JAN 11, 2023 12:01 PM PST

Why We Process Edibles Differently Than Smoked Cannabis

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

Whether you prefer to ingest THC by smoking cannabis or consuming edibles, you may experience your high differently.

When users eat edibles, the effects take much longer to kick in – sometimes hours – but the high will be more intense than that of smoking cannabis, and last much longer. However, when you smoke weed, the high will take effect within minutes, also wearing off more quickly.

Why is that? Because when THC is absorbed by your digestive tract, and then the liver, it is converted to Hydroxy-11 THC, creating a much more potent THC experience for the user. But when you inhale cannabis smoke or vapor, the THC passes from your lungs directly to your bloodstream and brain, bypassing your liver and the conversion process.

It takes longer for the liver to process the THC, like the liver’s processing of alcohol, which is why the effects from consuming edibles last so much longer.

What about sublingual cannabis products, like the drops you administer under the tongue? Since the drops are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the blood vessels under the tongue, bypassing the liver, the effects are like those of smoking.

What about cannabis beverages? Weed drinks are more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream due to nanotechnology, which converts cannabinoids such as THC into water-soluble solutions that are in turn mixed into drinks. Not only does this make the beverage smoother and more pleasant to drink, but it also increases the body’s absorption of THC. As a result, while edibles can take hours to take effect, THC infused beverages can take effect in about 15 minutes.

Nanotechnology has become increasingly popular, as its usage has spread to edibles, as the technology provides a higher level of potency than that of traditional edibles.

As the cannabis industry continues to mature, so will the use of technology on increased potency in cannabis products overall.


Sources: Weedmaps, Leafly, FoodBev Media

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
You May Also Like
Loading Comments...