Sublingual Marijuana Strips: How Effective Are They?

How does this consumption method work?


Are you interested in a fast, effective, and discreet method of enjoying Mary Jane? Sublingual marijuana strips are the answer to your prayers! As the name suggests, this product is weed in ‘strip’ form. You place it beneath the tongue, and it interacts with the absorbent membranes, better known as the oral mucosa.

If you have ever used cannabis or CBD oil, you know that rule #1 is to place the drops beneath your tongue. The idea is to hold the tincture there for up to 60 seconds before swallowing it. Sublingual strips make the entire process easier. Place one beneath the tongue, and wait for it to dissolve.

What Is Sublingual Absorption & Why Is It Beneficial?

The term ‘sublingual’ means under the tongue. It is a method of administering substances through the mouth in a way that they are absorbed quickly via your blood vessels instead of the digestive tract. Evidence suggests that the majority of sublingual contents are absorbed via diffusion. What happens here is that your sublingual area soaks up what you consume readily. Not everything you place beneath the tongue is accessible or permeable to your oral mucosa, however.

Glyceryl trinitrate remains one of the best-known drugs used sublingually. The drug is a coronary vasodilator used to treat the symptoms of angina. It is ‘pharmacologically active’ within 60-120 seconds in many instances.

Researchers study the sublingual route of drug consumption more than any other because it is one of the most porous pathways and leads to higher absorption of drugs on average. In pharmaceutical medicine, manufacturers create tablets and capsules that disintegrate rapidly when placed beneath the tongue. In the world of weed, companies produce oils, tinctures, and now, marijuana strips.

Going the Sublingual Route

When you use medicine orally (swallow a pill, for example), it goes through the entire gastrointestinal tract. The drug makes a long journey through the stomach, intestines, and liver. It is only after a detailed filtering process that it makes its way to where it is needed. In contrast, sublingual medicine takes a shorter journey to the bloodstream. When you use a weed strip beneath the tongue, its cannabinoids avoid the GI system.

There is another benefit for first-time users. The GI system occasionally converts the delta-9 THC in your cannabis into 11-hydroxy THC. In case you didn’t know, this form of THC provides an incredibly potent psychoactive high. If you are new to marijuana and consume an edible, there is a chance you will experience a frighteningly intense experience that puts you off weed forever.

Using marijuana sublingually offers a similar experience to smoking or vaping. However, you don’t need to worry about the appalling (and tell-tale) stench of stale smoke on your clothes, hair, or skin. If you are concerned about vaping, marijuana strips offer a fantastic alternative.

A Question of Bioavailability

Proponents of sublingual marijuana strips point to its relatively high bioavailability rate compared to other consumption methods. The absorption rate for oral marijuana ranges between 4% and 20%. In other words, when you use a cannabis edible containing 50mg of THC, between 2mg and 10mg is absorbed into the bloodstream.

A study by Miller et al., published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in November 2018, looked at what the body does to CBD. The researchers found that bioavailability after smoking was 31%. Vaporizing weed offers an even higher absorption rate of between 34% and 56%. As for sublingual absorption, the bioavailability rate is between 12% and 35%, depending on the study you read.

Therefore, while sublingual marijuana strips ‘only’ offer you the same bioavailability rate as smoking weed, you benefit from the rapid onset of effects and no smoke! From a medical standpoint, using a strip beneath the tongue reduces exposure to carcinogens, offers a fast and powerful impact, and is very easy to do!

Pros and Cons of Sublingual Strips

Pros

  • Ease of administration to patients who are unable or unwilling to swallow pills or capsules.
  • You benefit from a faster onset of effects compared to oral administration.
  • Improved bioavailability since it bypasses the dreaded ‘first pass’ effect, which strips away a lot of useful cannabinoids and terpenes.
  • Keeps the medicine clear of the GI tract’s hostile environment.
  • Fast dissolution into the buccal cavity without the need for water.
  • Allows for private use.
  • Eliminates exposure to smoke or vapor.

Cons

  • Experts claim it isn’t suitable for prolonged administration.
  • Using the strip could briefly interfere with eating, talking, and drinking.
  • In general, you can only accommodate small doses.
  • The area that is available for absorption is relatively small.
  • You may experience an extremely bitter and unpleasant taste sensation.

How to Use Sublingual Marijuana Strips

Although there are relatively few sellers of weed strips at present, the number is increasing. Kin Slips is one of the sub-niche’s pioneers, and its website briefly explains how its products work. It claims that you will feel the effects of a strip within 15 minutes because it bypasses your digestive system and enters the bloodstream directly via the tongue’s capillaries.

Other sellers include Creed N C and CannaStrips. One of the downsides we mentioned was the fact that you need to use small doses. All of these companies are acutely aware of this limitation. Kin Slips offers 5mg THC ‘microdose’ strips alongside its 10mg ‘standard’ pieces. CannaStrips sells 10mg CBD and THC strips, while Creed N C sells a pack of 10 x 10mg CBD strips for between $29.99 and $34.99. Incidentally, Creed also sells 3mg CBD strips for pets!

