To answer this question, we are going to provide you with a list of methods of cannabis consumption and its characteristics. I can hear you thinking: Why don’t they just answer it and be done? Because the best way of consuming medical cannabis is based on what you consider more important or convenient. Meaning, the best way, is your way.
Your experience consuming medical cannabis will be as enjoyable as it is convenient for you. Take note of whatever characteristic you think is “for you” and you will find the best way of consuming medical cannabis. We suggest you don’t completely eliminate any method unless there is a specific characteristic you don’t want to hassle yourself with.
To help you decide on the most convenience method of consuming cannabis, we’ve divided the consumption methods into three classifications:
- Inhalants – consumed using vapor or smoke
- Oral (edibles, ingestants) – consumed by eating
- Topical – absorbed thru the skin
The therapeutic effects of inhalants are felt right away. It is actually the fastest way to feel the cannabinoids effects. Heating the cannabis will activate and release THC and CBD, then the vapor or smoke inhaled sends those components directly to your brain and bloodstream. And just like that that pain in the knee is no longer bothering. That is why inhalation is still the most common way of consuming cannabis.
There are two ways of inhaling medical cannabis:
We all know the traditional method of consuming cannabis is smoking. We all also know that by combusting or burning the herb to smoke it, we are exposed to chemical substances in the smoke and consume less THC when compared to vaping.
Why then smoking cannabis is still very common, even now when vaporizers use is widespread because of their versatility and convenience?
First, there are scientists that believe the smoke produced by cannabis is less toxic than tobacco’ because there is evidence that the nicotine found in tobacco smoke (but not in cannabis smoke) intensifies the toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAH (highly toxic components known to cause cancer). There have been other studies made that determined that cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, which are not present in tobacco smoke, help to protect normal lung tissue cells from the effects of carcinogens like PAH.
Second, it gives you more control over the amounts you are consuming and makes it easier to monitor your dosages. Basically it eliminates the possibility of unintentionally overusing and being too high.
In addition, you know what I say:
“Let’s not lose the beautiful tradition of lighting a good joint.”- BudBunny
You can smoke joints (herb rolled in a rolling or cigarette paper) or blunts (rolled in cigar papers therefore bigger than joints).
You can use a pipe or bowl.
You can also smoke using a bong which is an ingenious artifact. The smoke is forced into the water used in the bong. The water traps up to 90% of the toxins and also cools it, which makes it healthier.
– Vaporizers or Vapes
As we said before, vaporizers are now widely used because of their versatility and convenience. Vaporizers heat the herb almost to the point of combustion, but do not burn the herb. That is why vaporization is healthier than smoking. You can have the therapeutic effects of your medical cannabis without the smoke carrying toxins.
Vaporizers (vapes, batteries, vape pens) are available in different types, sizes and with a variety of features. You can use concentrates, oils, waxes, herb and juice.
Herbs or flowers usually contain from 5% to 25% of THC. A great advantage of the vaporizer is the use of oil, which contains up to 80% THC, making it stronger and more beneficial.
We can divide vapes into two major categories: portable and desktop.
Edibles – Oral Consumption
Eating cannabis is a very clean and hassle free way of consuming your medication – that is if you don’t bathe yourself in cookie crumbles. You will find beverages, oil, butter, chocolate, honey, sprays, gummies, capsules, brownies and all sorts of ingestants. You may even found your favorite dish recipe with a CBD twist.
When ingesting cannabis, you must remember two main facts: the time it takes for the cannabinoids to take effect are longer and those effects will be stronger.
In average, edibles effects will be felt well over an hour after consumption. They need to be digested, metabolized and absorbed to feel their therapeutic effects. That process will take quite some time depending in factors such as body weight and metabolism. Those effects can last over 6 hours with their peak at around 2-3 hours after consumption.
The effects will be stronger because at digestion, cannabinoids are chemically transformed increasing its strength.
To use edibles, we recommend you start by consuming the lowest amount possible. You could maybe divide in half that gummy and keep the rest for the next day. Take note of the amount consumed and its effects throughout the next hours. While you don’t completely understand their effects in your body, we recommend to start using it in hours when you won’t be performing any activity other than normal living stuff (such as eating your fridge out or watching TV).
Cannabis ingestion is better for patients with long-lasting chronic pains because its’ long and stronger effects will have you consuming less often. Lots of patients use edibles only on holidays when they know they won’t have to use their brain for 4-5 hours or in combination with a high CBD vape oil to sleep deeply when their favorite sleeping strain is not available.
To those who do not want to vape or consume cannabis, there are other alternatives to take advantage from its benefits such as products for topical use. The most recommended are creams, patches and tinctures.
You will find creams infused with CBD (non-psychoactive cannabinoid) to provide temporary relief of inflammation, pain and soreness. You can apply them to any area of your body no matter how big or small the area may be. Their target patient is people suffering from pain, anxiety, paranoia, PTSD among other chronic afflictions.
There are also cannabis patches, which are similar to bandages but infused with THC, CBD or both. The patch must be applied to a venous part of your body. The heat created by the body activates the patch, which then release a small amount of cannabinoids through the skin and into the bloodstream.
You will also find tinctures, which are odorless liquid cannabis concentrates that dissolves under the tongue. It effects will be feel between 5-15 minutes and those effects vary depending the strain.
As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can try using all of them one by one in a controlled method. Then incorporate into your routine those products that brought you the best results and that will help you improve your day.
We hope this blog helped you understand the different medical cannabis applications and consequently help you decide the best way to consume medical marihuana.