Different Methods of Consumption for Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana patients have a multitude of options regarding. It can be hard to decide where to begin. However, the best method is a personal decision for every individual, and your preferred method may be different from that of other patients. Be sure to select a consumption method that best suits you and your health condition. Each method has unique characteristics that make it more or less effective for some users at different durations; some will be instant, and others will take some time. It is essential to check your region’s laws, as some states prohibit some methods.

Different Methods of Consumption for Medical Marijuana

There are four main delivery methods; inhalation, ingestion, sublingually, and topical.

1. Inhalation

Inhalation is known as the fastest way of medical cannabis delivery. Most patients opt for this method. When marijuana is inhaled, most cannabinoids (THC and CBD) enter the system through the lungs and are directly absorbed into the bloodstream. It is similar to using an inhaler for asthma patients. This method provides a rapid onset. Inhalation makes it easy for patients to titrate a dose, reducing the chances of overconsumption.

Inhalation can be classified into two methods; smoking and vaporizing. Smoking includes burning dried flowers and inhaling the active compounds released by the plant. On the other hand, with vaporization, marijuana is heated to a specific temperature at which the active constituents are released as vapor inhaled by the user.

2. Ingestion

Marijuana can be taken orally in the form of pills, capsules, edibles, oils, or tinctures. Ingesting cannabis takes longer and produces stronger and more psychoactive effects than other methods. During ingestion, cannabinoids undergo a chemical transformation, increasing their potency. Patients who use marijuana orally report feeling the effects within 30 minutes to one hour or more, with full effects at around two hours and the total effects lasting for as long as 6 hours.

This method is preferred by patients using marijuana for long-lasting chronic pain as it lasts longer, and you don’t have to use it frequently. Remember that the effects vary depending on metabolism, body size, and previous marijuana exposure.

3. Sublingually

Cannabis can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream by placing the products under the tongue and left for seconds to dissolve. The mouth has blood vessels that absorb cannabinoids. The total effects from using this consumption method will be felt faster than with ingestion but less quickly than by inhaling. Most commonly, marijuana is used sublingually with tinctures, infused mints, sublingual sprays, and dissolvable strips. In this method, the effects will be felt within 10-60 minutes.

4. Topical

Topical application is another method of medical marijuana consumption. Topical medical cannabis products come in various forms like oils, balms, salves, lotions, and bath salts that are applied directly to the skin. Human skin provides a complex absorption action dependent on a chemical’s ability to dissolve in water. Cannabis compounds react with receptors under the skin, but they do not enter the bloodstream. Due to this feature, most topical medical marijuana products do not have psychoactive effects. This makes the method the best fit for older consumers.

The products potentially provide localized relief from pain, inflammation, skin irritation, among others. The topical application of cannabis does not allow the transfer of cannabinoids into the brain and, therefore, reduces intoxication.