Were you approved for a medical cannabis treatment but you aren’t sure what form is best for you? You might be asking yourself: What are the best and healthiest ways to consume medical marijuana? There are three different forms of this medication. Discover how each one can work for you.
This is the form most people are familiar with, whether they use this drug or not. Patients receive the actual buds, which they can vape or smoke. For those who are already smokers, smoking dried marijuana will likely feel natural, presenting no lifestyle change. Those who don’t smoke and prefer not to start—even for medication, may want to consider another form instead.
Dried marijuana moves from the lungs into the bloodstream to provide instant relief, which is a preferred feeling for some patients. The millions of alveoli inside the lungs are surrounded by tiny blood vessels, called capillaries. When cannabis is inhaled, it passes from the alveoli to the capillaries, directly entering the bloodstream and hitting the body’s central nervous system.
The downside of smoking marijuana is its short-term effect: It provides only an hour or so of relief. If that isn’t long enough, you may want to consider another form for a longer window of pain relief.
Cannabis oil has many health benefits. It’s a great alternative for patients because you don’t have to smoke it—and a dropper makes it easy to count daily doses.
Oil takes a longer journey. It makes a pitstop at the liver before entering the bloodstream. It works in two parts of the body, unlike inhalation, where cannabis enters the bloodstream only.
Patients looking for long-lasting relief should consider cannabis oil. Its effects last anywhere from six to eight hours.
This form of medical marijuana comes in capsule form—patients can be sure it’s an exact dosage of their daily intake. Capsules contain both THC and CBD components, they activate fairly quickly, and they provide long-lasting relief. For some, taking a capsule is as simple as taking a vitamin. It’s easy, it’s ready, and you know exactly what you’re getting.
Like oil, prescription cannabinoids are discreet. Users who prefer not to make their authorization publicly known will appreciate the low-key intake method—whether it’s at work or a social event. Additionally, this authorization can be filled at a local pharmacy, instead of a licensed producer. Some patients will appreciate the convenience involved in obtaining this medication.
Prescription cannabinoids are highly regulated. Sativex is one common prescription that’s been approved in Canada. It’s made from whole plant extracts of the cannabis plant. Not all prescription forms are made this way—some are synthetic versions of THC. Previous forms, such as Marinol and dronabinol, are no longer manufactured or for sale in Canada. You’ll have to discuss brands with your doctor to find one that’s right for you.
At the end of the day, it’s your choice to decide which form you’re most comfortable with. Consider how it needs to be taken, how fast you want to feel relief, and how long you want that relief to last. To find out more about which kind of marijuana is right for you, speak to the healthcare professionals at Aleafia Health.