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4 ways edibles can hit you faster

July 10, 2017
(Foxys_forest_manufacture/iStock)
Unlike smoking, edibles can be a waiting game. Ever hear of “start low and go slow” when it comes to infused treats? It’s the best mantra to follow when you’re new to the edibles market—take too much and you’ll have an unhappy high. Then again, take too little and you won’t feel anything at all.

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However, for those who aren’t a fan of the “going slow” part, there there are a few ways your infused eats can affect you faster. Whether you need quick relief for medical reasons or you simply can’t afford to wait around, check out the following tips to for efficient edibles consumption.

Sublingual Tinctures

(temmuzcan/iStock)

A traditional edible, with its THC most often attached to a fat (such as the cannabutter in a pot brownie), must surpass many hurdles for its cannabinoids to reach the bloodstream. The gastrointestinal tract is long, and an edible must pass through the stomach, intestines, and liver as it’s absorbed, contending with acids and bile along the way before it reaches your bloodstream. A tincture is a quick and handy alternative ingestible that bypasses all of that extra biology to get your THC exactly where you need it to go—your bloodstream.

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Cannabis tinctures 101: What are they, how to make them, and how to use them

To take something sublingually means to take it under the tongue. Why is this beneficial for faster absorption? Under your tongue there exist mucus membranes and an abundance of capillaries, which allow cannabinoids to be absorbed more directly. A few drops under the tongue—held there for 5 to 10 minutes—will allow the effects of the THC in a tincture to come on much quicker, letting you better control the length and strength of your dosage. It should be noted that tinctures’ effects don’t last as long as edibles—think of fat-based edibles as the “extended release” version of cannabis consumables—and that can be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your situation.

Infused Beverages

(kizilkayaphotos/iStock)

Though long overlooked, cannabis-infused drinks are starting to make a splash in the edibles market. Coffee, tonics, elixirs, sodas, lemonade, tea, juices—if you can dream it, you can probably find it on the shelves of a dispensary. Not only are cannabis-infused drinks delicious, they are a fantastic way to enjoy a faster-acting edible.

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Tired of Infused Chocolates? Try These Delicious Drinkable Edibles Instead

In liquid form, the cannabinoids within a drink have the potential to be absorbed (in small part) sublingually as you sip, while also passing through the digestive tract more quickly than a lipid-packed cannabis cookie. Some, such as a concentrated cannabis “shot,” are even formulated for this exact purpose, claiming edible “insta-highs” that will come on in a matter of minutes.

Just like traditional edibles, you can find all manner of drinkables, so no matter your cannabinoid or flavor of choice, there’s something for everyone.

Specially Formulated Edibles

(Courtesy of 1906)

There are also solid edibles that are being formulated to hit you quicker. One such example comes from 1906, a Colorado-based producer of specially formulated chocolates intended to deliver a fast-acting high. The company claims the effects of these “rapid delivery” edibles can be felt as soon as 15–20 minutes after consumption.

Peter Barsoom, founder of 1906, explained in a recent Forbes article that due to his “proprietary lipid microencapsulation process,” the THC is able to “bypass the stomach and get into the small intestine faster. It also allows more of the THC to get into the blood.”

Related

Indica vs. Sativa Cannabis Edibles: Will They Affect You Differently?

1906 offers a range of chocolates formulated for specific outcomes. There’s Midnight for sleep, Go for energy, Pause for relaxation, and High Love for lust. In addition to a balanced formula of THC and CBD, each chocolate also features a selection of additional botanicals that promote the sensation the chocolate is geared towards. For example, Go contains a blend of coffee and other natural stimulants for a buzzier high.

Increased Metabolism

(PeopleImages/iStock)

The final method in quickly bringing about the effects of edibles is to increase your metabolism so that the infused product can break down in your digestive tract and deliver the cannabinoids to your bloodstream as swiftly as possible. There are some general rules of thumb for keeping one’s metabolism sharp, such as consuming plenty of protein, drinking lots of water, working out, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, and getting plenty of solid sleep.

However, if you’re seeking a quick fix and not a complete overhaul of your lifestyle, the winning ticket may be in consuming caffeine or tea. Green tea and oolong tea have been shown in some studies to increase metabolism by 4–5%. Likewise, the caffeine in coffee has been shown to increase metabolism by 3–11%. The next time you indulge in a traditional edible, try taking it alongside a cup of coffee or green tea to encourage increased metabolism and thus speedy digestion of your tasty treat.

