Edibles can be much more efficient than smoking when made properly.... but you
may also be one of the VERY fortunate and
rare individuals, who have very efficient digestive systems when it comes to canna!
If so, I bet you're the lucky person in the group of your friends, who can have a good effect from the same tray of cookies,
while a few of your biddies are left to scratch their heads, wondering why they aren't feeling anything.
Most people require oil to be made in such a way, that allows for enhanced bioavailability
of the active components,
while a very rare
few, seem to be able to absorb cannabinoids readily, just along with a fat source, and with only the least bit
When made properly, edible cannabis should provide MUCH stronger
and longer-lasting effects
, than the effects that
could be achieved by smoking the same amount of material, for just about everyone
Even people with digestive tissue damage, and wasting syndrome-type issues (in spite of a healthy diet, indicating a difficulty
in absorption of certain elements or food in general), only may, but still may not
even have trouble with cannabinoid absorption,
with the correct edible oil processing. Even they often feel an extra oomph from good oil, and a definite extension in the
length of duration, when compared to smoking.
When we make canna oil, we are performing a technique very similar to the way many prescription medications
supplements are made, in order to increase their
availability to the bloodstream.
The process in the pharmacological world is often known as Liposomal Encapsulation, LET, and 'metabolic enhancement',
it means that you've created a solution comprised of a difficult-to-absorb solute, and a highly bioavailable and efficient solvent (ie.
oil/fat/lipids), but in such a way
that a persistant bubble or 'capsule' of the solvent has encased the individual active components,
allowing them to pass freely through our cell-walls, rather than bouncing off as they otherwise would.
Improper processing techniques, are why we have so much dosage discrepancy, and so many failed edible stories!
Cannabis glandular material is notoriously difficult
for the average digestive tract to break down, process and absorb, in the
amount of time it has to do so.
It needs a 'vehicle' such as oil, glycerin, or even alcohol, which drastically improves cellular permeability, in order to provide
you with the most absorption and the strongest sensations.
The above 'water' could be brownie mix, it could be a beverage, or it could simply be the extra contents of your stomach
after swallowing canna oil.
When you process in oil gently, for long enough, a solution is formed in such a way when the solvent (in this case, oil) creates
a persistent 'coat' on the broken down particles of the solute (cannabis glandular material)... once this occurs, you have
a bioavailable 'solution'.
In other words, we choose the edible solvents we do, not only because they are effective at breaking down cannabis
glandular material, but because they help our bodies absorb it!
When you enhance bioavailability, you're increasing the chemical load
that can reach the system, with any given dose... the
more highly bioavailable, the less of your potency will go 'in one end, and out the other', without absorption!
In the case of vitamin C for instance, in the form of ascorbic acid, when it has been properly liposomally treated the body will
receive the same chemical load from '150%' of your daily value, as it can from over '4000%' of your daily value... that means that
without the aid of proper liposomal metabolic enhancement, you would need to consume over 25 times the amount of
vitamin C, in order to provide the same chemical load and medicinal benefits to your system!
Back to temperature.....
We process at lower temperatures when making edibles, which reduces degradation of cannabinoids, and rather
than exhaling trace amounts of potency and allowing other traces to trail off from a burning ember, we're consuming the whole
lot! But that's not where the big 'increase' in potency really comes from....
Even vaporization at the lowest temps possible, destroys an estimated minimum of 15% - 30% of your potency before it can
even reach your lungs, while combustion destroys upwards of 50% and more.
We especially know the vaporization limitations so well, due to the difference between liquid chromatography/LC
when performing potency analysis
And someone mentioned earlier the cannabinoid conversion that takes place within the body
; when you smoke, you're causing
cannabinoids to bypass or 'skip' your liver on their way to the blood stream. They still eventually cycle through, but at a more
gradual pace and only as they are being filtered, metabolized and excreted by the body.
The kind of conversion that occurs, how much, and when it takes place, is specifically reliant
on how the cannabinoids
enter your system.
