Education

Learn About Consumption

These days, a wide variety of consumption methods exist.  Traditionally, cannabis is smoked in either a pipe-type instrument or rolled in paper and smoked like a cigarette (a joint).  Oral ingestion (eating cannabis-infused foods) has also been a traditional consumption method in many cultures.

Different Methods

Recently, with advancements in extraction technologies, a new form of concentrated resin has been developed as well as concentrated forms of cannabis oils that can be ingested orally, mixed with topical lotions and applied to the skin, or vaporized and inhaled – smoking the flower is no longer the only method; you can truly take a pill that contains a very precise and consistent dose of medication, i.e. a pill with 5mg of THC and 5mg of CBD.

Smoking or vaporizing and inhaling through the lungs (joints, pipes, and vaporizers).

The cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the flower as oil and then either ingested as-is, combined with another medium like food, or processed into pills, gel caps and other traditionally-seen medicinal forms that can enable very precise and controlled dosing experiences (edible baked goods, pills, capsules and tinctures).

The extracted oil is combined with another medium. The finished product is kept in the mouth while it dissolves under the tongue, on the tongue or through the inner cheek (mints, lozenges and breath strips).

The extracted oil is combined with a product that is applied to the skin (lotion, ointments and transdermal patches).

Effects

Cannabis affects everyone differently. Different strains and methods of consumption give users different effects. And new users generally feel different effects than more experienced users.

Effects can vary — some people don’t feel anything at all the first time they try cannabis. For the most part, the experience tends to be kind of relaxing and a little euphoric. Some people can become more outgoing and social. However, others find cannabis makes them tired, anxious or even paranoid.

It is very important to proceed with consuming medical cannabis cautiously and with respect for its efficacy – start slow with a low dosage and see how it affects you.  Keep track of your dosing, type of product and the feelings that it provided – this will help you better understand how cannabis can best work for you.

Types of Cannabis

Entourage effect

When a variety of cannabis compounds are combined, their effects may be altered or enhanced. The flavors and psychoactive capacities may also be affected, creating distinct products with varying characteristics.

According to its advocates, the group dynamics of the entourage effect can create emergent properties that would otherwise not be present in pure THC or CBD. Many who work closely with cannabis believe the entourage effect can dramatically increase the medicinal utility of THC and CBD, either by magnifying their known effects or by expanding their menu of therapeutic applications.

How Long Does It Take For an Edible to Take Effect?

The most important thing to remember is that each person can be different – start low and go slow.  The metabolism of the person plays a large role in the amount of time it takes for an edible to take effect. Traditionally, it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours or longer.

The effects generally peak up to four hours after eating or drinking cannabis, so it’s best to wait at least that long before consuming more. In most places, 5-10mg is considered to be a dose – which may be just right for some, too much or not enough for others. Take your time and learn what’s right for you, and always pay attention to the label for dosing and recommended serving size.

The therapeutic effects of cannabis compounds arise from their capacity to bind with naturally occurring endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. The human endocannabinoid system is designed to link with endogenous cannabinoids produced by the body, but compounds found in cannabis plants can bind with these receptors just as efficiently.

Health benefits abound when high-quality medicinal cannabis is consumed by humans. The entourage effect may be one of the reasons why marijuana is such an effective medicine.