The issue with edibles and tinctures has always been the same: they take too long to take effect. You eat a pot-brownie (or a gummy, or drop a tincture) and then… you wait. You start watching a movie or gardening, or grocery shopping, whatever, and forget you even took drugs at all.

And then it hits you — hard and fast — and suddenly, you’re blitzed. But it’s been an hour or more since you ingested cannabis in the first place.

It’s a tale as old as time, but one that might soon become a memory of times past. New intra-oral technology known as “nano-emulsion” is enabling canna-scientists to create superfast-acting edibles and tinctures that peak in the blood-stream within 20-30 minutes of ingestion. It’s a leap forward in canna-tech, and companies all over North America are taking a keen interest in it.

“This is going to fill that gap between the absolute immediacy (but unpredictability of dosage) of inhaled forms of cannabis, and the low and slow absorption rate of edibles,” says Dr. Christopher Shade, the founder and CEO of Quicksilver Technologies, who developed this nano-emulsion tech.

His company, Quicksilver Scientific is a professional dietary supplement company, that primarily sells nutraceuticals to doctors, but which also develops advanced new systems of nutrient, vitamin and medicinal delivery — like nano-emulsion.

“We make these very technologically advanced supplements using nano-delivery techniques that give much higher and more rapid bioavailability to different compounds that the doctors are trying to use,” Shade explains.

The term bioavailability describes the “proportion of the substance that you’re taking, that makes it into the blood.” Basically, it’s the amount of a drug that gets into your bloodstream, and which you feel. Higher bioavailability means higher and faster absorption rates.

And Quicksilver Scientific’s nano-emulsion tech, improves the bioavailability of substances like THC and CBD significantly.

“When you take cannabinoids in oil form, they have to combine with the bile that's formed in your liver and then they get dumped into your small intestine that emulsifies the oil, and then you absorb those emulsified droplets,” says Shade.  “This is sort of pre-digesting it and is a much more efficient delivery system.”

The nano-emulsion technology also takes advantage of something, which Shade referred to as “the entourage effect,” wherein certain chemicals or substances work together with THC/CBD to make more powerful medicines. He explains how certain compounds like curcumin, can be combined with specific cannabis terpenes to improve a tincture’s effects on inflammation or pain; while others can improve upon the sleep quality of a medicine, or elevate terpenes with uplifting qualities.

It’s called the “natural ingredient boost.”

“We're taking all of our tool chest from natural medicine, all the botanicals, amino acids, vitamins, neurotransmitters, hormones, even, and combining them with the cannabinoids to make very tailored effects,” Shade says.

In combination with the bioavailability offered by their nano-emulsion technology, this natural ingredient boost is allowing cannabis companies all over North America to make highly effective and distinctly specific cannabis tinctures and edibles. Quicksilver’s largest customer is Truss Beverages (a joint venture between Molson Coors and HEXO Corp) who is coming out with an entire line of fast acting canna-beverages in Canada.

Quicksilver is also a partner with Wana Brands, a cannabis company that specializes in edible products. They are soon to be releasing their Wana quick tinctures in Colorado, which utilize Quicksilver Scientific’s nano-emulsion technology to deliver super-fast-acting THC.

Which, is more appealing to many adult-users and medicinal users. Not only are consumables easier on the lungs than inhaled products, but, as Shade points out, it’s much easier to control and experiment with dosage when you’re using a tincture.

“You can say, ‘I want three milligrams now’ or ‘I want six milligrams now,’ and it'll be the same every time,” Shade says. “Versus when you're sucking on that vape pen or smoking flower, you just don't know what's happening.”

So, the dosage is more controllable, the THC absorbs into your blood-stream faster (so you feel it faster) and with the natural ingredient boost, each terpene specific tincture will have a specific tailored effect — whether that’s to improve sleep, provide energy, or reduce pain/inflammation.

This new technology is one small step for cannabis users, and one giant leap for the cannabis industry at large. Quicksilver Scientific’s nano-emulsion technology could very well change the way people interact with edibles and tinctures — and as people’s cannabis use matures, and they start to look for healthier, more effective modes of delivery, it could open the doors to a whole new era of edible/tincture dominance.

(… or at least, prominence).