As legalization for medical and recreational marijuana use continues to evolve in state legislatures, patients and consumers are now confronted with several distinct options when it comes to consumption.
The human body is able to absorb cannabis compounds through the digestive and respiratory system, as well as most mucous membranes. Choosing an ingestion method is often a matter of preference, but this decision does impact the way chemicals are absorbed and processed.
Combustion and Inhalation
Combustion with raw plant material and a lighter has been a conventional way to consume marijuana for centuries.
There are many different ways to accomplish this, including wrapping cannabis into a paper joint or using a pipe. While this method is generally effective, it’s distinct disadvantages include a pungent smell and health risks.
Anyone with a respiratory condition should talk to a medical expert before smoking any kind of cannabis.
There are dozens of different types of vaporizer products designed specifically for use with marijuana.
Many cannabis stores carry portable units that fit into the palm of your hand as well as larger ones that require constant connection with a wall outlet.
This method of inhalation is similar to combustion in efficacy and speed, but generally places less stress on sensitive lungs and produces minimal lingering odor by comparison.
Some vaporizers require specialized cartridges or liquid, while others are compatible with raw cannabis flowers.
Patients and consumers who find ingesting cannabis through inhalation to be overwhelming or unpleasant often turn to edible products.
This method places no stress on the lungs, so it’s often a preferable choice for those suffering from respiratory health conditions or allergies.
The active compounds in cannabis can be infused into almost any kind of food, but common items include desserts, snacks and candies that can be easily preserved.
Tinctures and Ointments
Tinctures are typically less common than edibles but have the benefit of being easy to store and use.
As a liquid of concentrated cannabis compounds, tinctures can be applied directly under the tongue or added to food and beverage throughout the day. People using cannabis for skin conditions or joint pain may also target these areas with a topical ointment.
With so many ways to consume cannabis, it’s easy for newcomers to get stuck before they even get started.
While recreational consumers can experiment freely, medical patients should talk to their doctor about choosing an appropriate method before they make a purchase.