DEC 01, 2017 06:00 AM PST

Medical Cannabis: Types of Consumption

WRITTEN BY: Loren DeVito

After you choose a medical cannabis strain at your local dispensary, you may be unsure of the best way to get the full effects of your newly purchased herb. For many who are new to cannabis, the first thing that may come to mind is smoking -- but there are so many other methods you can try, all of which have different effects and can change the experience and management of your symptoms. Here we'll review some common methods of cannabis consumption.

Smoking
This method may be preferable for those new to medical cannabis or those who have used recreational cannabis. For this method, you will need a pipe or rolling papers. These can be bought from a local smoke shop. With this method, you can control the amount of cannabis consumed with each inhale. While this method is quite simple, it may not be favorable for those who quit smoking or are concerned about the effects of inhaling any type of smoke into their lungs. The effects of smoked cannabis also tend to dissipate quickly.

Vaping
This method is also quite common and may be a good choice for those who like the control of consumption that smoking allows without the smoke inhalation. This method requires a vaporizer which can be purchased from a local shop or ordered online. A very high heat will turn the cannabis into vapor that you can easily breath in. It is important to note that vaping produces a stronger dose compared to smoking so you may want to try smaller doses until you adjust.

Edibles
For those who are less comfortable with smoking or vaping or unable to use these methods perhaps due to poor motor coordination, edibles may be a good option. No specialized equipment is needed for this method. Cannabis compounds can be extracted from the whole plant by simmering your strain in oil. Once you've created your extract, you can substitute it for oil in any recipe. It is very important to note that, when consumed as an edible, the effects of cannabis may take longer to kick in -- and when you experience the effects, they may be very strong, so it's best to start with small portions. Also, please remember to label your food made with cannabis and keep it from plain view so others do not accidentally eat it; this is especially important if you have children or pets in your household.