Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 11, 2023

In the past few decades especially, pot aficionados have been discovering new ways to consume the powerful marijuana plant. Although smoking is the most well-known method of using cannabis, other consumption methods have been gaining popularity as well. If you are a bit late to the cannabis products game, you might not be that familiar with THC pills. That’s why we’re here.

These small gelatin capsules administer THC in an inconspicuous way and can be found in local dispensaries where marijuana laws allow it. And if your state laws prohibit marijuana dispensaries, they can even be made from the comfort of your own home.

If you are looking for a more discreet way to use marijuana rather than vaping or smoking cannabis, could THC pills be the best alternative for you?

What Are THC Pills and How Do They Work?

THC pills are cannabis filled gel capsules that produce psychoactive and pain relief effects when ingested. The main benefit of using THC pills, compared to smoking cannabis or vaping it, is the discrete way in which you can consume them. Moreover, ingesting marijuana rather than smoking it is better if you want to have a terpene-rich experience, given that terpenes can degrade with high heat.

In order for THC pills to provide psychoactive effects, raw cannabis needs to be decarboxylated first. The decarboxylation method starts with taking raw cannabis that has tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), two cannabinoids that don’t have psychoactive effects. 

Decarboxylation happens when weed is heated up to a temperature of about 220-235 degrees Fahrenheit (100-110 Celsius). This process is what enables the cannabinoids to fully bind to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system that are located in our brain and our immune system. As a result of the process, THCA and CBDA are converted into weed’s active ingredients, delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the former being the psychoactive substance.

After ingestion, the pills enter the digestive system where THC is metabolized into  11-hydroxy-THC and causes a longer-lasting high compared to smoking marijuana.

How THC Pills Are Made

Whole-Plant THC Pills

These types of pills contain THC as well as other cannabis compounds. If you are looking for something that is as close to the natural plant as possible, this is the way to go.

The extracted natural cannabinoids are placed in a fatty oil and are inserted in a capsule which administers THC in pill form. Apart from using liquid concentrate, you can use ground-up flowers derived from the marijuana plant as well.

If you want to make this at home, you need to mix coconut oil together with the decarboxylated weed in order to get infused cannabis oil. Next, the infused cannabis oil is inserted into the pills and is ready to be enjoyed.

Isolated THC Pills

These pills include only isolated THC which is separated from the plant and placed inside the pill. This type of medication also has therapeutic properties, although it lacks the minor benefits of other cannabinoids present in weed.     

Synthetic THC Pills

Synthetic THC is a lab-made cannabis product that comes from synthetic weed. These pills are made with compounds that imitate the effects of natural cannabinoids. Apart from using oil to make THC pills, shater is also used. This is a cannabis concentrate with a honeylike color which is made by combining weed and solvents. Synthetic pills contain only THC, but this type of THC is a chemical “remix” of the THC naturally found by decarbing weed.

Some of the most well-known FDA-approved pills are sold under the brand name Marinol or Syndros. The active artificial THC ingredient found in Marinol is dronabinol. Some people opt for marijuana instead of Marinol since it can produce side effects like mood changes, dizziness, anxiety, headaches, nausea, vomiting, stomach or abdominal pain, diarrhea, sleep problems (insomnia), etc.


As with other edibles, the dosage is of the utmost importance when making THC pills. Users should know that it can take up to 3 hours for edibles to kick in, and that is the case with pills as well. Because pills need to be absorbed by the digestive system in order to reach the bloodstream, it takes more time for users to feel the effects. If you’re making THC pills at home, it’s always best to start with fewer mg of THC and increase the dosage after two hours if needed.

The Use of THC Capsules as Medical Marijuana 

THC capsules are often an easier option of ingesting this medication as opposed to combustion. Marijuana patients use them as a substitute for prescription drugs for chronic pain, epilepsy, asthma, psychiatric symptoms, nausea, autoimmune diseases, etc. People mostly opt for this powerful plant for the pain relief benefits, but also because marijuana has fewer side effects and is less addictive compared to traditional painkillers and opioids.

Where Can You Get THC Pills?

As a result of the ever-evolving laws concerning the legalization of marijuana, more and more countries legalize the use of marijuana, especially medical marijuana. If your state laws permit the use of marijuana, you can buy THC pills at your local dispensary. THC pills bought from a dispensary have the proper dosage and THC potency listed on the label, and you could always consult the budtender if you require further information.

Are There Side Effects and Drawbacks to Using THC Capsules?

As with all cannabis products and methods of ingestion, you can experience the typical side effects from using THC capsules, which include anxiety, depression, paranoia, nausea, irritability, although they generally happen in cases of overconsumption. If you follow the guidelines on the label, you shouldn’t have any problems.  

Some of the drawbacks to THC pills include the pills’ price range. A bottle of 20 pills could easily cost 100$ and they are difficult to find, even in states that have legalized marijuana. Moreover, they take a longer amount of time to kick in ranging from 30 to 120 minutes and maybe more, but the high can last for several hours after that.

THC Pills in a Nutshell

THC pills can be a good option if you are looking for an inconspicuous way to use medical marijuana. They provide longer effects compared to a joint or a vape pen, and you can plan out your doses according to your specific needs.  

Generally, THC pills that are made from the cannabis plant are better for you compared to synthetic pills, since they provide all the cannabinoid and terpene benefits one can get.

Just remember not to over-consume, since edibles take about 2 hours to kick in and you wouldn’t want to experience some of those pesky side effects. Depending on the marijuana laws in your country, you could enjoy this discreet method of weed consumption for both medical and recreational use.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.