Rae Lland's Bio Image

Rae Lland

Rae Lland is a freelance writer, journalist, and former editor for Weedist and The Leaf Online. With a focus on culture, music, health, and wellness, in addition to her work for Leafly, she has also been featured in numerous online cannabis publications as well as print editions of Cannabis Now Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @rae.lland

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  • dcard88

    Really? Can’t bear to be straight for another 15 minutes? Eat straight butter with an 1 oz OJ chaser. Why have the extra calories.

    • Mark Skinner

      I take it that you mean canna-butter…..and what is an OJ chaser ? Surely not orange juice ? (Sorry for appearing ignorant but I am an Aussie and am not familiar with these terms.)

      • stevetdc

        I’m American and I don’t understand him either

        • dcard88

          That an American does not have a clue what orange juice is called is amazing to me. Got any OJ? No one ever asked you that?
          Now think what a chaser could be. liquid drink that uses the letters O and J.

          • Roe Santoro

            I knew what you meant immediately. I’m from NY.

          • Gator B.

            Maybe stevedc was confused by : not liking the taste of cannabis
            Mixing dairy and OJ and that REALLY tastes like shit, and finally just picture you going through the clusterfuck process of holding fingers in your nose, eating a stick of butter and taking a shot of OJ at the same time. If a family member saw that shit, they’d have me committed! LOL ✌️

      • Heinrich D. Bag

        OJ is a US name/slang for orange juice but as far as the method…I have not tried it.

      • dcard88

        I’m sorry, but I thought this article was about cannabis. Canna butter taste like shit. Hold your nose and eat it. Rinse your mouth with an once of OJ and swish thoroughly. Remove fingers from nose. ZERO taste of canna left in your mouth.

        Why surely not orange juice?

        • Headfuck The Wise

          Dude don’t do any of that bullshit. Taking cannabutter is easy, but chewing it is disgusting, Don’t chew, just hold it in the corner of your mouth and let it melt down. Garanteed not as nasty.

        • Gator B.

          Doesn’t the orange juice cause the butter to curdle or at least taste even more horrible? Citrus and dairy has never been a good combination for me! I don’t mind the taste of the terpines and whatever other parts of the buds that find their way in.

  • Para Salin

    What, no canna suppositories?
    Lenny Bruce once said: “You fall asleep before your finger leaves your ass.”
    Oh no, wait. Lenny wasn’t talking about cannabis.
    Never mind.

    • Mark Skinner

      When Lenny Bruce said that “you fall asleep before your finger leaves your arse”, do you think he might have been referring to heroin ? I know that Lenny was a user, but as to whether he made suppositories out of it, I don’t know and would be interested to find out.

      • Diogenes’ Progeny

        I think he meant “needle leaves your arm”.

      • Laura Cornwell

        No, he was talking about barbiturate suppositories. Secobarbitol.

        • Mark Skinner

          Thanks Laura.

        • Mark Skinner

          Good thing I didn’t start stuffing my best dope (marijuana) up my arse. Thanks again Laura.

        • Gator B.

          Spot on, Laura! Seconal was probably made more famous by the line by the Grateful Dead “living on reds, vitamin C, & cōcaine” in their song “Casey Jones”. What a horrible combination! I only bring it up because the older I get the more often I need to explain such things! Thanks Laura, I’d forgotten about that!

          • KapzlokSpelczech

            *Truckin’

    • Lee Likins

      😀 😀 😀

  • Karen Hawley

    I can’t stand the drag and tiredness effect edibles have on me. Almost a waste of money

    • stevetdc

      try a strong sativa edible on an empty stomach. Sounds like you’re under-dosing. If you’re a regular cannabis user you probably need between 30-50 mg of THC to get a good buzz. I wasted a lot of money when I started with edibles because I constantly under-dosed. Once I found my dose level (50-60mg) I take it all at once and 1/2-1 hour later it’s workin’. Hope this helps.

      • Karen Hawley

        I appreciate your suggestion steve. I took, (swallowed), 1/2 syringe of Black Cherry Soda-Activated-Sativa Hybrid, (1/2 gm), and was exhausted all day.

