Why don’t some people get high when they eat food?
I remember the first time I ate too many brownies, which put me in a world of intense images, low body heights and cotton mouths like never before.
Most people who eat food feel the effects, but there is a class of people who appear to be immune to food – and scientists aren’t entirely sure why.
There are theories – theories that we will discuss in this article.
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However, the implications of this discovery extend well beyond an individual’s inability to get high from 11-hydroxy-THC and could impact things like our standardized drug tests for impairment, cannabis medicine, and more.
We will also look at these issues later in this article.
Are you ediblocked
The term “ediblocked” comes from the Boston Globearticle that was the inspiration for writing this article. I rather like the term and can also see that this can be extended to other substances.
For example, I once took LSD with a group of psychonauts where one person in particular said, “I don’t get it, it feels like I’m smoking weed!”
I looked at the dilated man and saw all kinds of things whirling around as the walls breathed and thought to myself, “This guy’s a caveman!” Of course he wasn’t and in all likelihood he experienced something similar to an “Ediblock”.
What makes the discovery so important, however, is that it shows that “standardized impairment testing” does not take into account the fact that people process drugs differently.
Of course, a test that can adapt to the biochemical makeup of the individual is just science fiction at this point, but it also tells us that many people who have been judged “impaired” by law enforcement agencies may have been more sober when the officer put on the cuffs.
Here’s a snippet from one of the guys in the Boston Globe article:
“They couldn’t stop laughing – they were all having a great time,” recalls McDonald, a 55-year-old cannabis breeder from Ontario, Canada. “And I got absolutely nothing from them. I sat there with my arms crossed and said, “Oh man … all of them work but my hoverboard.” ”
This is a guy named Al who first discovered he was immune to food when his friends were eating some highly potent cannabis cookies. Al says he’s starting to “feel” the effects of THC through the 700 milligram marker that would send most people on a deep body and recharged journey.
RELATED: What To Do If Your Marijuana Foods Don’t Get You Up
It could also be why some people can consume seemingly ungodly amounts of THC while okay.
To some of you, the idea of being immune to food doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for those who are going to have surgery or are using cannabis for pain relief, because of their bodies, they may not be able to see the therapeutic value of the Use plant Inhibition to process THC as usual.
How do you get “ediblocked”?
Right now, researchers don’t know 100% why this could possibly have to do with a specific liver enzyme that is responsible for processing THC. In contrast to “inhibiting THC,” they argue that these people simply have more efficient processing abilities in the liver.
The Boston Globe spoke to Dr. Staci Gruber, Director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery Programs at McLean Hospital:
“While no studies have directly examined those with extremely high tolerances to marijuana foods, Gruber and other researchers have a compelling hypothesis: People with an unusual variation in an important liver enzyme might be essentially too efficient at processing ingested THC and the compound in those convert its “active” high causative metabolite and then its inactive waste product before the active form can enter the bloodstream or the brain. It is also possible that other people’s enzymes make them unusually inefficient in performing this process, as little THC is metabolized in the first place.
“‘It’s almost like you’re skipping the intermediate step,'” Gruber said of people with unusual subtypes of the CPY2C9 gene, which encodes the enzyme that guides THC through its three-step metabolic transformation. “You break it down so quickly that there is no way you can get the psychoactive effect.”
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Why this becomes a problem for the individual cannabis user depends on how we test “impairment” in society. Most modern tests don’t take into account liver enzymes and the ability to process THC better.
People like Al can eat 500 mg and are freezing cold on an empty stomach. However, if stopped by a police officer who has been tested for THC in saliva or blood, he is considered “impaired”.
RELATED: Why You Must Be Careful With Food the First Time
According to the Boston Globe, “Research raises doubts about biological marijuana testing, which is widely used by researchers, doctors, police officers, and employers. These look for the same metabolites but fail to take into account the seemingly large and hardwired fluctuations in metabolic rate between individuals. (In Massachusetts, most suspected stoned drivers are assessed by officials with Drug Recognition Expert certifications. This process usually includes a saliva or blood test for THC.)
The problem from a medical point of view
It’s not just about getting up here either. For people who use cannabis as a medicine, this may mean that with a higher presence of the CPY2C9 gene, you may need higher doses of cannabis to be effective.
The problem is that taking too much could take you on an 8-hour journey, according to Harvard Medical School instructor and cannabis expert Dr. Peter Grinspoon. Or 18 hours in my case.
RELATED: How to Make Edibles Hit You Faster
I think my CYPY2C9 gene likes to take its time. On the other hand, I had almost 20 brownies in a 2 hour period, so my THC levels were probably well above 1 gram.
Photo by BATCH of Wisconsin Hemp Scientific via Unsplash
“Grinspoon said the phenomenon shows how little we understand the body’s cannabinoid system, thanks in part to long-standing federal restrictions on the study of marijuana,” reports the Boston Globe. “This is something that, with proper research and smart people working on it, we can understand and maybe even fix,” he said.
And he’s right!
The federal government with its anti-freedom policy has hindered cannabinoid research in the name of “security” for decades, and now science has to catch up.
It shows once again that the government’s handling of drugs is not only out of date, but also potentially dangerous for those who use cannabis both medicinally and recreationally.
I wonder where we could have been in relation to cannabis medicine if the government hadn’t decided to stifle research and information.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and was republished with permission.