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Why Do Marijuana Edibles Give Different High Than Smoking?

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By Author: Stephen Robert
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Mango Kush, Pineapple Express and Blueberry Dream might sound like delicious sweet treats, but these are also names given to some of the most popular marijuana edibles in the market today. As more and more states prepare to legalize the medical and even recreational use of the drug, we can only expect to hear more of these names in the future.

Many people are opting to use edibles as they’re known to be “healthier” than smoking, but is this really the case? Experts say that the amount of heat applied to the plant determines how the drug will affect the brain. In other words, heating medicinal cannabis changes its chemical makeup and the compounds found in it, called cannabinoids.

What Happens When Weed is Heated?

Smoking cannabis heats it to about 800 degrees Celsius. It converts THCA to Delta-9THC that then binds to the brain receptors and makes them continually fire. This process can distort someone’s thoughts, perceptions and imagination. Marijuana edibles, on the other hand, are heated to a mere 150 degrees Celsius, burning the actual plant less—which minimizes carcinogens.

Because THC is lipophilic (meaning it dissolves in fat) and is not water soluble, activated THC needs to be dissolved into something that’s fatty like butter or oil. There’s a delay in the onset of the high after ingesting because the drug slowly moves through the gut. This leads to a high that can last from four to eight hours, and one that is more potent than smoking.

Why Do Edibles Produce More of a High

Eating edibles gives you a more potent high because of the manner in which THC enters the body. First, cannabis is metabolized in the liver and then it enters the bloodstream. Here, a potent chemical is created that can pass the brain barrier much more quickly. When cannabis is cooked, a stronger compound is made, leading to more psychotropic types of cannabinoids in the neurons, leading to a longer high.

Eating vs Smoking: Which is Healthier?

Getting high without smoking is found to be healthier on the body, particularly the lungs. The body is spared from the toxic chemicals that smoking creates, like tumor initiators, bronchial irritants and carbon monoxide. However, marijuana edibles can make it harder to control the high, as it can take a few hours to feel its actual effects.

Cannabis edibles dosages can also significantly vary from one product or one manufacturer to another, which can change the effects and might even get you higher than you planned. Despite this, no serious long-term harm, lethal overdose, or toxicity has been found when people consume more edibles than they intended.

Looking into the Future of Cannabis Edibles

Eating instead of smoking cannabis is healthier, but it can be difficult to self-monitor as it can take hours before you experience any effects. Also, medications can affect the metabolization of THC because they can compete with these other drugs in the liver. When in doubt, it helps to ask a reputable weed dispensary or weed expert about eating and smoking weed.

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