Dear Stoner: Everyone talks about potency, but what about efficiency when eating edibles? What absorption method is the best?
Dear Levi: Are you familiar with the debunked notion that humans only use 10 percent of our brains? Eating a regular edible and absorbing it through the intestines and liver is like a true version of that, as our bodies only tap into a fraction of the edible’s potency. Research shows that our gastrointestinal tract absorbs about 4 to 20 percent of THC that is processed by our stomach and liver, but that process supercharges the THC before it enters our bloodstreams by converting the cannabinoid into 11-Hydroxy-THC, which is five to ten times stronger than the THC you smoke. This process can take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours, and is enhanced by fatty and terpene-heavy foods. I use these types of edibles when I want to keep the effects rolling all day.
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Sublingual THC, consumed via oils, sprays or certain drinks, is absorbed under and on your tongue and on the sides of your mouth. That process could absorb THC in the 50 to 75 percent rate and hits much faster because it enters the bloodstream almost directly. But what you gain in speed with a sublingual, you lose in lasting power and the potency conversion taking place in the liver. We still haven’t reached that perfect medium yet, but we’ve got more options than our parents had.
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