You may have heard people say that cannabis has a greater effect when consumed on an empty stomach. So does this mean that consuming cannabis on a full stomach has a lesser effect?
There are various cannabis products out there, and each of these products can affect people differently. However, when using edible cannabis products, it makes sense to question whether these products are more or less effective when taken on a full stomach.
What are edibles?
Cannabis edibles are products such as cannabis gummies that contain cannabis or cannabis compounds such as CBD or THC.
Cannabis edibles enable you to consume cannabis simply, just by eating a cannabis gummy. However, other edible products include baked goods like brownies and cookies, chocolates and candies, drinks, and supplements.
Different ratios of CBD and THC are included in edible products. When making your own cannabis gummies at home, you can use one compound instead of another. Or, you can include both and experiment with the amount of CBD and THC that you combine in your gummies.
Essentially, the great thing about cannabis edibles is that they are a delicious way to consume cannabis, and you can decide how much THC and CBD to add. Since you are going to the effort of making these cannabis gummies, you will undoubtedly want to get the best effect from them.
What is the difference between CBD and THC?
Although CBD and THC both come from the cannabis plant, these two compounds have different effects on the human body (1). Within the cannabis plant, over 400 other compounds have also been identified.
However, the main compounds of interest are CBD and THC. Depending on the type of cannabis plant, some will produce more CBD, while others make more THC instead.
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive compound of cannabis that has many beneficial effects on your health. If you consume CBD, you will not become intoxicated or high.
CBD is used for:
- Muscle tension
- Vomiting and nausea
THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound of cannabis, which makes people ‘high’. If you consume THC, you may feel intoxicated. Despite this, THC does have some great benefits for your health.
THC is used for:
- Muscle tension
- Vomiting and nausea
- To increase appetite
Beware that if you consume too much THC, you may experience memory loss, sedation, a distorted perception of time and reality, and/or mood changes. For some people, these effects do not bother them. However, for others, these effects could be burdensome.
Therefore, the great thing about edibles is that you can decide whether to include or exclude THC. Or, you can reduce the amount of THC to have lesser side effects.
But did you also know that CBD can enhance the effect of THC when using CBD and THC in combination? Hence, when you are using CBD with THC, you can reduce the amount of THC that you are using.
Why is this information relevant? If you want to know whether you should take your edibles on a full or empty stomach, you need to understand the effects that CBD and THC have on your body. The context or circumstances as to why you use these compounds is vital information.
What happens if you consume edible cannabis instead of smoking it?
When you inhale (smoke) cannabis, it will go straight to your lungs. You will notice instant effects within the first 10 minutes because it can reach your bloodstream rapidly from the lungs (2).
It is understandable why so many people want to avoid smoking cannabis because the smoke has damaging effects on the lungs. Some people may opt for the edibles like cannabis gummies instead because they are a discreet and delicious method of consuming cannabis. Additionally, edibles are a more controlled way of self-administering CBD or THC.
When you consume edibles like cannabis gummies, it will take longer for CBD and THC to reach your bloodstream. This means that these compounds are released slowly into your body. While it may take longer before you notice any effects, the advantage of this is that the effect you do notice will last for a longer period of time.
To facilitate the absorption of CBD and THC, experts recommend that you consume these compounds with something that is ‘lipophilic’ (3). Lipophilic means fat-soluble. So if you consume CBD and THC alongside a lipid or fat, these compounds have a greater chance of leaving your digestive tract and entering your body so that they can have an effect.
Thankfully, Zen Zingers contain a small amount of lipids (1%) to help you get the most from your CBD and THC. But does this mean that you don’t need to eat anything with them?
Should you take your edibles on a full stomach or an empty stomach?
Deciding whether you need to eat anything before consuming cannabis gummies ultimately depends on what you are using them for.
For example, suppose you are using CBD or THC for vomiting and nausea. In that case, it may not be possible to consume cannabis on a full stomach anyway.
Or, suppose that you are using THC to stimulate your appetite. You may need to wait for it to kick in until you feel ready to eat.
If you are unable to eat anything before consuming edibles or if you are consuming edibles for the first time, then the instructions set by experts is to ‘start low and go slow’ (4). This means, start with a low cannabis dose and spread your doses out for as long as possible.
Why start low and go slow? It may take up to 60 minutes after ingestion before you notice any effect. Therefore, if you do not feel any results within the first hour, then you should not consume any more cannabis until that hour is up. Otherwise, you could be unnecessarily adding to it, and because it takes longer to be released into your body, the effects could last with you longer than intended.
There are certain pros and cons to consuming cannabis with or without food. If you take it with food that contains fats, this may increase the amount of THC and CBD that gets into your body. However, as stated previously, under some circumstances, you may need it to work now, but you can’t eat anything before taking it.
Ultimately, the formulation that Zen Zingers have offers a great solution. When using the Zen Zinger formulation, the small amount of lipids or fats (1%) already contained in this formula helps more CBD and THC leave your digestive tract and enter your body. Because of this, you do not need to eat a fatty meal beforehand because everything required is contained in one gummy.
However, experts do warn that the effects of consuming cannabis on a full or empty stomach are unpredictable if not approached with caution. Hence, why it is so important to start low and go slow.
Different foods can affect how CBD and THC are absorbed. Or you may notice that taking it on an empty stomach does not work for you. Therefore, you need to monitor your situation and see what works best. While an effect is ideal, too much of an effect is not ideal either.
So, should you consume cannabis on a full stomach or an empty stomach? Overall, it depends on what your circumstances are. But by starting low and going slow you can get a sense of how much you can tolerate on an empty stomach and a full stomach.