If you’ve ever eaten cannabis, you’re more than likely well-aware of how much higher eating weed can get you than smoking it. Aside from smoking dabs, eating cannabis-infused edibles is known to pack a pretty heavy high. A high that is often much stronger than that attained smoking. Why is this, though? What makes eating weed so much stronger than smoking it?
Why Edibles Get You SOOOO Much Higher Than Smoking Weed
The way eating weed hits you all comes down to the what’s happening in the body. When you eat weed, a different cannabinoid is formed in the body…offering the super-intense high that can only be attained through a strong edible.
Whether smoking a gram of flower or eating a gram made into brownies or some other edible will get you higher is something that’s been debated by more than one person. The only way eating weed can even get you high is if it has gone through the decarboxylation process. Weed must be heated up to fully activate THC. This is what happens when you smoke it, and why flower must be baked before its made into butter or added to edibles.
Introducing 11-Hydroxy-THC…THC, Only Stronger
Decarboxylation however, isn’t what makes eating weed stronger than smoking it. When weed is ingested as an edible, about half of the THC metabolizes into 11-hydroxy-THC. Think of this version of THC as the amped-up, stronger variety of the THC you get when you inhale. Smoking weed doesn’t stimulate 11-hydroxy-THC. It only happens when you eat it.
Here’s what’s more. 11-hydroxy-THC doesn’t even exist in the cannabis plant before you eat it. It’s something that’s formed in the body, metabolized in the liver at levels that can be 10 times higher than smoking or vaping cannabis. And as you begin to digest whatever cannabis-laden treat you just ate, enzymes in your gastrointestinal tract create potent levels of 11-hydroxy-THC.
One study went to prove just how much more powerful 11-hydroxy-THC can actually be. When intravenously injecting patients with 11-hydroxy-THC directly to the bloodstream they found the following:
“Between 2 to 3 minutes after the intravenous administration of 11-OH-THC, the psychologic high reached its peak and was of greater intensity than any they had previously experienced after taking marihuana.”
Edibles get you higher because of the conversion of this powerful cannabinoid that only metabolizes by eating weed. Almost half the THC you ingest in an edible is turning into powerhouse cannabinoid 11-hydroxy-THC. When you smoke, there is virtually none produced at all. Now the next time you’re extra high after eating that Space Cake, you’ll know exactly why.