Cannabis Trends Started in America: Vapes, Edibles, and Delta-8 THC

When it comes to starting global cannabis trends, America is like the big old light outside that all the fireflies keep trying to get at. Sure, other countries have their own trends, but on a global stage, no other country dominates like the US. In terms of cannabis trends started in America, perhaps the biggest are vapes, edibles, and delta-8 THC.

Are you familiar with one of the biggest growing cannabis trends in America? Delta-8 THC is giving regular THC a run for its money, and establishing a new way of using cannabis. With less psychoactive effect, and a clear-headed high, delta-8 offers most of the same benefits as delta-9, and without the associated anxiety and paranoia. If this sounds good to you, we’ve got great delta-8 THC deals for you to go ahead, and try it out for yourself.


One of the biggest cannabis trends to gain popularity in America before going international, is the cannabis vape. The idea of vaping materials is not new, and has been traced back as far as ancient Egypt, around 1554 BC, when hot bricks or stones were specifically mentioned for use with inhaling black henbane vapors.

I bought my first weed vaporizer in 2004. I was on a trip to Los Angeles at the time, and I was checking out head shops, since we didn’t have as many back East, where I’m from. At the time, the idea of vaporizing anything wasn’t on my mind, but once it was explained to me by the salesperson inside, I immediately saw an answer to the growing issue I was having smoking flowers in pipes and bubblers. It was killing my lungs, and I knew it.

I was sold almost instantly, and shipped the Vapor Brother’s box vaporizer back East, along with the small stash of smokable herbs (non-cannabis) that came with it. At the time, the vaporizer was still patent-pending, which was emblazoned on the side of the product. I spent years explaining to people what it was and what it did.


When I moved away from the US in 2010, I didn’t bring my vape, thinking I could pick up a new one where I was going. I found this to be untrue in the end, as at that time, the idea of vaping anything was almost nonexistent. It wasn’t until the growth of the e-vape market for tobacco that vaping really caught on, replacing both cigarettes and joints for many people. But in 2010, it was still mainly an American thing.

The Vapor Brothers vaporizer was well-built, and probably would have lasted the rest of my life if I hadn’t confused the electrical information, and plugged it into the electrical socket of a 230v country, without an adapter. Novice mistake, I know. Around that time I was able to replace it, but only by ordering online, as no local store sold such products yet. Since that time, I’ve used a range of vaporizers, with my current one being the Dynavap M. When it comes to cannabis vaporizers, I was one of the first to get in on the new trend, and even now as vaping has been spreading globally, it still remains bigger in the US than anywhere else.

This can be seen in studies like this one, which compares smoking patterns between the US, Canada, and England. As of 2019, when looking at the past 30 days, 30% of US respondents reporting vaping, while only 18.6% of Canadians vaped in that time, and 14.3% of the English constituents. It can be seen again in this market report from 2019, which shows North America accounting for 49.2% of the global cannabis vape market.


The ancient history of edibles goes back pretty far too. Some of the earliest references date back to around 1500 BC in China, where cannabis was used as a tea. These texts were written in the past tense, leading researchers to believe that the practice actually predates this time. There are also plenty of references to it by the year 1000 BC, when it started being used as bhang by the Hindu culture in India. This drink remains popular in India today, and is one of the reasons for the current language in the Single Convention on Narcotic Substances treaty.

But that’s ancient history, and we’re more interested in the growing culture of edibles today. If we skip to the 1800’s, the start of modern cannabis edibles can be seen in Paris, by elitist book writers who met at Club des Hachischins (hash-easters club) to drink hash-infused coffee and teas, and eat hash-infused candy. And it was here that the current edibles movement started, by way of an American woman named Alice B. Toklas.

