What’s your favorite way to consume?
There are many ways in which a person can consume cannabis: smoking, vaporizing, oral, sublingual, topical preparations. Each method has variables to consider and produces different effects. Additionally, depending on the manner of consumption, the amount of active ingredients needed to achieve the desired effect can vary from method to method.
Smoking is probably the most common and popular method for consuming cannabis. The onset of effects are usually rapid, reaching peak effects in 3-10 minutes. THC is absorbed in the lungs and breaks the blood brain barrier there, and peak effects can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes or several hours depending on your level of tolerance. While smoking cannabis does carry with it the negative effects of breathing in burning material, it is still much different than smoking cigarettes. Studies have shown less incidence of lung cancer among cigarette smokers who also consume cannabis. Worth noting is 40% of the active ingredients in cannabis are lost in side stream, or combustion – a maximum of 27% remaining active ingredients can then be absorbed by the body. Meaning that 1gram of 10% THC would allow the patient to absorb up to 16.3 mg of THC.
Is Medical Cannabis right for me?
As anecdotal and scientific information has begun to become more abundant and deliberated over, Medical Cannabis has been brought to the forefront of our daily lives. More and more states begin to legalize cannabis for medical use. We are up to 29 states and counting, many states have the proposition on their ballot for this coming year. A few have even taken the step and legalized cannabis for adult recreational use. So that breeds the question, Is Medical Cannabis right for me?
As much as I would like to say always 100% yes, the reality is that this is a medicine and should be considered in such a light. Frank and in-depth conversations should be had with a doctor knowledgeable in the cannabis field. These conversations are necessary to give a potential patient an understanding of how medical cannabis works, and what they can expect. You wouldn’t go to CVS and grab some Tylenol off the shelf and just start taking it willy nilly your first time. The same should be said of cannabis. While cannabis has rather innocuous side effects and has never been medically linked to any deaths, caution should still be advised. We wouldn’t want a new patient to over consume, not enjoy or get the relief they seek and then write medical cannabis off all together.
Safe Consumption and Practices
We have all had that friends or heard the anecdotal story of someone consuming cannabis in one of its various forms and have a bad time. The “high” was disorienting or they were unable to function in their normal capacity. I’m hear to tell you that is not the typical experience of a medical cannabis patient.
Most negative reactions stemming from cannabis consumption are due to over consumption. Everyone should always consult with their physician before consuming cannabis, there are medical conditions and other drug interactions that can also lead up to unwanted effects when coupled with cannabis consumption. With that being said Medical cannabis is an alternative medication to your typical pharmaceuticals that usually have no to minimal side effects. Anxiety and increased heart rate are among the most common negative effects. Most symptoms or side effects can be mediated by remaining calm, taking deep calming breaths and drinking some water.
The Endocannabinoid System- The system by which our body interacts with Cannabinoids