While cannabis is most commonly smoked, there are numerous ways to receive the therapeutic benefits of marijuana. As our understanding of medical cannabis grows, there will be an increased variety of cannabis products to choose from. Here is a quick overview of the most common intake methods. Each method is hyperlinked either to a page within this site or an external link that can provide you additional information about this topic.
(Mobile users can download this table in PDF form)
|Method||Activation Time||Relief Period|
|Inhalation (smoking & vaporizing)||Immediate – 60-90 seconds. Inhalation brings the vapor directly into the Central Nervous System (CNS). Effects can be felt quickly and sometimes increasingly so for up 10-15 minutes before peaking.||45-60 minutes|
|Edibles (food)||60-90 minutes – Because food must go through the digestive track to be metabolized in the liver, it takes longer to activate the benefits. When cannabis is metabolized in the liver it creates a longer lasting and generally more psychotropic affect. People who need sustained pain relief but also want to be active will want to experiment with dosing to establish their tolerance. It is smart to start slowly. Also keep in mind that if you are using edibles for sustained pain relief, it is good to try to utilize cannabis that has a higher CBD content.||6-9 hours|
|Tinctures||Can be taken either under the tongue or swallowed. Tinctures taken under the tongue enter the CNS more quickly but not quite as quickly as smoking. Swallowing the tincture is very similar to an edible in terms of activation time and relief period.||2-9 hours|
|Oils||Cannabis oils provide an entirely different experience. They are generally used in very small doses to start and then are scaled up either as a daily preventative or for 60-90 days as a curative for certain ailments. The oils are delivering highly concentrated amounts of cannabinoids to the body. Much more research is needed to understand how to use oils effectively, however the anecdotal evidence is strong. Realm of Caring and Rick Simpson’s website Phoenix Tears have excellent information about cannabis oils.Dr. Bob Melamede, President of Cannabis Science says that the nutritional supplement “citicholine” also known as “choline CDP” when taken at 5 times the dose of cannabis will mitigate the unwanted side effects, most notably extreme psycho-activity. For example if someone takes, consumes 15 milligrams of THC they would also take 75 milligrams of citicholine to mitigate or reduce cannabis intoxication. This is especially useful for those using cannabis oil to try to change disease progression. Ancient texts also mention pistachio and lemon as helping dampen negative side effects.||NA|
|Topical Applications||We are working on this one. Visit again soon.||NA|
|Raw Juice||Raw cannabis juice is intended to work more like a dietary supplement that one would use daily or several times a day. Because it has not been heated there is no psychoactive effect.||NA|
|Pharmaceuticals (Marinol, Sativex)||Dranabinol or the branded version Marinol can be prescribed by your doctor. This is the synthetic version of THC taken in a pill form. It is prescribed to control nausea and vomiting in cancer patients and as an appetite stimulant in AIDS patients. It will take 45 minutes to an hour to start to work. Sativex is the only drug made from whole plant extracts made from the cannabis plant. It is currently in Phase III clinical trials in the U.S. and approved in the UK, Canada and 18 European countries. It is effective in treating spasticity in M.S. patients and neuropathic pain in cancer patients. It is active the system within 15 minutes.||Dranabinol 6-36 hoursSativex 45 min – 2 hrs|
How to Make a Small Batch of Rick Simpson Oil
This is an excellent video on how to make small-batch high-concentrated cannabis oil.