Toklas was the life partner of author Gertrude Stein, and became part of Paris’ art and literature society in the first half of the 20th century. In 1954, Toklas published the book The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, which contained her recipe for ‘Haschisch Fudge’. While they are called ‘brownies’, her concoction is not quite brownies at all, and uses ground flowers over hash. This might not have started the fad it did, if it wasn’t for Peter Sellers, and his 1968 movie I Love You, Alice B. Toklas, which features an uptight attorney who eats Toklas’ special brownies. This was the birth of the ‘pot brownie’, which became a staple in US cannabis culture, especially with the rising counter-culture of the 60’s, and the general hippie movement.

cannabis trends edibles

This was followed up in the early 1970’s by Mary Rathbun (Brownie Mary), a cannabis activist who began selling cannabis brownies in San Francisco, mainly to AIDS patients. Around this time, American tourists began asking for – and getting – cannabis brownies in Jamaica, as the locals were happy to make them for tourists, even though it was not a part of local culture. Today, the use of cannabis edibles in the medical cannabis market, has exploded into a market all its own.

Right now, it’s not easy to find current data on cannabis edible markets globally. Apart from wild future predictions – that are generally never correct – there isn’t a lot of consistent information about edible usage in the last few years. Even so, reports that have come out, roundly state that North America has the biggest market, and that it will likely stay this way for the foreseeable future.

Delta-8 THC

The thing about vapes and edibles is that, though they started as US cannabis fads, they have since become global trends. When looking at current cannabis trends in America, the biggest standout is delta-8 THC, and its still so new, that it’s like going back in time to Los Angeles in 2004, and seeing the new vaping machine with the ‘patent pending’ on the side. It’s new, and it’s catching on like wildfire here… but it hasn’t made it around the world just yet. In that sense, delta-8 is the trend that’s waiting to explode.

Delta-8 is a naturally occurring derivative of delta-9 THC, the THC generally associated with the cannabis plant. When delta-9 comes into contact with oxygen, it oxidizes by losing electrons, which changes the formulation ever so slightly. Chemically, this change in formulation, is nothing more than the changing of a double carbon bond from the 9th carbon atom on the chain (where it is for delta-9), to the 8th carbon atom on the chain. It’s chemical structure of C21H30O2 is actually unaffected.

What makes delta-8 interesting? For one thing, that slight chemical change affords it some slightly different abilities from delta-9. It causes less psychoactive effect, which is optimal for medical patients who do not want the strong psychoactive effects when getting treatment. It’s also associated with less anxiety and paranoia, also beneficial for users who have issues with anxiety from delta-9. On top of that, it’s known for producing a more clear-headed and energetic high, which means, not only will it not couch-lock a person, but it can be used for athletic activities. Apart from all that was just mentioned, it actually has similar, if not nearly-identical, properties to delta-9, and has already been shown to help with nausea, vomiting, appetite stimulation, inflammation, anxiety, and neurodegenerative diseases.

The trend of delta-8 was started in the US as a result of the 2018 US Farm Bill which legalized the cultivation of hemp, and production of hemp-based products. As delta-8 can be sourced from any delta-9, the ability to produce it from low-THC hemp, fit it into a legal loophole, and allowed for a semi-legal production of THC. Its actual legality is questionable, as the allowable limit for THC in hemp-based products is .3% from beginning to end of processing, meaning that simply using plants with lower THC amounts isn’t helpful if the product itself, or any point in the processing cycle, involves going over this limit.

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This is added onto by the idea that all synthetics are automatically illegal, as the definition of ‘hemp’ does not cover synthetics at all. And even though delta-8 is naturally occurring, it occurs naturally in such small amounts that human help is required in order to produce large enough amounts for use. This calls into question whether it could be considered a synthetic. Neither the DEA’s Interim Final Rule, or the recent USDA Final Rule, have done anything to clarify this point. There also has been almost nothing done to curb the growing industry, which says something for how much the government sees fit to do anything about it.

These legal ambiguities are worldwide for delta-8, and this could halt its spread recreationally. On the medical front, however, delta-8 provides enough different benefits from delta-9, that it can offer improved experiences for patients. And this should make it one of the biggest global cannabis trends (that was started in America), within the next few years.


Things change and morph over time. What starts as a trend in one place, can turn into a worldwide fad over night. Such has been the case with cannabis trends like vaporizers and edibles, which gained popularity in America, before becoming global phenomenon. And such will likely be the case with delta-8 THC. After all, no one ever said the US was the most important country, but no one stopped looking to it for trendsetting ideas, either.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a medical professional, I have no formal legal education, and I’ve never been to business school. All information in my articles is sourced from other places, which are always referenced, and all opinions stated are mine, and are made clear to be mine. I am not giving anyone advise of any kind, in any capacity. I am more than happy to discuss topics, but should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a professional in the relevant field for more information.

