Pretty much anyone who consumes marijuana has had a friend (or themselves) take an edible and decide they weren’t getting high enough. Usually, this story ends with said friend taking another and proceeding to get far higher than they intended. There’s a new variety of cannabis products on the market that address this issue and others that you might have with edibles. Fast acting edibles kick in quick and feel like smoking. This makes them the perfect edible for people who don’t like edibles. Even if you enjoy the effects of standard edibles, this innovation might also become a beloved part of your cannabis arsenal. This is because fast-acting edibles are discreet, low commitment, and immensely portable.
The fundamental difference between fast-acting edibles and their predecessors is that they kick in faster. Gone are the days of taking an edible and waiting an hour or more to see effects. Many companies that sell these products promise results within the 5-30 minutes range. Another thing that sets fast-acting edibles apart from their predecessors is that they’re still a workable option when you’re short on time. Traditionally, the high from an edible lasts way longer than that from inhalation, which means the consumer has to buckle their metaphorical seatbelts for 6-12 hours depending on their metabolism. This is not the case with fast-acting edibles, since their effects are a little more in line with the 1-3 hour range you’d usually get from smoking a bowl or lighting up a joint. The high from these edibles is also more like smoking than previous iterations. This is because when your liver metabolizes the THC from a typical edible, it becomes 11-hydroxy-THC. Because the body metabolizes the THC in fast-acting edibles more quickly, it remains the delta-9 THC the body absorbs when smoking or vaping.
Fast-acting edibles work by allowing THC to be released into your bloodstream more quickly. There are a variety of ways companies do this. The Colorado based company, 1906, released the first rapid delivery edibles in 2017. 1906 now sells fast-acting cannabis pills called Drops. Drops come in 6 varieties, each designed to create specific effects from decreased anxiety to increased libido. This company creates their products using a process called microencapsulation. In basic terms, this process involves dissolving concentrated cannabinoids into cooking oil, then carefully heating the mixture to a specific temperature. When used in edibles, this mixture allows a swifter effect because the THC is easier to absorb than in traditional edibles, which are infused with concentrate alone. Other companies, such as Azuca, use a process referred to as TiME (Thermodynamic individual Molecular Encapsulation). During this process, molecules of THC are covered in a water-soluble coating. This coating “tricks” the body into releasing the THC into the bloodstream more quickly since the body no longer sees it as an oil. Regardless of the techniques that companies use to create their fast-acting edibles, the primary goal is to make cannabinoids accessible to the body more swiftly. Another effect of these processes is that they offer a high that’s more like what you’d expect from lighting up a joint or bowl. When you take a standard edible, the liver processes the THC, then it is released into the bloodstream. In the liver, THC transforms into 11-hydroxy-THC. This creates the stronger, more body-centric highs associated with edibles. Since fast-acting edibles bypass the liver, the THC remains Delta-9 THC, which creates the brief, cerebral high of smoking or vaping.
It’s pretty easy to see why fast-acting edibles might be the best cannabis product for the job in a variety of situations. For instance, if taking a standard edible for a party, you would need to take it in advance to ensure that it would take effect when you need it to. Doing this is impractical and sometimes difficult to plan (also pretty dangerous if you happen to be the one driving to the party). So rapid delivery edibles are great options for when smoking or vaping is not appropriate or socially acceptable, or waiting for the effects of traditional edibles is inconvenient. Another thing that makes these products a pleasant option for social occasions is that the duration of the effects is shorter. This means you can take an edible at the beginning of a party, and still be sober by the time you need to drive home.
Another difference between these products and normal edibles is the fact ingesting one will feel more like smoking than taking an edible. The high from fast-acting edibles is like the effects of THC inhalation, rather than the 11-hydroxy-THC high you’d usually get from ingesting THC. This means that people who have asthma, or other lung conditions, can comfortably enjoy the effects of delta-9 THC. It also opens up the world of edibles to people who find the long-lasting body high from standard edibles overwhelming or unpleasant.
Many see edibles in one of two ways. On one hand, are the people that don’t like the effects of standard edibles. On the other is people that like them, but consider them novelties that are best suited for special occasions. Fast-acting edibles are easier to dose since you don’t have to wait an hour to feel the effects of the first dose. They also produce an effect that is more similar to smoking. This remedies many of the concerns the first group of people might have, like difficulty dosing and potentially intense effects. These differences also make them a great option for people who want a quick, convenient, and subtle way to consume cannabis.
Forbes article about fast-acting edibles:
Article with information about TiME:
Information about 1906’s nanoemulsion technology:
A general introduction to fast-acting edibles and how they work: