Medical marijuana can be consumed in various ways resulting in slightly different effects, such as the length of time to take effect and the length effectiveness.
The most traditional method of consuming medical marijuana has been to smoke dried flowers and leaves of the plant in a pipe, as a rolled cigarette or through a water pipe.
Pro: Smoking marijuana provides a rapid and effective method of delivery
Con: Smoking marijuana has the potential to cause lung cancer and burning of the throat
Vaporizers allow patients to separate cannabinoids from plant matter without inhaling smoke. Vaporizing is a healthier alternative to smoking because it diminishes the potential of causing lung cancer and burning of the throat. Vaporizing is an effective method of delivery, but patients must exercise caution when vaporizing and wait a few minutes to feel the full effects before inhaling more marijuana.
Pro: Vaporizing marijuana is a healthier method of consumption than smoking
Con: Vaporizers are more expensive than other methods of consumption
Marijuana-infused edible strips that dissolve directly on your tongue resulting in a smoke-free delivery method
Pro: Cannastrips can be used anywhere and provide immediate pain relief
Con: Cannastrips have a bitter taste
Marijuana-infused food products are a great method of consumption. Although edibles can take longer to take effect, they result in a longer effect than smoking or vaporizing. When taken on an empty stomach, edibles will take effect faster than ingestion immediately following a meal. As with vaporizing, using edibles requires caution until the patient feels the full effect of the marijuana as it is difficult to predict how strong an edible will be for any particular patient. Examples of edible forms are:
- Sweets, such as cookies, brownies, cakes and candies
- Savory dishes including sauces, meat and chicken dishes
- Butter, oil and honey infused with marijuana can be substituted in recipes, ingested in capsules or mixed with honey into tea or other foods
- Tinctures are alcohol-infused solutions used by dropping directly under the tongue or mixed into liquids
Pro: Edibles are a tasty method of consumption that offers a wide variety of recipes
Cons: Using edibles as your delivery method results in about a one-hour delay to take effect
As with any drug, marijuana works differently for every patient. Effectiveness depends on dosage and method of consumption. Some patients use only small amounts of marijuana for relief while others require more.