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Why Cannabis Edibles Don’t Work For Some People

Cannabis edibles are trending big time. Not only do they offer many advantages that smoking simply does not, such as added discretion and no carcinogens, but for most users, they also provide a much more potent and long-lasting high. Unfortunately for some people, edibles just don’t work… at all.

This can leave a consumer with many questions. Are the edibles bad or is there anther reason why they’re ineffective? Can someone be immune to cannabis edibles? Surprisingly, yes, this is possible; and it relates to the complex way in which our bodies absorb and metabolize cannabinoids.

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The difference between edibles and other consumption methods

Let’s start with the basics… why do cannabis edibles affect our bodies so differently than smoking or vaping? Just like anything else that goes through our digestive systems, cannabis edibles need to metabolize before the effects can be felt. It’s not an instant sensation like the aforementioned alternatives would be and it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in, but the effects last much longer.

Food and supplements need to be processed by the liver, meaning more of the cannabinoid will be filtered out of your system because of the slower absorption time. There are also some individual factors that impact the onset and intensity of the effects, such as the specific cannabinoid consumed or a person’s metabolism.

Take THC for example; whether you’re consuming Delta 8 or Delta 9, the body processes all tetrahydrocannabinols the same, by converting them to a metabolite known as 11-hydroxy-THC. This process is known as first-pass metabolism. According to neuroscientist and medical cannabis adviser, Dr. Adie Rae, “The liver is responsible for this transformation, and specifically, the drug-metabolizing enzyme known as cytochrome P2C9 or CYP2C9. Even when you smoke, your liver still sees some delta-9 and turns it into 11-hydroxy-THC, but you get way more 11-OH when you eat cannabis.”  

When it comes to other cannabinoids, they also produced metabolites as well. Most abundant are hydroxylated 7-COOH metabolites, which are derivatives of CBD/cannabidiol. Like THC, CBD has first-pass effects in the liver. However, our bodies absorb these metabolites differently, and unlike THC, a large portion of CBD is excreted unchanged in the feces. So in other words, when you consumes a CBD edible, a significant portion of the active cannabinoid is going straight to your bowels, waiting to be wasted.  

You will still feel the effects of CBD even orally, but it will take a while longer and won’t be anywhere near as noticeable as the effects from a THC edibles, psychotropic activity notwithstanding. However, the effects you do feel will last much longer than if you had inhaled the CBD, and that rings true with any orally administered cannabinoid.

There are numerous benefits to choosing edibles over smokeables. First and foremost is the impact on your health. When you smoke – anything, cannabis included – you’re exposing your body to carcinogens and other harmful chemicals. Another reason people might choose edibles is because of the long-lasting effects. If you’re using cannabis to manage a chronic condition like ongoing pain, anxiety, etc., it makes more sense to eat an edible a few times a day as opposed to finding somewhere that you can smoke or vape every hour or two. They’re also more discreet, making them easier to travel with and use on the go or in the workplace.

Are some people immune to cannabis edibles?

Technically, yes. Because edibles can be so discreet, potent, and beneficial, many people find themselves seriously disappointment when they take some and realize they don’t work for them. Obviously there is no exact number on this, but even in my personal life I’ve met quite a few people who say they don’t feel anything when they use edibles, myself included.

Ok, to be fair, I wouldn’t say I don’t feel anything… but I definitely don’t experience any type of psychoactive effects. When I use edibles, I feel really tired and nothing more. Estimates indicate that anywhere from 10-15% of cannabis user do NOT experience the desired effects from cannabis edibles, and we can thank our intricate and complicated digestive systems for that.

Research shows that the effectiveness of cannabinoids administered orally can vary based on numerous different factors. Generally speaking, when people are unable to process cannabis edibles it can be narrowed down to one of two complications: digestion/absorption issues or metabolic issues.

Digestive issues

Sometimes, using cannabis for Gastrointestinal disorders can be a bit of a catch 22. On one hand, cannabis can be extremely helpful for someone suffering from these conditions; on the other hand, GI issues can often have a negative impact on how the body digests and absorbs cannabinoids. If a person is unable to absorb fats and nutrients, it’s highly likely that they will not be able to absorb cannabinoids either.

