METHODS OF INGESTION
There are many ways to ingest medical cannabis. For years, smoking it has been the most popular way, but now there are many ways to medicate.
Smoking Medical Cannabis
- Delivers instant relief
- Fairly easy to regulate dosage
- Minimally processed
- Multiple options
- Smoke may be harmful to lungs. Studies have reached contradictory conclusions about whether and to what extent cannabis may cause lung damage, but combustion of any substance makes it harder to breathe.
- In many cases, not a good option for anyone with pulmonary damage (lung cancer, emphysema) or asthma
- Will make you smell like cannabis smoke
Vaporizing ‘Vaping’ Medical Cannabis
How it works: Preheat the vaporizer to the recommended temperature. Insert a small amount of dried (cured) cannabis flower or extract into a vaporizer. Press the button and inhale. The cannabis will be heated to a temperature below its combustion point, but still hot enough to release the medicinal compounds.Vaporizers are available in a wide array of shapes and sizes, from fancy home units to pocket-friendly pens.
- Delivers instant relief
- Less harsh on lungs than smoking
- Doesn’t make you smell as much as smoking
- Vaping units can be very expensive.
- Battery powered units must be recharged.
- Need time to warm up device.
Dosage: Start small! Inhale lightly (i.e. “take a small hit.”). There is no need to hold the smoke in your lungs…exhale. Wait a few minutes. If you don’t feel the desired effect, or you want to feel a greater effect, take another hit.
Medical Cannabis Edibles
- Provides long-lasting relief.
- Good alternative for people averse to inhaling.
- You get to eat a delicious treat.
- Dosage can be very precise.
- This is the most popular method among Children & Elderly Patients.
- Can take half an hour to several hours to kick in.
- Must be locked up to avoid children.
- Causes a different “high” than smoking
Medical Cannabis Tinctures or Sub-Lingual Sprays
- Doesn’t hurt lungs like inhaling cannabis.
- Easy to control dosage for a very low dose.
- Mild taste.
- Preferred method for children.
- Can be expensive for people who require a high dosage of cannabinoids.
- Takes effect faster than edibles, but still not as fast as inhalation.
Dosage: Start with just a few drops and wait ten minutes. If you don’t feel relief, try a few more drops. Eventually you’ll figure out your ideal dosage—for most people, it’s between half a dropper and a couple of droppers at a time.
Dabbing Medical Cannabis
This method is NOT recommended for patients with a low THC tolerance or those new to cannabis medications!
- Useful for urgent medication of acute illnesses.
- Cost-efficient for patients who need High-THC.
- Provides instant relief.
- Concentrates are at higher risk of containing harmful chemicals.
- Solvents are used to extract the medicinal chemicals, may not be properly removed.
- May cause overdose, while never fatal, can be very unpleasant and uncomfortable.
- Devices are difficult to use; accidental burns are more likely.
Dosage: Consult with your doctor prior to trying dabbing—it’s probably more than you need. If you do choose to try it, start with just one ‘small’ hit, but know that it will have extremely strong psychoactive effects.