Cannabis Products & How To Use Them

Vivek Bajnath, RPh, MBA
November 12, 2022
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With the laws of cannabis allowing more people to use this plant medicine in many states, there are many questions from people who are unfamiliar with weed.People have mostly heard about how others smoke it or seen people smoking it in movies and music videos. There are many ways to consume cannabis like edible or topical usage. Let’s explore them so you can figure out what will work best for you. Before using any, it’s advisable to discuss your individual needs with a medical professional or a Care Consultant at SweetGrass.


Many people think of smoking as the primary way of using cannabis. This is the way most people think about when hearing about how to use weed. Cigarette forms of cannabis were used to treat asthma, since the effect of inhaling cannabis was to open the airway. Inhaling has the primary advantage of allowing a patient to easily adjust the dose for the most benefit, and the effects are almost immediate. The medication is taken into the lungs and quickly go into the blood to produce its effect. The effects of inhaled cannabis will last approximately four hours. Marijuana can be inhaled by smoking or vaporization. Let’s find out more about it.


Patients can smoke raw cannabis in several forms. The“joint” or cigarette form (hand-rolled or machine-rolled) is the most common among recreational users, but cannabis can be smoked using a pipe or bong(water pipe) as well. Smoking by joint is the least effective because much of the medication goes up in smoke as the cigarette burns. Smoking small amounts using a pipe is more effective, and the use of a bong can cool the smoke so that it is less irritating to the throat and lungs.  It is important to note that chronic smoking of marijuana, as with cigarettes, can affect the lungs over time.


Rather than burning the plant and inhaling smoke, cannabis can be heated in a vaporizer (aka vape), much like a nebulizer treatment common in hospitals. Today there are many vapes on the market ranging in cost, size, shape, and effectiveness. There are home models and smaller portable models that patients can use when traveling. The better models have digital temperature controls that allow the user to control heating, depending on the type of cannabis being used.


Sublingual (Under The Tongue) Delivery

The sublingual (under the tongue) or oromucosal (in the mouth) delivery method of an oil or tincture provides fast-acting way to use cannabis. Tinctures are taken using a dropper under the tongue, and within a few minutes the patient will feel the effects. Other tinctures may be in a spray container and sprayed in the mouth, which goes directly into the blood.Many patients who never smoked cigarettes are more comfortable with this delivery method.


Oral Consumption (Pills, Liquid, Edibles, etc)

Taking cannabis by mouth in pill form or swallowed as a liquid has both benefits and drawbacks. Since the cannabinoids are fat-soluble, the proper dosing and effects are different from person to person.  It can take 30 minutes to an hour to feel the effects.  The advantage of the oral route is that it will last much longer, so a patient does not have to take it as frequently.

In addition to pills and liquids, many dispensaries offer edible cannabis products “edibles”, such as tea, brownies, gummies, cookies, ice cream, and even cannabis butter. As a caution, patients can easily overdose on edibles, leading to side effects such as dizziness and even extreme nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually go away in a few hours. Take caution to keep these locked up and far away from children. They won't know the difference between a medical cookie and a normal one or a cannabis candy and a regular sugar one.

It may take 30 minutes to an hour to start to feel an effect, and up to 2 hours to feel the maximum effect.  For these reasons, it is very important to receive  proper guidance from experts in the dispensary to ensure safe dosing and product choices. 


On the skin

Cannabis can be applied externally as a topical ointment, lotion, or poultice directly onto the area of the body that needs it. It may be used for skin inflammation, arthritis, or muscle pains. The goal is for the medication to be absorbed at the specific location being treated.

With all these options, it can get confusing what to use. Consult a Care Consultant or a medical professional to help you decide what is best for you.

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Vivek Bajnath, RPh, MBA
Vivek Bajnath, RPh, MBA
Managing Partner

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