Disorders that can affect how your body absorbs and digests cannabis include: Fat malabsorption syndrome, Irritable bowel disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, gallbladder removal surgery, Lipase deficiency, Pancreatic issues, Issues with bile production, Cystic fibrosis, Chronic diarrhea, or history of other GI surgery.

Additionally, several medications are known to affect digestion and absorption as well. Just think about how many medicines you’ve come across in life that list “gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, etc.,” as possible side effects. This applies to both pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications.

Metabolic issues 

Another possible scenario is that metabolic issues are hindering your body’s ability to process cannabinoids. When using edibles, the cannabinoids are metabolized in the liver before being dispersed into your bloodstream. To be fully processed, the cannabinoids must pass through the incredibly complex CYP450 metabolic pathway, in which metabolic enzymes are produced to help our bodies further utilize certain compounds.

If a person’s body produces too little or too many CYP enzymes, they won’t be able to properly metabolize cannabis products. Some will metabolize them too quickly or too slowly so they won’t be able to properly take effect, others won’t metabolize them at all.

There are many conditions that can affect metabolic enzyme production. According to research from Prof of Pot, one of the reasons could be genetic. “There is a very strong genetic component that influences cannabis metabolism. These genetic components are the reason each individual responds to cannabis so differently. Some people are considered rapid cannabis metabolizers, while others are ultra-slow metabolizers. How your body processes cannabis could be genetic.”

Other elements that could work against your metabolism include age, muscle mass, diet and medications, age, hormone function and production, level of physical activity, and environmental factors such as temperature.

Could it be something else?

The good news is, aside from the above health conditions, there are some simple issues that could be preventing you from experiencing cannabis edibles to their fullest. One of the most obvious being that the dosage is too low, in which case, just find products with a higher concentration of cannabinoids and if that’s not possible, simply eat a few extra.

Assuming you’ve already taken that into account, then you can consider another common issue – maybe you’re using the wrong type of edible. All edibles are made with different strains, meaning they have a different blend of terpenes, minor cannabinoids and other compounds. If you’ve been trying mostly the same types of products to no avail, it might be time to start looking at some different brands and really learning more about the specific ingredients in each edible you’re trying.

And finally, another common issue I hear about is people trying to take edibles on an empty stomach. This is something I typically run into with recreational users rather than medical ones. It’s a commonly held belief that if you’re drinking to get drunk, the quickest way to achieve that is by drinking on an empty stomach, and many people apply the same principal to cannabis.

However, when it comes to edibles, it doesn’t work quite the same way. Yes, the cannabinoids will be processed faster if you take your edible on an empty stomach, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Again, with cannabis edibles, absorption time and metabolism are everything. If your body metabolizes cannabinoids too quickly, you won’t get the desired effects. Try eating a nice meal, drink some water, and think of the edibles as an ultra-relaxing dessert.

Final thoughts

For some people, edibles simply don’t work no matter what they do. Just like certain types of conventional medications don’t work for everyone – for example, I don’t do well with antibiotics – cannabis edibles don’t work for everyone either. Some patients claim to benefit from dietary supplements (Lipase specifically), or by making sure to accompany their edibles with an additional fat.

If nothing helps, you might want to try a sublingual tincture, nasal spray, or vaping. You could also try speaking to your local dispensary workers or even check out a cannabis helpline to see what options might be more suitable for you.

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The Wellness Soldier Announces Retirement, A Farewell Crossword in Honor of Chef Cody

Just before 420, Chef Cody AKA The Wellness Soldier officially announced his retirement. On April 17, this statement was posted on The Wellness Soldier Facebook page, “THANK YOU to everyone that has supported me! As of today, I will be ceasing all operations as The Wellness Soldier. It has been a fun time, met some […]

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Delta-8 THC Delivery Methods: Best Way to Get It in You

We know there are a lot of ways to take different drugs, but that not every way works for every drug. When we think of something like a hypodermic needle, chances are, heroin will come to mind, and probably not cannabis. But should it? As we (thankfully) start moving away from smoking these compounds, other ways of ingesting them arise. When it comes to cannabis and compounds like delta-8 THC, here are some of the best delivery methods available today that don’t involve smoking or vaping.

