The Different Methods Of Medicating With Cannabis

You remember the old stoner cliche. The hippy with the shades, tie-dyed shirt, dreadlocks and doobie burning away on that rusty roach clip. But smoking cannabis is just one method of medicating with cannabis. However, in many cases, it’s neither the best method, nor legal (as in the case with Ohio). But what other types of administration methods exist? The Green Health Docs Advocacy Team explores the different ways patients can enjoy medicating with cannabis.

Smoking Cannabis: The Ole’ Tried & True Method

Note: Smoking cannabis is illegal in Ohio. While largely unenforceable in the privacy of your own home, medical cannabis dispensaries in Ohio cannot sell smoking products of any kind. And you are not protected as a medical marijuana patient if caught smoking in Ohio, in public or private. 

Smoking is, perhaps, the most classic method of medicating with cannabis. There are many ways a patient can smoke marijuana. They can roll a joint or purchase a pre-rolled joint or pre-rolled paper. This method is not unlike cigarette smoking. But remember…a little goes a long way and joint smoking may administer too much of the active chemicals too quickly into your system. Patients who prefer smoking should exhibit caution.

Beyond The Doobie – Other Ways To Smoke

Another way to smoke cannabis is to place dry flower into a bong, water pipe, hookah or bowl. These types of smoking devices come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and designs, from simple to complex. Bowls can even be manufactured out of household objects, like old water bottles or even apples. These methods SHOULD NOT be tried by cannabis patients as they may contain harmful chemicals or byproducts.

In general, smoking should only be attempted by those with strong, healthy lungs. And, frankly, smoking isn’t the best way to medicate. It burns the product quickly and can often yield a lower percentage of active chemical compounds as opposed to other methods. That said, many classic stoners still prefer this method. If you are suffering from lung issues, cancer or a weak immune system, however, it is strongly cautioned that you try other methods of medicating with cannabis.

Dabbing Cannabis Concentrates

A bridge between smoking and vaping is dabbing cannabis concentrates. But be warned: dabbing is TOUGH on the body. It is not recommenced for patient with weak lungs.

Concentrates can be sold as shatter, waxes, crystals, butane hash oil or budder. This method of medicating requires a dabbing rig. This rig is heated to extreme temperatures. The concentrate is then placed into the bowl of this rig. It is vaporized immediately from the heat. This smoke travels into the rig, similar to a water pipe, and is exhaled by the patient.

This is a relativity new method to consuming cannabis, dating back less than a decade. It may not be the preferred, or even recommended, method for many patients. Concentrates are exactly that: concentrated doses of THC and other active chemical compounds found in cannabis. High does may help patients suffering from severe pain, stomach issues or physiological disorders like PTSD. However, the general medical cannabis patient will likely find success with other methods of medicating with cannabis.

Vaping Cannabis: Smoking Re-imagined

Growing in popularity is vaping cannabis. This method is easier on the lungs, and it can administer more of the plant’s active chemical compounds, like THC and CBD. Vaping can be achieved in a variety of ways. Dry flower can be vaporized. Oils or active resin can also be vaporized.

Dry flower vaporizers come in many shapes and sizes, from set top units to portable units that can be carried in a pocket, bag or purse. These units have a small coil or plate that heats the cannabis to a temperature just below combustion. This allows the active compounds to expel from the plant into a vapor that the patient inhales. After several puffs, the once green bud turns brown. You can discard this brown bud, or grind it and use it as an edible or topping on food.

Oil vaporizers are not unlike current nicotine vaporizers on the market. A big difference between those and cannabis oil vaporizers is that active resin or THC oil is far safer to use. A heating element vaporizes the oil. This oil is then inhaled. One downside: heavy coughing can occur with this method if the patient inhales too much.

Not all oils are created equal. Be sure to buy medical cannabis oil from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary. This ensures that you are buying product free of pesticides and heavy metals — a problem with some black market cannabis oils.

Tinctures, Pills & Edibles – For Those Who Prefer Something Easier

Perhaps the easiest method of medicating with cannabis is to take an edible. These come in a variety of types, from foods to tinctures, active resin, pills and oils. Patients can typically purchase items like brownies or gummies, and use them sparingly or liberally, based on needs. The same can be said for tinctures. You can use one drop, or five, based on your own personal needs.

Edibles are a safe, easy way to consume cannabis and get the desired positive health effects. However, there are some downsides. For example, it can take a long time for some edibles to begin working in your body. Or worse, a patient may take too much of an edible at once and have a bad experience. The best methodology is to pace yourself. Take a small bite of a brownie, wait an hour or two and see how you feel. Once you are aware of the proper dosing, stick to that regimen.

Patients new to cannabis might want to start with a tincture. This is cannabis that you drop under your tongue. It’s fast-acting and the dosing is small (1-5 drops). This is the easiest method to discovering how cannabis works in your body.

Creams, Lotions & Patches – Topical Methods

One last method of medicating with cannabis is topical. Creams, lotions, patches and oils can be applied to affected areas. If you are suffering from neuropathy from cancer or nerve damage, for example, you may want to wipe a cream or lotion onto your skin for relief.

Patients with back injuries may want to try patches on their back to administer the active chemical compounds found in cannabis directly on the source of pain. Skin cancer patients may also want to try placing the oil on the affected area, as directed by their physician. There is very little “high” effect from topical treatments. Patients concerned about getting high while medicating with cannabis may want to try this method first.

Getting Legal

Do you still need to get a medical marijuana card in your state? Our support team can help get you started! Give us a call at 1-877-242-0362 and our staff can assist you with any questions you may have about medical cannabis, or obtaining your state marijuana card. Getting legal is easy, so call us today.