When you consume your cannabinoids orally, and within the right oil source
, you can direct your absorption THROUGH the
liver, intentionally, which immediately causes the formation of the much more powerful 11-OH-THC, from your D9-THC!
A hungry liver can cause a negative first-pass effect, where you may over-metabolize cannabinoids rather than convert them; this is why a small meal beforehand can aid in bioavailability; this will both 'lube up' cell walls, and it depletes the enzymatic system and reduces enzyme activity within the liver, allowing for a more gentle conversion to take place; this is when 11-OH-THC is formed!
This is why coconut oil
, and to a lesser extent butter
, are the favored oil sources for processing cannabis glandular material;
coconut oil contains up to 60%+ MCT or medium-chain triglycerides; MCTs absorb passively and rapidly through the
portal vein and liver, which encourages the most D9-THC to 11-OH-THC conversion to take place all at once, and
as early in the experience.
This DRAMATICALLY improves the experience for patients (and recreational users
seeking euphoria and sedation!
Here is an older post on cannabinoid temps, vaporization and GC/LC differences...
It's true, the hotter your flame or heat source, the more your potent material degrades and deteriorates
it can even reach your lungs.
The way to preserve the most
potency, would be to make edibles
But that is an intimidating concept for most average tokers, because they often don't feel confidant they can make edibles
properly! And the quality of any edible relies on the precision during processing.
There are many 'old-fashioned', and less efficient (but all-too-common) recipes floating around.
And if you screw up making your edibles, and barely catch a buzz.... then you'd have been better off just smoking
But if you make them properly, you can produce the least amount of waste, and deliver the most potency to your system!
With edibles, you can get a stronger, longer-lasting sensation from less
material, than you'd usually smoke or
This is because once vaporization is approached or initiated, the amount of active material completely destroyed
increase to as much as 30% or more, leaving behind not even the byproducts of degradation
(primarily it is THC which
is effected at such temperatures, where it is one of the more 'heat sensitive' of the major cannabinoids and becomes vapor
much earlier for instance than CBD, CBG, CBC; THC has a flashpoint of 300.2 F).
But vaping produces a fraction of the waste when compared to combustion, which destroys around a minimum
of your potency... those using lighters are degrading more potency with their first puff, when they start their bowls, than
those who use hemp wicks or ceramic soldering irons for instance. People who vape properly conserve
beyond the destroyed percentage, in either case, is a mixture of residual cannabinoids including THC
and its degraded byproducts (primarily CBN).
The higher the temperature, the more material becomes destroyed... it's why when fully combusting, or smoking your
material, you can only idealistically hope to receive and benefit from roughly half
the potency your cannabis once contained,
We know much of this, primarily because of the differences between the highly accurate Liquid Chromatography
and the much less accurate Gas Chromatography
When analyzing potency content using GC(gas ch.), the end content result
measurement is reduced by a MINIMUM of 30%,
and by as much as 50% of the actual content
of that sample, due to the material that is destroyed
as the temperature is
slowly increased, to release the 'gas' that is analyzed. Analyzing the same material via LC, which is a low-temp analysis reliant
on solvents, produces readings consistently higher.
LC is performed at temperatures far below
the vape point, and when the same material is analyzed both
GC and LC, the LC results indicate a higher total THC/A reading by a minimum of 30%, and up to 50% under most
normal GC conditions, depending on the calibration of the GC unit/equipment.
(The lowest temperature GC operates on is based on the vaporization of the elements being tested, and the
temperature used varies, depending on the calibration and settings of the equipment used; some analyze chemicals and
metals with higher melting/flash points
, for instance when performing a contaminant analysis, and as such,
they require higher temperatures in order to produce a reading.)
LC is considered the most accurate method
for determining the actual contents
, potency-wise, because it displays
what is actually contained in raw cannabis AND ready-to-eat edible products; it lets you know exactly
putting into your system.
Whoops! Sorry for the long post!... I hope it was interesting, at least