Welcome to the Cannabis Supply Co. educational series on delivery methods! We’ll be taking an in-depth look at delivery methods for medical and recreational cannabis. You can find Part #1 on smoking & vaping here.
When we say “delivery methods” we’re talking about the way you’re ingesting your cannabis. We’re going to talk about the two types of legal medical cannabis in Canada: dry flower and concentrated oil. There are three main ways to ingest dry flower or oil and then variations within those three main ways.
Today we’re looking at method #2: the digestive system. This means ingesting cannabis extract through your digestive system. Cannabis extract typically comes in the form of oil or butter and can be taken by itself as a drop, or cooked or mixed into food. Let’s take a look at how it works and how it affects you!
Method #2: The Digestive System, or, Edibles
Sub-method #1: Edible food products
This is an age-old method of delivery but beware: edibles can have much stronger effects than smoking or vaping your cannabis and the effects will last much longer. There are two main reasons for this:
- You are using a different system in your body: your digestive system rather than your cardiovascular system.
- Cannabis oil is a concentrated form of cannabis, meaning there is much more of the active cannabinoids like THC and CBD in a small drop of cannabis oil than the amount of dry flower you would vape or smoke.
Let’s look at point #1: when dosing with edibles, either with a food product or straight cannabis oil, it is going through your digestive system rather than your cardiovascular system. This means that it will take longer for you to feel the effects of your cannabis – usually 30 minutes to an hour – and you may have a slower build up to feeling the full effects. If you are used to smoking or vaping your cannabis, this will be a much different experience. Skip ahead to the the “How long will it last” section for more info!
Beware: start low and go slow! Be sure to wait at least 2-3 hours after dosing to dose again, as the full effects will take longer to fully emerge with edibles and oil.
Let’s look at point #2. When making your own oil or butter, you will be using a fat (butter or oil) to extract the cannabinoids from the cannabis flower. When you cover decarbed cannabis flowers in oil and apply low heat, the oil absorbs the cannabinoids out of the flower. You can add more oil to dilute the strength, or use a small amount of oil for less powerful baked goods. Learn more about decarboxylation here!
Because cannabis oil from your LP is already decarbed you don’t need to heat it to feel the effects. While you can make baked goods, you don’t need to cook the oil again so be sure to cook below 300°C so you don’t burn off the THC and CBD in the oven (and your home!) rather than in your body.
Want to learn how to make quick and cost-effective cannabis oil with your vaporizer? Click here to find out how!
There are many other popular edibles like gummy candies, drinks, and more. These are widely available in the USA right now, but they are still illegal to be purchased in Canada at this time. You can make your own oil, extracts and edibles at home with some handy tools though! Check out the Magical Butter Decarbox, the LEVO oil infuser, and the Magical Butter Maker:
Sub-method #2: Edible Oils, Sublingual drops, sprays and more
Cannabis oil is a concentrated extraction of the cannabinoids and sometimes terpenes that are naturally occuring in the cannabis flower. You can extract the cannabinoids in several ways to produce many different concentrates like shatter, wax, hash and kief but today we are just going to look at the legal cannabis oil available from Canadian Licenced Producers as well as homemade butters.
Oils from licensed producers are very popular because they are a healthful smokeless way of medicating with cannabis. Because they are smokeless, edibles are also a very discreet way of dosing compared to smoking or vaporizing. Oils are made from the cannabis extract mixed with a carrier oil to create a regulated dose of THC and/or CBD in each drop. Oils can come in varying levels of THC and CBD so it is important to read the label to ensure you are dosing with the correct oil type.
Oils are commonly delivered with a measured dropper under the tongue which is also called “sublingually”. The tissue under the tongue is full of blood vessels which absorb the cannabinoids quickly so you can feel the effects quicker than simply eating. Licenced Producer Hydropothecary has a sublingual mist spray with a mint flavour which works in a similar fashion. The mist spray comes in a specially made spray bottle that measures one microdose in each spray. Stay tuned for our look at microdosing in future articles!
There are many other inventive dosing methods available to Canadians right now. Many LP’s carry softgel capsules which are a simple and discreet way to dose. Decarb powder can be mixed into food or taken in pill form. Canadians can also look forward to even more dosing methods in the future like oral thin films and transdermal patches!
Edibles: How long will it last?
Another important difference is how long the effects will last. In our first article we talked about how quickly smoking and vaping cannabis works because the cardiovascular system works so quickly. With your digestive system the effects will last much longer because it takes much longer for your body to process food. You can expect to feel the effects of your edible cannabis for 4-8hrs – or even longer!
Note that the strength of your effects will depend on your own personal tolerance to cannabis. If you are just starting out with cannabis and have a low tolerance you can expect to feel very strong effects.
The duration of your effects will depend on your own personal metabolism. If you have a low metabolism you can expect to feel those effects for longer as it takes longer for your body to process foods.
Edibles: What will it feel like?
With edibles you will feel the full effects of the cannabinoids, just like with smoking or vaporizing. This means that if you are ingesting THC, you will feel the psychoactive “high”. Most people report a different type of feeling from THC edibles than they do with smoking or vaping and often describe it as a “body high”. Many people report THC edibles coming on with very strong effects, even if they are an experienced cannabis user.
Don’t want to feel the psychoactive effects of THC? Try topicals! We’ll be looking at topicals in the next blog posts so stay tuned.
If you are medicating with edibles with just CBD and no THC, you won’t feel a psychoactive high because it is the THC that gives the feeling of being high. You will still feel the effects of the CBD for a longer amount of time. Learn more about cannabis strains and cannabinoids!
Stay tuned for more part three of Cannabis Supply Co.’s educational series on dosing methods! In part three, we’ll be looking at topicals and more.
More Educational Posts:
- Cannabis Species: Medical & recreational cannabis species
- Cannabis Species: the four species of cannabis
- Dosing Methods #1: Smoking & Vaporizing
- Dosing Methods #2: Edibles & Oils
- Dosing Methods #3: Topicals & More
- Make cannabis oil with your vape!
- What are cannabinoids?