Bring On the Heat

The powerful compounds in cannabis flowers aren’t active in the raw plant.

No ma’am. You gotta heat ’em up.

Compounds like THC and CBD start out as THCA and CBDA in raw flowers. So you have to ditch the A. With heat. Heat is what turns THCA into THC and CBDA into CDB so you can suck up all the sweet A goodness.


Scientists call it decarboxylation. Stoners call it a lighter. A vape pen. Or a blowtorch. Chefs call it an oven.

Flowers can be smoked, concentrated in oils, fruity beverages, candies, swallowed in a pill, absorbed thru skin patches, rubbed on in creams, inhaled in a smokeless vape pen or baked in thousands of delicious mouth-watering goodies at a minimum 220°c for 40 minutes.

Smoking Flower

You can smoke it by rolling it up in paper (a joint), in cigar paper (a blunt), mixing it with tobacco (a spliff), putting it in a beautiful ceramic bowl (a pipe), atop small holes in a tin can (a tin can) or smoke it through a water pipe (a bong).

There’s also something called dabbing which is strictly graduate-level cannabis consumption and involves rigs and equipment most people don’t have.

Vape Pens

Some people love smoking. Others not so much. You cough. There’s smoke. It smells. For awhile.

Vape pens are a handy alternative. They heat high-concentrate cannabis oils at a lower temperature. There’s no smoke. No smell. And no carcinogens associated with combustion entering the lungs. Plus, it’s battery operated. Woot and woot.

Once activated, our bodies—all mammals, in fact—have an entire system of receptors made for cannabis.

The Endocannabinoid System

In a nutshell, endocannabinoids are in the messenger business. They help regulate the chemical conversations in our bodies that maintain balance. Basic body functions like cell movement, pain, bone building, appetite, memory, blood pressure, motor function, immune response, and the protection of neural tissue.

Their role in cock-blocking pain messages has led researchers to think that endocannabinoids play a leading role in setting our pain baseline.

Our bodies also produce our own endocannabinoids. They function like adrenaline. They’re there when you need them, not when you don’t. THC and CBD work with our bodies own endocannabinoids.

Built-in Receptors

Currently there are two known cannabinoid receptors in the body, CB1 and CB2. Both are found throughout the central nervous system.

CB1 receptors are found mostly in the brain but also the lungs, liver and kidneys. They play a role in appetite regulation, memory and emotional “processing”. They’re also found in nerve endings where they reduce sensations of pain.

CB2 receptors are mostly found in blood cells, tonsils, and the spleen. They control inflammation and general immune function.

Because these receptors are all over the body, manipulating them for a single medical purpose gets tricky.

Hard to Overdose

The reason you don’t often see cannabis, overdose and death in the same sentence is because cannabinoid receptors are not found in lower brainstem areas controlling cardiovascular and respiratory functions. That means even if you take too much, your heart won’t stop beating and you won’t stop breathing.

Methods of Ingestion

When smoked, the THC in cannabis is absorbed in the blood and you feel the effects within 6-7 minutes. The effects can last for 4-6 hours depending on how much you smoke.

Placed under the tongue in a tincture, absorption happens in 5-15 minutes and the effects are felt for 2-4 hours.

With edibles absorption can be slow an inconsistent, with effects kicking in anywhere between 45 min and 2 hours and lasting up to 5 hours on top of that.

Slow and low is the name of the game when you’re getting started. Meaning, start with 2.5-5mg THC and don’t eat or take any more until you see how you feel in 5 min-2 hours. Ingesting more before is ba-na-nas.

Topical absorption in lotions isn’t super efficient but it has been used to treat psoriasis and inflammatory ailments like osteoarthritis.

Once inside the body, THC and CBD are absorbed into the blood stream and end up in major organs. The liver breaks them down and flushes them from the body usually within 36 hours.

But THC non-psychoactive metabolites can stick around in the body for anywhere between 3-25 days depending on your body’s metabolism.

So, you know. If you have a piss test next week maybe hold off.