Ways to Enjoy Cannabis Without Having to Smoke It

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Some patients may want to try cannabis therapy, but may not want to smoke the medicine for fear it may produce harmful effects on the lungs. Luckily, in today’s world, there are various options available to cannabis consumers that don’t involve smoke inhalation. One health-conscious way to inhale cannabis involves vaporization, which heats cannabis at a lower temperature so that it never reaches the point of combustion. Vaporizers come in a variety of sizes and fit into a wide price range to fit your needs. Patients may also look towards consuming cannabis edibles, which infuses foods and drinks with therapeutic cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are absorbed throughout the digestive process, which takes some time to take effect, so it is best to start at a low dose and slowly titrate until the desired relief is reached.

Patients can also take cannabis oils orally in what is known as ingestible oils. These oils are usually contained within capsules or plastic applicators, and like edibles, may take a while to take effect. The cannabis tincture allows patients to consume liquids infused with cannabis extracts and experience the effects in a quicker manner. This is because liquid drops are applied under the tongue, where they immediately enter the blood stream. Tinctures are easy to dose, and come in a variety of flavors, potencies, and cannabinoid profiles. so that they can be catered towards specific needs. If you don’t want to consume or inhale cannabis, you may want to try cannabis topicals, which are applied directly to the skin as a balm or lotion. Topicals are useful for targeted symptom relief, where they can treat localized areas of pain, soreness, and inflammation. Topicals do not produce psychoactive effects.

This information has been provided by Leafly and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cannabis Topicals: A Beginner’s Guide

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Many medical marijuana patients look to cannabis topicals like ointments, creams, and lotions, for symptom relief without any psychoactive side effects. When applied to affected areas of the body, topicals can provide localized pain relief from sore muscles, itchiness from skin conditions like eczema, or joint pain from arthritis. Unlike other methods of ingestion, topicals can target specific areas of the body without affecting others. With topicals, cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin before interacting with the endocannabinoid system. According to Dr. Ethan Russo, MD., both CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in the skin and involved with regulating pain, itching, and inflammation caused by many dermatological conditions. The skin acts as a difficult barrier, so THC is prevented from entering the bloodstream and therefore does not produce the psychoactive effect so commonly associated with marijuana. In fact, one study published in the journal Forensic Science International found THC is not evident in blood or urine tests after consistent use of THC-based topicals.

One study from the University of Bonn's Department of Dermatology and Allergy looked at the uses of topical THC for allergic inflammation, and found cannabinoids should indeed be utilized for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. Another study from 2009 and published in the journal Experimental Dermatology suggested cannabinoids had "immunosuppressive properties and could be considered as potential anti-inflammatory drugs," and that topically administrated cannabis has antiprurity (anti-itching) properties for pain relief. Authors concluded, "On the basis of the current knowledge, therapeutic possibilities of cannabinoid usage in skin diseases seem to be unquestionable... Possibly, in the future, cannabinoids will be widely applied to treat pruritus, inflammatory skin diseases and even skin cancers.”

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Cannabis Tinctures: Uses, Effects, and Recipes

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Patients who are new to medical marijuana may not know about all of the different methods of intake available to them. These different vehicles of administration can make all the difference when it comes to figuring out the optimal dosing regimen for symptom relief. One method of intake that is popular among patients who need to dose frequently throughout their day is the cannabis tincture, which is a concentrated liquid form of marijuana. Tinctures are created by soaking cannabis in alcohol, which extracts the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant and infuses the alcohol. Patients most commonly place a few drops of tincture beneath the tongue, which allows the body to absorb the medicine in as little as 15 minutes. Their effects can last up to five hours. Tinctures can also be combined with other food or beverages and ingested, but this method takes longer to go in effect.

The medicinal benefits of a cannabis tincture depend on the cannabinoid and terpenoid composition of the cannabis strain used to create the liquid. Tinctures afford patients an alternative method of intake that does not involve inhaling the plant, which can be uncomfortable for those with respiratory issues, or eating the medicine, which is difficult for those who suffer from a lack of appetite. Tinctures also offer patients a discreet way for administering their medicine. 

If you're already using or beginning to use the cannabis tincture as part of your dosing regimen, be sure to document your process daily in the journaling section of our app! This will help you to better understand your most effective method for consistent symptom relief. Additionally, the anonymous information you submit will be helpful in informing others who want to try tinctures and don't know where to begin. If you have questions about your dosing process, you can export your information directly to your physician for feedback. This information has been provided in part by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

What are the Best and Healthiest Ways to Consume Medical Marijuana?

