, chocolates, and beverages. The potency of edibles varies, from low-dose products containing 2.5 milligrams of THC to high-dose products containing 100 milligrams or more of THC. It is crucial to read the label and start with a low dose, as the effects can be unpredictable and overwhelming.

The Relationship between Edibles and Heart Rate

One of the common concerns with consuming edibles is whether it can raise your heart rate. THC can cause vasodilation, which means that blood vessels widen and blood pressure drops. This can lead to an increased heart rate as the heart works harder to pump enough blood to the body. However, the extent of the heart rate increase depends on several factors, such as the dose, the individual’s tolerance, and their overall health.

Research on Edibles and Heart Rate

Some studies have investigated the effects of consuming cannabis, including edibles, on heart rate. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that smoking cannabis can increase heart rate by up to 50 beats per minute, but it did not find a significant increase in heart rate with edibles. Another study published in Psychopharmacology found that consuming edibles with a high THC content can increase heart rate and blood pressure in healthy adults.

Factors that Affect Heart Rate

Several factors can affect heart rate when consuming edibles. These include the individual’s tolerance, the potency of the product, and the method of consumption. Individuals who are new to edibles or have low tolerance may experience a more significant increase in heart rate than regular users. High-dose products and fast-acting methods, such as tinctures and sublinguals, can also lead to a more rapid and intense increase in heart rate than low-dose products and slow-acting methods, such as baked goods.

Potential Risks of Consuming Edibles

Although consuming edibles can be a safe and effective way to consume cannabis, it is not without potential risks. If consumed in large doses, edibles can cause adverse effects, such as anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and even seizures. The effects can last for several hours, and it can be challenging to control or stop them once they start. In addition, consuming edibles can lead to overconsumption and accidental ingestion by children and pets.

Tips for Safe Consumption of Edibles

To minimize the potential risks of consuming edibles, it is crucial to follow these tips:

  • Start with a low dose and wait at least two hours before consuming more
  • Read the label and understand the potency of the product
  • Avoid consuming edibles on an empty stomach
  • Avoid mixing edibles with alcohol or other drugs
  • Keep edibles out of the reach of children and pets


Consuming edibles can be an enjoyable and safe way to consume cannabis, but it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks and to consume them responsibly. While there is a possibility that edibles can raise your heart rate, the extent of the increase depends on several factors, and it is not necessarily a cause for concern. By following the tips for safe consumption of edibles, individuals can enjoy the benefits of cannabis without experiencing adverse effects.

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