Unless you're someone that has been using cannabis for a long time, you may not even know what cannabis edibles are. Sure, a lot of people, even non-weed smokers, have likely heard of weed brownies, but today, edibles include much more than brownies that can get you high.
What Are Cannabis Edibles?
It's self-explanatory to some extent. As was stated above, weed brownies have been around since the 1960s, but cannabis edibles have expanded far beyond one simple sweet treat that will get you stoned. Back in the day, the main goal of weed brownies was so you could get stoned and do it without smoking weed. Even though people still use cannabis just to get high, an entirely new generation of cannabis enthusiasts has emerged for a different reason.
Using cannabis for medicinal reasons has become a tremendous trend. This is because so many studies are leaning toward the real benefits of weed as treatments for numerous medical conditions. Cannabis edibles have become so popular because not everyone likes to smoke weed, but they want to take full advantage of the benefits that cannabis may offer them.
While cannabis edibles can include sweet treats like brownies, cookies, and gummies, they also include special cannabis oils, cannabutter, and cannasugar that you can cook with. You can use these cannabis-based ingredients to make endless edible dishes with things like pasta, vegetables, and so many other possibilities. So basically, cannabis edibles are any types of food that have been created using marijuana in some form.
What Is Lecithin?
If you are familiar at all with lecithin, you probably recall it as being an ingredient in foods like chocolate. It has been used as an emulsifier that brings things together and makes them smooth. It is also an ingredient that has been used in many pharmaceuticals that aid in bringing the drug into your body system faster. It is sold as a supplement in health food stores because it would seem that the human brain really likes it.
Where Does Lecithin Come From?
Lecithin is a generic term that designates any group of yellow-brownish fatty substances that occur in animal and plant tissues. They attract both fatty substances and water. It smoothes, emulsifies, and homogenizes liquid mixtures. They also repel sticking materials.
Lecithins are mixtures of glycerophospholipids. They include phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidic acid. That's very complicated scientific stuff that not many of us will know anything about!
Theodore Gobley was a French chemist and pharmacist who first isolated lecithin in 1845. Over many years, he demonstrated the presence of lecithin in not only egg yolk, but in various other biological matters such as venous blood, human lungs, human brain tissue, bile, fish eggs, and the brains of both sheep and chickens.
The extraction of lecithin can be achieved in numerous ways using various solvents such as acetone, ether, petroleum, and others. It is most commonly extracted from sources such as egg yolk, marine sources, soybeans, cottonseed, sunflower oil, and others.
Why Use Lecithin In Cannabis Oil?
Lecithin can increase the absorption of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, a cannabinoid found in cannabis) and other marijuana cannabinoids into your cell membranes and will speed up the absorption process when added to cannabis coconut oil or hash butter. Technically, it won't make your cannabis oil more potent, but perhaps only make it faster acting and may make it feel stronger sooner rather than later. This could mean you can use less cannabis oil in your recipes, or you can use the same amount. It can be a good idea for preserving your weed-oil or make strong feeling cannabis effects come faster. This is one way to look at it
Because lecithin contains phospholipids, which make it water-soluble and absorbable by encapsulating the THC, the process can be completed before digestion. It allows the THC resin inside the body to be absorbed more readily because the liposomal encapsulation process that lecithin facilitates makes edibles especially potent.
This is due to the micelles that it creates to serve as a disguise for the THC. If that was not enough, lecithin will also serve as a surfactant. This is a compound that lowers surface tension. It helps distribute THC through the body more quickly than it normally would be.
Should You Use Liquid Lecithin Or Lecithin Granules?
Although you might use soy lecithin or other varieties, one of the most popular sources for lecithin to add to your cannabis oil is sunflower lecithin powder. It's fairly cheap, but you want to make sure it is GMO-free (genetically modified organisms), but it can be very hard to find sometimes.
Another alternative to sunflower lecithin powder is lecithin gel caps, but they can be annoying to open and may leave a gel-capped taste and smell in the beginning. Leaving the oil in the refrigerator for about a week seems to alleviate the taste and smell somewhat if you use gel caps.
The sunflower lecithin gel caps are more expensive, so search around to see if you can find the lecithin sunflower powder that is GMO-free first, it might be worth waiting for. It might be better to use liquids or granules if you can't find the powder.
How Much Lecithin Should You Use?
Even though you can make cannabis oil from several different oils like canola oil and olive oil, one of the most popular and health beneficial oils is from coconut. Coconut is a healthier oil than others, so this is why so many that make cannabis-infused oils choose it over other options. When you combine the speculated medicinal benefits of cannabis with the health benefits of coconut oil, it just seems to make a much more appealing and healthier product.
Determining how much lecithin to use with your cannabis coconut oil is relatively simple.
For every cup of cannabis coconut oil you use, you will add 1 tablespoon sunflower lecithin, along with 7-14 grams of cannabis trim or dried buds, and follow your cannabis oil recipe accordingly. You can also use this for a hash butter recipe.
Is Lecithin Bad For You?
Lecithin is considered by many to be a low-risk addition to the supplements they already use to maintain their health. It is thought that lecithin may be a good option for those looking to improve their organ functions and cholesterol.
While there may be variances in other lecithin sources, it is thought that lecithin from sunflower is rich in choline and other fatty acids like phosphatidylinositol, which some people already take as a supplement. Lecithin supplements have been touted as a way to help with liver function and acne improvement.