What Happens When You Eat Edibles With An Empty Stomach?

Although cannabis edibles are discreet and delicious, they can cause side effects if consumed on empty stomachs.

You need to be able to understand when and how cannabis-infused foods should be consumed. Understanding how edibles work, what to do to get the best results, and why you shouldn’t eat them without food is key.

The Effects of Cannabis Edibles

The effects of edibles differ from those of smoking cannabis. Although smoking has faster effects, the effects last less time. The active compounds (cannabinoids), which are found in CBD and HHC edibles, pass through the digestive system to the liver.

These compounds are then absorbed into the small intestine, and released into your bloodstream. Peak concentrations can be reached approximately 4 hours after eating edibles (with or without a meal), or 1.5 hours if eaten on an empty stomach. Edibles can produce stronger effects than THC because the 11-OHTHC metabolite has a stronger effect than THC.

Cannabis Edibles: Food Is Important

As with any other bioactive substance, cannabis can have very different effects if taken on empty stomachs than after eating. Your edibles should be labeled with the following warning, as it is for many other medications: “Eat after you have eaten.”

Do you remember the last time that you had a large cup of coffee without eating? Or the one before dinner that gave rise to severe jitters? You know, the one that you had a spontaneous drink before a meal and left you feeling numb? You can experience the same thing if you eat food on an empty stomach.

You should also be aware of the cannabis strain you are using. Some strains only contain 10 to 15% of the THC while others may have as much as 30%. This can greatly affect the intensity of your high.

Why Cannabis Edibles Should Always Be Consumed With Food

We know that eating edibles without a full stomach is not advisable. Here are some key clues from science about food absorption. These are the three most important things to remember when you enjoy cannabis edibles.

Gastric Emptying Rate

When edibles are partially digested in stomach acid, they arrive in the stomach. They then pass to the small intestine, where they are absorbed and excreted. There is no way to slow down or limit the pace at which THC enters small intestines if there isn’t any food.


THC and other drugs like it can’t be taken in their original form. They must be solubilized in water, or another liquid. Cannabinoids are not able to absorb water well — they are “lipophilic”. They must be made into a solution using bile acids. Bile acids are released by your gallbladder when you consume fat-containing food.

CBD Ratio Vs. THC

The ratio of CBD to THC is perhaps the most important factor in anxiety that can be caused by eating edibles with empty stomachs. It is well-known that CBD (cannabidiol) can help to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC without affecting its effectiveness.

Food intake can have an impact on the absorption rate and therefore bioavailability of cannabinoids. This could lead to more CBD or less THC in the body. The psychotropic effects of justcbd products may be stronger without food.

Understanding The Fats Connection

We have already mentioned that eating fats stimulate your gallbladder to produce cholesterol, which helps to solubilize THC and CBD, and aids in their absorption. Consuming edibles with fats is essential for CBD absorption — it tempers THC’s more extreme psychoactive effects.