Though weed-infused edibles contain smaller amounts of THC, they usually hit you stronger than pot flowers. Why does eating cannabis affect you differently than smoking it? Interestingly, the reason lies in the way our body deals with the cannabis product you consume. In a nutshell, in order to be broken down, weed-infused edibles have to go through the liver, which makes the influence of cannabis compounds stronger.
The way of consuming marijuana is the most important factor in how quickly you experience weed effects. When you smoke or vape, marijuana smoke reaches your bloodstream through the lungs in a very short time. Circulating in your body, the blood quickly delivers THC to the brain cells that stimulate a euphoric high.
However, when you consume pot edibles, the cannabis in their content goes through the digestive system and only then reaches the liver that enhances the THC effects. Thus, it takes longer, in particular, from half an hour to two hours, for edibles to kick in. In contrast, the effects of inhaling pot smoke start in ten to thirty minutes.
When you smoke weed flowers, you receive cannabis compounds that are more bioavailable than those in pot edibles. The bioavailability of THC in cannabis smoke reaches 56%. This is enough for your body to activate THC.
The absorption of weed compounds begins only after cannabis smoke passes the trachea and enters the lungs. Human lungs contain many air pathways that ensure full THC absorption within milliseconds. From the moment of your inhale, the cannabinoids reach the brain within a minute.
In the brain, weed compounds strive for the CB1 cannabinoid receptors. When the THC molecule binds with CB1 receptors, cannabis users begin to experience uplifting feelings.
In contrast, oral cannabis is less bioavailable, only 20%. Nevertheless, edibles have stronger effects. Why? It happens because the liver metabolizes THC into a smaller chemical called 11-hydroxy-THC.
Compared to the THC that directly interacts with the endocannabinoid system, the THC produced by the liver is more bioavailable. This chemical compound is quicker at overcoming the blood-brain barrier, a cell membrane that filters the blood before it reaches the brain.
In simple words, the liver turns all the THC received from weed edibles into a more potent chemical compound.
However, new marijuana consumers often have difficulties with edible consumption. They claim that consuming oral weed products does not have any effect on their bodies.
This happens when the liver metabolizes THC very quickly and breaks it down into compounds so small that they are unable to produce any effect.
Thus, edible producers recommend eating a meal before taking oral cannabis. This postpones the time of THC activation, but the effects will be stronger.