Cannabis effects on an empty stomach

Published Mar 12, 2019 01:01 p.m. ET

Cannabis is often smoked by people whether they are hungry or not and for the most part, we expect it to make us hungry and lead to binge munching. However, some new cannabis research suggests that there is a more effective way to achieve the maximum benefits from cannabis.  According to recent weed research, the most significant factor in that equation seems to be exactly how empty the consumer’s stomach is when they use marijuana derived products. The answers these researchers came up with may surprise you, especially if you are relatively are new to THC and other marijuana products yet are aware of typical recommendations for other substances such as caffeine or alcohol.  

The facts

Unfortunately, due to most of the world keeping marijuana illegal until recently there is very little data to look to for information specifically on how cannabis affects a person on an empty stomach. It’s widely believed that smoking cannabis or ingesting marijuana edibles will get you higher on an empty stomach since there is nothing to essentially “water down” the effect. While it is true that using pot on an empty stomach will affect you more intensely and slightly more intensely, you will get “higher” by using it on a semi full stomach. One study conducted by the Professor of Pot in 1999 showed that the cannabinoid THC can slow down a person's digestive capabilities by 50%. Another study which was performed in 1999 by McCallum RW proved that cannabinoids like THC are ingested faster on an empty stomach, but that the total number of cannabinoids absorbed was higher amongst those who used it with a full belly. What this means is that using cannabis on an empty stomach does change the time it takes to ingest and process the THC and CBD it is most definitely not the most effective way to use it.

Why is this important?

Medical professionals and many stoners alike will warn that cannabis effects can be overwhelming if taken in doses an individual has yet to build a tolerance to, and most would also recommend starting on a semi full stomach. The thing is, that recommendation comes as a standard for most other chemicals we enjoy daily. With most substances like caffeine, smoking, and alcohol the adverse side effects is a decreased response to hunger in an individual. That is because most of those chemicals are appetite suppressants, so taking them can not only upset an empty stomach if you are sensitive to the ingredients, but they can also inhibit appetite leading to an unhealthy amount of weight loss and decreased calorie intake. While it is a good idea to use smaller doses to begin with as to not over consume, there should never be the same concern with marijuana products as they do not cause this same effects.

Should you use cannabis on an empty stomach?

The truth is whether it is marijuana edibles for bud the answer will depend on the individual's preference and tolerance. If you are looking for the most intense high possible than you may want to consider getting high before you chow down, but if you want a nice even buzz that remains consistent than your best bet will be to smoke or ingest your cannabis products after you eat instead. The most important thing to remember is to start at a low to moderate dose of THC and work your way up, so that you have the least chances of experiencing any possible adverse side effects. Marijuana edibles should always be spaced out by two-hour intervals, but the amount of food in your stomach likely won’t change much in how you end up feeling as much as the cannabinoid content in the product you choose.

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