Do THC Drinks Hit Faster?

Aug 01, 2023The nama Team

THC drinks are the new hot way to consume cannabis in a social setting. But an important question bubbles up: can THC beverages get you buzzed faster than edibles?

The answer may lie in THC absorption. Because THC drinks aren’t metabolized by the liver, they can deliver effects faster than traditional gummies.

Do THC Drinks Hit Faster?

THC drinks may not be as lightning fast as smoking or vaping, but they are 100% more reliable and safer for everyday consumption. Canna-beverages are perfect for microdosing, the innovative practice of delivering small amounts of THC and CBD in a consistent and controlled way. Just a few drops mixed into your favorite beverage provide a mild, pleasant buzz without the health risks of inhaling smoke.

Try our Buzz Drops to experience the magic of discreet THC beverages.

What Are THC-Infused Drinks?

THC drinks (cannabis-infused drinks, weed drinks, or liquid edibles) are beverages infused with Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta 9 THC, which allow for oral THC consumption rather than inhalation. 

Here at nama, we don’t really enjoy smoking or vaping because these quick cannabis fixes are probably the unhealthiest methods to consume cannabis. We prefer taking a low amount of THC, CBD, and other cannabis extracts orally, with cannabis-infused drinks or the most delightful Delta 9 edibles. Shop our collection of 100% organic, hemp-derived gummies

Many of our delightful THC edibles and drinks contain cannabidiol (CBD), another major and quite potent cannabis compound. Learn more about the differences in our extensive comparison of THC and CBD.  

Cannabis drinks are a healthier, more convenient, and all-around better choice than smoking. Here’s why:

  • No smoke is involved. THC drinks are free from the harmful toxins and lung irritation from inhaling cannabis smoke.
  • THC drinks offer precise dosing. You can control the THC dose and know exactly how much you’ve taken, which is not the case with smoking.
  • Discretion and simplicity are guaranteed. THC beverages are discreet, portable, and easy to take on-the-go for consumption anytime, anywhere. 
  • A more gradual onset of effects. Drinkable THC has a more gradual onset than the intense, immediate high from smoking.
  • Longer duration of effects. The effects of cannabis beverages can last between 2 and 6 hours, compared to 1–3 hours from smoking.

In case you need more reasons to try our liquid THC drops, how about the versatility with barely a hint of flavor? The subtle taste won't overpower your drink or require chasing it with a chaser. You can add it to your favorite summer mocktails or herbal teas. You'll barely know it's there except for the mellow buzz you feel.

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Do THC Drinks Hit Faster Than Edibles?

Cannabis beverages generally provide effects quicker than edibles. THC drinks hit faster because they are absorbed more quickly in the stomach than gummies, which must go through the stomach lining and be metabolized in the liver. 

Because they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the soft tissues in the mouth and throat, weed drinks have a rapid onset. You can feel the effects of THC drinks within 10–20 minutes of consumption

THC drinks also have higher bioavailability than many edibles. Bioavailability refers to the proportion of a drug or supplement that enters the circulation and allows for an active effect. In the case of edibles, bioavailability includes factors like:

  • Whether the edible contains fat or oils
  • Other ingredients it contains
  • Whether it’s a solid or liquid form of edible
  • Digestion factors like the person’s metabolism and THC tolerability

Cannabis-infused beverages tend to have higher bioavailability because the THC compounds can dissolve directly into the drink, allowing for more direct absorption in the digestive system. 

Gummies—including our collection of edibles with CBD—have a much lower bioavailability because they first must pass through the digestive system and be fully metabolized before the effects can kick in. That’s why you can feel the effects of Delta 9 edibles anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours after consumption

How Long Do THC-Infused Beverages Last?

Once the effects of cannabis-infused beverages kick in, they can stick around for about 2 to 6 hours

After sipping on your favorite THC beverage, the cannabinoids get absorbed into the bloodstream and then travel to the brain. THC and CBD from the weed drink interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. More specifically, the cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS)

The ECS is a complex network of signals and receptors that helps regulate important physiological processes in the body like sleep, appetite, pain perception, memory, and inflammation. The interaction between cannabinoids and the ECS results in the therapeutic and medicinal effects of THC, CBD, and other cannabis compounds. 

What Factors Influence Onset Time of THC Drinks?

There are a few major factors that influence the onset time for THC-infused drinks. 

  • THC dosage: higher THC doses can make you feel the effects more quickly. 
  • Metabolism: people with faster individual metabolic rates have quicker processing times for ingestible cannabis and faster onset times. 
  • Stomach contents: consuming THC drinks on an empty stomach leads to faster absorption and quicker onset compared to a full stomach. Food can delay effects by up to 2 hours.
  • Tolerance level: those with high cannabis tolerance will need to consume higher THC doses to feel effects.
  • Interactions with medications or supplements: some prescription meds and supplements either accelerate or slow THC metabolism. This can influence the onset time. 
  • Body weight: no fat shaming here, but heavier individuals often need higher THC doses for comparable onset times to those with a lower body weight.

Our Buzz Drops are relatively fast-acting. These low-dose THC tinctures deliver a smooth mood lift within just 10 minutes.

