Many cannabis consumers have opted to take a different route then the “normal” path of smoking flowers. In today’s day and age we’re blessed to have a wide variety of methods and forms of cannabis to medicate with. For those wanting to include edibles in their regimen, they should know that the rides are not the same.

While edibles are definitely a safe and healthy way to medicate, their effects differ. Let’s take a look at what makes eating weed cookies so potent.

Related Article: What are Edibles? Guide for Dosing and Making Marijuana Edibles


11-Hydroxy Metaba-what?

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If you’ve never heard of 11-OH-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol or 11-OH-THC, don’t worry you’re not the only one. When you ingest cannabis the process and effect is different from smoking or vaporizing. If you’ve ever talked to anyone who’s had what they called a “psychedelic” experience from edibles, it can be a vivid memory with mild colorful shapes and distortions. This leads many to shy away from eating cannabis.

It’s not a coincidence that medibles get you higher, it’s actually science. When cannabis is ingested orally, it first has to pass through our liver. This process creates new molecules in our system called metabolites. More specifically, THC converts into 11-OH-THC, which is not present in the marijuana plant until we’ve consumed it. Passing cannabis through our GI tract creates enzymes that normally wouldn’t be created when vaporizing or smoking.

The creation of this metabolite increases the effects from THC by quite a bit. Passing 11-OH-THC through your bloodstream vs THC in your soft tissues creates a much longer, psychoactive and overall stronger effect. But how much stronger is it actually?


Let the Research be Known

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In a head to head match up between THC and 11-OH-THC, subjects were asked to take each at 1mg intravenously – and the results were fascinating. Each patient was asked for a scale of how high they were, how long the effects would take to hit and when they felt the highest. When 11-OH-THC was taken the reports showed effects were stronger and their experience peaked within 2/3 minutes of ingestion.

After 3 rounds of 1mg THC and 11-OH-THC doses, it was clear at equal amounts, 11 Hydroxy Metabolite had an overall stronger and quicker effect then its THC counterpart. But that doesn’t necessarily mean its different or stronger then THC.

When both taken at high levels, they garner the same medicinal effects and “highs”. The difference when we eat medibles, however, is that we’re creating a larger amount of 11-OH-THC, having it pass through our bloodstream to our brain. Therefore, we make better use of our medicine.


Taking a Bite of Medication

Unfortunately, for MANY jurisdictions, claiming cannabis for medical use isn’t compensated, which leaves many of us having to dig deep into our pockets.

But with time, things can change.

In the meantime, however, changing our methods of consumption can help balance our medical regimen, thus, helping us find a more effective way to consume cannabis that works to our benefit. All while leaving our savings accounts alone.

Maybe eating medibles is that cost saving method?