Medicated Every Day – 02 – Inhalation vs. Ingestion

By Eric Miller

IG: @medicatedeveryday

Medicated Every Day The Blog is the smaller, portable version of Medicated Every Day, a cookbook series written by Chef Eric Miller that is available for download here.


INGESTING means eating an edible and INHALING means applying heat to flower or concentrate and breathing in the smoke. Be it from a joint, rig, bong or blunt, you smoke you inhale. I apologize if it seems condescending but I need absolute clarity from here on out because here’s a whole lotta science.


First things first. We all know THC is fun and makes everyone feel good, except for those who don’t. I love THC, evidence abundant, but what exactly is THC and how does it work in the body?

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the active ingredient in cannabis, a psychoactive chemical that induces a wide range of therapeutic and recreational effects. More often than not people who inhale cannabis report side effects such as increased creativity, the munchies and a cosmic connection to another plane of existence. Whereas those who ingest cannabis tend to feel ripped off for their purchase and then melt into whatever piece of furniture they are occupying, should they be lucky to feel anything at all.

Scientifically speaking THC, as we see it on jewelry, is a chemical compound primarily made of a molecule called THCA.

The molecule on so many Etsy necklaces.

THCA is a non-psychoactive ingredient, but when heat is applied such as lighting your bowl, it transforms into delta-9 THC.

The molecules we really want

Now, the term psychoactive ingredient isn’t as amazing as you think it is. Psychoactive means that it causes brain activity, sugar and fat do the same thing, hint, hint. I’m not downplaying the effects of delta-9 THC, I’m just making sure that we all understand the neurological effects.

Ultimately, THC stimulates your brain into feeling “high” or as the dictionary defines it as, euphoric. That’s right, euphoric’s definition translates to high af. The metabolic process of THC begins with your method of consumption but regardless of how it gets into your body, THC breaks down the same way and effects the mind differently.

Delta-9 THC and less pervasive delta-8 THC are what induces the feeling of being euphoric when you consume cannabis. When you inhale, you have a direct shot straight to your brain via the lungs. When you ingest cannabis, you are processing the same chemicals through your GI tract; your stomach absorbs 90% of the THC but the liver destroys whatever is left before it enters the bloodstream. Both methods absorb the delta-9 THC into the body and both create 11-OH-THC.

Brain opening molecule extraordinaire

11-OH-THC is a cannabinoid receptor molecule and opens up the parts of your brain so the delta-9 THC can get into your head and grant you that famous feeling. The interesting part here is when you inhale cannabis you’re feeling more delta-9 THC in fewer parts of your brain. With less activated brain receptors the euphoric effects wear off more quickly as the THC has nowhere to go and is eventually wasted. That’s right, you can smoke so much that you waste the THC, it cycles through your body and exits the usual ways. Conversely, there are 3-7 times more 11-OH-THC when you ingest cannabis but reduced amounts of delta-9 by comparison. This is not a terrible thing, in fact, it means your brain is opened that much more allowing all of the THC from the ingestion into more parts of your brain. This causes the famous edible delay as it travels the gastrointestinal highway leading to hours of intense euphoria when you do it right.


How much THC to take and how quickly begins its effect on the body is based on the metabolism of the individual. The same way there’s no set diet for humanity, there is no set amount of THC that works for everyone. The question “How much do you recommend I use Chef?” is difficult to answer because we’re all unique. Badasses who can smoke their individual city under the table can sometimes have trouble with a 10 mg THC brownie bite. It’s based on metabolism and the quality of the edible, if you have too much of a garbage edible life tends to suck.

What is a garbage edible? Any number of definitions exist but basically a garbage edible is “any edible that doesn’t render you with exactly the experience you want.” It’s as much art as it is science when making edibles so don’t be discouraged. Expect the first few times you try these recipes you end up with a batch or two of some shit. As failure is perpetually an option.

The best way to prevent a tragedy is to start small. Even those of you reading with lots of edible experience should still exercise caution when proceeding from here on out. Edibles have a razor-thin threshold for mistakes. I can assist you in securing a house on the sweet spot and incorporate THC into your daily life for every meal. I’m what you’d call an expert.


The first step in creating THC ingredients is understanding dosing. As explained before, we’re dealing with human metabolism and individual needs, so start dosing your ingredients with limited amounts of concentrate. But how do we know how much THC is going into our olive oil or sesame dressing? This is where lab testing and corporate responsibility meet in hopefully easily accessed ways for you, the dear reader.

The next time you’re shopping for concentrates, simply move a decimal point over to get your THC content.

Say what? Here’s a more beneficial way of saying that.

You purchase 1 gram of a lab verified nug run that has a sticker on it that reads 89.14% THC. Simply convert the 1 gram to 1,000 mg and now your 89.14% becomes 891.4 mg of THC. It’s a bitch to work with such bizarre numbers, though. My solution, round up to the nearest whole number that is easiest for you to work with. In this case, I would round up 891.4 mg to 895 mg because unless your tolerance is astronomically low the difference in milligrams when rounding up is minuscule.

Can’t find any lab verified products? You may want to consider going to another shop. If that’s not an option or you just don’t want to, consider the following when shopping for THC concentrates:

Average THC Content Per 1 Gram

Butane/Propane Hash Oil: 400 – 900 mg
CO2: 500 – 750 mg
Rosin: 500 – 700 mg
Live Resin: 700 – 900+ mg
Trim Run: 400 – 600 mg
Nug Run: 500 – 750 mg
Crumble: 300 – 600 mg
Oil: 400 – 600 mg
Ice Water Hash: 500 – 800 mg
Dry Sift: 500 – 750 mg
Full Melt: 600 – 900 mg

Needless to say, you’re going to be getting the same no matter where you shop for concentrates in terms of their THC content. There’s no real particular loser here because through our masterful use of science we can ensure that we’re cleaning and kicking the necessary molecules into high gear. If you’re saying it really can’t be that simple, I assure you it is. After you’ve selected your concentrate, it’s time for some mild home chemistry… That’s right, chemistry, but next time, thanks for reading.