In the late 90s and early 2000s states around the U.S. began to legalize medical cannabis programs. The creation of these programs was the beginning of cannabis-related healing coming into mainstream American culture. Many people who suffer from chronic medical conditions began to experiment with cannabis and found therapeutic relief from their ailments. One product line in particular that many people found to help them with their ailments are edibles. Edible products are a great way to find relief as they offer a discreet delivery system paired with a stronger, longer-lasting effect. Pre-legalization edibles were made by infusing butter, or another oil with cannabis. There was no way to know how much cannabis each edible contained and the effects were inconsistent. Post legalization, we have many different edible products that have been formulated to decrease onset time as well as create a variety of specific effects for the consumer. In today’s market, not all edibles are created equal and we are here to help you understand the difference between these product lines.
First, it is important to understand how edibles work in your body. As we discussed in Five Things to Know Before Trying Edibles and Bioavailability and Consumption Methods, edible products travel through the gastrointestinal tract where they are broken down by the liver. The delta9-THC molecule undergoes a transition during this process where the chemical makeup is changed to 11hydroxy-THC. This change creates a much more intense psychoactive effect that can last from 4 to 8 hours but can take 1 to 2 hours to take effect.
Traditionally, edible products were made using an infused butter or oil, but since the start of legal cannabis, extracts have taken over as the main ingredient to infuse cannabis edibles. In the past couple of years, distillate has become the extract of choice for many edible manufacturers. When cannabis oil is distilled, the THC molecule is isolated and all other components are stripped away. This leaves you with an odorless, tasteless, fully activated, translucent oil that is highly potent. Due to these characteristics, distillate works very well for formulating edible products, but the onset time for a distillate infused product is still around 1 to 2 hours. Many companies in the market have recognized that the prolonged onset time is an issue and have begun to use pharmaceutical delivery systems to cut down the onset time of their edible products.
Two of these brands found in the Colorado market are Stillwater and 1906. These two brands have created products that are more consistent, have greater efficacy and have an accelerated onset time through the use of nano-encapsulation. Nano-encapsulation is a process where a compound is broken down into the individual molecule and encapsulated in a substance that changes the way it interacts with other chemical compounds. Naturally, cannabinoids are hydrophobic compounds, meaning they are not water soluble. Through the use of nano-encapsulation, THC and CBD can become water soluble which allows them to be absorbed into your bloodstream faster than traditional edible products (15 – 30 minutes onset). Like we discussed in our blog, Bioavailability and Consumption Methods, the bioavailability of these products is increased due to the nano-encapsulation used in their formulation. This means more of the cannabinoids are actually making it into the bloodstream as opposed to being broken down in the gastrointestinal tract. Having a greater bioavailability will create a more robust effect for the consumer.
When purchasing edible products, talk with your budtender about the experience that you are looking to achieve. Ask them about the different delivery systems these products use and chose the one that fits your needs. The budtenders will be able to help guide you into the product lines that are right for you.
Continue your education on how cannabis can enhance human relationships in our next blog, Cannabis In Relationships
For a deeper dive into the cannabis plant, its various compounds and the industry that surrounds it, call and book your private educational experience with City Sessions today. 720-250-8828