Should I Chew Or Suck My Gummies?

February 19, 2024
Should I Chew Or Suck My Gummies?
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To chew or not to chew? That’s a question that’s being brought up in regards to the best way to enjoy gummies. Believe it or not, the way you eat your gummies can have an interesting effect on your overall high. There’s a bit of science that’s involved in relation to how the THC is processed by your body, which we’ll go into detail in the next few paragraphs. If you’ve wondered if it’s better to chew, suck, or swallow your gummies whole, keep reading to find the answer to this and more regarding your favorite cannabinoid-infused edibles!

Does It Matter How I Eat My Edibles?

When it comes to munching on soft and chewy gummies, the consumers are divided into two categories: the chewers and the suckers. If you chew the cannabis-infused sweet, you’re likely to get pieces stuck in your teeth but tend to appreciate the instant explosion of flavor on your tongue. If you prefer to slowly suck on your gummies, you may enjoy a longer-lasting flavor but experience a somewhat bitter flavor as the gummy dissolves. That bitter flavor can cause you to hurriedly chew and swallow to rid your mouth of the unpleasant flavor, and a drink of water might be in order to help rinse out your mouth. Either way, both methods involve consumption of the cannabinoid, so does it really make a difference? Possibly.

When you chew the gummy, the pieces are ground up into a gooey mush that you ultimately swallow. The cannabinoid-infused goo makes its way through your digestive system to be broken down before it can finally enter your bloodstream. The THC-laced blood eventually reaches your brain and leaves you feeling euphoric and relaxed in a heady high. Yet when you suck on the gummy, the saliva in your mouth absorbs much of the cannabinoid. The cannabinoid-laced saliva penetrates your mucus membrane under your tongue and works similar to a tincture or oil. After some time, you eventually swallow what’s left of the gummy and your digestive system can finally start to work. Yet the THC-saliva left in your mouth might help to jump-start the high a bit faster than had you quickly chewed and swallowed. How come? Let’s explain.

Sublinguals vs. Edibles

In our previous article entitled “Why Is The High From THC Edibles Stronger Than THC Inhalables?”, we went into great detail on how the THC in edibles is broken down by your stomach and ultimately your liver. Traditional THC undergoes a change that transforms it into 11-hydroxy THC, a water-soluble form of THC that is reported to be 5x stronger. The drawback is that the whole digestion process can take between 45-90 minutes, meaning that the effects can take anywhere between 45-90+ minutes to fully kick in. If you’ve got time to kill, waiting may not be so terrible. For those impatient to start their high, this time-frame might feel like an eternity.

Sublinguals come in the form of oils and tinctures that must be released under the tongue, held for a minute or two, then swallowed. The cannabinoid in the oil is absorbed by the mucus membrane under your tongue and is reported to reach your bloodstream faster. The remaining oil/tincture that is swallowed is eventually processed by your digestive system. Thus, the effects of the tincture/oil are able to start much faster since the delivery method partially bypasses the digestive system. When it comes to gummies, you may be able jump-start your high by sucking on your edibles to mimic the sublingual delivery method from tinctures and oils.

A More In-Depth Explanation of How Sublinguals Work

Curious to learn how exactly sublingual administration works? You’ve come to the right place! Your mouth is the front line for making food digestible for your stomach to process. The teeth tear and grind the food into a mush, while the saliva softens the food and starts the breakdown process. With sublinguals, there’s a bit more that happens in the breakdown process.

Your tongue and cheeks are capable of absorbing a variety of substances into your bloodstream, whether it be cannabis-infused or not. This allows for a rapid absorption that, while not quite as fast as inhalables, is faster compared to the time frame needed for edibles’ effects to begin. Several pharmaceuticals utilize a sublingual administration, the most well-known being Ativan. One cannabis-infused sublingual called Sativex comes in a spray and is being studied for a variety of uses. As the sublingual product is successfully absorbed into the bloodstream, the effects tend to kick in much faster. The key is to make sure that the product has been held under the tongue (not on top of the tongue) or even against the cheek long enough for the compounds to dissolve and enter sublingually into the bloodstream.

Conclusion: Should I Treat My Edible Like A Sublingual?

Regardless if you choose to chew or suck on your favorite gummies, there probably won’t be much of a difference in terms of effects. There’s a slight chance that the effects may kick in quicker, since the delivery method mimics sublinguals like tinctures and oils. Keep in mind that the effects of cannabinoids directly correlate to the individual. Your metabolism, age, weight, gender, previous exposure to THC, and other factors play a crucial role in your overall high. The duration, intensity, and potency will vary based on how much you consume, in what time frame, and the type of product consumed.

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