Delta-8 THC is the new answer to the anxiety and paranoia caused by delta-9 THC in standard marijuana. And if you’re looking to try delta-8 THC, there are plenty of delivery methods to get the best possible effects from it. Take a look at our awesome delta-8 THC deals and give this newer version of THC a shot.

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How is it usually done?

The most common way that cannabis has been used throughout history, is as a smokable product. Long before there were laboratories to create all kinds of high-tech vaping devices, and before there were cookbooks full of edible recipes, or the ability to make tablets, there was smoking. Even back then, vaping was a thing, although vapor would have been created the good old fashion way, by heating a substance over time until it vaporized.

There is plenty of evidence that cannabis was used in other ways through history. For example, as a topical treatment for skin ailments. But none of these other ways would have detracted from lighting the plant on fire as the primary way to consume it. And so, for something like cannabis, the idea of smoking it, goes hand-in-hand with the drug in general. This means that the majority of people using it, are subjecting themselves to the detriments of breathing in smoke, which is bad regardless of the material burning. While vaping is often weirdly demonized, and called unsafe, the sheer injury and death statistics of smoking vs vaping say otherwise.

After all, since the beginning of vaping back in the early 2000’s, right up until early 2020, there were all of 68 confirmed deaths related to vaping, and 2,807 hospitalizations, according to the CDC. The comparative number is the number of cigarette deaths per year, and that in the US is 480,000, also according to the CDC. Somehow, the CDC has turned this comparison into vaping being an ‘epidemic’. It seems the only ‘epidemic’ here, is an ‘epidemic’ of people choosing a safer smoking method, and causing themselves less harm. It’s an epidemic of people doing the generally smarter thing.

In fact, when using words like ‘epidemic’, its best these organizations stick to where the problems actually are. Like opiates, which killed in the neighborhood of 50,000 people in 2019 alone – a trend which was started by our very own pharmaceutical companies and the government regulatory bodies that were supposed to look out for us. Or alcohol, which is essentially the leading cause of preventable death in the world, accounting for as many as three million deaths worldwide each year, and 95,000 deaths in the US alone from excessive alcohol.

Cannabis delivery methods

When thinking of cannabis in general, any relevant delivery method will be viable. However, when dealing with something like delta-8 THC, which is an oxidized version of delta-9 THC, only occurring naturally in very small amounts, the idea of how it can be consumed becomes more relevant. So, let’s check out delivery methods other then smoking and vaping.

Oral methods – pills, oils, edibles, and syringes

Apart from smoking and vaping, oral administration is most popular. However, there is way more than one way to do this. Let’s take a look at the options:

oral delivery methods

Pills/tablets/capsules/soft gel capsules/tinctures – Like with any other medication that’s taken in this way, cannabis, and derivatives like delta-8 THC, can be taken in standard medication form – as a solid pill, or as a capsule containing decarboxylated flower or oil, that can be strain specific, full spectrum, or a specific cannabinoid like delta-8 THC or CBD.

The other option is for sublingual administration. Sublingual administration means putting an oil, tincture, or dissolvable tablet under the tongue for quicker uptake into the blood stream through the massive connection of blood vessels under your tongue and in your cheeks. This also allows a compound to bypass the digestive system, like it will have to do if it is swallowed down as an edible or pill. This digestive process turns it into C21H30O3, which is called 11-hydroxy-THC, whereas allowing it to absorb sublingually means a quicker onset, since it hits the bloodstream faster. Bypassing the digestive system makes it closer to the high obtained through smoking.

EdiblesEdibles are the other form of oral administration, and instead of looking like medicine, they look like food. Edibles can range from a batch of home-made chocolate-chip weed cookies, to well-portioned lab-made gummies. Regardless of what form the food takes, the main aspects of edibles are that they taste good, are easy to get down, and portioned specifically.

With more precise laboratory ways to measure portions, newer cannabis companies are creating edibles with very precise amounts, often segmented within the piece of food. I’ve had chocolate CBD bars where every square was exactly the same, and cannabis gummies that were segmented with each segment being 5mg. Edibles can be candy, liquids, baked goods, sauces, butter, and more. You can find edible products for whatever aspect of the cannabis plant you want most, in whatever form you want it.

