As incredible as cannabis is for treating a wide variety of ailments, some of the most popular methods for consuming it are actually not all that safe. However, if you’re not sure how to consume cannabis safely there’s no need to be worried, as there are plenty of safe methods which we’ll touch on later.
Smoking, for instance, has some of the same risks as smoking tobacco as it can introduce a high volume of solid particles into one’s lungs and mucous membranes, increasing the risk of lung, mouth, and throat cancers. It can also be difficult to get a controlled dose by smoking. Even vaping, a method vastly safer than smoking, isn’t completely safe, when considering user error.
For this reason, doctors prescribing medical cannabis will tend to recommend methods that deliver the least risk to the patient while giving a more controlled dose. Some of the safest methods for consuming cannabis include the following:
Medical cannabis products are now widely available as topical solutions in the form of lotions and tincture. Increasingly, they’re also available as personal care items such as shampoo and body wash. The main advantage of topical solutions is that their effects are localized. This can be important if you’re only experiencing pain or other treatable issues in a specific area, and need to be alert enough to drive or operate heavy machinery.
Edibles are the oldest method of consuming cannabis. They are also one of the safest, provided that the doses are controlled correctly. The extreme variety of cannabis edibles that could be made also gives them appeal, especially for people who find smoking or vaping distasteful.
One drawback of edibles is that dosing can be inaccurate if you make them from scratch. Decarboxylating cannabis is essential to be able to extract the active compounds from it, as is binding the active compounds to edible oils. While not impossible to do at home, it can be significant work and isn’t always practical for everyone who needs cannabis edibles. They can also be easy for novices to overdo, as it’s all too easy to make an overly potent batch.
This is one of the reasons why ready-to-use cannabis and hemp oils are often favored for making edibles at home. CBD oils, in particular, are generating a lot of interest in the edibles market because they are able to deliver most of the benefits of traditional medicinal marijuana without the psychoactive effects. Partly for this reason, the market for ready-to-eat edibles has also exploded since the wave of state-level legalization hit the United States in the past few years.
Edibles can also take quite a long time to take effect, as the active compounds have to make it through your digestive system and to your liver before they make it to your bloodstream. This can vary from individual to individual and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.
There are a wide variety of tinctures available that allow a patient to rapidly receive a controlled dose of cannabis through the mucous membranes in the mouth. This is different from edibles as the active compounds directly enter the bloodstream through your mouth tissues, rather than through your digestive tract. To prevent premature swallowing, these tinctures are indicated to be kept under the tongue.
Rectal and vaginal suppositories
These work in much the same way as sublingual cannabis products, entering the bloodstream through mucous membranes in the rectum or vagina. This is typically a very effective method for delivering a controlled dose, as there is less of a chance of user error compared to edibles and sublingual tinctures. However, for obvious reasons, many people would rather not go this route for their medical cannabis dosage.
There’s a wide variety of intake methods suited for every person’s lifestyle and unique situation. If you’re interested in a particular method for consuming cannabis for treating a specific condition, be sure to consult with a medical professional. If you need to find your closest dispensary, be sure to check out weed near me.