Powdered THC: what is it and how does it work?

powdered THC

Powdered THC has become a popular cannabis infusion method in commercial operations as it helps brands create new exciting products. It can also be valuable to the home cook looking to spice up their DIY edibles. Those who consume THC powder report it’s fast acting, and there’s science behind that rapid onset.

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The benefits of water-soluble cannabinoids are numerous, and the consumer should be keen on this powdered form of weed. Those concerned with what water-soluble THC powder is all about, from the basics to the cannabis products that use it, read on.

What is powdered THC?

The term powdered THC most often refers to a cannabis extract that has been processed into powder form, though technically kief is also powdered THC. The differences are in the manufacturing process and the end result.

Brands that develop, manufacture, patent, and distribute the product boast that THC powder offers a higher bioavailability compared to traditional edibles and probably kief cannabis powder. This means the body uses more of the cannabinoids, and in turn, the compounds have a more intense impact.

powdered THC
Edited in Canva by GreenState

Another difference is that kief is a pure cannabis byproduct, while many powdered THC products contain additives. Many powdered cannabis products are made by combining cannabis oil with a carb-rich emulsifier like sunflower lecithin powder.

An emulsifier is an agent that mixes normally unmixable liquids, like cannabis oil and water. Lecithin is a phospholipid, and many theorize that phospholipids increase the bioavailability of cannabinoids. Amazingly, that’s not the only benefit of getting a powdered form of cannabis.

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The benefits of weed in powder form

Proponents of powdered THC claim that it is more bioavailable than traditional edibles with a rapid onset as low as 15 minutes for some. Compared with 40 to 120 minutes with traditional edibles, these are noteworthy. Another benefit is how easily powdered THC is included in myriad recipes.

THC used to be reserved for butter and fat-heavy recipes like baked goods, and a rapid onset was saved for smoking and vaping–not anymore. Those who consume cannabis can now explore different parts of their cookbooks or even serve an entire cannabis-infused holiday meal.

Because previous infusion iterations were not fat soluble, many were stumped on how to make cannabis mocktails. Now, weed can find its way into a true liquid marijuana drink or a seasonal adult beverage with ease, thanks to powdered THC.

Though THC water solubility is a major coup for the cannabis infusion crowd, this extract does more than simply dissolve into drinks.

Powdered THC products

Cannabis brands are utilizing powdered THC options to craft ingenious edibles from savory mashed potatoes to powders that can be used in drinks or added to home recipes. The brand with the most prolific catalog of infused foods is It’s All About Choices. This California-based edibles company has everything. Try the THC ranch dressing, mango freeze pop, and crunchy cookies, to name a few.

Powdered cannabis has also empowered gummy brands to experiment. Superior Molecular, a Minnesota a cannabis manufacturer mostly known for water-soluble beverages offers various cannabis gummies brands operated by local breweries.

Lots of cannabis companies use flavors in combination with powdered THC, making DIY cannabis drinks easier than ever. Some cater directly to consumers, while others offer a plug-and-play wholesale option to cannabis companies.

powdered THC
Photo by Nyaaka for Getty Images. edited in Canva by GreenState

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Brelixi serves the consumer with a THC and CBD drink powders that are flavored with tantalizing combinations such as Yuzu Lemonade. Vibations also sells directly to consumers but claims to energize while getting people high due to the inclusion of electrolytes.

Ripple powders can be dissolved in water but are marketed to be eaten straight from the package. Every Millenial reading most likely just daydreamed about Pixie Stix, and rightfully so, as the nostalgic candy-inspired Ripsticks. The small packages pack a punch and are available in various flavors, live rosin, and plain.

Powdered THC FAQ

There are lots of possibilities when it comes to THC powder. Here are some of the questions that go along with them.

What is THC powder made of?

THC powder is made of cannabis, coconut oil (or equivalent fat), some kind of emulsifier (usually lecithin like sunflower or soy), and starch like tapioca or potato. The emulsifier and starch, or maltodextrin, soak up the oil and help the product dissolve evenly into liquid.

How does powdered THC work?

Powdered THC can be added to non-infused foods, and works in almost the same way as most edibles. The introduction of an emulsifier can often lead to a faster onset and higher bioavailability. This happens when the lecithin or chosen emulsifier is a phospholipid.

What is a powdered weed?

Powdered weed can be a few things, though now it commonly refers to THC powder. This is a water-soluble powder infused with THC that can be eaten plain, made into a drink, or used in other fun recipes.

Does THC powder expire?

Like most cannabis products, THC doesn’t technically expire, but it does reach a half-life. After that, then the potency decreases rapidly. After about six months, dried cannabis hits its half-life depending on storage, but extraction lengthens this period. THC oil has a half-life of one to two years. If the powder is made with oil and no other expiring ingredients, it’s best to use it in one year.

What is THC powder used for?

There are lots of uses for THC powder. Consumers can consume cannabis powder or use it in recipes at home. Cannabis companies use powdered THC to manufacture products. Sometimes, these products are the powder itself or made into elaborate novel edibles.

Is extract stronger than THC powder?

The strength of a cannabis product is dependent on multiple factors. THC powder and extracts can be both low and high in THC based on the goals of the manufacturer, start product, and more. Extracts tend to be high in THC, but there are some drink powders that boast the same. Read the label to know for sure what products are the strongest.

Does powdered THC have side effects?

When it comes to side effects, powdered THC will have the same possibilities as other cannabis products. Psychoactive effects, dry eyes, thirst, changes in mood, altered senses, impaired memory, difficulty problem-solving, and impaired body movement may all follow THC consumption of any kind.

The introduction of powdered THC to the market has opened doors for product innovation across the board. Whether the powder is being used in a cannabis lab making up new formulations of powdered cannabis soups or dissolving into a home cook’s jello mold–the options feel somewhat endless.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.