With the cannabis industry booming, more and more people are just beginning to understand the many various means of consumption and how each will affect them. Cannabis edibles are only growing in popularity, and they have come a long way from baking shake brownies in the kitchen. Dispensaries offer so many types of cannabis edible, it can be difficult to know where to start and intimidating for the first-time edible consumer. Here, we will take a look at the history and science behind edibles, so you can be more informed about your next edible adventure.
History of Cannabis Use
Cannabis consumption can be traced back to around 2700 BC in China and India, where it was used to treat many of the exact same symptoms and disorders it is used for today. Seizures, nausea, pain, and spasms were all treated with cannabis. It is recorded that cannabis was also used to improve emotional balance and boost creativity. Cannabis is an ancient wisdom which has never gone out of style.
The Science of Cannabis
Cannabis works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in the human body, which are found in organs and tissue. These receptors are filled with naturally-occurring chemicals which regulate the immune system, digestion, and nerve signalling. Cannabinoids in marijuana mimic the natural endocannabinoids made by the human body, and when consumed by smoking or eating cannabis, these cannabinoids help balance your body’s systems and help you feel more relaxed, focused, energetic, or euphoric.
Many users have taken to “microdosing”, which is the act of consuming a psychotropic substance in a low dose, avoiding full-body effects in favor of slight changes in the mind and perception. This allows people with anxiety, depression, and other chronic ailments, to function in a more relaxed or content mode, reducing the amount of general discomfort and the blues. There are a number of reasons why people choose to microdose, but the number one reason is to determine the exact right amount for your personal needs, without undesired side effects like lethargy or simply getting “too stoned”.
By microdosing, you can achieve the maximum medicinal benefits of cannabis with the minimum amount. It’s a great method for remaining functional while still easing many symptoms. Microdosing gives you full control over your cannabis experience, and for anyone who has ever gotten too high and had a bad time, you know how awesome this option is.
Start by taking a tiny dose the first day and see how it affects you. Take note of the exact amount, how it made you feel, and how long the effects lasted that day. On day 2, you will have a good idea whether you should add a bit more, reduce the dose, or just keep dosing at the same rate. Only increase by small amounts though; it doesn’t take much to push it over the edge from “microdosing” to regular old “getting fucked up”.
The Science of Cannabis Edibles
Why is there a separate section for the science of edibles? Well, if you’ve ever had a bad experience with edibles, or known someone who has, even with plenty of cannabis experience, you know there can be a difference. That difference is 11-Hydroxy-THC, as opposed to the THC we are most familiar with from smoking marijuana. When cannabis is eaten, the metabolite called 11-Hydroxy-THC is processed through the liver, and is passed to the brain more easily, creating a more euphoric, full-body effect than simply smoking. It’s important to keep this difference in mind when experimenting with edibles.
“11-Hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), usually referred to as 11-hydroxy-THC, is the main active metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is formed in the body after cannabis is consumed.[
Fresh cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which is converted into THC after heating and then metabolized by the body into 11-hydroxy-THC and then into 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC; both compounds can be glucuronidated and mainly excreted into urine. Both compounds, along with THC, are assayed in blood tests.
Based on one study from 1972 that directly compared administration of THC and 11-hydroxy-THC to twenty men, drug effects were equal in potency but were perceived more rapidly with 11-hydroxy-THC than with THC, and 11-hydroxy-THC was cleared from blood faster; this suggests that 11-hydroxy-THC diffuses into the brain more readily than THC, or that THC remains bound to proteins in blood longer. In sheep, dogs, and monkeys, THC crosses the placenta more efficiently than 11-hydroxy-THC.”
Choosing cannabis edibles as your consumption option has many benefits, such as the medicinal ones listed above. But they are also great for being discreet, while you are out in the world unable to smoke your favorite strain. Cannabis edibles have been used to medicate and improve your sense of well-being for a very long time, and for good reason. Whether you’re a new cannabis enthusiast or a veteran I recommend giving microdosing a try. They knew about its promise in the Bronze Age, but microdosing edibles have never been easier or more effective.