By Luke Sumpter

It takes just one joint to send most cannabis users down the rabbit hole. It all starts with a few grams of flower and a pack of papers. Soon after, most marijuana enthusiasts find themselves in a world composed of thousands of strains, hundreds of phytochemicals, and myriad different ways to consume weed.

Of course, you’ve smoked joints, blunts, and bongs. Chances are you’ve chowed down on a couple of edibles and tried the latest vape technology. But have you ever placed THC under your tongue to get baked? THC strips tap into a method of consumption called sublingual administration. This removes inhalation from the equation. But unlike edibles, it doesn’t take long to feel the effects.

Cannabis users have long dropped extracts and oils under their tongues to efficiently light up their cannabinoid receptors. But several companies have now taken sublingual application to another level. In an attempt to work around the mess and hassle of dropper bottles, they’ve infused THC into easy-to-use strips that dissolve under the tongue. Find out everything you need to know about THC strips below.

What Are THC Strips?

THC strips are thin films designed to dissolve under the tongue. Each strip contains a dialled dose of THC and flavourings. Some products also contain CBD. The potency of these products varies, but most offer 10mg of THC per serving—enough to offer a mild buzz without becoming overly stoned. These products sidestep the process of loading a bowl, hitting a vape, or unscrewing and aiming a dropper bottle. They’re efficient, accurately dosed, and don’t permeate the air with suspicious aromas.

How Do THC Strips Work?

The world of weed doesn’t hold claim to sublingual administration. It’s not some sketchy technique developed by tie-dye-clad dudes with a penchant for surfing. Doctors regularly prescribe sublingual drugs to ensure adequate absorption and a rapid onset of effects. Examples of commonly prescribed sublingual drugs include the antidepressant mirtazapine and the migraine medication rizatriptan.

If you look into a mirror and lift your tongue, you’ll reveal the oral mucosa. This soft tissue lining comprises epithelial cells and layers of connective tissue that sit above a bed of capillaries. These structures are all that stands in the way of your body's systemic circulation. As a lipophilic (fat-loving) molecule, THC easily passes through this layer and into the capillary bed below, which grants the chemical entry to systemic circulation. Eventually, the molecule passes through the blood–brain barrier, binds to CB1 receptors, elevates dopamine levels, and gets us high.

How Do THC Strips Work?
  • How Long Does It Take for THC Strips To Kick In?

You’ll feel the effects of these weed strips almost instantly. They take a similar amount of time to kick in as smoked cannabis. Unlike oral cannabis, sublingual THC doesn’t have to endure the throes of the digestive tract. Instead, it slips right into the bloodstream and gets whisked away to cannabinoid receptors—the sites where all the psychoactive action happens.

You can place a THC strip under your tongue on a train, on the couch, or the beach, and expect to feel the stoned sensation creeping in straight away. The experience lasts a total of 2–3 hours. Expect a peak at around 30 minutes, followed by a nice afterglow as you float back down to Earth.

What Are the Benefits of Sublingual THC Strips?

Sublingual THC strips offer a host of benefits to many cannabis users. Of course, purists stand firmly by their joints, but those open to new means of administration will find the perfect time and place for these handy films.

The top advantages of THC strips include:

  • Easy to use: THC strips are super easy to use. You don’t need to grind weed, load a bowl, or bake a cake. Simply remove a film from its packaging, place it under your tongue, and enjoy the ride.
  • No mess: You don’t need to risk spilling a dropper bottle and leaving extract dribbling down your chin when you miss the target. You can use THC strips on a bumpy road trip, or while walking, with zero mess.
  • Instant effects: Much like smoking or vaping, THC strips introduce the psychotropic cannabinoid straight into the bloodstream. You won’t have to spend time sitting around waiting for a high to wash over your mind. Just give it a couple of minutes, and you'll be there.
  • Tolerable high: THC strips differ from edibles in several ways. As well as offering a faster onset, they also provide a more gentle high. Edibles offer a notoriously intense effect. As THC passes through the liver, it converts into the more powerful molecule 11-hydroxy-THC. In contrast, sublingual THC doesn’t encounter the liver on the way to the brain, meaning you’ll feel a similar effect to smoking cannabis.
  • Accurate dosing: THC strips contain precise amounts of THC. Many products contain 10mg per serving, meaning you can guarantee the amount you're ingesting and hit your sweet spot with accuracy.

  • Different Types of Sublingual Strips

THC strips are relatively new. Right now, you can pick up a variety of cannabinoid strips, including those that contain THC, CBD, and a mixture of the two. As sublingual products gain more traction, and more cannabinoids enter the market, you can expect to see CBG and CBC strips emerge, as well as products that combine cannabinoids and terpenes to harness the entourage effect.

How To Make Cannabis Sublingual Strips

THC strips are a pain to make. Although they offer a more convenient high than edibles, they are slightly trickier to craft. They require a long list of ingredients, including flavourings, gums, thickening agents, and additives. For now, you’re better off sticking to shop-bought products. As the industry continues to refine the process, you can expect more consumer-friendly recipes to emerge.

Sublingual THC Strips: Are They Worth Trying?

Absolutely. THC strips offer a novel and effective means of getting high. They also provide unparalleled stealth for those that like to dabble in cannabinoids while travelling or working in the office.

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