In Cannabis legal states with retail outlets or medical dispensaries, the edible markets are overcrowded with all sorts of products from savory to sweet to nutraceuticals. There are chocolates to sour gummies, pizzas to ice cream, capsules to cough syrup to oils (taking an oil or tincture sub-lingually is a different absorption method), and they all have one thing in common, and that is, their THC turns into 11-hydroxy-THC and are treated the same in your digestive system. Some companies will market their products as being made from Sativa or Indica strains indicating that they would provide a desired effect; a more heady or energetic feeling (Sativas) versus more of a body high (Indicas).
This is just MARKETING BS! The THC molecule in a Sativa strain is the same THC molecule found in an Indica strain or “Hybrid” strains, a strain that is mixed and possesses both Indica and Sativa traits. So if the psycho-active molecules are the same in all different types of Cannabis, why do strains provide unique side effects? The Terpenes (essential oils) found, in the flower, are what scientists have found leads the THC molecule to provide the side effects it does. And terpenes are destroyed by stomach acids and do not make it through the “first pass metabolism” of the liver. The Sativa and Indica edibles are a load of Marketing Crap – don’t be fooled, be educated!
Talking with The Cannabist, Shellene Suemori, director of science and R&D at Dixie Elixirs & Edibles suggests production methods may actually alter the sativa, indica and strain attributes. Suemori says, “Due to many processing techniques, most of the terpenes that people associate with strain-specific attributes are largely lost before the oil is incorporated into an edible. If not lost in processing, many will be lost during the making of the edible (especially if exposed to heat).” Her theory is correct that terpene-THC molecule bonds are broken and lost in traditional decarboxylation methods, even from old traditional methods of cooking cannabis.
These terpene-THC bonds can also be broken while being extracted. Alison Ettel, of TreatWell Health, has stated that they extract the Cannabinoids for their tinctures by ethanol alcohol to preserve the natural bonds. TreatWell consciously chooses not to extract by CO2 because this process literally blows these bonds apart.
However, there are foods you can eat that could help with the loss of the terpenes. A growing number of cannaisseurs have been eating mangos, rich in myrcene, before smoking pot. Steep Hill Labs says for a fact that eating mangos before inhaling THC will speed up the onset and increase the potency of the Cannabinoid. Another terpene that has been proven effective with THC is Beta-caryophyllene, which is found in black pepper, basil, cloves and other foods. It is well known for it’s anti-biological activity against fungus and tumors. It is also anti-oxidant. It may play a roll in improving uptake of CBD/CBC in the CB2 receptor.