CAN WEED GUMMIES BE STRAIN SPECIFIC?
Edibles are extremely popular forms of cannabis. More specifically, gummies are a dominant sector of the cannabis market. According to MJBizDaily and Headset, gummies accounted for nearly $1 billion in retail sales in 2021, capturing more than 70% of the category’s share across six recreational cannabis markets tracked by Headset.
Historically, edibles evolved from the pot brownies you see in stoner movies to highly concentrated and manufactured products. In that, we expanded from just pot brownies and homemade candies to a whole category that now includes baked goods, hard candies, soft gels, and the evolving beverages sector.
With these, companies are often looking for new ways to market and sell edibles. One way that we’ve seen become more prevalent is by mentioning the strains of weed used to make the edibles.
But with the THC in edibles hitting the body differently than smoking flower, dabbing cannabis concentrates, or vaping weed pens, it begs the question: can weed gummies (or any edible) really be strain-specific?
Strains of weed cultivated indoors. Does it matter which one is used for edibles?
How strains of weed can affect the overall experience
First off, a cannabis strain refers to the variety of cannabis flower in front of you. There are three primary types of weed strains: sativa, indica, and hybrid. There’s also ruderalis, which created most of the CBD flowers we know and love; but for all intents and purposes here, we’ll focus on the THC-dominant strains.
Sativas are cannabis plants that grow tall and lanky. Historically, they’ve been considered the upper type of weed that you use for daytime activities and relief.
Indicas are cannabis plants that grow short and busy. Historically, they’ve been considered the downer type of weed that you use for nighttime activities and relief.
Hybrids tend to grow as an equalizer between sativa and indica plants. Some grow tall, some grow short, it is based on which parents in their lineage they favor. Hybrids were originally created by cross-pollinating sativas and indicas to create the best of both worlds.
Cannabis research has shown that inside of these plant types, it's actually the ratio of chemicals inside of them that provides the effects we feel after consuming cannabis. So instead of plant types, you should focus on terpenes for perceived effects in weed.
Instead of sativa strains, strains high in limonene and pinene are often the uplifting qualities. Instead of indica strains, strains high in myrcene and linalool tend to have sedative qualities.
With different cannabis strains having completely different chemical profiles that process through the endocannabinoid system differently, each one provides a different overall experience. That is why companies market strain-specific edibles: to sell the idea of different flavors of edibles producing different types of experiences.
How the way you consume cannabis impacts the experience
Like strains, each delivery method comes with its own type of experience too. Smoking flower and eating edibles are 100% not the same type of experience. If you’ve smoked Sour Diesel flower and felt a really awake type of high, eating edibles that say they are made with Sour Diesel will not be the same.
In short, smoking cannabis flower promotes a potent and long-lasting experience, but requires combustion and smoke inhalation.
Vaporizing flower removes the combustion and promotes a flavorful experience by heating your terpenes. There are both handheld dry herb vaporizers and tabletop dry herb vaporizers.
Dabbing is usually the most potent experience and comes with many flavor advantages. It is the consumption of cannabis concentrates through the use of a dab rig, which is essentially a desktop vaporizer for cannabis extracts.
Weed vape pens refer to cannabis oil cartridges that work with handheld batteries to vaporize. They are called weed pens because they look like pens, with weed attached to them. The advantages of them are that you can smoke them anywhere and not smell like weed.
Then, of course, you have edibles.
What’s special about weed gummies and cannabis edibles
Weed edibles, as the name would suggest, are cannabis products that you eat (or drink). They are infused with cannabis concentrates. Gummies are the most popular type of edible. Other options include baked goods like cookies and brownies; candies like hard candies and gummy belts; and even beverages like seltzers and lemonades.
The many benefits of consuming cannabis edibles (past the obvious medical benefits of cannabis consumption), ultimately boil down to convenience, not smoking, and them being tasty little snacks.
Edibles are convenient because they’re food, so you can just eat them, sit back, and wait for the effects. You don’t need joint papers, lighters, and a poker for edibles; you just eat them. You don’t need a dab rig, a torch, and dab accessories for edibles; you just eat them.
There’s no loud weed smell to edibles. You can toss them into a bag, let them sit in your car, have them in your pocket, whatever, and no one around will know the wiser.
No smoking with cannabis edibles
There are obvious health advantages to not smoking anything. With edibles, you’re able to enjoy those, while still getting the many benefits of the cannabis plant.
In most cases, a bag of great edibles costs much less than a jar of great cannabis or top-quality extracts. Plus, depending on your tolerance, the edibles tend to last longer than the few nugs of weed you get when buying an eighth of flower.
Why weed edibles can or can’t be strain-specific
If you’re buying edibles, you might come across some that are strain-specific, like flower and dabs. But here are a few things you want to know.
Why edibles can’t be strain-specific in effects
The truth is, contrary to cannabis flower and dabs, it is unlikely edibles will mirror the exact chemical profile of the plant. In the edible production and consumption process, many of the compounds that make up a strain’s chemical process degrade or completely disappear. Plus, they activate in the body differently, thus creating different experiences each and every time.
Weed edibles enter the body through the mouth and break down in the stomach. When they break down in the stomach, the delta-9-THC in them converts to 11-hydroxy-THC. These two types of THCs are different chemicals, and affect your body in totally different ways.
Delta-9-THC enters the body orally and produces a more heady type of high that comes on within thirty minutes or so, and subsides within two or three hours. 11-hydroxy-THC produces a high that comes on within an hour or two, peaks after three or four hours, and can last as long as eight hours.
In the conversion to 11-hydroxy-THC, the experience that comes from different terpenes and compounds that may produce uplifting effects disappears, and always results in a sedative, sleepy, body high.
Even if created with a full-spectrum extract, the process of making the edible, and the way your body reacts to it will still alter that strain’s usual experience.
This is why weed edibles can’t possibly be strain-specific with regard to their effects. They can only be strain-specific in production, by technicality.
Why edibles CAN be strain-specific in production
While not strain-specific in effects, edibles can be strain-specific by production. For edibles to be made, they are infused with cannabis concentrates, i.e different oils. Those cannabis concentrates are made by extracting the compounds from cannabis flower.
If the oil used to make a batch of edibles is all from the same cannabis strain, then yes, technically that batch of edibles is strain-specific. However, when people shop for different cannabis strains, they are looking for specific flavors and effects, not just a name.
Those effects will not be the same in edible form as they would be through inhalation. What you will find, though, is that edibles such as top-of-the-line weed gummies made by the best cannabis brands, will be manufactured with rich flavors to compensate.
In the end, if you want strain-specific effects, you have to use products that maintain a strain’s chemical profile. These are cannabis flower and cannabis concentrates, not edibles.
Edibles may be made from a specific strain, but when they break down in the stomach, it turns into a one-experience-fits-all type of situation. Most edibles result in the same relaxed, sedative, sleepy, body high.
In the future, hopefully, scientists and weed companies are able to get the research, trials, and means necessary to produce edibles with strain-specific effects.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that time is now.
STIIIZY, we only use premium flower for all of our cannabis products, including our weed gummies, as well as our proprietary pods and battery system.