If you’ve tried all the usual methods of consuming marijuana — smoking, vaporizing, using tinctures or edibles, just to name a few — and you’re in search of an even easier method, we’ve got the answer. That saying, “Easy as walking and chewing gum” just got a boost … a THC boost. Say hello to marijuana-infused gum.
Chewing cannabis goes back to the 11th Century A.D., when the Sufis in ancient Egypt would dry and toast hashish leaves, mix them with sugar and sesame, and chew it like gum. Fortunately, a more palatable version exists today with flavors like Cool Mint and Tropical, using healthier ingredients, and even offering sugar-free options.
So why chew your THC, you ask? The biggest perk for marijuana-infused gum is that it’s absorbed faster than most edibles because it’s absorbed through the lining of the mouth, instead of needing to be digested and metabolized. Cannabis gum delivers the effects of the herb into your blood much quicker because it skips the digestive process. For the same reason, some medications are administered under the tongue — you’ll feel the effects more quickly, and won’t need your next dose so soon.
With edibles being one of the fastest-growing markets in the legalized marijuana industry, it’s no surprise someone like Jake Heimark left Facebook and launched Plus Gum, which specializes in cannabis-infused gum.
Sold as singles or in six-packs, the gum contains 25mg of THC per piece and has less than five calories; the company states that it starts working in less than 15 minutes, with effects lasting four or more hours. Not bad! Heimark is optimistic about the cannabis gum possibilities, “What I love about this industry is that it is brand-new and growing. It’s so exciting and changing every day.”
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Another company looking to enter the field is AXIM Biotechnologies, which has begun clinical trials for cannabis gum aimed to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease.
THC can be effective at treating patients with degenerative diseases, and the actual chewing may help preserve cognition and memory. Many patients state that cannabis has been helpful in treating the pain and inflammation associated with MS.
AXIM expects approval and availability in the U.S. and Europe by 2017.
Chewing gum, unlike smoking or ingestion, can be done almost anywhere at any time. There is very little to no smell, and it won’t bother anyone around you (unless you chew loudly with your mouth open, natch). Whether you need it for chronic pain, to help with a particular medical condition, or just to relax, it’s surely worth a try.
Highway is an essential source for cannabis science, how-to stories and demystifying marijuana. Want to read more? Thy these posts: One Man’s Journey In Pursuit Of The Truth Behind Marijuana Prohibition, Marijuana Myth Busting: Does Holding In Smoke Get You Higher? and A Drag Queen’s Visit To The Cannabis Store
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