Do Cannabis Sublingual Strips Work?
Every day, new products are constantly hitting the market, bringing fresh and exciting new ways of consuming the wonderful and all-powerful cannabis plant. From potent edibles to powerful pre-rolls, it seems like there’s no shortage of innovative products to choose form.
Recently, a new type of product has come on the scene: cannabis sublingual strips. Reminiscent of the paper-thin Listerine breath strips everyone used to use back in high school, cannabis sublingual strips come in small square-sized strips that dissolve under one’s tongue in minutes, delivering a potent but controlled high. Proponents of the strips are calling it the future of cannabis consumption. But are they right? Let’s dive in and learn about all the benefits this new product has to offer.
How do they work?
Cannabis sublingual strips work by interacting with the mouth’s absorbent mucus membrane lining called the oral mucosa, located under the tongue. These membranes have a range of functions, from acting as a barrier to protect the tissues and organs of the mouth to secreting saliva to keep the mouth lubricated and help it break down food.
When a substance is administered sublingually, it enters the bloodstream much quicker compared to oral administration, where it must first survive the gastrointestinal tract or what’s called the ‘first-pass metabolism’ before entering general circulation. Meanwhile, under the tongue there is minimal risk of degradation from salivary enzymes.
According to a study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in November 2018 on CBD’s effects on the human body, researchers found that Cannabidiol’s bioavailability when smoked was 31 percent, while vaping produced between 34 and 56 bioavailability, and sublingual absorption resulted in between 12 and 35 percent bioavailability, putting it at par with smoking, without any of the negative effects associated with it.
How do you use them?
As previously mentioned, sublingual strips are meant to be placed under the tongue and left there from three to five minutes to ensure maximum absorption. Unlike the popular breath strips they resemble, these shouldn’t be placed on the tongue but under. If you place them on top, they just won’t work properly.
How do you store them?
Always keep them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight or heat in order to keep them from melting or breaking down. To ensure you’re getting high-quality strips, check to see if the product has undergone third-party testing or check their website for certificates of analysis. These should provide you with a detailed breakdown of the products’ ingredients.
What are the benefits?
– Offers quick onset and more steady effects than other smokeless options
– Helps users avoid negative effects of smoking or inhalation
– Avoids gastrointestinal interaction, thus avoiding a powerful high from conversion of delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy THC, which is believed to cause a more intense high that cannabis newbies may not be prepared for or may put them off the stuff forever
– Produces a more controlled and clear high that’s similar to a vaping or smoking experience
– Very discreet and portable so you can consume without calling attention to yourself
– According to user testimony, they can feel the strip’s effects within 15 to 20 minutes, with notable reduction of anxiety and tension
– As strips usually contain a small dose, there’s little risk of experiencing a high that’s too overwhelming.
– Produces a strong but focused high that sets itself apart from the experience of taking edibles.
How are they made?
First, a slurry is made with several different ingredients. Kin Slips, a popular sublingual cannabis brand, incorporates grapeseed oil, tapioca starch, glycerin, sunflower lecithin and guillaja into its strips, in addition to cannabis oil, of course.
After the slurry is mixed, it’s poured out onto a surface where a machine spreads it thin and then sends it to an oven to dry over several hours. Afterwards, it’s cut into strips and packaged.
According to Josh Kirby, CEO of Kin Slips, one of the biggest challenges in making the strips is keeping everything in place without adding artificial flavors or chemicals. Cannabis oil is notoriously bitter, especially when you take into consideration all the different terpenes and cannabinoids that are in it that produce a less-than-palatable flavor. Brands like Kin Slips add flavoring to contrast the oil’s more challenging flavors like tarragon and citrus, mango and turmeric, and the classic mint.
Cannabis strips don’t only come in THC varieties. Recently, CBDfx launched its own CBD-only sublingual strips. Christian Graverson, the company’s brand manager said of the move, “We have a pretty good reach when it comes to convenience stores, so a lot of our products are grab-and-go items in the sub-$ 10 category. We also wanted to make sure the dosing was accurate and that absorption was as high as possible. For those deliverables, we find that the sublingual strip was superior to anything else.”
Cannabis sublingual strips are here to stay and, with their numerous benefits, that’s a good thing. They’re great for people who want a controlled and clear dose without having to fuss with rigs and vape pens or grapple with the unpredictability of edibles. If anything, they’re definitely worth a try.