Medical Marijuana Consumption Methods
You get your medical marijuana prescription and head to a dispensary, only to feel overwhelmed by all of the options.
Most medications these days only offer one way to take them. This might be a pill, patch, cream, or injection. Medical cannabis, however, is different. There are a variety of ways to consume cannabis. Which one is right for you depends on many things, such as your personal preference and why you are using cannabis in the first place.
This guide will provide you an overview of what the different methods of cannabis consumption are, how to use them, and what to expect.
Smoking Medical Marijuana
Smokable marijuana is likely the form you’re most familiar with. Dried cannabis flower can be smoked using a variety of different methods. Pipes, bongs, and joints are three popular ways to smoke cannabis.
Pipes, or also known as bowls, are generally made of glass and easy to use as they are small and portable. Cannabis flower can be ground up, either with a grinder or by hand, and be packed into the bowl. You will then place a finger over the carb hole and light the bowl. Once the flame touches the flower, inhale until you feel smoke and then release your finger off of the carb hole.
Bongs, like pipes, are also typically made of glass and come in a variety of sizes. You will pack the bong bowl, or slide, with the cannabis flower. Once it is packed, light the bowl and begin inhaling until smoke travels through the water and up through the bong. When you've had an appropriate hit, pull out the slide from the bong.
Joints, or blunts, are a very straightforward method as it simply includes rolling the cannabis flower in the paper, lighting the joint or blunt and inhaling.
The onset of smoking marijuana is fast, within minutes, although it will take closer to 15 minutes before the full effect is felt. Depending on how much you smoke and your individual physiology, smoked cannabis will usually last around two to four hours.
Vaping Medical Marijuana
You vape medical marijuana either using a vape pen with a THC-rich cartridge or by vaping cannabis flower in a vaporizer designed for flower use.
You will feel the effects within minutes, but wait around 10 to 15 minutes before deciding if you need more. The duration is similar to smoking cannabis, lasting around two to four hours.
There are multiple methods that vaporizing can be used while still getting many of the same effects as smoking cannabis. Three of the main types are tabletop vaporizers, portable vaporizers and vape pens.
Tabletop vaporizers are ideal for at-home use, as they require a solid surface to sit on while operating. Depending on the type of vaporizer, some use a tube that allows the vapor to move, while others can use a bag that will collect the vapor. Tabletop vaporizers can be used with flower or concentrates and it includes a temperature dial that can regulate the temperature.
Portable vaporizers work the same way as a tabletop vaporizer, except they are smaller and much more discreet when using. They include a compartment that holds either the flower or concentrate and with the click of a button, it will heat the components and vaporize the cannabis to allow for inhalation.
Lastly, vape pens are made specifically for vaporizing distillates and oils. Compared to portable vaporizers, their design is more simple as it contains only a battery and cartridge. The cartridge is filled with either cannabis distillate or oil and are heated once the battery is activated.
Cannabis-infused food and drink are called edibles. Currently there are limited edible options available to medical marijuana patients in Arkansas. Edibles can include a variety of products which include cookies, brownies, chocolates, or the most common form, gummies.
To take an edible, you eat it just as you would any other food. Be sure to pay attention to how much THC is in each edible. Typically, an average dose for edibles is 10 mg. However, if you are a beginner it is recommended to start with 5 mg.
Edibles take a longer time to kick in and last longer than other consumption methods as it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. Therefore, if you have taken an edible and do not feel the effects right away, wait it out first and then determine if you would like to take a larger dose. How much you’ve eaten, your metabolism and more can influence how long it will take before you feel the effects.
One of the most significant benefits of edibles is that they are discrete.
They are also a good option for those who do not want to inhale their cannabis.
Tinctures are alcohol extractions of the cannabis flower and leaves. They are made by absorbing cannabinoids and other herbal components into alcohol and then straining out the plant material to create a cannabinoid and terpene rich solution.
Tinctures can be administered simply by placing the dosage under your tongue as effects can be felt within an average of 10-15 minutes. They can also be incorporated into food and drink products, leading to a reaction time of about 45 minutes to an hour- similar to edibles.
Tinctures are great for patients who are seeking fast relief and who do not wish to smoke marijuana as they produce no smell or smoke and cause no irritation on the lungs.
Topical products include things like lotions, creams, oils or salves. Topicals are generally used for localized relief, such as when you experience pain in a spot that you can point to. They are great for helping treat sore muscles or skin ailments.
Topical relief can happen within minutes and lasts for a few hours. Topical products are discrete, making them an excellent choice for private, localized relief.
What Is The Best Medical Marijuana Consumption Method For Me?
Talk to your doctor or a local dispensary representative about which medical cannabis product is right for you. You may find that you prefer a certain product during the day, another at night, and another when your symptoms are acting up. Over time, you will fall into a routine based on what you find is best for you.
How Can I Get My Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card?
Arkansas Marijuana Card understands that the medical marijuana laws in Arkansas can be confusing, so we take all of the guesswork out of it for our patients. Our friendly support staff will carefully walk you through the entire process, from helping you collect your medical records before your appointment, to ensuring your application has been submitted properly to the State. Also, we have the most affordable pricing options anywhere in the state of Arkansas!