Syringes – The idea of cannabis and syringes is a new concept, but it’s not exactly how it sounds. While the term ‘syringe’ might conjure pictures of junkies shooting heroin, cannabis syringes, which are one of the best delta-8 THC delivery methods, are simply large plastic syringes with no needles, in which oil can be put. Why is this method beneficial? Oils are often dense, and it can be hard to know the exact amount being used. The syringes don’t do anything particularly special, but they have a measuring scale so users can be more precise in their usage. Generally speaking, syringes are used for sublingual admiration, and make that process much easier.

Dermal administration

As the word dermal implies, these are methods that have to do with having the compound come into contact with – and be absorbed into the bloodstream through – the skin. Most people probably don’t think of it this way, but you can actually put a cannabis application on your skin, and have it absorb into the bloodstream.

skin delivery methods

Patches – Patches can be seen in medicine for different reasons and for different ailments. One of the predominant reasons is for pain management, though we’ve gotten very used to seeing them in today’s culture for nicotine administration as a way to avoid smoking. Most patches are a piece of plastic with an adhesive coating, which is infused with some amount of medicine in a specific amount. Patches allow slower release for absorption, meaning they can last a long time – all day, or all night. Though cannabis patches are often used for pain in a specific area, they can also be used for any other benefit of the plant.

Topicals – Creams/lotions/oils – Cannabis, and it’s derivatives like delta-8 THC are often used with skin delivery methods, using products like creams and lotions. Many of these products offer relief or benefits that don’t include psychoactive effects, as these products have not necessarily been decarboxylated to turn THCA into delta-9 THC. As with other delivery options mentioned, this is not a hard and fast rule, with some products containing high amounts of THC, and some containing other cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, or delta-8. Topicals can be used for medical benefits like skin rashes or pain, or simply to moisturize, and promote healthy skin.


Injections – IV and IM – You’ll most likely never do this, or maybe that’s me speaking to the truths of today, without considering the changes of tomorrow. Whether it will actually become a ‘thing’ to do outside of a medical setting, is hard to say, but it certainly gives a good option. To be clear, cannabis injections have been used for around 50 years, so it certainly isn’t anything new.

IV administration has been used mainly for delta-9 THC, and a major benefit of it is that it gets rid of the problem of variation in bioavailability between people. Active compounds are not always available for the body to absorb, even if in the body, and different people will have their own physiological aspects that can lower or raise bioavailability. With IV injections, everything is absorbed, and this is no longer an issue. In that sense, this is the most precise way to dose.

IV injections relate to sticking a needle in a vein. IM, or intramuscular injections, relate to sticking a needle in a large muscle for administration. If you ever had to take a shot in the butt, this is why.

Is it possible for people to do this on their own? Well, maybe, but it would have to become a much better process first. This reddit post was made by a guy who was able to self-inject cannabis kief. It is not a standard process, its not even advisable by the guy who did it, and there are probably better ways to do it. However, it gives an idea of what a person might expect from doing such an activity, and brings up the real possibility of cannabis injections being a more mainstream application measure in the future.

delta-8 THC delivery methods

Nasal sprays, eyedrops, inhalers & inserts

The idea of injections might still be too extreme for the recreational population, but there are already plenty of products for cannabis and delta-8 THC administration through other delivery methods like nasal sprays, eyedrops, and inserts.

Nasal sprays – Starting in 2017, with the release of Vera Wellness’s ‘nasal mist’ spray, it’s been possible to snort your cannabis products as well. It is said to increase bioavailability by being taken in through transmucosal (through the skin of the inner nose) delivery, and that some of the negative products produced from heating, like pyrolytics, wouldn’t be an issue. Dr. David Casarett, the palliative care chief at Duke University, explained how the nasal membrane has a lot of enzymes that can be deactivated by contact with CBD, which can actually halt the body temporarily from metabolizing other drugs like THC. For this reason, users are prompted to start with a low level and up the dose slowly.

Eyedrops – Much like IV and IM injections, eyedrops are not a common form of administration, and might not ever be. But they are great for specific ailments, like glaucoma. As a form of delivery that doesn’t involve inhaling a substance, it also ranks as a safer way to take the drug, so long as the eyes are not damaged. More than needles, this actually could become a popular way to get cannabis in the system.

