METHODS OF CANNABIS INGESTION
“Inhalation is the fastest method of delivery to the consumer. Most consumers prefer using marijuana this way. When a consumer inhales marijuana, the majority of cannabinoids enter the body through the lungs where they are passed along directly into the consumer’s blood stream. The effect is almost instantaneous. For some people who use marijuana medicinally, this makes inhalation is very effective--similar to the use of an inhaler for an asthma attack. In a 2007 study in the Journal of Chemistry and Biodiversity, subjects who consumed cannabis via inhalation reported feeling the effects of the medication within minutes, with peak effects around the hour mark and total duration of effects around two hours. Another benefit to inhalation is the ability to easily titrate one’s dose, making overconsumption less likely. However, it is important to note that there can be significant variation in these times due to factors, such as cannabinoid content, depth and length of inhalation (a.k.a. smoking style), and previous marijuana exposure (tolerance).” Drugpolicy.org
SMOKING: Smoking cannabis involves burning the flowers and inhaling the active components of the plant that are released and contain some carcinogens.
VAPING: Vaporizing cannabis involves heating the flower to a temperature at which the active ingredients in the plant are released as vapor that is inhaled by the consumer. This method eliminates the harshness often felt in the throat and lungs with traditional smoking.
Edibles are food products infused with Cannabis to add THC and CBD. Traditional avenues for edibles have typically been brownies or other pastry types. In today’s cannabis world, this has expanded to include just about any cooking method that the consumer would like. Many cooking oils can be infused and used to brown, batter, and yes… bake. There are a wide variety of standard “dessert options” such as cookies, bars, and cheesecake bites. While there are many pros to be excited about, edibles have a few cons as well. Packaging labels are required to have percentage levels of THC and CBD on their levels but they are harder to gauge than the labels on the flower. Edibles are notoriously stronger and longer lasting than inhaled methods. Once eaten, only about 20% of cannabinoids are effectively used and this method is not an option for those using cannabis to treat digestive issues.
Sublingual applications are becoming more popular as an option for those with digestive and pulmonary ailments. These applications include oils and tinctures that are properly dosed and administered in the mouth or under the tongue. The mouth has a plethora of shallow blood vessels that quickly absorb and provide relief in as little as 30 seconds. This is ideal for those with severe ailments who require instantaneous relief such as severe pain or nausea. Tinctures can contain the same THC and CBD as any other traditional method of ingestion while also providing the discretion needed for public consumption.
Topical applications include lotions, patches, creams, salves, and oils. This method involves application directly to skin and/or affected area. The cannabinoids are absorbed directly through the skin and capillaries, providing effective relief for such ailments as arthritis, acne, inflammation, and pain. This method is preferred by older consumers for ease of application. The skin absorbs at a slower rate and thus prevents the chance of intoxication or feeling “high” from use.