There are a number of conditions that medical marijuana can be used to treat, from glaucoma to chronic pain. And in Nevada, all that you need is your medical marijuana card to be able to buy it from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas.
Whilst when most people imagine consuming marijuana to be done in a smoking form, among many myths about cannabis, there are other ways that you can consume it meaning that you don’t have to smoke it if you don’t want to. The idea of smoking anything – be it a cigarette or anything else can be off putting to many people but their wish to not smoke shouldn’t be impeding their chance to benefit from the help that medical marijuana can give them.
So, what other methods are there of consuming medical cannabis?
‘Vaping’ or Vaporising
When you consume via ‘vaping’ you will have a vaporizer which you first heat up, then add a small amount of the dried cannabis flower, or extract. The heat will allow the medical compounds to be released, and you then press the button and inhale. You can buy vaporizers in a number of different shapes and sizes – from larger home units to pens which can be slipped into your pocket.
You don’t need to hold the vapour in, doesn’t have the smell that smoking does and is much less harmful than smoking. Vaporisers, however, can be expensive and need to be charged, and of course they do need time to warm up before they can be used.
We all know someone with a story about how they fed their dad brownies with a ‘special’ recipe. Actually consuming medical marijuana through edibles is the most common method for consuming by children and the elderly. The world of edibles has come a long way over the last few years, and there is now a wide range of different, delicious products available, including cookies, crackers, nut mixes, cakes, chocolate bars, chewy bars, even olive oil.
This is a great option, especially for those who don’t want to inhale or for the elderly or children to encourage them to take their medication. It is great for long lasting relief, you can make the dosage very precise, and of course, it is a delicious treat as well!
On the down side it can take a little while to ‘kick in’, it can have different effects than smoking, and of course, you will need to lock them up away from hungry children and pets.
The dosage will be different from that from smoking as well. They can also vary depending on your age, metabolism, weight and experience, so you should be administering your dosage with your doctor.
Another popular method with children is the sub-lingual spray – where a substance including the cannabinoids is mixed with alcohol, coconut oil or MCT oil and sprayed under the tongue. It doesn’t hurt the lungs, and gives you dosage control down to very small quantities, and doesn’t have a strong taste.
Whilst the effect of sub-lingual sprays kicks in faster than edibles, it still isn’t as fast as smoking. This can also be rather expensive for people who use a high dosage of cannabinoids.
Those who use this method swear by it, but for others using cannabis suppositories can be uncomfortable or embarrassing. A cone shaped suppository made from cannabis extract is inserted into the rectum and the effect happens quickly and lasts a long time – as it is the most effect way to digest.
It can be a little awkward to apply however and the capsules need to be kept refrigerated. You are also limited to the pre-defined dosage quantity.
For those with skin complaints, arthritis, eczema, skin allergies, burns, muscle soreness, joint pains etc. there are topical solutions that can applied, through creams, lotions, oils etc. This means that your body will get the medicinal benefits of marijuana, but without the ‘high’.
Topical solutions are good for localised pain, but does not help cancer, glaucoma, PTSD or epilepsy, and doesn’t give any sort of ‘euphoric’ feeling. There is no real dosage, but you should definitely try to find something that is suited to your particular problem.
The medicinal benefits of medical marijuana are well known, and just because you don’t want to smoke, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy them. This is especially important for children and older people, so other options such as vaping, edibles and topical solutions are great alternatives.
Thanks so much to our Guest Blogger Gracie Evans!
Gracie Evans is a freelance writer focused on medical marijuana and its health effects. She has been writing in this space after graduating from UNLV School of Medicine. Her main goal is to share her knowledge with people with medical conditions marijuana can help treat.
A big thank you to Elsa Olofsson for our blog cover photo