Delivery systems

How your body gets the THC to where you want it to be.

While research on cannabis has been constrained in the U.S. over the past few decades, we are now rapidly learning about the wide-reaching therapeutic effects of cannabis and how the plant’s cannabinoid compounds react with the endocannabinoid system. There are four key uptake systems from which the body can absorb cannabinoids. And at Dixie, we’ve formulated products to optimize each of them.

Oral Mucosal – Absorption of THC and other cannabinoids through the lining of the mouth and under the tongue – effects are felt throughout the entire body. This is the fastest method of medication.

Ingestion – Absorption of cannabinoids through oral ingestion. Cannabinoid molecules are absorbed in the intestinal tract and metabolized in the liver.

Inhalation – Absorption of THC, CBD and other cannabis elements through inhaling combusted or vaporized cannabis.

Transdermal – Absorption of THC and other cannabinoids through the skin. This method results in local effects only.
One of the most efficient ways to absorb THC and other cannabinoids is through the mucosal lining of the mouth. Within the mouth, there are three areas that absorb: the mucosa lining inside the entire mouth, the area under the tongue (sublingual) and the tongue itself. Cannabis products placed under the tongue (sublingually) take effect more quickly than those absorbed through the general mucosal tissue lining the mouth or placed on the tongue itself. With this uptake method, the effects of cannabis should be felt in 15-60 minutes.


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Cannabis-infused foods and liquids take extra time to be broken down because they pass through the gastrointestinal tract and liver before entering the bloodstream. The experience of consuming cannabis-infused foods can feel much different than inhaling cannabis, because when cannabis is ingested in a solid or liquid form, a potent THC metabolite (11-hydroxy THC) forms in the liver. This metabolite has a higher affinity to bind to cannabinoid receptors and is 5-10 times more psychoactive than the originally ingested THC. Edible products can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect and can result in varying levels of psychoactive effects depending on a number of variables—including what someone has eaten, how much they’ve eaten and how comfortable they are with marijuana. Start with a low dose (1-5 mg) and wait at least 60 minutes before ingesting another small amount. Once you feel high, stay well hydrated.


Vaping – Smoking

The traditional way to intake cannabis is to smoke it, which generally provides a rapid onset of euphoria and other therapeutic effects within 5-10 minutes. Vaporization of THC rich cannabis oil is becoming more and more popular, because vaporized cannabis also provides the rapid onset of relief without the potentially harmful carcinogens of smoking.
Marijuana-infused topicals (lotion, balms and soaks) readily enter the skin layers only. They’re effective at relieving pain and inflammation in the area in which they’re applied. Since cannabinoids don’t enter the bloodstream with this intake method, topically applied THC doesn’t have the opportunity to cross the blood-brain barrier (unless applied internally), and thus has no psychoactive properties. Topicals may help reduce scarring and may help with psoriasis/eczema.

Things to know about topicals:

  • Topical cannabis offers a fast-acting localized effect.
  • Customers can combine their cannabis topical with an over the counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory product for added benefits.
  • Wrapping the area with an ace bandage or other material after topicals have been applied will improve absorption and effectiveness.
  • If an open wound is present, clients should consult their physicians before aplying topicals.