Ways to Use Cannabis

 Did you know that there are many ways to use cannabis, beside the stereotypical, “smoking a joint”?

Experiment with different methods to see what works best for you.  As always, start low, and go slow when trying a new method or product to see how your body reacts.  If you are using cannabis as treatment, we strongly recommend tracking your use. Here are some of the ways to use cannabis:

Inhalation – In this method, gases enter the lungs and then migrate into the bloodstream.  There are 2 main methods of inhalation:

  • Vaporization Cannabis material is heated but does not burn.

    • More efficient use of cannabinoids with fewer harmful byproducts.

    • Easy to find the right dose

    • Rapid onset 5-10 minutes / duration 3-6 hours

  • Smoking Cannabis material burned to create smoke that you inhale

  • Smoke expands in lungs and may cause coughing

  • Rapid onset 5-10 minutes / duration 3-6 hours

Oral – In this method, you ingest cannabis by mouth

What you ingest can be in the form of an oil, tincture, spray, capsule, gelcap, or edible product (gummy bear, cookie, brownie, etc).  In many of these forms, the cannabis enters the digestive system first, and then enters the bloodstream. Take extra caution with edible products; since they work through the digestive system, the onset of sensation can take from 45 min-2 hours, so don’t do too much before you know what effect it is having on you.

  • Many edible products are also sold with multiple servings per package, such as a brownie or cookie, so be sure to check what 1 serving is, so you don’t over indulge.

  • Edibles have a longer onset 1-3 hours with a duration of 4-12 hours

  • Tinctures, lozenges and other sublingual preparations can be absorbed faster through mucus membrane (15-30 mins)

Topical – With topicals, you place the product on the outside of your body.

  • Topicals utilize full cannabis extract that has been decarboxylated, which activates the cannabinoids and allows them to be absorbed through the skin

  • Salves or lotions will have no systemic side effects, and do not provide any psychoactive effect

  • Using a transdermal patch can provide longer lasting results, up to 12 hours

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