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Inserts/Suppositories – What if you had a yeast infection, and wanted to treat it with a cannabis medicine? Or perhaps a herpes outbreak where an anal suppository might be useful? Well, these things are possible to. Cannabis suppositories can be found for the vagina, anus, and penis. And this isn’t anything new. Inserts have been used to combat yeast infections, herpes infections, vaginal infections, and a host of other diseases whether sexually transmitted or not. Now they can be done with cannabis.

Inhalers – Though these can go under oral administration, I’m putting them here. Cannabis inhalers are exactly what they sound like, an inhaler where a metered amount of cannabis, or cannabis derivative, is given per breath. Inhalers actually produce a vapor, which is inhaled, while not producing any other cannabis-related odor.


When it comes to how to get cannabis, or specific cannabinoids like CBD, delta-8 THC, or CBC in your system, there are several different delivery methods that don’t involve any sort of smoking or vaping. Not all of these are popular – though the popularity of all will likely grow. For anyone looking for alternate methods of consumption, these are some of the options to consider.

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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a medical professional, I have no formal legal education, and I’ve never been to business school. All information in my articles is sourced from other places, which are always referenced, and all opinions stated are mine, and are made clear to be mine. I am not giving anyone advise of any kind, in any capacity. I am more than happy to discuss topics, but should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a professional in the relevant field for more information.

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How to make edibles with flower or concentrate—and which method is better

Cannabis edibles have flooded the marijuana market. Some of these edibles are made with flower, while others use concentrates. But is there any real difference between the two? Here we will discuss edibles and what it takes to make an edible with a stellar high. Cannabis edibles are made with flower or concentrates and come […]

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How To Save Your Reclaim When You Clean Your Dab Rig

There are a lot of reasons why most people don’t put in the effort to clean their dab ring. It can seem like a lot of work with little reward, especially when you just want a clean tool. But guess what? Today, you can have it all and you don’t have to be an extraction […]

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Extra Potent 11-hydroxy-THC and the Power of Cannabis Edibles

Lately we’ve been seeing quite a few new cannabinoids popping up, especially new forms of THC. Most are naturally occurring in cannabis, but some, like 11-hydroxy-THC, aren’t found in the plant at all. Let’s take a closer look at this ultra-potent psychoactive compound and what it has to do with the human digestive system.

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What is 11-hydroxy-THC?

11-hydroxy-THC, sometimes written 11-OH-THC, is one of our naturally occurring endocannabinoids; meaning it’s made in the body. After delta-8 or delta-9 THC has been swallowed, the body breaks it down and metabolizes it via the liver. 11-hydroxy-THC is a metabolize of the other tetrahydrocannabinols and is regarded as being much more potent than its precursors. This is why delta-8 THC edibles are just as potent as delta-9 edibles, but the same can’t be said for flowers or vape products.

According to neuroscientist and medical cannabis adviser, Dr. Adie Rae, “The liver is responsible for this transformation, and specifically, the drug-metabolizing enzyme known as cytochrome P2C9 or CYP2C9. Even when you smoke, your liver still sees some delta-9 and turns it into 11-hydroxy-THC, but you get way more 11-OH when you eat cannabis.”  

A phenomenon known as “first pass metabolism” is the reason why 11-hyrdoxy-THC has such powerful effects on the brain. Oral administration leads to much more potent and long-lasting effects, compared to inhalation. So if you’ve been wondering why edibles get you beyond baked, this why.

As with other cannabinoids, 11-hydroxy-THC binds to the CB1 receptor; but in this case, it mimics all the known effects of delta-9 THC, but tenfold. The peak concentration of 11-OH-THC is about 1.5 hours after consumption. Effects can last anywhere from one hour to six (and some have reported more) depending on the dose and individual’s tolerance level.

The research on 11-hydroxy-THC

Although limited, the research we do have indicates that 11-hydroxy-THC is considerably stronger than delta-9 THC, the compound in cannabis known for inducing a high. One study in particular published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that 11-OH-THC is “much more potent at producing a subjective high and racing heart than delta-9.” This was observed in both animal studies and human surveys, which placed hydroxy-11-THC somewhere between 1.5 and 7 times more potent than delta-9 THC.

