Have you ever tried an edible only to not feel anything for 20 minutes? So you eat more… then BAM! You’re stoned as a rock. Yeah, a lot of us have been there. Edibles, other than dabs, are notorious for being the strongest method of consuming cannabis. So what makes marijuana edibles so potent?
Consuming marijuana edibles has a much more potent psychoactive effect once it passes through our liver. Aside from the fact that you can consume a lot more THC in one sitting, something else happens when you eat cannabis:
A competently different cannabinoid is formed: 11-hydroxy-THC.
11-hydroxy-THC is a metabolite of THC that is created when THC passes through our liver. People claim you can get even more stoned off of a half of a gram if you orally consume cannabis than smoking it. Some people believe that if you consume THC orally your body will digest all of the THC, whereas when you smoke it, a lot of THC gets burnt through combustion.
It is true that combustion wastes a ton of active cannabinoids, but it is impossible for ALL THC to be absorbed through oral ingestion. There’s actually less THC absorbed. In fact, according to a National Institutes of Health study, “oral THC bioavailability is only 6% -10%”. Low water-solubility, digestion in the stomach and saliva are the reasons why lot of the THC passes straight through your body. So how does it work? And why do edibles hit you like a MACK truck?
It’s well known fact that THC must be decarboxylated in order for it to do anything in an edible, but something cool happens metabolically when you eat it. Almost half of the THC gets converted into 11-hydroxy-THC. 11-hydroxy-THC is a way more potent version of it that has an easier time passing through the blood-brain barrier. When you smoke cannabis or otherwise inhale its vapors, no 11-hydroxy-THC is formed.
So the next time you get laid out by an edible, just remember; it’s not only Delta 9 THC. The extra potency is from some advanced science happening. Come back to The Happy Campers for all your latest cannabis news and findings.