        My husband’s on medical mj, for cancer, so we can grow legally in WA. But this stuff I bought at the dispensary nearly made me sick.

  • Two Bears

    I put my super strong tincture in a very hot cup of tea every morning.

    My tinctures are 1 gram shatter in a 15 ml bottle and fill the bottle with Everclear.

    My tinctures are 60-63 mg/ml

  • F Michael Addams

    …thanks Rae..great article..

  • Deathstroke OG

    I’ve found that taking a strong pro biotic right after eating a pot brownie dramatically increases the effect.

  • Trinacrius

    I like to melt a section of an infused chocolate bar into a cup of hot cocoa or coffee.

  • afish

    I wish I could find something that worked well with me. Maybe one of you here can come up with some suggestions for me. I smoked back in high school then into my 20’s. I’m almost 61 now. Because of my chronic pain, I got my MJ card and I started smoking and doing edibles about a year ago. I’m on 8-12mg of Dilaudid and a couple other pain medications on a daily basis. No matter what I use, vape, flower, edible, I always have to use so much of it to get any kind of a buzz. Could this be because of the medications I’m on or?? Does anyone know anything about this? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, I have very severe Celiac Disease, a gluten allery, I can’t eat the brownies, cookies, etc., anything that has wheat, rye, barley or soy in it. Thanks in advance to you all.

    • Samuel Davis

      To be honest, this may be due to the cannabinoid receptors in your brain. You will continue to make more in order to balance out the the amount of THC that is flooding your brain. These go back to normal levels after 1-2 for normal users but It may take longer in your case. Sorry to hear about the Celiac disease, hope you get better.

      • curmudgeon

        1-2??? Weeks, months

      • afish

        Thanks for your reply, Samuel! I’m assuming you’re talking about 1-2 months? So is this something that will, at some point, improve as far as me feeling like I’ve actually smoked something? I sure hope so or this is going to be way more expensive than a bottle of Dilaudid every month.

        • Austin Konrad

          Two months off should get your cannabinoid receptors back to baseline, but in the future for every month of continued use take a week or so off, but play around with it for a while in order to find the use pattern that is the most efficient for you. You may be able to get away with 6 weeks straight use with only 3 to 5 days off.

          • afish

            Thanks, Austin! Since my Dr. has given me a choice here, I need to decide which way I want to go here, opiods or weed, I would be hoping for the 3 to 5 days off. I don’t want to give up either one, especially the Dilaudid. As far as the weed goes, from what I have tried so far, I prefer Indicas and Hybrids, my daughter thinks that might be my problem and that I need a Sativa. I’ll try a straight sativa and see what that does for me. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on this, Austin. All suggestions are welcome!

          • Austin Konrad

            Actually 4 weeks off will get you to about 85% no need to go off for two months, you would just be chasing that 15% and in this case it probably wouldn’t be worth it to you. After that though 3 to 5 days off a month should be just fine, but every one is different, may be more may be less, you will have to experiment.

          • afish

            Okay, so here’s the latest. After being at my neighbors and trying out his little bubbler and actually getting quite a buzz using the same flower as I have, I was plesently surprised so I bought myself a little 5″ bubbler. Now my question is, with your experience, does using a bubbler verses the regular pipe make a difference with any of you? It sure has with me, so far anyways. Austin, thank you again and if my little bubbler doesn’t continue to do the trick, I will definitely take your advise.

    • Terry

      Sounds to me like you’re not absorbing the cannabinoids because of your gut issues. I would skip the edibles until you get your gut straightened out and try sublingual tincture instead if pain relief is what you’re after. Couple that with a vaporizer and you’ll get pain relief and you can control the intensity of the buzz easily with a little practice.
      I kicked a fentanyl patch and a whole bunch of pills with just that combination. I find about a 1:2 ratio of CBD:THC works best for me. YMMV. I have CRPS II and Lupus and I’ve been using only cannabis for over 2 years now. My brother dropped his dilaudid in December and now uses only cannabis and he’s much happier and feeling better in general.
      One more suggestion, try watching the film Forks Over Knives. Changing my diet literally saved my life after surgery for diverticulitis, and now my autoimmune symptoms are slowly disappearing. Cannabis and a plant based diet are curing the incurable. You may be surprised how fast your gastrointestinal issues go away. I’m 59 btw, disabled at 50.
      Good luck to you!
      Edit: I don’t catch much of a buzz unless my pain is well under control usually. That may be what you’re experiencing as well. And on days that I’m having a really bad flare up I can use an awful lot before I get where I need to be. The ability to go back to a minimal amount the next day without ill effects is one of the major benefits imho.

