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This article was co-authored by Aimée Shunney, ND. Dr. Aimée Gould Shunney is a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine in Santa Cruz, California where she specializes in women’s health and hormone balancing. She also consults with various companies in the natural products industry including CV Sciences, makers of PlusCBD Oil. Dr. Aimée educates consumers, retailers, and healthcare providers about CBD oil through written articles, webinars, podcasts, and conferences nationwide. Her work has been featured at the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians Conference, and on Fox News. She earned her ND from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2001.
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CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike THC, the other active component in marijuana, CBD oil doesn’t cause a high. However, early research shows that it may have a variety of health benefits, such as reducing pain, anxiety, nausea, and insomnia.  X Trustworthy Source Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School’s Educational Site for the Public Go to source While there are several ways to take CBD oil, one of the safest and most effective is to use a tincture that goes under your tongue.  X Trustworthy Source Consumer Reports Nonprofit organization dedicated to consumer advocacy and product testing Go to source Before using a CBD tincture, talk to your doctor about the best dosage and whether you can use it safely.
Direct sublingual application allows the cannabinoids to quickly enter the bloodstream through the vessel-rich tissues within the sublingual cavity which can be achieved by placing decarboxylated cannabis under the tongue.
THCA in its natural state, is the biosynthesized precursor to activate THC in marijuana. The carboxyl group tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) in cannabis must be removed by heat. Once the cannabis is “decarboxylated” you have activated the THC.
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When, ignited, nearly 50% of the cannabinoids present in cannabis literally “go up in smoke” that is not actually inhaled by the user. Putting THC oil under the tongue is more efficient, ultimately, requiring smaller amounts of cannabis for the same effect, as more of the active cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Processing by the liver alters cannabinoids, leading to distinct therapeutic effects from those experienced with other forms of administration. While ingestion of cannabis may be unsatisfactory on its own, it can be an excellent complement to sublingual administration. In conjunction with sublingual delivery, ingestion can provide the user with a more therapeutic experience.
Conversely, the sublingual dosage form induces an effect in a subject within about 30 to 120 seconds of the sublingual dosage. Therefore, ingestion is an inefficient form of administration due to the lag in time of the effects.
Oral and sublingual administration offer two completely different ways to experience cannabis. Sure, they both involve inserting cannabis products into the mouth, but the similarities end there. Check out the key differences between both methods below for a quick summary of their effects.
This route grants cannabinoids immediate access to the bloodstream. These capillaries belong to the systemic venous system. This means sublingually applied molecules sidestep first-pass metabolism. THC passes through the blood–brain barrier without encountering enzymes in the liver that would otherwise catabolise it into 11-hydroxy-THC. Plus, much more THC reaches systemic circulation. Sublingual cannabis administration vastly increases the bioavailability  of cannabinoids.
Many cannabis users love smoking joints. The visceral sensation of harsh smoke in the lungs adds something to the experience. Plus, grinding, rolling, and lighting a joint are social rituals in their own right. There’s simply something meditative and familiar about the practice.
Benefits of Sublingual Cannabis Intake
First-pass metabolism creates somewhat of a paradoxical situation. Oral administration only leads to the absorption of up to 20% of THC  consumed, but edibles result in a much more powerful effect. Why? Because 11-hydroxy-THC has much greater psychotropic potential. Not only does it make up for the THC lost in the gut and liver, but it exceeds the mind-altering wallop of smoked cannabis.
Ever see people take CBD oil under the tongue? That same principle applies to THC oil and tinctures too—only, unlike CBD, these products will get you sufficiently stoned.
Duration refers to how long the high lasts. An oral cannabis high can last up to 8 hours, so you better buckle up and get ready to enjoy the ride after you eat an edible. In contrast, the sublingual marijuana experience ends much sooner. Expect to stay baked for an hour or so before touching back down to Earth.
Regardless of the vessel, orally consumed cannabinoids all end up in the same place: the stomach. This longer route sets edibles apart from other ways of consuming cannabis. Instead of directly entering systemic circulation, oral cannabinoids are subject to first-pass metabolism. This pathway involves processing in the liver, where our detoxifying organ converts THC into the potent 11-hydroxy-THC, alongside some other, inactive metabolites.