APR 16, 2020 2:51 PM PDT

Nanoemulsion Speeds up THC Absorption in Edibles

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Cannabis products infused with nanoemulsion boast many advantages over more traditionally manufactured edibles, and are thus becoming increasingly popular. Not only do they lead to a higher absorption rate of cannabinoids, they also take effect more quickly and deliver more consistent results, making dosing more reliable. 

According to the US National Library of Medicine, nanoemulsion is a ‘fine oil/water or water/oil dispersion stabilised by an interfacial film of surfactant molecule having droplet size range 20–600nm’. Translucent nanoemulsions however, sometimes used in cannabis beverages, are smaller, ranging between 30-50 nanometers. 

In one study, researchers found that absorption of THC from traditional edibles can be as low as just 6%. This means that, from a 20mg THC edible, a consumer would only feel around 1.2mg of THC. Meanwhile, a study investigating the absorption rate of cannabinoids from a CBD nanoemulsion found the same figure to be over 90%. This means that, from a 20mg THC edible, a consumer would absorb, and experience the effects of, around 18mg of the it’s THC content. 

Beyond increasing the absorption rate of cannabinoids, nanoemulsion has also been shown to reduce the amount of time needed for absorption. One study found that maximum blood concentration of cannabinoids was reached three times faster with cannabis products infused with CBD nanoemulsion that those without.

This time factor means that users are able to feel the effects of cannabis similarly to how they feel alcohol, something that is thought to encourage its mainstream adoption particularly in beverages. With nanoemulsion, users may be able to feel the effects of cannabis within around 10 minutes of consumption, reaching a peak at around 30 minutes in, with effects lasting a couple hours, after which point they drop quickly. 

As edibles without nanoemulsion usually take a long, and sometimes unpredictable amount of time to set in, this function may make it easier to dose edible cannabis products. It may also prevent people from taking excessive doses of edible products, as often happens should results take too long to be felt and users take more in the hope of expediting its onset. 

Sources: PR Newswire, Green Camp, Health Europa

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets.
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