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Some people can get high from edibles, but others don’t. Why is that? Well, the answer goes all the way back to the cannabis plant itself. The marijuana plant contains over 400 different chemicals. These chemicals are responsible for many of the different effects that marijuana has on the human body. Why Can’t Some People Get High From Edibles?
Have you ever had the opportunity to share edibles with your friends, only to find out that one of you feels nothing at all? Al McDonald, on the other hand. The Boston Globe presented Al McDonald’s story as an example of a situation where a group of friends shared a large batch of cookies with weed, but he certainly didn’t like them. McDonald even said he sat there and thought, oh man….. Everyone’s hoverboard works but mine. McDonald represents a group of people who have a hard time getting high on edible drugs, which seems to have left scientists baffled.
Obstructed persons are not affected by smoke
McDonald is part of an unknown population that appears to be functionally immune to edible drugs, or at least has an unusually high tolerance. The Boston Globe calls this group of people ediblocked, but also explains that when they smoke cannabis, they see it as the norm. It is thought that people who are ediblocked can consume an amount of cannabis that would make most people very excited while feeling nothing themselves.
McDonald reportedly conducted a rather reckless experiment in which he drank hashish tea and only began to feel something at around 700 milligrams of THC. For comparison, 700 milligrams is 140 times the standard serving size of 5 milligrams in Massachusetts. Furthermore, cannabis users are advised to start with 1.2 to 5 mg of THC and limit themselves to 10 mg under normal circumstances, in order to minimize the adverse effects associated with high THC levels. Cannabis must contain about 10% or less THC to be considered effective, have low potency, and have a lower risk of side effects such as… B. increased anxiety.
The Boston Globe further explains that researchers and health professionals know and recognize the phenomenon of Ediblockage, but cannot definitively explain it. They also argue that this could have serious implications for dosage in medical marijuana treatment, and raises questions about the validity of blood tests that show a cannabis-related impairment.
Researchers think the reaction may be in the liver
Dr. Stacy Gruber, director of Marijuana Research for Neuroscience Discovery at McLean Hospital, explained that we’re only just beginning to understand the cannabinoid system and it’s already clear that it’s not just about what and how much you consume, but also how you’re conditioned.
Currently, there are few studies on people with ultra-high tolerance to marijuana, but Dr. Gruber and other researchers have a compelling hypothesis. The hypothesis is that blocked people have an unusual type of key enzyme in the liver that can essentially overprocess incoming THC, converting the compound into the active metabolite, causing high arousal, and then into an inactive waste product before the active form can reach the bloodstream or the brain.
However, there is another possibility, which is an abnormally inefficient execution of this process, resulting in little THC being metabolized. Dr. Gurber says it’s almost as if they missed the intermediate step. He also explains that people with the unusual CYP2C9 gene break down the cannabinoid so quickly that it cannot cause a psychoactive effect.
What is the CY gene and how does it affect THC levels in the body?
MedlinePlus explains that the CYP2C9 gene contains instructions to produce an enzyme located in a cellular structure called the endoplasmic reticulum that is involved in protein processing and transport. They also explain that the CYP2C9 enzyme plays an important role in the metabolism and degradation of drugs such as warfarin and ibuprofen. The Boston Globe newspaper also explains that it codes for an enzyme that carries THC through a three-step metabolic conversion. Dr. Gruber adds that people with this gene destroy it so quickly that it has no time to produce a psychoactive effect.
A 2020 study found that the THC metabolites detected in users’ blood differed significantly depending on which variant of the enzyme they possessed. The results of this study call into question the biological tests for marijuana that are widely used by researchers, doctors, police and employers. These tests do not account for clearly significant and coded differences in metabolism between individuals. Dr Gruber explains that this highlights the need to understand the genetic profile of individuals and that there are many variables that have not been taken into account, such as the presence of the CYP2C9 enzyme, which is rare in humans.
Blocking by use creates a problem for those who want to treat themselves with oral cannabis instead of inhalation. If someone is unable to feel the effects of ingesting a tincture or cannabis, they may suffer from social FOMO or be unable to take advantage of the pain relief and other therapeutic properties that cannabis contains. Edibles are a great alternative to consuming cannabis when smoking is not an option. According to the Boston Globe, these cannabis blockers could get relief from cannabis use if they took a high enough dose or if a supplement was developed to inhibit the enzyme.
Although there is currently not enough research to support this hypothesis, research and scientists are drawing valid conclusions. We hope that research can be conducted to support these suggestions and conclusions, so that solutions can be found for these people and the ways in which we measure cannabis-related disorders can be improved.
Chane Ley, aka Button Fairy, is a South African cannabis advocate and enthusiast with an infectious personality and a great love of travel. She loves to educate people and challenge standards.