Of all the myriad ways to consume THC, capsules present a unique option. They’re one of the most effective ways to get THC into your body, and eschew fancy presentation for functionality. Capsules are also low-key and portable, which makes them an attractive alternative to smoking or taking other kinds of edibles. Given those parameters, it’s no surprise that THC capsules are rapidly becoming one of the most popular ways to consume THC.
Below, we’ve broken down THC capsules to help you better understand these enigmatic infused products. First, we’ll explain how capsules work on a molecular level. Then, we’ll outline some specific traits unique to THC capsules.
How Do THC Capsules Work?
While they may not seem to have much in common with brownies and candy bars, THC capsules are a type of edible cannabis product. As a result, they work the same way as the delicious confectionaries and candies that adorn countless dispensary shelves. Edibles’ method of action is significantly different than smoked cannabis.
When you smoke weed, your body absorbs it directly through tiny air sacs in your lungs called alveoli. These sacs are lined with blood vessels that pass air – and cannabis – directly into the bloodstream. However, the THC from edibles don’t follow this same path. Instead, it passes through the digestive system before reaching the liver. Then, the liver metabolizes it into another molecule called 11-hydroxy-THC.
This new molecule is significantly more bioavailable than regular THC is, making it much easier for the body to absorb. In addition, 11-hydroxy-THC can cross the blood-brain barrier, something that THC can’t do very well on its own. The end result is that edibles hit users harder and last for significantly longer than smoked THC. However, because it takes longer to digest food than breathe air, edibles take a longer time to kick in – about 30-60 minutes.
THC Capsules – The Breakdown
Here, we’ll cover some details about THC capsules. First, we’ll discuss some of the reasons that cannabis users – especially medical marijuana patients – prefer THC capsules to other consumption methods. Then we’ll briefly cover some of the ways that companies make THC capsules.
Why Do People Use THC Capsules?
There are as many reasons for someone to use THC capsules as there are people who consume cannabis. However, some major advantages to THC capsules have emerged. Now, users are taking note of these advantages.
First, they’re generally low-key. Popping a capsule is sure to draw less attention than smoking or vaping, making them easy to take in public without fear of judgment. Second, they’re highly portable, making them ideal for today’s fast-paced, mobile world. Finally, they’re great for anyone who wants to feel high without any frills. Just take a pill and wait until it hits – no smoking, vaping, or preparation of any kind required.
Thanks to their simple use and portability, many medical cannabis users prefer capsules to other THC delivery systems. Some sources have suggested that THC may have several beneficial traits including sleep-aiding, anti-inflammatory, and appetite-boosting properties, among others. As a result, medical patients can use THC capsules to alleviate symptoms of several conditions. For example, THC may be able to help those suffering from arthritis and insomnia. Marijuana may also be able to alleviate stress and anxiety-related disorders like PTSD.
It’s important to remember that there are many different dosages of THC capsules. Some capsules have relatively low doses, ranging from 5 to 10 mg. However, more potent capsules also exist – some reaching 100 mg or more. These may be intended to treat medical patients, or just recreationally by extremely experienced cannabis users. While it’s impossible to overdose on THC, taking too much can result in unpleasant experiences. As a result, consumers need to be conscious of how much THC is actually contained in their capsules.
How are THC Capsules Made?
There are a few different types of THC capsules available, including gel-capsules and harder, pill-like capsules. Frequently, they only contain a few ingredients – some kind of binding agent to hold the pill together, and some kind of THC extract. THC distillate is commonly found in capsules. It’s the purest form of THC available, often reaching 99.9 percent purity. That makes capsules the easiest way to cram as much potency as possible into a small package. Capsules are frequently made in accordance with vegan and gluten-free recipes, so users won’t need to worry about their dietary restrictions.
One crucial component of making any THC edible is decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is the process of heat-activating THCA, the acidic form of THC that occurs naturally in cannabis plants. This changes THCA into THC, which the body can absorb. Without decarboxylating the THCA in marijuana before making an edible, the end product will be about as effective as eating buds. Usually, decarboxylation involves heating THC to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (104 degrees Celsius) for about half an hour.
In addition to THC, some capsules also include another cannabinoid, CBD, in their recipe. This decision aims to take advantage of a phenomenon called the Entourage Effect. Thanks to this trait, the presence of multiple cannabinoids in an edible can empower and increase its possible effects. Some capsule recipes often contain equal ratios of THC and CBD, while others include more of one cannabinoid than the other.
Additionally, some THC capsule companies are pushing the envelope even further. Instead of using THC distillate, they’ll infuse a full spectrum extract into a capsule. This makes greater use of the Entourage Effect, since the terpenes present in full spectrum extracts also utilize it to make extracts more powerful.
Encapsulating THC’s Benefits
Regardless of whether you’re a medical patient seeking an easy way to take your prescription or just a stoner who wants an easy way to get high, THC capsules make it easy. If you think you’re ready to make the jump into new THC territory, consider trying capsules for yourself. Once you make that decision, we’ve got your back. Check out our full line of THC and CBD capsules, as well as some tablets that combine both cannabinoids.