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.
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).
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.
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.
Flower refers to the buds, stems, seeds, and leaves that are harvested from the cannabis plant for consumption. Flowers are most often consumed by smoking.
An accumulation of the trichomes, or resin glands, sifted from cannabis flowers with a mesh screen or sieve. Kief is the most potent part of the cannabis plant in terms of cannabinoids with a high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA).
Hash is a cannabis concentrate product composed of compressed or purified preparations of stalked resin glands, called trichomes, from the plant. The resin contains ingredients such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids—but often in higher concentrations than the unsifted or unprocessed cannabis flower.
It is a cannabis concentrate containing many of its resins and terpenes – in particular, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabinoids. There are various extraction methods, most involving a solvent, such as butane or ethanol. Hash oil is usually consumed by smoking, vaporizing or eating. Hash oil may be sold in cartridges used with pen vaporizers. Preparations of hash oil may be solid or colloidal depending on both production method and temperature and are usually identified by their appearance or characteristics. Can vary in consistency from glasslike “shatter” to a soft wax
CO2 extraction is a process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull the desired phytochemicals from a plant. In the world of cannabis, the process pulls all of the essential cannabinoids, terpene oils and waxes out of the plant material. The extraction process creates an amber-colored oil (CO2 oil) which the consumer can vaporize in several different ways.
Live Resin is a type of cannabis concentrate that is produced using a unique technique—freshly harvested cannabis is frozen to a subcritical temperature prior to and throughout the extraction process, skipping the drying and curing phases. Flavorful concentrates due to the high amounts of terpenes
Edibles include products such as cookies, brownies, candies, or beverages that contain cannabis. Typily to edibles and tinctures. Typically take 1-3 hours from time of ingestion to feel effects. Effects can last longer than other consumption methods, up to 8 hours.
Oils containing cannabis usually come in tablets or pill form. They are swallowed or ingested similar to edibles and tinctures. Tends to be usually sticky, dark-Amber potent concentrate commonly consumed by ingesting it. Cannabis oil has high concentrations of THC and CBD making it ideal for a broad range of medical conditions. It releases pleasure hormones, relaxes the mind and induces a sense of calm and relaxation.
Cannabis topicals are typically non-intoxicating, which allows customers to enjoy the plant’s therapeutic effects without THC’s attendant psychoactivity. Typically a lotion or ointment that is applied directly to the body’s surface. Topicals are utilized for fast-acting localized relief of inflammation and pain. This expanding category of cannabis treatments has grown to include transdermal solutions, as well as lubricants, often including essential oils such as clove and wintergreen for added relief.
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.
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.