Extra powerful 11-hydroxy THC and the power of cannabis foods
Recently, some new cannabinoids have appeared, especially new forms of THC. Most are found naturally in cannabis, but some, like 11-hydroxy-THC, are not found in the plant at all. Let’s take a closer look at this highly potent psychoactive compound and what it has to do with the human digestive system.
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What is 11-Hydroxy-THC?
11-Hydroxy-THC, sometimes also spelled 11-OH-THC, is one of our naturally occurring endocannabinoids. which means that it is made in the body. After Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC is swallowed, it is broken down by the body and metabolized by the liver. 11-Hydroxy-THC is a metabolism of the other tetrahydrocannabinols and is believed to be much more potent than its precursors. Because of this, delta-8 THC foods are just as effective as delta-9 foods, but the same cannot be said of flowers or vape products.
Neuroscientist and medical cannabis advisor Dr. Adie Rae stated, “The liver is responsible for this transformation, particularly the drug metabolizing enzyme known as cytochrome P2C9 or CYP2C9. Even if you smoke, your liver still sees Delta-9 and converts it to 11-hydroxy-THC, but you get a lot more 11-OH from eating cannabis. ”
A phenomenon known as “first pass metabolism” is why 11-hydroxy-THC has such powerful effects on the brain. Oral administration results in much stronger and longer lasting effects compared to inhalation. So, if you were wondering why you are no longer baked with food, this is why.
As with other cannabinoids, 11-hydroxy-THC binds to the CB1 receptor; In this case, however, it mimics all of the known effects of Delta-9-THC, but tenfold. The peak concentration of 11-OH-THC is around 1.5 hours after consumption. The effects can last anywhere from an hour to six hours depending on dose and tolerance level (and some have reported more).
Research on 11-Hydroxy-THC
Although limited, the research we have available suggests that 11-hydroxy-THC is significantly more potent than delta-9-THC, the compound in cannabis that is known to induce high levels. Specifically, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that 11-OH-THC is “much more effective at inducing a subjectively high and racing heart than Delta-9”. This has been seen in both animal and human studies, in which hydroxy-11-THC was between 1.5 and 7 times more potent than delta-9-THC.
Dr. Rae claims that the reason for this much higher potency is due in part to the metabolite’s higher binding affinity for the CB1 receptor, which is physically more tightly bound to the receptor than Delta-9. Basically, the better it binds, the better it activates the receptor. “
In the 1970s, when this cannabinoid was first discovered, THC was used in radioactive THC in laboratories to allow researchers to better study these compounds. Radioactivated THC (which is radioactive) behaves like normal THC, but allows scientists to see where all of the metabolites go once it is broken down in the body. This is how 11-hydroxy-THC was discovered.
At this point in time, for obvious reasons, very little 11-OH-THC was available, so that only small animal experiments could be carried out over a very long period of time. As soon as they were able to make this compound on a larger scale, groundbreaking studies were started in a laboratory to characterize the effects of 11-OH-THC in humans.
Numerous studies of Delta 11 taken intravenously showed that it was not only more effective, but also set on much faster than other forms of THC given the same way.
Smoking versus eating cannabis
If you’re anything like me and a lot of the other cannabis users I’ve spoken to, foods are different from smoking. Although it takes a while to feel anything, I lie down on the couch almost every time they kick in. I feel more stoned, I laugh at everything and at some point I get super tired. This seems to be common with food. but why exactly are they so different from smoking from a scientific point of view?
Two factors matter: the drug metabolizing enzymes in your GI tract and blood flow to the liver. When you first eat edible cannabis, various enzymes in the GI tract begin to digest the food. From this point on, the blood flow from the GI tract flows through the liver, where all of these enzymes are metabolized. The blood then continues to flow into the general circulation. When the metabolites are formed, you get the effects of 11-hydroxy-THC.
However, when you smoke cannabis, THC is absorbed through the lungs and distributed directly into the bloodstream. The active ingredients go to the brain, where they interact with the CB receptors, which are part of the endocannabinoid system. In this scenario, you will feel the effects of the phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids) themselves rather than the compound formed during metabolism.
How to avoid consuming too much 11-hydroxy-THC
When it comes to groceries, it’s easy to go overboard. Because it takes so much longer to notice the effects, many people end up eating more than they should thinking the foods are not working and are then surprised when all that THC finally sets in. According to statistical surveys, the overwhelming majority of cannabis-related emergency rooms are food-related, and this explains why.
Whether you make them yourself or buy them at the pharmacy, if you want to avoid any of these problems occurring yourself, think of the phrase “less is more”. This is very true when it comes to cannabis foods, especially if you are a beginner.
It’s also important to remember that not everyone is edible the same way. Some people are more sensitive to 11-hydroxy THC than others. These people feel much more edible than people whose bodies are more resistant to the compound.
“Because 11-hydroxy-THC is made by the liver and we all have different liver enzymes and genetic mutations in those enzymes, edible cannabis products can affect people in very different ways. There is a wide range in how individuals convert delta-9 to 11-hydroxy-THC, with age, gender, historical cannabis use, concurrent medication, and other factors contributing to variability, ”concluded Dr. Rae.
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