There are many ways to ingest medical cannabis, and patients may find that one method is more adapted than another for their specific needs. Effects will vary with each method. Patient should determine which method is best for them.
Smoking Medical Cannabis
Historically, the most traditional form of ingestion has been smoking the dried flowers or leaves of the cannabis plant. The effects of smoking dried cannabis are felt almost immediately. Depending on the individual patient and potency of the cannabis strain, effects will wear off almost completely within ninety minutes to four hours. Regularly smoking any plant material, including cannabis for health reasons, can have a negative impact, which is why Zegreenlab recommends patients use vaporizers or edible forms of medicinal cannabis whenever possible.
Vaporizing Medical Cannabis
A vaporizer is a device that is able to extract the therapeutic ingredients in the cannabis plant material, known as cannabinoids, at a much lower temperature than required for burning. This allows patients to inhale the active ingredients as vapor instead of smoke. Many patients say that half as much herbal medicine will provide twice the effect when vaporized.
Edible Medical Cannabis
Cannabis can be infused into butter or oil that is then cooked in food. Edibles, as they are typically called, usually take longer to take effect than smoking or vaporizing, often twenty minutes to an hour or more. Doses can be difficult to judge, so it is recommended to consult a specialist to avoid over-medication. In general, the therapeutic effects from eating cannabis last much longer than other consumption methods, often up to four hours or more, and then slowly begin to wear off.
Topical Medical Cannabis
Topical herbal medicines are applied directly to the skin or muscles. They include lotions, salves, balms, sprays, oils, and creams. Patients report they are tremendously effective for skin conditions like psoriasis, joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, restless leg syndrome, some spasms, and everyday muscle stress and soreness.
Tinctures (Oil Concentrate)
A tincture is an extract of the active molecules of medical cannabis. Tinctures are highly concentrated and require careful dosage levels, starting out with a few drops and gradually increasing the dosage. They can be taken under the tongue or mixed into water or other beverages.