How Smoking Cannabis Works

Photo Credit: The Drug Policy Alliance

Photo Credit: The Drug Policy Alliance

When one thinks of using marijuana, the first thought that pops into someone's mind is smoking. The most popular and most traditional method of cannabis consumption usually involves the inhalation of marijuana. When heat is applied to cannabis, a process called decarboxylation occurs, turning the acidic precursor THC-A into the well known cannabinoid THC. THC is known for its psychoactive properties, but the cannabinoid can also be effective in treating certain symptoms for medical marijuana patients. One reason medical marijuana patients prefer smoking their medication is because they're sure to experience a rapid onset of relief. When cannabinoids are inhaled, the lungs absorb them almost immediately. The cannabinoids are then transferred to the heart where they are pumped to the brain and other organs of the body so they can bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

While smoking is most commonly associated with marijuana intake, there are other vehicles available to cannabis consumers. A similar but healthier way to consume marijuana is through vaporization. For a medical marijuana patient who suffers from an illness in the first place and needs to monitor his or her health, we recommend vaporization technology. Vaporization also involves applying heat to the plant and inhaling its cannabinoids, so the onset of therapeutic relief is just as rapid and effective as smoking the medication. Because cannabinoids are inhaled in the form of vapor and not in the form of smoke, patients can experience rapid relief without inhaling toxins that have a harmful effect on the lungs. In a peer-reviewed research study published in 2004 in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Dr. Dale Gieringer of NORML found vapor was completely void of three toxins that were present in smoking: the carcinogen benzene, toluene, and napthalene. 

Whatever is your preferred method of medical marijuana intake, we'd like to know! Don't forget to document which vehicle works for your specific symptoms in the journaling section of our app. This information has been brought to you by Whaxy, and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.