      • afish

        Hi Terry, thanks so much for your input. I gave up on the edibles, just been throwing money away. I am going to take your advise and give the tincture and vaporizing combination a try. What exactly are you using when it comes to the vaping? I currently have oils and wax, haven’t had very good luck with those either. It sounds like you and I have a bit in common when it comes to our health issues. If you would care to share with me the names of what you use, that would be great. I’m willing to try anything at this point, especially now that I won’t have the Dilaudid. I’ll check out the, Forks Over Knives. Thanks for all of your input.

        • Terry

          Hi afish, I’m glad I could be of some assistance. I grow my own and currently have ten different strains on hand and have tried many more, and what I’ve found that works for me the best is CBD Critical Mass, Blue Dream, and Blue Widow. Occasionally some Jack Frost, mostly for mood. I use two vaporizers, a Volcano, and a Arizer Solo. I mix the high CBD strain with every other strain that I use nowadays. It’s great for symptoms and for controlling how hard the THC hits you. I also use tincture with CBD in it. I find that CBD really helps with inflammation.
          It may take a little while to find your sweet spot and to flush the opioids out of your system. Please don’t despair, and don’t give in, you can do this! It took me several years to figure out what works for me, mostly due to lack of good information, but I’m making great progress finally. Considering it took about 50 years for me to screw myself up I’m not expecting an overnight cure, but “modern medicine” was absolutely killing me, no exaggeration, and the natural approach has given me a turnaround in two years that shocks my doctor. I intend to keep surprising him. You can do the same my friend!
          Peace and good will to you!
          Terry

    • jimbro44

      I thought I was immune to edibles ubtil I tried RSO. Not sure if that’s available where you live but it’s VERY easy to make (no harder than making canna butter or anything).

      I still can’t find how RSO is different than decarbed shatter, but I’ve tried every edible I could ever find and RSO is all that works for me. I have anxiety and stomach pain and N/V, and I’ve halved my # or RX meds.

      I have not tried this powdered stuff that’s treated with food grade surfactants and emulsifiers to make it water soluble, they’re supposed to kick in in 15 min…

      Personally I can take RSO on an empty stomach and feel it 35 min later..
      (I take it alone, the way Rick describes taking it on phoenixtears.ca. I just put desired amount on my finger, scrape it off on the Back of my teeth, sip something cold to solidify it, then swallow like a pill. This way 0 things need to be added. I would recommend eating a few bites of something you can tolerate. Sugar, fat and apparently caffeine will all help absorption)
      If I take soy lecithin, and something with a little sugar it helps maybe a little.

      I can’t drink coffee because of my stomach but im anxious to try oolong tea this morning with it..
      It only says 4-5% increase but with sugar, cream, and soy lecithin I’ll see if it’s noticable.

      Interstitial article.

      (Note: after reading other replies, I’d like to mention I’m taking rso mainly for gut issues.. they’re calling it IBS-D, but I’m a 31 yo male with several “red flag symptoms” so I’m kinda waiting for them to tell me I have some form of IBD… but for now it’s IBS-d. Good luck to you.)

      Also high fat burning work out a during ur times off will burn up the fat soaked in cannababoids, further lowering your tolerance in the same time

      The whole body had cannabinoid receptors.. they are all susceptible to tolerance EXCEPT the ones in the gut. Cannabis slows things down, so this effect will ALWAYS happen, regardless of your tolerance, mentally or otherwise.

    • ChicagoMsFit

      You could try the Keto lifestyle it will help with a lot the ailments and allergies

  • Eric2h4l

    Hell buddy gave me a homemade brownie i ate it on the walk home and about 15blocks from home and not 1/3 into my 24ozer BAM hit like a ton of bricks

  • S.K.I.N.N.E.Y

    I had a rice crispy washed it down with a bottle of wayer hopefully it hits before i go to sleep

  • derek mariner

    As I only eat the stuff, ‘don’t smoke’, and only use solid, I know that if I grate the solid into my baking it goes a longer way, however if I were to dissolve some of it first in either walnut oil or coconut oil, would it get into my system any faster?