The Effects of Eating Marijuana
I often find myself recollecting the memories of my first experience with edibles. I was i high school the first time I tried them and to this day can't figure out how or why it turned out to be the strangest day of my life. I mean, it's easy to chalk it up to stoned perception but in reality did the things I experience only happen in my brain or was it some sort of cosmic coincidence that my day was filled with all sort of unbelievable hi-jinx. As much as I'd like to get into detail of that day, I'm aiming this blog post towards a different topic. The point of bringing up this story is to inquire on how edibles really interact with the human body.
Can edibles really distort your perception that greatly? I imagine, like any substance, the result depends on the dose. and how it's taken. Although, what's the true nature of the high you get from ingesting an edible versus smoking out of a bong or pipe? I've explored the topic and I am writing to share some of the information I was able to gather.
Smoking vs Eating
Edibles induce a different sensation than what is felt from a bong toke or joint. It is reported that edibles produce more of a "body high." Some would describe this as the feeling of being locked to a couch. There are also differences between the time it takes for an edible to get you high and the time it takes for smoking to get you high. Your body's reaction to smoking is almost instantaneous, typically ten minutes. After this, your high will be at it's most potent within 30-60 minutes while lingering anywhere from 2-4 hours. It is reported that one absorbs more THC from smoking than ingesting edibles. With that being the case, It is peculiar to imagine that edibles would be more potent than smoking.
Studies have shown, larger portions of THC make it to your liver faster when you eat it compared to when you smoke it. In technical terms, the ratio of 11-hydroxy-THC to delta-9 THC is larger when ingest edibles. 11-hydroxy-THC is a bi-product of THC when it is metabolized by the body. It has been proven to be more potent than traditional D-9 THC (the THC compound more commonly found in plant matter). This means the chemical reaction happening in your body when you ingest THC makes it effect's stronger.
To elaborate, experiments involving the intravenous administration of 11-hydroxy-THC have shown it to produce maximum psychological effects within minutes consumption. It's ability to temporarily affect one's state of being were far more outstanding than what the results have shown for subjects only having smoked it. Although, it is important to remember no experiment goes without question. People do not typically consume THC intravenously, and it's not recommended to either, however, in a controlled laboratory setting, the body's reaction to 11-hydroxy-THC may be affected by the method of administration. Needless to say, there are various factors to be taken into account when understanding how the body reacts to different chemical make-ups of THC.
Moreover, the bodies ability to break down cannabinoids is different in edibles than it is with smoking. THC is oil-soluble. Meaning, the compound breaks down better in oil than it does in blood, which is mainly water. This is why cooking instruction highly emphasize the importance of properly bonding the cannabis to the oil in the decarboxynating process in cooking practices.
Properly dosing your edibles is the best way to ensure a good trip. You can overdose yourself with THC but you cannot die from it. This is what we would commonly refer to as "greening-out." This begs the question, how much is too much? Experts say the suggested dose for an experienced smoker should be about 10mg per serving and 2-5 mg for beginners. Anymore and you risk symptoms like dizziness or nausea. If this is the case, you can curtail symptoms by drinking water to weaken the effects of THC. To summarize, the best way to avoid an overdose or "bad trip" is simply through planning and circumstance. Know the strength of your dose before deciding to ingest and play it within your limits. For beginners, less is more. Find a comfortable spot where you feel relaxed and plan your day to mitigate any unwanted surprises. After all, the body high-induced from edibles can last anywhere from 6-8 hours.
There is still more research to be done on 11-hydroxy-THC and the opportunities can be endless. Remember, enjoy responsibly.