While gummies generally need longer to kick in, our Relax Plus gummies might be a record-breaker. Infused with 25 milligrams of CBD and only 5 milligrams of Delta 9 THC, these watermelon-flavored treats melt away worries and tension—and they only need 15 minutes to kick in. 

How Do THC Drinks Make You Feel?

Sipping cannabis-infused beverages provides a subtle and functional high thanks to controlled microdoses of THC. Delta 9 THC is typically referred to as the main “psychoactive compound” in the cannabis plant. At sufficient amounts, THC can have intense euphoric effects, but in lower doses, it can provide a mild yet pleasurable buzz

A low-dose THC drink lets you experience the positive and often therapeutic aspects of being high. It makes you feel relaxed, alleviates pain and discomfort, enhances sensory experiences, and elevates mood without producing the psychoactive effects that overwhelm the senses. 

The 2.2 mg of THC in a serving of Buzz Drops produces a light, upbeat buzz that enhances daily activities. 

Here are some benefits of microdosing cannabis with our THC-infused beverages:

Need a chill energy boost? Pop our blood orange Energy gummies for mellow motivation infused with THC, CBD, and stimulating nutrients. These vegan gummies unite the power of vitamin B12 and L-theanine with a 2.5 mg THC and 5 mg CBD ratio designed for clarity and calm focus. Just one gummy provides an uplifting vibration that energizes both mind and body without any crash. 

If you check out more benefits of microdosing cannabis, you’ll see why we’re head over heels for our low-dose THC drinks and edibles.

Liquid Edibles vs Traditional Edibles

Liquid edibles have risen in popularity alongside classic solid edibles such as gummies. But we don't see them as competing formats; both have their merits for microdosing THC in different scenarios. 

Here’s a comparison of drinks vs edibles. Compared to edibles, the effects of THC drinks: 

  • Generally have a quicker onset time. This gives you better control over timing and offers much quicker relief if needed.
  • Have similar or lower lasting effects. THC drinks can last up to 6 hours for some people, whereas gummies offer a bit longer experience. Naturally, this depends on the person’s metabolism, tolerance to THC, dosage, and the presence of other compounds that may interact with THC (like CBD). 
  • Can be added seamlessly to drinks or food for infusion. They are everyone’s favorite addition to mocktails, lemonades, teas, and even smoothies. Solids must be consumed as-is which offers a whole new level of convenience. They’re discreet, easy to consume, and oh-so-delicious. 
  • Can also contain different THC concentrations. The effects of THC beverages and chewable edibles depend primarily on the THC content of the cannabis product. Our gummies contain anywhere from 2 to 10 milligrams of THC, whereas our Buzz Drops pack 2.2 mg of THC. 
  • Don’t have a taste of their own. Our Buzz Drops add buzz to your favorite drinks without changing their flavor. Gummies come in many juicy flavors, which makes chewing super tasty. 

Speaking of flavors, why not splash your lemonade with a boost of cannabis creativity this summer? Combine fresh-squeezed lemonade, cranberry juice, lime juice, and a generous dose of our THC drops over ice to create a vibrant Pink Lemonade mocktail

Or skip the mixing and go straight for our Pink Lemonade gummies for an uplifting snack. Let the sweet and sour sugar coating spark your senses as 10 mg of THC gets to work melting away stress.

We know all this talk about refreshing THC beverages has got you intrigued. Explore more delicious recipes for the ultimate cannabis-infused beverages

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Do You Need a THC Drink Delivery? 

Are you looking for reliable direct delivery of your favorite THC beverages right to your door? We've got you covered. Sign up for ongoing delivery by subscribing to our Buzz drops. This personalized subscription means you never have to worry about running low or remembering to reorder again. 

Learn how convenient a THC drink subscription can be.

THC Drinks FAQ

THC-infused beverages typically take 10–20 minutes to kick in. This is quicker than traditional edibles but slower than inhaling cannabis flower. 

The exact timing of cannabis drinks depends on individual factors like metabolism and stomach contents. Start low with THC-infused beverages until you understand how your specific body processes and responds to the THC and other active cannabis compounds. 

Slow down the degradation process of your favorite weed drinks by storing them properly. Exposure to light, heat, and air can all contribute to a decrease in potency over time. The effects may also feel weaker as your body builds tolerance with repeated cannabis consumption. Moderate your cannabis drink intake and make sure your cannabis product is stored properly for the best results.

CBD-infused beverages are growing in popularity for their touted wellness benefits. While research is still emerging due to cannabis' legal status, early studies suggest CBD drinks may support overall health, especially mental health like reducing anxiety and depression. CBD drinks contain no calories and may support health in doses of 15–25mg CBD per serving. As with any cannabis drink, start low until you find the right amount for you.

CBD-infused drinks are typically made with CBD oil or CBD isolate, which is extracted from hemp plants and infused into the beverage. Some users report improved focus and a sense of overall well-being with regular CBD consumption. 

CBD isolate contains only pure, hemp-derived cannabidiol. Here are the differences between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD, which contain CBD, Delta-9 THC, and other beneficial cannabinoids. 

