It's not an edible and it's not always a tincture: Here's what you need to know about sublinguals

Onset times are probably one of the most important things to consider when consuming cannabis and yet not enough conversation is happening around sublinguals. While cannabis is often consumed to amplify a moment in time, to enjoy the fullness of living in the present, or to relieve some immediate discomfort, the response time can sometimes take longer than we need.

Sublingual are fast acting without affecting the respiratory system and provide measured dosage without the delayed, prolonged and intensified effects of edibles. Sublingual administration involves placing a cannabis under your tongue to dissolve and absorb into your blood through the tissue there. The cheek and area under the tongue have many capillaries, or tiny blood vessels. There, cannabis can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Further, cannabis does not go through the digestive system, so it isn’t metabolized through your liver. This means you may be able to take a lower dose, likely with less sugar and fat, and still get the same results.

Imagine taking a mint to ease your anxiety stepping into a big meeting, and midway through that 10 milligrams kicks in so, you totally forget the question your client asked midway through your sentence. Because edibles are sometimes unpredictable a small dose can pack a big punch, depending on whether you ingest on an empty stomach, body weight, tolerance level etc. Edibles have to metabolize which means a longer onset time and smoking is not always the best option if you’re trying to be discreet. Smoking, unlike edibles, may bring on a stronger effect in a faster time frame but by heating it up you lose many of the other medicinal benefits. Unlike with smoking, the fragile and volatile compounds are not subject to a high degree of heat. This heat, particularly when applied by a lighter, rapidly degrades the quantity of active compounds long before reaching the capillaries in the lungs.

By absorbing the same amount of cannabis under the tongue, the full spectrum of secondary compounds, flavonoids and terpenes are absorbed at a much higher percentage per milligram. Sublingual administration is far more efficient than smoking. You can think of bioavailability as efficiency. Sublinguals are an alternative ingestible form of cannabis. The effects of a 2.5 mg sublingual are NOT the same as a 2.5 mg edible. Digested THC is transformed into a much more potent compound in the liver—11-hydroxy-THC, which is then slow-released into the bloodstream over 6 to 8 hours.

Timing your dose is necessary to achieving desired results. Sublinguals deliver the full dose of cannabis directly to the bloodstream, providing a more predictable, controllable and repeatable experience. You can get your desired results with a reasonable response time. Like, after an intense workout for example.

Here are several reasons to give sublingual a try:

  • you need to get cannabis into your system quickly

  • cannabis in your stomach doesn’t sit well

  • you want to take a break from smoking

  • you have trouble swallowing pills

Another advantage is that you don’t have to swallow it. Sublingual absorbed under the tongue or between the cheek and gum can be easier to take for people who have problems swallowing pills.

Sublinguals come in tinctures, yes. But also in the form of dissolvable strips, sprays and tablets.

The thing about cannabis is there is a learning curve. People have a lot more options than they realize and in order to achieve the best experience cannabis for you, you have to tailor it to your lifestyle. Sublinguals are great as a daily supplement for someone taking the preventable approach to health as well as for those suffering from serious illnesses and disease.

Experiment. Find what works for you.