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

For new medical marijuana patients, discovering the appropriate way to do dose isn't easy. Not only does a patients need to find the perfect cannabinoid composition, dose amount, and dosing frequency, but the patient is also faced with a wide variety of administration methods. Most patients are most familiar with smoking marijuana, but this may not be the healthiest vehicle. One similar inhalation method that is less harmful to the lungs is the vaporization method. Vaporization heats marijuana to form a vapor, reaching just below the point of combustion so as to eliminate the release of smoke filled with harmful toxins and carcinogens.

Another way you can use medical marijuana is through consuming an edible. Edibles involve infusing a butter or oil with cannabis and then using that to create another food. Edibles make it easy to portion out dosages, but it is always recommended to start slow and small as the effects don't kick in immediately and then last a while. Patients who want to target specific areas may want to consider cannabinoid topicals. Topicals can be applied to acute pain areas, as opposed to offering a full body effect, and they will not produce psychoactive effects either. The last method to discuss is the tincture, which is an alcohol infused with cannabinoids. A patient can then use a dropper to administer the recommended dosage underneath the tongue. This allows for regulated relief, like that of smoking, without any of the harmful effects that accompany smoking. 

Whether or not you're experiencing successful relief with a certain vehicle, be sure to document it in your journal! In this way, you can look back to see which methods work and which methods are inadequate. This information will be entered into our anonymous database, so that you can help other patients who are hoping to treat similar symptoms through our Chief Medical Officer approved guidelines. This information has been provided in part by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

3 Smoke-Free Ways of Consuming Medical Cannabis

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

For some patients, smoking marijuana can be harsh and painful on their lungs. When combustion occurs while smoking the dried plant, carcinogens and toxins are released that are not necessarily the healthiest on the lungs. There are other forms of consuming medical marijuana, however. If you'd like a method of intake similar to smoking but less harmful, you might consider vaporization, of which temperatures heat just below the point of combustion so that it releases steam instead of smoke. Vaporizers have little odor, and they are more efficient in releasing their therapeutic chemicals so that you may find yourself using less marijuana than before. 

Another way to consume marijuana is by eating it via the edible. Edibles usually require marijuana infused oil or butter that then seeps into whatever food is being created. It takes longer to feel the effects of an edible, and it is often considered stronger, so it is recommended to start low and gradually increase until you find the dose that works for you. Because it is food and its ingredients can be measured easily and distributed evenly, it should be easy to portion out fairly accurate doses. The last method of intake we will discuss is the tincture, which is a cannabinoid infused liquid that can be taken orally by placing a few drops underneath the tongue. It only takes a few minutes before the effects start to kick in. 

This information has been brought to you by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

What To Look For When Buying Cannabis Oil Vape Pen Cartridges

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Many medical marijuana patients choose to vaporize their medication because it is a safer alternative to the common smoking method that involves combustion. While both methods involve inhalation in order to deliver therapeutic cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids to the patient, vaporization does not reach the point of combustion and therefore eliminates the risk of inhaling carcinogenic fumes. There are various oil products designed for such vehicles available on the market, but some patients are frustrated with these newly developed products. Thankfully, Medical Jane has created this article that offers tips on how to make more informed decisions when making a purchase so that you can have a more desirable and consistent vaporizing experience.

In the article, you'll Medical Jane discusses the safety of cutting agents commonly found in vape oils like polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and coconut oil or MCT oil. The article goes on to provide a better understanding of terpenes and flavorings that might be added to the oil, which could either enhance or hinder your experience. Lastly, the article offers tips on choosing more appropriate vape pens and cartridges. 

A better understanding of the proper vehicle for administration before beginning a dosing regimen is crucial when looking for a better dosing experience. This information has been provided by Medical Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Juicing Cannabis for Health

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

If you're a patient who desires the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana but do not want to feel the psychoactive effects some cannabis strains provide, you may want to consider juicing your cannabis. Juicing utilizes the raw leaves and buds of cannabis alongside other fruits and vegetables, which adds essential cannabinoid acids and other vitamins and nutrients to your daily routine.

By juicing cannabis, a patient can avoid feeling any psychoactive effects because the plant's cannabinoids have not been decarboxylated through the application of heat. In this way, THC stays in its acidic form, allowing it to provide anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic medicinal benefits without providing any head-altering effects. THCa is credited with being helpful in the treatment of ALS, autism, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuropathic pain.

This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Are Medical Marijuana Edibles Right for You?

Photo Credit: The Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: The Medicinal Marijuana Association

As a medical marijuana patient, you've probably done your research and understand that there are wide varieties of medicinal strains and methods of intake available to you, but even with all of this knowledge in hand, it's often difficult getting started. The variables of each treatment regimen can provide a different effect based on your unique body type and the different symptoms you're treating. In this post, we will discuss some simple questions you can ask yourself to help determine whether or not the cannabis-infused edible, one of the many vehicles of marijuana consumption, would be a good starting point when beginning medical marijuana therapy.  

