When it comes to using medical marijuana, there are a variety of different methods patients can use to consume the medicine. And with new methods and products constantly emerging, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Here's a quick guide to some of the most popular MMJ consumption methods, as well as some information about medical cannabis, so you can make an informed decision about which application method is best for your needs.
What Is MMJ?
Medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, is a therapeutic or medicinal preparation of the Cannabis sativa plant. It can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions and symptoms, including pain, nausea, and lack of appetite.
Unfortunately, cannabis use is often stigmatized, in part due to the Controlled Substances Act. This federal law categorizes marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, alongside drugs that have no accepted medical use and have a high potential for drug abuse.
Luckily, this is slowly changing. Medical cannabis use has been legalized in many states, including Pennslyvania and West Virginia, via state medical marijuana laws. Moreover, marijuana may soon be rescheduled at the federal level, potentially allowing for changes to more state medical cannabis laws, as well.
The National Cancer Institute tracks clinical trials about the use of the marijuana plant for medical use, including one with lung cancer patients, as does the National Institute of Drug Abuse. As medical cannabis or cannabinoids like CBD become more readily and legally available, more research is able to be done into their potential therapeutic benefits.
What Are The Benefits of Medical Cannabinoids?
There are many medicinal purposes for the cannabis plant. In Pennslyvania, medical marijuana is approved for use by those who suffer from:
- Anxiety disorders (including posttraumatic stress disorder)
- Crohn's disease
- Treatment-resistant epilepsy
- Other seizure disorders
- Severe pain or chronic pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neuropathic pain
- Cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Some other medical conditions
In West Virginia, the list of conditions is shorter, but still includes cancer, Crohn's disease, epilepsy, PTSD, and severe or chronic pain.
In short, the cannabis-derived compounds found in MMJ are useful tools for pain management and pain relief, as well as for treating certain other medical conditions.
Vaping & Smoking
MMJ vapes are perhaps some of the most popular cannabis products. When inhaled, cannabis compounds are rapidly absorbed by the lungs and enter the bloodstream, providing almost immediate relief from symptoms.
Vaping is a great option for those who want fast-acting relief, as well as for those who don't want to smoke cannabis. Smoking can be harsh on the lungs, and many people prefer not to do it for this reason. Vaping is also much more discreet than smoking, in part because it doesn't produce the tell-tale smell of cannabis.
There are a few things to keep in mind when vaping MMJ. First, make sure you're using a high-quality vape pen. Cheap vape pens can be made with sub-par materials that can be harmful to your health. Second, start with a low dose and increase it as needed. It's easy to inhale too much when vaping, and you don't want to end up feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable.
Topicals are another popular form of MMJ. They're applied directly to the skin, and they work by being absorbed through the skin and into the body. They often appear as creams, lotions, ointments, salves, oils, and patches.
Topicals are a great option for those who want localized relief from pain or other symptoms. For instance, a topical cream might be best for a person with joint pain, whereas a person using MMJ for anxiety may not get as much relief this way.
One thing to keep in mind with topicals is that they can take a bit longer to work than other forms of MMJ. This is because they have to be absorbed through the skin, which can take some time. Start with a small amount and give it a little while to see how you respond.
Tinctures are another popular form of MMJ. They're typically made by steeping cannabis in high-proof alcohol, which extracts the cannabinoids from the plant material. The resulting liquid is then taken orally, usually by dropping it under the tongue.
Tinctures offer a few advantages over other forms of MMJ. First, they're very easy to dose. Second, they can be a good choice for those who don't want to (or can't) inhale cannabis smoke or vapor. Third, they offer fast-acting relief since the cannabinoids are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the blood vessels in the tongue.
One thing to keep in mind with tinctures is that they can be quite potent. Start with a low dose and increase it as needed. It's also important to be careful when using tinctures since the high-proof alcohol can be dangerous if swallowed.
Edible cannabis products are perhaps the most popular form of MMJ. They're easy to find, they come in a wide variety of flavors and dosages, and they offer long-lasting relief.
When it comes to edibles, it's important to remember that they can take a while to kick in. This is because they have to be digested before the cannabinoids can be absorbed into the bloodstream. For this reason, it's important to start with a low dose and wait at least an hour to see how you respond before taking more.
Edibles are a great option for those who want long-lasting relief from symptoms. Just be sure to exercise caution when dosing, as it can be easy to accidentally eat too much.
Visit Recovery Care Today
At Recovery Care, we believe that everyone deserves access to high-quality MMJ. That's why our Care Pharmacy offers a variety of MMJ products, including vape pens, topicals, tinctures, and edibles.
If you're not sure which form of MMJ is right for you, our team can help. We'll take the time to understand your unique needs and recommend the best possible solution.
Schedule an appointment or visit our Care Pharmacy online today. We look forward to helping you get the relief you need!