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Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Gummies

cannabis gummies
Written by Alexandra Hicks

These days, cannabis can be consumed any number of ways – from smoking and vaping, which are some of the most common methods; to topicals, capsules, and even inhalers. Today, we’ll be discussing edibles, another fun way to get high that has also been growing in popularity over the last couple decades. Among the most sought-after type of edibles, are cannabis gummies.  

Currently, cannabis gummies 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.  

How Cannabis Gummies Work 

Edibles affect our bodies much differently than smoking or vaping. This is because, just like anything else that goes through our digestive systems, pot edibles need to metabolize before the effects can be felt. It does not provide an instant high like the aforementioned alternatives do, and it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for edibles 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 more specific factors that impact the onset and intensity of the effects, such as the blend compounds consumed or a person’s metabolism and tolerance. 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.  

cannabis molecule

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.” 

Benefits

There are numerous benefits to choosing edibles over smokeables, mainly 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 may be easier for some people to just eat a gummy or two every few hours rather than searching for a place to smoke or vape (which are becoming increasingly limited for the record).  

Risks

Although minimal, some negative side effects of THC can include anxiety, confusion, lethargy, dry mouth and eyes, and hunger (which can be a good or bad thing, depending on the person). Everyone reacts differently to THC, and especially edibles, so that’s something to keep in mind when consuming cannabis gummies.  

The Research on 11-hydroxy-THC 

Although limited, the research we do have indicates that 11-hydroxy-THC is considerably more potent than delta-9 THC, which is one of the strongest of the existing, marketable THCs, and also the most popular so it’s used as a baseline for comparing all the other cannabinoids. Some studies claim that 11-hydroxy-THC is up to 7 times more potent than delta 9 THC.  

Back in the 1970s, 11-hydroxy-THC was initially found in radiolabled THC, which 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.


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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. 

Why Edibles Don’t Work for Everyone 

Because edibles can be so discreet, potent, and beneficial, many people find themselves sorely 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, lazy, sluggish, and hungry… but not stoned. Estimates indicate that anywhere from 10-15% of cannabis user do NOT experience the desired effects from cannabis edibles, and we can thank our intricately complicated digestive systems for that.  

Research shows that the effectiveness of cannabinoids administered orally can vary based on several different factors. Generally speaking, when people are unable to process cannabis edibles it can be narrowed down to one of two complications: either how we digest and absorb the food we eat, or how we metabolize it.  

Dosing and How to Avoid Taking Too Much 

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 considering how they work in the body, it’s not hard to see 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 bear in mind that edibles don’t affect everyone in the same way. Some people are more sensitive to 11-hydroxy-THC than others. Those people will experience edibles in a much more powerful way than people whose bodies are more resistant to the compound. 

If you’re new to edibles, or cannabis in general, you should definitely start with a low dose and work your way up. Start with five to ten milligrams, and if you don’t feel much after about 1 hour, take a little more, and a little more, and so on.  

Drug Testing Cannabis Gummies

Because cannabis gummies work so differently in the body than smoking, many people wonder if they could pass a drug test when using only edibles. Short answer, is no… edibles will still cause you to fail a drug test. Whether you’re smoking or ingesting the THC, it’s still getting in your system.  

hhc drug test

As a matter of fact, it’s been theorized that because of how the body processes edibles, THC might be detected in your system for even longer than if you smoked or vaped it. But again, that’s just a theory so it’s hard to say for sure.

Regardless, check out some timelines for how long different kinds of drug test can detect cannabis:  

  • Blood: 3-4 hours 
  • Saliva: 24-72 hours 
  • Urine: 3-30 days 
  • Hair: Up to 90 days 

How to Make Your Own Cannabis Gummies  

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 cup water or juice (juice for more flavor) 
  • 1 ounces unflavored gelatin 
  • ½ cup of cannabis-infused oil or melted butter (oil preferred) 
  • 2 teaspoons lecithin (This is very important as lecithin is used as a binder to keep the oil and water together) 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (this helps prevent mold from forming during storage) 
  • 3 ounces flavored gelatin  
  • 5-10 drops of flavoring oils  

DIRECTIONS: 

  • Step 1 – Measure out your ingredients and get all the necessary supplies 
  • Step 2 – In a small bowl, add ½ cup of water or juice, then mix in the unflavored gelatin. Set aside to expand.  
  • Step 3 – Prepare a double boiler. If you don’t have one, you can use two pots
  • Step 4 – Add the cannabis oil and lecithin to your double boiler and let it melt. Whisk regularly while it’s melting, leave on low heat. 
  • Step 5 – Bring the remaining water or juice to a boil in a separate pan. 
  • Step 6 – Add your lemon juice and flavored gelatin, mix to dissolve then remove from heat.  
  • Step 7 – Pour the flavored gelatin mixture into the double boiler containing the oil and lecithin and whisk well. 
  • Step 8 – Take the gelatin and juice/water you set aside earlier and add it to the double boiler. 
  • Step 9 – Add a few drops of flavoring oil. 
  • Step 10 – Whisk consistently for 10 minutes. This step is very important! 
  • Step 11 – Remove mixture from heat and pour into gummy molds, let them set for about 45 minutes or more. 
  • Step 12 – Air dry your gummies by removing them from the molds and laying them out on a wire baking rack for 12-72 hours (at room temperature).  
  • Step 13 -Remove the gummies from the molds. 
  • Step 14 – If air drying, place the gummies in a single layer on a wire baking rack. Allow the gummies to dry at room temperature for 12-72 hours. 
  • Step 16 – Store in an airtight container and enjoy! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will THC gummies cause a positive drug test?  

Yes, all THC products will result in a positive drug test 

Where can I buy THC gummies legally?  

From online retailers and at dispensaries in legal states 

How long do THC gummies last?  

The high from cannabis gummies typically lasts about 1-2 hours 

Will THC gummies make me feel high? 

Yes, often higher than smoking 

Ho To Find Quality Cannabis Gummies on the Market  

If you’re not interested in making your own gummies, then you’re in luck! We have some great deals on some of the best cannabis gummies you can buy. Below you’ll find a nice range of flavors and compounds, all at unbeatable prices!

Before buying cannabis gummies you should keep in mind that this is very much a “your mileage may vary” type of product. There are many different variables a person might consider when buying edibles, such as what are the ingredients? Are they vegan or non-GMO? Do they contain insane levels of sugar? What about artificial dyes?  

And in that same vein, how safe are these gummies? Are there any ingredients you might be allergic too? Is the dosage safe? The standard (and legal) level of THC in an edible is 10mg/serving, but you can find some products on the market with up to 100mg/serving. That can be great for saving money if the person has a high tolerance, but if you don’t need very much too get high, 100mg can make for a very intense and possible terrible trip.


Final Thoughts

So that’s the whole low-down on cannabis gummies. Everything from how they work, to making your own, and even some fun deals on edibles with a wide range of different cannabinoids. Do you have any more questions? If so, drop us a line in the comment section below. We love to chat with our readers!

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.