Is smoking difficult for you? You may find yourself unwilling or unable to smoke if you suffer from asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, or other lung or throat problems. If this is the case, you may prefer ingesting your medication.

What symptoms are you treating? Because edibles deliver cannabinoids through the GI tract and tend to have more of an effect on the body as opposed to the head, those who suffer from body-focused symptoms like inflammation, spasms, chronic pain, autoimmune disorders, nervous system disorders, nausea, Crohn's disease or insomnia may want to consider medical marijuana edibles.

Are you searching for convenience? With medical marijuana edibles, you can discreetly medicate in any given moment. Edibles don't necessarily emit a smell, and edibles don't violate no-smoking zones in public.

How low is your tolerance? If you have a low tolerance, you may want to proceed with caution if you want to try the medical marijuana edible. Edibles can be more potent than other methods of intake, they are often inconsistent between batches, and they can be extremely difficult to dose. In addition, because cannabinoids are absorbed through the GI tract, onset of relief is delayed and the effect is long-lasting. 

Do you have kids or animals in your household? As with any medication, you'll have to be extremely diligent when it comes to keeping it out of the wrong hands. Because edibles often resemble other household kitchen food items, others could easily mistake the product for a non-medicated item. 

Once you've decided how you'd like to begin your medical marijuana therapy, be sure to document your treatment on our app so that you can compare your different regimens and discover what works best for you! This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

What Are Marijuana Edibles?

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

For seasoned medical marijuana users, knowing the differences between different methods of consumption may be as easy as understanding the back of your hand, but for those who are new to the medication, understanding the differences between these methods of intake can be a daunting task. One such method of intake is the marijuana-infused edible, which introduces the therapeutic cannabinoids to the body via the gastrointestinal tract. Many medical marijuana patients praise edibles for being both discreet and convenient. In addition, edibles can have a stronger effect that lasts longer than what one experiences when smoking the medication. Edibles offer an ideal option for patients who cannot tolerate smoke, and the relief they provide has been recommended as a great option for those treating pain, nausea, or a lack of appetite.

While many patients prefer marijuana edibles, the vehicle is not without its downside. Dosing medical marijuana is difficult, making their effect hard to predict. In addition, because the cannabinoids enter the body through the GI tract before interacting with the endocannabinoid system, marijuana edibles offer delayed relief. To avoid over-consuming, a patient should remember less is more; too much of an edible could lead to a negative psychoactive experience, which could include paranoia, hallucinations, and in severe cases a loss of consciousness. As with any medication, weight, gender, eating habits, and metabolism all affect the experience a patient may undergo.

With time and experimentation, discovering the ideal edible dose for your specific symptoms and body type can mean everything when it comes to finding relief. Our app can aid this experimentation process by making it quicker and more efficient. It provides patients a good starting point based off of the successful dosing experiences of others, and it allows patients a way to keep track of their dose so they can look back and see what works and what doesn't. By journaling each medication session, you can view more accurate information so you can rapidly achieve relief. This information has been provided in part by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

How to Use Cannabis: Different Methods of Consumption

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Today, patients have access to more vehicles of cannabis consumption than ever before. This is extremely helpful, as patients want to find a way to consume their medication in a way that will not exacerbate their symptom-dependent discomfort. 

The most common form of cannabis consumption is smoking, in which a flame is applied to cannabis. A far healthier method of inhaling cannabis comes in the form of vaporization, in which heated air is applied to cannabis prior to inhalation. Vaporization offers patients a safe and accurate alternative to smoking so they can inhale their medication but avoid the carcinogens and toxins that release when plant matter combusts by flame. Patients suffering from lung or esophagus cancer, bronchitis, or asthma gain relief from vaporizing cannabis because the THC and CBD delivered directly to their lungs combat inflammation and act as bronchodilators. Another well-known form of cannabis consumption is the edible, which varies widely in form but always involves cannabis-infused foods or liquids. Edibles are great for patients who want enhanced potency and long-lasting relief, but the slow onset of relief and unpredictable efficacy force patients to wait for relief and make it difficult to understand proper dosing amounts. 

A relatively new vehicle comes in the form of cannabis topicals, which include creams, balms, and salves infused with specific ratios of cannabinoids that are then applied to the skin. Some medical professionals claim a ratio of 1:1 CBD to THC within a topical offers effective relief for various ailments, specifically ones involving inflammation like arthritis and Crohn's disease. Tinctures, or tonics, use alcohol as a solvent to separate the resin glands (full of cannabinoids and terpenes) from the rest of the plant. The alcohol absorbs the resin, and then is cooked off until a low-alcohol liquid dense in cannabinoids remains. Concentrates, or extracts, also extract potent amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes with or without the use solvents. Due to their high percentage of cannabinoids and terpenes, concentrates offer patients quick and efficient access to relief. 

