When most people think of marijuana they conjure up images of folks sitting around smoking joints. It’s true that marijuana can be smoked, but there are many other ways to consume it. Yes, you can definitely smoke it, but that is just one of the many ways you can ingest cannabis into your system. There are a variety of alternatives to smoking, some which have become insanely popular .
There is an entire industry devoted to cannabis infused food and drink. Hundreds if not thousands of cannabis focused cookbooks are on the market today. You can buy edibles that have already been prepared for you or you can make your own. If you can make “canna butter” you can cook up just about any cannabis delicacy, from chocolate chip cookies to mac and cheese. If you do partake in cannabis-infused edibles, however, make sure you watch how much you eat. It is difficult to control the dosing of cannabis when you eat or drink it. Check out our Cannabis Recipes section if you feel like cooking up something special.
Take it slow when you first try an edible. It’s better to err on the side of caution. While it is impossible to overdose, if you ingest too much edible cannabis, you might feel uncomfortable for a few hours until it wears off. Start with the recommended dosage of 10mg, and slowly build up as you see fit.
Ingestible oils are a concentrated form of cannabis. They are taken orally and come in a variety of ways such as in capsules or plastic applicators. They can be taken directly or added to food or drink. Like edibles, the effects take a while to kick in. Some are very potent so be careful with dosing when you first start out.
Vaporizers heat the marijuana to a temperature hot enough to evaporate the active ingredients, yet still cool enough not to cause burning. This way, fewer toxins are released and it is easier on your lungs. Vaping provides almost instant relief therefore dosing control is easier. People who “vape” say they feel most functional and clear-headed using a vaporizer.
Tinctures are liquid extracts made from cannabis that are taken orally. They are usually extracted in alcohol, but they can also be extracted in vegetable glycerine or apple cider vinegar. Applied directly under the tongue, tinctures are metabolized quickly into the bloodstream, unlike edibles and oils. Results are fast acting and dosing is much easier to control.
Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils that are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. They do not make a person feel “high” so if you are trying to avoid this, topicals may just be the way for you.
Dabbing has become another option of cannabis consumption, but it is reserved only for the advanced, veteran user. A “dab” usually refers to a dose of concentrate or essential oil or extract, that is heated on a hot surface and then inhaling the smoke. It is very potent. Patients dealing with severe or chronic pain report that dabbing can be one of the best ways to get immediate and effective relief. The amount of flowers that would have to be smoked or vaporized to get the same effect is just unfeasible for some patients who need potent medicine quickly. That said, while it is still not lethal, taking more than your personal limit of dabs can lead to a very uncomfortable feeling and, in some cases, passing out. We do not recommend dabbing for the beginning user.
We hope this article has been helpful in your decision making on how to ingest medical marijuana. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.