Taking a marijuana strip is as easy as placing it beneath your tongue. Do not put it on top of your tongue! If you make that mistake, you don’t benefit from the function of your tongue’s oral mucosa. In what is a nascent niche, customers still make the mistake of treating weed strips like breath fresheners or even chewing gum! In most cases, a strip dissolves in a minute, although you should keep your mouth closed for up to five minutes for the best results.

When using any weed product, make sure you check out any additional ingredients. There are several in marijuana strips. For example, Kin Slips’ offering includes vegetable glycerin, natural pectin, gum Arabic, natural menthol, and a few other things. With 5-10mg of THC per strip, it is unlikely that you will get particularly high. Instead, cannabis strips are designed for microdosing and ensuring you feel good throughout the day.

The Marijuana Strip Experience

In many ways, it is a fool-proof method of consuming THC or CBD. When you use a brand like Kin Slips, you know you get a consistent dose of a cannabinoid every time. They also offer the strips in flavors such as Tarragon & Citrus, Mango & Turmeric, and Mint. If you don’t like the overpowering taste of weed, such flavoring is essential!

Kin Slips tries to mix things up a little with its strip range. The Nice Dream option is indica-dominant and is the right choice if you aim to relax mind and body. Cloud Buster is sativa-dominant and offers a burst of energy. The Park Life strips contain CBD, ideal if you want to relax and feel less anxious without an intoxicating high.

Those who use the strips say they notice anxiety and tension, leaving the body within 15-20 minutes. In most instances, you should feel a potent yet focused high (when using the THC version) that feels different from the buzz generated by an edible. The effects come on quickly before gently dissipating. As you are using small doses each time, there is little danger of experiencing an overwhelming high.

The Challenges of Creating Weed Strips

Creating a strip involves creating a slurry from the ingredients and placing the substance on a surface. You use a machine to spread it incredibly thin. Next, put the concoction into an oven, cut it into strips, and package it for sale. Mastering the art of making ultra-thin marijuana strips is exceedingly difficult and requires expensive equipment to perfect.

Brands like Kin Slips also understand the necessity of making the strip taste good. Few customers will embrace the extremely bitter taste of weed. Remember, it remains beneath the tongue for at least a minute. As strips use a concentrated weed oil, the taste is particularly strong.

In a bid to keep the strips healthy yet tasting good, manufacturers may use artificial colors and sweeteners. The issue here is the potential for allergies. According to John Kirby of Kin Slips, finding an emulsifying agent without using chemicals is a significant challenge.

Can I Go DIY?

There are basic recipes available online. A generic option for CBD strips involves the following ingredients.

  • 85 grams of water.
  • 4 grams pullulan.
  • 5 grams emulsified mint oil.
  • 1-gram carrageenan.
  • 8 grams sorbitol.
  • 5 grams of an herbal extract.
  • 3 grams of aspartame.
  • 25 grams of citric acid.
  • 15 grams of locust bean gum.
  • 5 grams of xanthan gum.
  • A liquid THC or CBD extract.

Here is how you turn the above into weed strips.

  • Add everything barring the THC/CBD extract, herb extract, and mint oil into a mixing bowl, and mix them.
  • Pour the water into the bowl slowly while mixing.
  • Mix the concoction until you form a gel.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix until everything is combined.
  • Cover the bowl and store it overnight.
  • The next day, pour the mix onto a baking pan and spread it thinly.
  • Dry it in an oven at a temperature of between 140- and 175-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When the mixture feels dry to the touch, it is done. It should have a maximum of 8% moisture.
  • Remove the sheet and cut it into strips.

Final Thoughts on Sublingual Marijuana Strips

In answer to the title question, proponents of sublingual marijuana strips suggest that they are effective. Allowing cannabinoids to dissolve beneath your tongue enables them to make their way to the bloodstream rapidly. In theory, you should benefit from a reasonably high bioavailability rate and lightning-fast onset of effects.

If you don’t wish to smoke or vaporize weed and are on the fence about edibles, cannabis strips are a fantastic compromise. Companies such as Kin Slips have mastered the art of developing thin strips loaded with THC and CBD. Place one beneath your tongue, allowing it to dissolve completely, and benefit from a controlled psychoactive effect that shouldn’t cause an overly intense high.

An increasing number of industry insiders now believe that sublingual strips are the future of marijuana and hemp consumption. With no noticeable smell of smoke and diminutive nature, you can easily pop a strip in your mouth without anyone suspecting a thing. Of course, we do not recommend using them in a state where weed is illegal, and it is a bad idea to try it in public.

For now, the availability of cannabis strips is limited to states such as California, but the market will grow exponentially in the next few years.