Modes of Delivery

Inhaling

 

Inhalation is a very common way to ingest medical cannabis. Smoking is never recommended as a way to medicate, but vaporizers offer the same benefit with fewer particulates being inhaled. Vaporizing also has more medical efficacy as smoking can burn off many cannabinoids and terpenes. Smoking is also associated with the potential to waste cannabis, so vaporizing is always a more cost-effective method as well. 

One advantage of inhaling cannabis is that it takes effect relatively quickly when compared to other methods of ingesting cannabis. Most patients experience maximal affects approximately 15-30 minutes after ingesting and feel the effects for approximately 2-3 hours. 

The effects of this method of cannabis delivery as well as the overall effects differ from patient to patient due to # of inhalations, duration of inhalations, the spacing of puffs, hold time, and inhalation volume.

Ingestion

 

Ingesting (or eating) cannabis is a great way to effectively and discreetly medicate. When you ingest your THC-rich cannabis (or cannabis oils) strains orally, your liver metabolizes the cannabis which produces 11 hydroxy THC High. Edible oils are also available in capsules and are becoming the most popular way to medicate for most patients. 

Although edible cannabis can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to take full effect, the effects can be felt for 5-8 hours or more. 

The effects of this method of cannabis delivery can vary due to other foods ingested at the same time vs. taking on an empty stomach, individual metabolism, bioavailability and variable absorption into the body.

Topicals

 

Cannabis-infused lotions, salves, oils, sprays, and other transdermal methods of relief work by binding to a network of receptors called CB2. Patients report relief using topicals from various pain conditions as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabis topicals are not available currently through an LP, but they will be by the end of 2019. Many patients choose to make their own food-grade topicals as a way to customize formulations to their individual needs.

Patients apply their topical cannabis products on an as-needed basis, which begins to take effect approximately 30 minutes after application.