Now you can drink to your health – with water and cannabinoids.
Oil and water don’t mix. Cannabis extracts are made of oils, so there’s no way to ever infuse them directly into something like, say, tea. Except now we can.
Water-soluble THC and CBD are finally a reality. They’ve been around in some form or another for a few years, but recently the technology has gained momentum. Special powders containing THC or CBD can dissolve seamlessly into drinks (or food). Other approaches break up the oils into tiny nanoparticles, revolutionizing everything from mineral waters to sex lube.
What does this mean for the medical cannabis patient? It means practically instant effects through any food item imaginable.
Taking the Starch Out of Urban Legends
Water-soluble powders are now sold by companies like Oleo, Mondo Meds, Stillwater, and THC Design. Although each brand produces its powders slightly differently, they all employ the same concept: encapsulate the cannabinoid molecules in a carbohydrate (sugar).
Normally, when cannabinoids enter the mouth, they’re treated like any other fat, traveling down the esophagus to the stomach to the intestines, where they’re eventually absorbed into the blood and carried to the brain. The process typically takes anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes.
But when the cannabinoids receive a “sugar coating” at the molecular level, the carbohydrate “bubbles” around the cannabinoids gives THC or CBD a one-way ticket to the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. Absorption begins in the mouth. Instead of taking 90 minutes to kick in, the encapsulated cannabinoids can start doing their thing in as little as 5 to 10 minutes.
The best part about these powders is they can go into any dish or drink. Want to bake your chicken instead of frying it in cannabis-infused butter? Just sprinkle some weed powder on it (after it’s done baking). Want an infused soda, but the big cannabis brands don’t make one in your favorite flavor? Just stir some THC powder into that sucker and let the burps rip.
Liquid Gold (or Green)
Another method for getting cannabinoids into water is sonication. Sonication involves using sound waves to break up the cannabis oils into itty bitty particles. These particles blend in with the water and remain suspended in the solution, whereas an oil will eventually clump up and float to the top or sink to the bottom.
Tarukino LLC in Oregon uses sonication to fashion sparkling mineral waters infused with THC – and best of all, there’s no hash taste. The company also offers a water-based sex lubricant, Velvet Swing, designed to stimulate female genitalia (sorry, fellas). The lubricant is only psychoactive if ingested orally; any other orifice is safe from the elevating effects of THC.
Ebbu, based in Colorado, makes Aqua Drops, which include not only dissolved THC, but also terpenes. Ebbu is crafting the Aqua Drops for directional highs with the terpenes, to reliably enstill energetic or calming effects.
Cannabis-infused water opens a new realm of consumption for patients. Ramen can be boiled in THC water for an easy-to-prepare and affordable infused meal. Soups and stews can be made with this stuff, too. Coffee lovers can make infused cups of joe with their favorite imported coffee rather than whatever comes prepackaged from a licensed cannabis company.
The Dream Team for Medical Cannabis Patients
Besides the limitless versatility of water-soluble THC, there’s another major advantage to getting cannabinoids this way. For those who love edibles, you can combine water-soluble THC with oil-extracted THC for a double-whammy.
Here’s how it works.
Water-soluble THC will kick in after 5 to 10 minutes. This is a major boon for dosing, as it can be easy to eat too many edibles while waiting for the psychoactivity to begin. But just as it works much faster, the high from water-soluble THC wears off relatively quickly as well. On average, water-soluble THC typically only lasts for about 90 minutes.
However, oil-extracted THC (e.g. cannabutter, Phoenix Tears, etc.) takes roughly 90 minutes to take effect. The heady effects from oil-extracted THC last longer, too, anywhere from a couple of hours to several hours.
So, if you combine water-soluble THC with oil-extracted THC, you’re looking at an onset of a few minutes, but the overall experience lasting several hours. That’s because by the time the water-soluble THC begins to wear off, the oil-extracted THC will start working its magic. For example, you could have a glass of infused mineral water with a salad made with oil-based (and oil-infused) dressing. When the THC from the mineral water has cleared your system, the THC from the dressing will have made its way to the gut and the bloodstream.
Combining water-soluble and oil-extracted THC is for experienced edible connoisseurs. Otherwise, dab a bit of powder on your tongue (it’s edible, after all), and enjoy the ride.