Ways to Consume Medical Marijuana
Consuming medical marijuana is not quite the same as taking a pill for a headache. Marijuana is a plant with a complex chemical make up. When grown in a lab, marijuana can be bred for consistency, but there are still variations from plant to plant.
The other side of the equation is the delivery method. There are many ways to consume marijuana. Each one has it benefits and detractions, and no two ways deliver the same dosage in the same way. Using marijuana for its medicinal value can be complicated.
Once you achieve the desired affects, however, you will be happy there are so many variations. With some patience and experimentation, you can find the type of marijuana and the means of consumption that gives you the biggest benefit for your unique situation.
We cover each in more detail below, but the main ways to consume medical marijuana are:
- Transdermal Patches
- Eating Raw Cannabis
- Infused Beverages
How to Take Medical Marijuana
Before you begin taking medical marijuana, it helps to know a little about it. A marijuana doctor will make recommendations for your specific situation, but you will still have some latitude to decide what works best for you. A better understanding of the chemicals you are dealing with will make medical marijuana less intimidating for you.
There are three main varieties of cannabis plants: indica, ruderalis and sativa. Most of the cannabis grown today is a hybrid of cannabis indica and cannabis sativa. In addition, the plant breeders who are developing the seeds create thousands of variations.
While all medical marijuana provides similar benefits, the specific effects of sativa and indica are somewhat different from each other.
Indica benefits include:
- Reduced nausea
- Inflammation reduction
- Relaxed muscles
- Cloudy thinking
Sativa benefits include:
- Increased energy
- Increased appetite
- Mood elevation
- Nausea relief
- Clarity and focus
Hybrid forms of cannabis offer a cross-section of benefits. Most include reduced nausea and increased relaxation. When the dose is too high, however, some of the cannabis benefits turn into negatives, including increased anxiety, insomnia or paranoia.
Various cannabis hybrids are bred to isolate different cannabinoids for their specific affects. THC was the first compound discovered in cannabis, and it has the most psychoactive affects. Other compounds have been isolated and determined to provide therapeutic benefits without the high.
For medicinal marijuana, it is important that the various effects of cannabis can be separated. Here are some of the compounds found in marijuana and their effects:
- CBD – Probably the most important compound in marijuana for medical purposes, CBD relieves nausea and anxiety, and it reduces inflammation and frequency and severity of convulsions.
- CBC – This one causes a mild sedative affect and combines with THC to relieve pain.
- THC – THC relieves pain and inflammation while acting as a sleep aid and appetite stimulant.
- THCV – One of the newer discoveries, this compound could help with metabolic disorders and type 2 diabetes.
- CBN – This compound is helpful in reducing pressure in the eyes associated with glaucoma and the frequency of seizures. It also delivers a mild high.
- CBG – With antimicrobial properties and a sedative effect, this compound also lowers pressure in the eyes from glaucoma.
Breeders try to adjust their hybrids to balance the amount of certain compounds in each type of cannabis. By making adjustments, they can create medical marijuana that focuses on a particular type of therapy. The goal, of course, is to breed in the best benefits while breeding out the negative side effects.
These variables make each variety of medical cannabis different. The medical marijuana experience is also different for each user. Some of the personal variables that effect the results of cannabis consumption include:
- Mood or mindset
- Amount used
- History of cannabis use
- Method of consumption
With all of the plant variations and these personal variables, there are a lot of opportunities to consume medical marijuana in a way that provides you with the greatest benefits for your condition. If you try medical marijuana therapy and it doesn’t work or it produces side effects you are not comfortable with, you can try other variations until something is successful for you.