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can you drink cannabis oil

Marijuana use, and more specifically vaping THC oil, is on the rise according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In fact, in 2018, more than 11.8 million young adults had used marijuana in the last year. Meanwhile, the number of teens in 8th and 10th grades who say they use it daily also has increased. Additionally, nearly 4% of 12th graders say they vape THC daily.  

Even though several states allow medical marijuana that contains THC, it is still illegal under federal law. Some states have even made recreational marijuana legal, but it’s also illegal under U.S. law.

What Is THC?

As more and more states legalize marijuana and cannabis plants, people—especially young adults and teens—are starting to become curious about what products are available to them. Additionally, many are experimenting with vaping these products, usually in the form of THC oil and CBD oil. However, it’s important to note that CBD oil and THC oil impact the body in completely different ways.

Recreational use of marijuana, which contains THC, is now legal in 11 states. But the Food and Drug Administration has not approved the use of THC and it remains classified illegal under U.S. law. Still, people are experimenting with the drug more and more frequently by either smoking it, eating it, or vaping it.

For instance, in September 2019, health officials began investigating an outbreak of a severe lung disease associated with vaping and e-cigarettes. By December 2019, more than 2,800 cases of the lung disease, often referred to as EVALI, had been reported across the United States.

About a year ago, when Lyden Henderson took a sip of a nonalcoholic, cannabis-infused beer, he discovered something was amiss: The beverage was chunky — bits of cannabis floated throughout the beer, creating an unpleasant consistency. “It tasted kind of like I was drinking milk that had been sitting in the refrigerator for two or three months,” Henderson says. “It had the worst texture. It was one of the grossest things I had ever tried in my life.”

Due to the lack of substantial research, some beverage companies aren’t totally sold on nano-emulsions. Cannabis-infused herbal-tea brand Kikoko, founded in the Bay Area in 2014, before the adoption of nano-emulsification, struggled to zero in on a method to solubilize cannabis in tea, says co-founder Amanda Jones. After test runs with two chemists failed to produce teas with the correct dose, Kikoko brought on a chemist who worked in-house to develop emulsions for the drink. Instead of breaking down cannabis microscopically, such is the norm in nano-emulsification, the molecules remain untouched in Kikoko’s teas, which contain anywhere from 3 mg to 10 mg of THC. This can slow onset time to anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes, Jones says, since the cannabis needs to be processed by the liver, as if consumed in an edible. “The liver is there to help purify the body, help take out things it doesn’t want, so we’ve been a little bit concerned of where the nano-particles will end up,” Jones says, citing studies that suggest nano-technology may pose toxicological risks. “The science is so early, and we do everything driven by data at Kikoko.”

Related

Opposed to individual cans or bottles, Artet, which debuted last year, is sold in a 750 mL bottle with 2.5 mg of THC per 50 mL pour — a little less than a shot. “I’ll pour a double drink and have a 5 mg serving, and then I would probably have another one,” Spohler says. “It can bridge the gap with someone with a higher tolerance and someone with a lower tolerance, like my girlfriend, who has one shot and doesn’t want to touch it for an hour.”

For Shepherd and his cousins, brothers Zach and Max Spohler, family time was fueled by food and drink — so that’s why they decided to co-found the company together. “Food and beverage is for socializing, and we feel cannabis has a place in that world now,” says Zach Spohler. When they first began developing Artet in 2015, creating shrubs out of a kitchen in Brooklyn before relocating to California, the trio wanted to bring cannabis into social environs beyond puff-puff-pass.

But as the legal-cannabis market matures in states like California and Colorado, consumers are looking for alternatives to smoking, vaping, and edibles, the latter of which has a delayed onset of 30 to 60 minutes and whose effects can last for more than six hours. Since there’s very little competition within the canna-drink space, companies are looking for a way in, says Cy Scott, CEO of Headset. (In Canada, where cannabis was legalized in 2018, major beverage manufacturers are looking to get skin in the game, with brewing companies Molson Coors, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Constellation Brands investing millions of dollars in Canadian cannabis producers.)