Dr. Rae claims the reason for this much higher potency “is partially attributable to the metabolite’s higher binding affinity for the CB1 receptor which physically binds more tightly to the receptor than delta-9. Basically, the better it binds, the better it activates the receptor.”

Back in the 1970s is when this cannabinoid was initially noted, in radiolabled THC was utilized in labs to allow researchers to better study these compounds. Radiolabled THC (which yes, is radioactive) behaves just like regular THC but it allows scientists to see where all the metabolites go once it’s broken down within the body. This is how 11-hydroxy-THC was discovered.

At the time, very little 11-OH-THC was available, for obvious reasons, so for a very long time only small animal studies could be conducted. Once they had the ability create this compound on a larger scale, in a lab, seminal studies were launched to characterize the effects of 11-OH-THC in humans. 

Numerous studies of delta 11 taken intravenously showed it was not only more potent, but onset of effects was much quicker than other forms of THC also administered the same way.  

Smoking vs eating cannabis

If you’re anything like me and many other cannabis users I’ve spoken to, edibles hit different than smoking. Even though it takes a while to feel anything, once they kick in, I’m laid out on the couch almost every time. I feel more stoned, I’m laughing at everything, and eventually, I get super tired. This seems to be commonplace when it comes to edibles; but why exactly do they differ so much from smoking, from a scientific standpoint?

It comes down to two factors: the drug-metabolizing enzymes in your GI tract, and blood flow to the liver. When you first eat a cannabis edible, various enzymes in the GI tract begin digesting the food. From that point, blood flow from the GI tract goes through the liver where all these enzymes are metabolized, then the blood continues to general circulation. When the metabolites are formed, that’s when you get the effects of 11-hydroxy-THC.

However, when you smoke cannabis, THC is absorbed through the lungs and distributed directly into the bloodstream. The active compounds make their way to the brain where they interact with the CB receptors that are part of the endocannabinoid system. In this scenario, you are feeling the effects of the phytocannabinoids (plant-cannabinoids) themselves, rather than the compound formed during metabolism.

How to avoid consuming too much 11-hydroxy-THC

When it comes to edibles, it’s easy to go overboard. Because it takes so much longer to notice the effects, a lot of people end up eating more than they should, thinking that the edibles aren’t working, then get surprised when all that THC finally kicks in. According to statistical surveys, the overwhelming majority of ER visits associated with cannabis are because of edibles, and this explains why.

Whether you make them yourself or buy them at the dispensary, if you want to avoid having any of these issues yourself, remember the adjunct “less is more”. That’s very true when it comes to cannabis edibles, especially if you’re a novice user.

It’s also important to remember that not everyone feels edibles the same way. Some people are more sensitive to 11-hydroxy-THC than others. Those people will feel edibles in a much more powerful way than people whose bodies are more resistant to the compound.

“Because 11-hydroxy-THC is made by the liver, and we all have different liver enzymes and genetic mutations in those enzymes, cannabis edibles can affect people very differently. There is a huge range in how individuals metabolize delta-9 into 11-hydroxy-THC, with age, sex, historical cannabis use, concurrent medications, and other factors contributing to variability,” Dr. Rae concluded.


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Ask An Expert with Dr. Markus Roggen – Season 2 Finale

There is a famous saying, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Earlier this year, we met this guy Dr. Markus Roggen, Ph.D. As luck would have it, he has a doctorate in Chemistry and is the founder and CEO of Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures LTD, a licensed cannabis research laboratory. With the […]

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Cannabis Crossword: Cooking With Cannabis 101

Test Your Knowledge Each week, The Cannabis Life Network and The Wellness Soldier have been proud to present a new series, Cooking with Cannabis 101. If you have checked it out, you have likely learned a lot about making cannabis edibles at home. Then again, there is really only one way to find out… test […]

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Cooking With Cannabis 101 – How To Make Cannabis-Infused Gummies

It’s Monday and that means another segment of Cooking With Cannabis 101, this week we’ll cover how to make your own cannabis-infused gummies! The process of making cannabis-infused gummies is really quick and easy. All you’ll need is your favorite gummies and a THC tincture. To learn how to make your own tincture, click here. […]

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