When it comes to using marijuana for managing your condition, getting a recommendation from one of the medical marijuana doctors is the first step. Next, you need to decide the right cannabis products, how to consume it, etc.
There are many ways to consume cannabis. Studies have found that how you deliver marijuana compounds in the body impacts its effects on your body and mind. So, depending on the kind of medicinal effects you need, you can select the delivery methods accordingly.
Usually, consumption methods are categorized into—inhalation, ingestion and topical. Read on to learn more about them.
Inhalation involves extracting active ingredients of cannabis (i.e. cannabinoids) through combustion and inhaling them. In other words, cannabinoids, including THC, reach your bloodstream directly through the lungs. The major benefit of inhalation methods is that they deliver instant effects.
Smoking is the most popular delivery method. It brings rapid changes in your system, thus helping you deal with your symptoms quickly.
Joints are cannabis flowers rolled in papers. They are quite similar to cigarettes—you can light one end, and inhale the smoke through the other end.
In blunts, cigar papers are used instead of papers. They are usually larger than joints, thus containing more flowers.
They are small, portable pieces, which are often preferred by users for convenience. Simply fill the bowl with flowers, light them, and inhale the smoke through the other end. Hand pipes are available in a wide range of designs, shapes, and styles.
Also called bongs, water pipes are easy-to-use devices that allows users to inhale active ingredients of cannabis. Water helps in cooling down the smoke so that you can enjoy a smoother cannabis smoking experience.
Vaping has gained popularity among cannabis users in the past years. Many medical marijuana doctors recommend patients this consumption method as a healthy alternative to smoking cannabis.
This is due to the fact that vaping occurs at a much lower temperature than smoking. In other words, vaping limits the production of toxins and carcinogens.
Vaping involves heating cannabis using a special device called vaporizer, and inhaling the vapors containing active ingredients. Dry herb vaporizers heat flowers in a few minutes, thus releasing vapors.
Like smoking, vaping delivers instant effects. Many consumers report that this consumption method delivers a clean, clear high as compared to smoking. This might be because vaping preserves temperature-sensitive cannabinoids.
However, some modern technology vaping devices allow you to control the temperature at which the herb is heated. Thus, you can have a customized vaping experience.
Oral delivery techniques allow users to consume cannabis through the mouth. However, cannabinoids are absorbed through the digestive tract before they reach the bloodstream.
But, this doesn’t happen in all cases. For instance, tinctures are taken sublingually and make their way to the bloodstream immediately, unlike cannabis-infused foods & beverages.
Edibles are foods and beverages infused with cannabis. So, you can eat or drink marijuana. However, in this delivery method, cannabinoids are processed in the body differently. Edibles usually take longer to deliver their medicinal effects.
When you eat marijuana, cannabinoids reach the stomach, and then transfer to the bloodstream. Thus, edibles have a slow onset. Usually, they take 30-120 minutes to kick in—depending on the concentrations of THC and CBD.
If you are using edibles, dosing is very important. Since they don’t provide instant effects, many users end up taking larger amounts, thus experiencing over-consumption issues.
To learn about how to dose edibles, you can check our previous blog post—A Dosing Guide For Marijuana-Infused Edibles
Tinctures are cannabis extract in liquid form. They contain alcohol or glycerine as a carrier. Alcohol-based tinctures have a fast action.
To use tinctures—simply place a few drops under the tongue, and wait for a few seconds. The active compounds will be absorbed into the body. If you are taking tinctures in an empty stomach, tinctures will be absorbed instantly.
However, you can also mix tinctures with foods or beverages. They usually contain lower calories than edibles, such as cookies.
Topicals are cannabis-infused creams, lotions, etc. which can be applied directly on the skin. In other words, the cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin, thus providing localized medicinal effects.
Topicals are usually preferred for managing pain, muscle spasms, etc. Unlike other cannabis delivery methods, topicals don’t cause psychoactive effects.
Thus, this consumption method can help you avoid risks of inhaled cannabis, such as dry mouth, red eyes, etc.
At medical dispensaries, you can find a wide range of topicals containing different concentrations of THC and CBD.
In fact, many manufacturers consider adding essential oils for increasing effectiveness. Before purchasing topicals, make sure you check the label carefully so that you get what’s right for you.
There are a variety of methods to deliver cannabis compounds into the body to receive their medicinal effects. But, there’s no one-size-fit-all solution. Which method is right for you depends on various factors, such as cannabis products you are using, personal preferences, your condition, etc.
Talk to medical marijuana doctors to seek professional help for using cannabis for managing your medical condition.
Consumption methods play a role in marijuana’s medicinal effects. Smoking delivers instant effects, but it is linked to lung problems. Vaping limits the production of harmful toxins, thus can be used as a healthy alternative to smoking. Edibles are processed slowly and last longer. Topicals are perfect for localized relief from muscle spasms, pain, etc.
So, consider your medical needs and personal preferences and select the marijuana consumption method accordingly.
Talk to medical marijuana doctors for professional help.
To access marijuana legally, you need a medical marijuana card. At Online MMJ Los Angeles, you can apply for 420 med evaluations in just 10 minutes.
Simply fill a form online and one of our licensed doctors will contact you via video call.
After you are approved, we will send your PDF MMJ letter via email. Check our website for more details.
In light of the COVID pandemic, we advise all our patients to see a doctor online instead of visiting the clinic. Help us flatten the curve by opting for an online 420 evaluation.