Cannabis edibles must pass through the digestive system and liver before they are absorbed into the bloodstream. In the liver, THC is metabolized into its more potent form, 11-hydroxy-THC, which contributes to the unique, longer-lasting effects of edibles. 

Cannabis drinks, however, kick in quicker than edibles because they don’t linger in the digestive tract but rather pass through and hit the bloodstream. 

Cannabis-infused beverages containing Delta-9 THC may produce euphoric effects similar to those of other weed edibles if consumed in sufficient amounts. This high may feel more relaxing and less intense compared to smoking or vaping cannabis flower, oil, or extracts. The effects also come on more gradually and peak at lower levels than with inhaled methods. It is also easier to control dosage with measured THC drinks than inhaling. 

The effects of THC drinks are different for different people. They also depend on factors such as the THC concentration, method of cannabis consumption, and dosage. 

Common effects include euphoria, relaxation, altered perception of time and space, heightened sensory experiences, increased appetite, and changes in mood. Some individuals may also experience temporary impairments in cognitive function and motor skills. 

To avoid any negative effects, consume THC drinks responsibly. Start low and slowly increase the dosage. Moderation is key.

Joints do offer faster relief if needed immediately, but smoking cannabis flowers comes with an array of dangers. Edibles provide longer-lasting effects (up to 8 hours) and avoid harmful smoke inhalation. Microdosing edibles like a 10 mg gummy may be healthier with less impairment.

Consuming a 10 mg THC edible gives you clear-headed effects compared to potentially higher and unreliable Delta-9 THC levels in joints. 

Our 10 mg Euphoria sour gummies might be your next greatest discovery from the world of safe and reliable cannabis consumption, so make sure you order right here at nama.  

THC syrups or tinctures can technically be mixed into alcoholic beverages. However, the effects of cannabis-infused drinks may be amplified by alcohol in an unpredictable way. The combination of THC and alcohol can dramatically increase sedation and lead to other unwanted side effects. It's also easy to inadvertently overconsume THC when it's infused into alcoholic beverages. 

For medical or recreational marijuana users, it may be safer to infuse THC syrups into non-alcoholic beverages to avoid intensifying the effects. 

THC drinks offer advantages like precise dosing, convenience, predictable effects, and avoiding harmful smoke inhalation. 

Many people have good results from microdosing cannabis for depression as well. Scientists at the University of Washington found that cannabis users experienced a reduction in depressive symptoms after consuming cannabis in small amounts.

Delta 9 may seem to slow the progression of glaucoma and treat symptoms of increased eye pressure like nausea, chronic pain, and discomfort. One study found that low doses of THC can lower intraocular pressure by up to 40%.

Some find infused drinks helpful for symptoms like pain relief, nausea, mood enhancement, and insomnia. When taken at low THC dosages (2.5–5 mg), cannabis beverages can provide mild euphoria and relaxation during activities. 

Everyone reacts differently to different THC concentrations and potencies. Overconsumption can still happen with drinks, so responsible ingestion is key. As the use of legal recreational marijuana is expanding, THC drinks offer a customizable experience free of smoking's health risks, but they can affect cannabis newcomers more strongly than regular users.

THC syrup, also called oral tincture, can be ingested directly by mouth or infused into beverages. Direct oral use involves measuring out a precise amount of THC syrup using the dosage dropper and placing it under the tongue for 30–60 seconds before swallowing. This sublingual method results in faster absorption and a much quicker onset of effects. 

For infusing into drinks, measure the desired THC syrup dose and mix it into any non-alcoholic beverage. Spice up your teas, lemonades, juices, and mocktails, and make refreshing and uplifting cannabis seltzers. How long THC beverages take to kick in depends on many factors, like metabolism, stomach content, cannabis tolerance, and the potency of the cannabis drink. The effects typically kick in within 20 minutes. 

Start with 1–3 mg of THC syrup and increase slowly from there. By starting low and incrementally increasing the dosage, you give your body time to properly acclimate to the effects, which reduces the risk of accidental overconsumption. Also, be sure to wait at least 2 hours between servings to fully gauge the effects before taking more.

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Resources

The Effects of Cannabinoids on Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines: A Systematic Review of In Vivo Studies - PubMed. (2021, June 1). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2020.0105

Hinz, B., & Ramer, R. (2022, March 11). Cannabinoids as anticancer drugs: current status of preclinical research - British Journal of Cancer. Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-022-01727-4

Vaillancourt, R., Gallagher, S., Cameron, J. D., & Dhalla, R. (2022, April 15). Cannabis use in patients with insomnia and sleep disorders: Retrospective chart review. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.1177/17151635221089617

Stoner SA. Effects of Marijuana on Mental Health: Depression. Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, June 2017. URL: http://adai.uw.edu/pubs/pdf/2017mjdepression.pdf

Mack, A., & Joy, J. (2000, January 1). MARIJUANA AND GLAUCOMA - Marijuana as Medicine? - NCBI Bookshelf. MARIJUANA AND GLAUCOMA - Marijuana as Medicine? - NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224386/

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