D44: comparing thc administration method with absorption and thc content

Comparing THC Administration Method with Absorption and THC Content


The method of administration of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) can significantly affect its absorption rate, onset, and overall bioavailability. Various methods—ranging from smoking to edibles to topical applications—each come with their unique pharmacokinetic profiles. This article aims to provide an overview of the timing of absorption and other influential factors like environment, stomach content, and recent physical activity.

Comparison Table

Method of AdministrationTiming of AbsorptionImpacted by EnvironmentImpacted by FoodImpacted by MetabolismImpacted by Activity Level
Joint1-3 minutesModerateLowHighModerate
Pipe/Bowl1-3 minutesModerateLowHighModerate
Bong1-3 minutesModerateLowHighModerate
Vaporizer (Outlet)1-5 minutesLowLowModerateLow
Vaporizer (Handheld)1-5 minutesLowLowModerateLow
Edibles30-120 minutesLowHighHighModerate
Buccal20-40 minutesLowModerateModerateLow
Suppository15-45 minutesLowLowModerateLow
Transdermal30-60 minutesLowLowModerateLow

Discussion of Methods

Inhaled Methods (Joint, Pipe/Bowl, Bong)

Rapid absorption with onset within minutes, usually less affected by the environment but significantly influenced by metabolic rate (Huestis, 2007).


Both outlet and handheld vaporizers have a quick onset of effects, are less influenced by the environment and food content, but metabolism plays a moderate role (Gieringer et al., 2004).


Slowest onset due to first-pass metabolism, highly impacted by food content in the stomach and metabolic rate (Grotenhermen, 2003).


Generally not absorbed into the bloodstream, least affected by metabolism, activity level, and food content (Stinchcomb et al., 2004).


Moderate absorption rate and is mildly influenced by metabolism, food content, and activity level (Pavlovic et al., 2018).


Quick absorption and low influence by environmental factors, food content, and activity level (Russo, 2018).


Steady absorption and minimally affected by most external and internal factors (Paudel et al., 2010).

Special Considerations and Warnings

Patients with cardiovascular disorders, liver or kidney issues, psychiatric illnesses, or those who are pregnant should consult with Dr. Caplan at CED Clinic for specialized, evidence-based treatment plans.


  1. Huestis, M. A. (2007). Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 4(8), 1770-1804.
  2. Gieringer, D., St. Laurent, J., & Goodrich, S. (2004). Cannabis Vaporizer Combines Efficient Delivery of THC with Effective Suppression of Pyrolytic Compounds. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, 4(1), 7-27.
  3. Grotenhermen, F. (2003). Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids. Clinical Pharmacokinetics, 42(4), 327-360.
  4. Stinchcomb, A. L., Valiveti, S., Hammell, D. C., & Ramsey, D. R. (2004). Human skin permeation of Δ8‐tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and cannabinol. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 56(3), 291-297.
  5. Paudel, K. S., Hammell, D. C., Agu, R. U., Valiveti, S., & Stinchcomb, A. L. (2010). Cannabidiol bioavailability after nasal and transdermal application: effect of permeation enhancers. Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, 36(9), 1088-1097.

Contact Dr. Caplan at CED Clinic for specialized guidance, particularly if you have any of the mentioned medical conditions. Dr. Caplan offers expert advice based on individual

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