Patients treated with medical marijuana (MMJ) vary widely. After all, illnesses do not choose their victims. An MMJ user can be a senior citizen, a young professional, even a kid. With this, multiple methods of ingesting MMJ were developed to cater to the different lifestyles and age groups of MMJ users.
Smoking is the traditional way of consuming weed or MMJ. The leaves are ground finely, rolled in paper, lit, and smoked like cigarettes. A pipe or bong may also be used instead of rolling paper. Since the THC goes directly to your bloodstream, its effects kick in faster than most of the other methods. This method is advisable if you want immediate relief, and if you are familiar with smoking. On the other hand, this is discouraged for patients with pulmonary conditions and patients of young age.
Vaporizing is similar to smoking. But instead of burning the leaves, the elements are vaporized. This is my preferred method because the THC takes effect as swiftly as with smoking, but the entire process is less health-hazardous. Versus smoking, vaporizing is pricier because of the vaporizer unit (I have recently bought a DaVinci IQ). It also requires power outlets or batteries to run the vaporizer. However, if you are a smoker or used to smoke, this can be a good option in ingesting MMJ.
- Topical application
Topical MMJ is used when patient prefers to get away with the psychoactive effects of THC. This can come as a lotion, salve or cream. Since the application is external and there is no inhalation of smoke, this is a healthier option in treating localized pain and inflammation. The downside is that it is limited to skin use only. It cannot be used to treat illnesses that affect the internals of the body.
The most common MMJ edibles are brownies and cookies. THC is extracted by soaking the leaves in butter/oil, and heating. The THC-infused butter/oil is used to cook pastries or any other food. It will take around 30 minutes to an hour for the effects of THC to kick in. The user must wait at least an hour before consuming another serving if the effects are not yet felt by then. Compared to other methods, the dosage ingested with edibles are harder to monitor.
MMJ tinctures are mixtures of THC diffused in alcohol solutions. To consume directly, you can put drops of the tincture under your tongue. Versus edibles, tinctures take effect faster. But they are still slower than vaporizing and smoking. MMJ tinctures can also be mixed with food or applied topically.
These are the preferred ingestion method for children and patients who require low dosages. Tinctures are packaged in small brown bottles with built-in droppers. The droppers allow the user to have better control of the consumed dosages.
Other methods are being developed for better ingestion of the drug. MMJ can also come as suppositories, beverages, and teas. These are all to suit the different needs of its users. It is still best to consult a doctor in choosing the right method.