Our mouths contain three areas that absorb cannabis: the mucosa lining the interior, the area beneath our tongues, and the tongue itself. Mucosal refers to any product that relies on this absorption to deliver cannabis into your bloodstream.
Substances that are absorbed through the mucous membrane get into the bloodstream quicker than substances that are being ingested, digested, and metabolized. This absorption method allows it to bypass the predominantly hostile gastrointestinal system so that it flows straight into the bloodstream. Once the cannabis reaches your heart, it will spread through the rest of your cardiovascular system in close to a minute.
Oil-based cannabis products are best used for mucosal absorption, as fats are absorbed more quickly and easily than lipids. MCT and coconut oil are often used as carrier oils for cannabidiol and other cannabis-based oils not only for this reason but also because they contain essential fatty acids that our bodies need. This need drives absorption rates, leading to faster results.
Tinctures are good examples of products that can be absorbed through a mucous membrane. When not ingested or mixed with edibles and cooking, tinctures can be dropped under the tongue and absorbed. They also come as a flavored spray, but the sublingual administration is the most effective method.
A major point of remembrance with mucosal absorption is to ignore the reflex to swallow. Ingesting the tincture or other methods of delivery leads to a diluted effect, as the GI system breaks down the cannabis before it reaches your bloodstream.
The effects of these products are experienced in a shorter time than with ingestion, about 15 -30 minutes. The effects are not as quick to arrive as with inhalation, but they do last longer; conversely, they arrive faster than with edibles.
Determining whether mucosal absorption is best for you can be tricky. It is always a good idea to discuss options with your medical practitioner. Aside from that, it’s a good idea to keep in mind what your ingestion habits need to be and why you’re taking cannabis. Ingestion, absorption, and inhalation affect cannabis in different ways, and you want to ensure that you are receiving the benefit you need. If your needs require consistent and rapid dosing than mucosal absorption could be the perfect method.