How does the body absorb edibles?

Wednesday, Dec 1, 2021

A first-timer’s experience with cannabis will mostly likely involve smoking: classic. As the industry grows and progresses, and as more folks learn about all the various methods of consumption of THC, more people are eating edibles.

Edibles are easy to dose, they’re potent, and the lungs get a break, which is great news for those with respiratory issues! The effects of edibles typically hit a bit harder and last a bit longer too. Of course, each unique endocannabinoid system will have its own version of effects.

The biggest difference between smoking vs eating cannabis is its journey throughout the body. When smoking, the vapor enters your body through the lungs, then goes directly into the bloodstream.

When eating an edible, cannabis is digested at the same rate as the food that it’s infused into, through the digestive system. In this case, THC gets processed by the liver. As this happens the liver breaks down THC to become more bioavailable. Meaning that the THC can be more easily delivered to and processed by the brain.

This bioavailability allows THC to pass through an important cell membrane in the brain known as the blood-brain barrier, and passing through it is likely why edibles’ effects tend to be so potent and long-lasting. The process of THC becoming more bioavailable is unique to the liver though and doesn’t occur when inhaling cannabis. Due to its influence on the body processing edibles, if your liver is damaged then edibles have the potential to be less effective for you.