We remind you to journal your preferred method for consumption so that we can help inform other users of the overall best method for specific symptom relief. This information has been provided by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What is a Cannabis Tincture?

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Cannabis culture and industry are constantly developing new methods for using marijuana. The development of these methods is especially important for medical marijuana patients who may find some methods more agreeable or effective than others. Whaxy does an excellent job diving in and analyzing each vehicle, and today's discussion will involve cannabis tinctures. While the method is only recently gaining in popularity among medical marijuana patients, the method is actually nothing new, and was historically used quite frequently in medical applications before marijuana prohibition.

Tinctures are often described as a mixture of alcohol and cannabis resin. They are generally created by soaking dried and ground up marijuana plant matter in a nearly or fully pure alcohol extraction solution. Kief or hash can be substituted for the plant matter to increase potency and reduce the amount of time needed to soak, but this is uncommon. Because this process does not involve the use of heat, THC-A is not converted into THC, and therefore this tincture does not produce a euphoric high. Whaxy says the THC-A available in the tincture is effective in relieving insomnia, muscle spasms, seizures, nausea/vomiting and pain. THC-A also acts as an appetite stimulant and can potentially slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. This makes it especially effective for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Because high CBD strains are extremely popular as a treatment option, or because some states have implemented CBD-only laws, many producers offer high CBD tinctures available for purchase. 

Tinctures are advantageous for multiple reasons, one of which is the semi-rapid onset of relief, which takes effect in about 15 minutes. This makes them a valuable option for patients or parents of patients who do not want to make use of inhalation but who need quicker relief than what is offered through edibles. In addition, tinctures are discreet, mimicking many other pharmaceutical medications on the market. You can learn more about the history of tinctures, how to create them, or high CBD tinctures available on the market on Whaxy

Study: Smoking Still Remains Cannabis Consumers’ Preferred Method of Ingestion

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Although there is a wide range of options for ingesting marijuana on the market, and it seems the methods of intake continue to expand, a new report says the most traditional method of smoking remains the preferred form of ingestion.

In a report published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, investigators analyzed the reasons for use and the method of ingestion for self-reported marijuana users over the age of 18. Of those who partook in the survey and reported current marijuana use, 10.5 percent reported using exclusively for medicinal purposes, 53.4 percent reported exclusively recreational use, and 36.1 percent reported both medical and recreational use. The use of combustible smoking vehicles was the most popular method of intake for current users, with 49.5 percent choosing a bowl or pipe and 49.2 percent choosing a joint. The other vehicles included bongs, water pipes, or hookahs at 21.7 percent, blunts at 20.3 percent, edibles or drinks at 16.1 percent, and vaporizers at 7.1 percent.

While this report points to smoking marijuana as the most popular form of intake, we at CannaBest Medical hope to see other methods like vaporization gain in popularity among medical marijuana users, as it has less of a harmful effect on the lungs but it still delivers desired symptom relief. For a more in depth look at this report, you can read the Daily Chronic's summary or you can access the report "Toking, Vaping, and Eating for Health or Fun," on the American Journal of Preventative Medicine website. 

Cannabis Topicals: Getting Under Your Skin

When people think about medicating with cannabis, they think about the most common methods of inhalation or ingestion, but there are a wide range of methods available. Many don't realize that cannabis is lipophilic and can be absorbed through the skin, so they don't realize how effective cannabis topicals are as a path to quick relief and a way to target localized areas. 

Whaxy discusses the ailments that would benefit from the use of topicals, "from generalized conditions such as inflammation, tension, and soreness to specific ailments like eczema, dermatitis, puritis (itching), and psoriasis." However, the most significant use for topicals is in the treatment of arthritis, the number one cause of disability in the U.S. If the topical contains the right combination of cannabinoids, it can relieve arthritic symptoms by acting as an anti-inflammatory in specifically targeted areas.

Topicals are also an effective treatment option for those who want to treat their conditions without feeling a euphoric high. Topicals interact with the CB2 receptors in the skin which do not allow THC to permeate the bloodstream and flow to the brain. Because of this, topicals are well-suited for children and those who would like to avoid the high or negative side effects sometimes associated with marijuana.

Whaxy suggests topicals could be useful in household items like patches, salves, and lotions that could treat everyday annoyances like bug bites, muscle aches, or headaches. You can read Whaxy's full analysis here