Edibles come in many forms. You have gummies, hard candies, chocolates, baked goods, drinks, capsules, and so much more. These products work a bit differently than others as you eat them rather than inhale them or apply them to your skin. They also take a bit longer to kick in, and many users experience more potent effects. The reason for this is because something happens inside your body when you eat cannabis. But what does THC do when it’s eaten? Let’s take a look.
How the Body Absorbs THC
When you smoke or vape cannabis, THC (and other cannabinoids) enter your lungs and travel through the tissue to your bloodstream. Once there, they travel to your brain to bind with cannabinoid receptors, providing fast-acting results.
When you eat a cannabis product, the cannabinoids travel through your digestive system. After they go through your liver, they get released into your bloodstream. As a result, it can take upward of 90 minutes to two hours to feel the effects.
What Happens to THC in the Body?
When you eat an edible, something happens in your body. As you digest your chosen product, the THC in it changes. Metabolic enzymes alter THC, converting it into the metabolic byproduct 11-hydroxy-THC. After being released by your liver into your bloodstream, this byproduct, along with other cannabinoids, travels to your brain. These compounds bind with cannabinoid receptors to produce a variety of effects.
Effects of 11-Hydroxy-THC
If you’ve ever consumed an edible before, you may have noticed that the effects, once they kick in, feel more potent than what you might experience if you inhaled a similar dose of THC. While metabolic byproducts tend to be less active than their original form, THC is different. It becomes more active. There are some studies on the effects of THC versus 11-hydroxy-THC that support this.
Not only is it more potent, but the effects last longer, too. When you inhale it, your high typically peaks after 30 minutes and begins to decline after the first hour. When it’s eaten, the peak generally lasts one to three hours, but you could feel the effects for up to 12 hours or more.
Edibles Tips for Successful Highs
If you’re new to eating cannabis, you may want to start with a much smaller dose than if you were to inhale your cannabinoids. Since 11-hydroxy-THC is more potent, your high may feel more intense. Starting small and gradually increasing the amount you eat could help you avoid unpleasant effects.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it takes longer to feel the effects when you eat an edible. Avoid taking a second dose until about two hours after you eat your first one. If you consume a second edible too soon, you might accidentally overload your system. Consider timing your dose so that the effects kick in when you need them most.
Enjoy Your Edibles
When you eat THC, the cannabinoid converts into 11-hydroxy-THC. While it takes longer for you to feel anything, the effects last longer and are more potent. If you’re looking for quality edibles, be sure to check out the selection at your local licensed dispensary.