This method involves smoking the dried leaves or flowers of the cannabis plant. It can be rolled using paper, packed in pipes or placed in water pipes. The effects are felt almost immediately after inhalation, making it easy for the patient to gauge how much they actually need. Depending on the patient and the strain of cannabis used, effects can last anywhere between 90 minutes to 4 hours. Smoking, although effective is not always the healthiest form of medicating.
Vaporizing is considered a healthier alternative to smoking. A vaporizing device heats up the medicine at a low temperature (instead of burning it) extracting the cannabinoids. There are different devices on the market that range from large vaporizers to handheld. Many patients enjoy this method because they are able to achieve the same effect from smoking without the discomfort and harshness on the throat.
Concentrates are created using a solvent to eliminate all plant matter and extract the resin glands from the plant. The solvent is comprised of H2O, CO2, butane, alcohol, etc. The solution is then strained and purged, removing dangerous solvents from the product. This has become a popular form of medicating. This may not be recommended for very fragile and sick patients as it can be very strong and is not the purest form of medicating.
Cannabis can be infused into butters and oils and then cooked or baked into food. Unlike, smoking and vaporizing, edibles can take up to 90 minutes to take effect and last much longer. It is important to start slowly and talk to the bud tender about the amount of medicine in each edible. Due to it’s slower process, over-medication can be an issue with patients because some are inclined to increase the dosage prematurely. While over-medicating cannabis isn’t dangerous, it’s always best to listen to your medical professional.