Your Brain on Edibles
Some herbs and botanicals can trigger pleasure, relaxation, and sleepiness. These plants may also have powerful pain relief and medicinal effects. To gain the benefits of herbs and flowers, some people inhale botanicals. Others have found a more flavorful way to partake in these botanicals by infusing the flower into a fatty substance like oil or butter and then using that substance to create edibles.
The physical and psychological effects of certain herbs and flowers are well documented. However, most people don't understand how different forms of ingestion impact the body and brain. What happens to your brain when you eat an edible?
What Are Edibles?
Edibles are food products that contain the chemical compounds of certain botanicals like herbs, plants, and flowers. Consuming an edible food product imparts some of the same physical and psychological effects that other methods of ingestion, like smoking, can trigger. Edibles can include but are not limited to:
Making an edible is not always an easy process. You cannot unlock the medicinal benefits of certain herbs or flowers by adding them directly into a baked good or candy. The active compounds found in certain botanicals are not water-soluble. They are fat soluble. Fat-soluble molecules do not mix with water. To unlock the medicinal effect of fat-soluble compounds, you need to infuse or dissolve the herb or flower with a fatty material like oil or butter. Next, the botanical infusion is added to a food product to create an edible.
Your Brain on Edibles
Ingesting an herb or flower through inhalation requires heat activation. By burning the plant, a person inhales the smoke and active compounds of a plant, taking everything in through the lungs. To smoke an herb, you must heat the plant to around 800 degrees Celsius or 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. When you heat a botanical to this degree, the intense heat causes chemical changes and reactions. These changes can impact the physical and psychological effects of the flower or herb.
Ingestion through inhalation means the active compounds from the plant are being taken straight into the lungs. From the lungs, the compounds almost immediately filter into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the compounds move to the brain and bind with specific neurological receptors, generally causing pleasurable feelings. The effects of the inhaled compounds can last between one and two hours. However, burning substances can also have the unintended consequence of creating carcinogenic compounds, which may impact the lungs over time.
Ingesting edibles is different. When creating an infusion with herbs or flowers, the plant material is generally only heated to around 150 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. The chemical reactions associated with intense heat are not triggered. Instead, other chemical reactions take place. These reactions slightly alter the makeup of some of the active plant compounds.
Ingesting edibles delivers the active components of a plant into the digestive system, not the lungs. The substances make their way through the digestive system and are metabolized by the liver. From there, they move into the bloodstream and to the brain. This internal process takes much longer, meaning a person may not feel the effects of the edible for one to two hours. However, the physical and psychological effects of the active compounds in edibles may be more intense and last longer. An edible may trigger feelings of relaxation, pleasure, or pain relief that last four to eight hours or longer.
While you may not introduce harmful carcinogens into your lungs, there are other factors to consider. The medicinal effects of edibles can be more challenging to predict and control. Since the impact of the active compounds does not manifest for one to two hours, it can be easy to eat too few edibles to notice an effect or to eat too many edibles, triggering an intense effect.
Creating a Botanical Infusion and Edibles at Home
The active compounds in some herbs and flowers can make them volatile and challenging to work with in a household kitchen. Thankfully, the LĒVO family of infusion machines makes creating homemade botanical infusions easy.
The LĒVO II is an all-around all-star. Whether you know your way around a kitchen or you are just starting your culinary journey, the LĒVO II is for you. The LĒVO II includes two modes that help prep your botanicals for infusion, increasing potency and extending the shelf life of your final product. The non-toxic, ceramic-coated interior reservoir holds up to 16 ounces of butter, oil, honey or milk. All components are dishwasher safe.
For a more gourmet infusion experience, there is the LĒVO Lux. The LĒVO II comes in a range of neutral and fun colors, while the LĒVO Lux comes in a variety of metallic, high-shine finishes for a sharp and elevated kitchen counter appliance. With improved DRY+ technology, the LĒVO Lux more efficiently prepares herbs and flowers for infusion. Precise time and temperature controls mean you get a high-quality infusion result every time you use your machine. The LĒVO Lux and LĒVO II also allow you to add a second power pod to the infusion process, increasing the potency of your infusion.
If making large batches is more your style, there is the LĒVO C, with its 1L glass basin and jumbo pod capable of holding 1 ounce of dried plant. The entire range of machines can transform basic oil, butter, milk and honey into specially crafted infusions suitable for cooking and baking.
Are you new to edibles and not sure where to start? The LĒVO family of infusion machines can help you turn out flavorful and potent oils and butter suitable for edible making. For even more assistance in the kitchen, LĒVO also offers edible mixes. From gummies and brownies to pancakes and granola, LĒVO edible products can help you craft delicious, high-quality edibles at home for a fraction of the cost of specialty stores. For more recipe ideas, LĒVO owners can join the private LĒVO Facebook group called The LĒVO Love Club. The group is an outgoing and friendly place where LĒVO owners can swap recipes, tips, hacks and tricks.
Making homemade edibles doesn't have to be overwhelming. You can get the medicinal benefits of edibles in your own home with a little creativity and help from a LĒVO infusion machine.
The worlds first patented oil infuser that lightly dries herbs fresh from your garden, activates their maximum potency, and infuses them into just about anything. Great for daily, small batch, artisanal infusions.
Experience infüsionwith our most elegant, intelligent machine yet: LĒVO LUX. Artfully infuse any herb, spice, fruit, coffee bean, & more into oils, butters, and honeys to create Michelin Star-quality meals.
LĒVO C is the first large batch infusing solution that is dishwasher safe, has a built-in activation cycle for maximum potency. Perfect for making large 1 liter batches for high frequency users and small businesses.