Cannabis is a diverse medicine that has been used for centuries and is still used throughout the world. There is archeological evidence that proves that humans have used cannabis for at least 10,000 years; recorded history, for at least 5,000 years. As the use of medical marijuana increases in Florida, patients are learning that medical marijuana can be administered in a variety of ways. From PTSD to cancer to insomnia, medical marijuana is an effective method of improving one’s mental and physical health and improving health-related symptoms.
The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors all over the body. This system enables a connection between body and mind, signaling to all other systems when something feels good or bad. When the body is defensive against trauma or illness, this system begins to fail, resulting in physical, mental and/or neurological conditions. Medical marijuana can contribute to a patient’s overall health. Cannabis offers significant therapeutic benefits for a wide range of medical conditions.
There are 5 ways that medical marijuana can be used in Florida. Each method offers different medicinal results.
Inhalation: When using a vaporizer or vape pen, cannabis is absorb through the lungs and transported to the bloodstream. This method of administration offers the quickest relief, however each patient’s body chemistry is unique. Patients often prefer a portable vape pen because of its convenience and the ease of monitoring consumption. Vaporizing is similar to smoking, however vaping is not abrasive like smoke. The medical marijuana is inhaled through the vape and the patient holds the substance in for a few seconds and then exhales. It is important to ease into vaping medical marijuana.
- Topical: Topicals infused with medical marijuana, in the form of creams, salves and sprays, deliver the medication quickly to a localized area of the body. The fast pain relief absorbs through the skin. Topicals are effective for certain conditions including inflammation and chronic pain.
- Oral: Patients taking capsules or pills may notice that oral administration has the slowest onset of effects of the medicine, but the effects last longer. The active ingredients in cannabis are distributed during digestion which is why it may take longer for patients to feel the effects. Medical marijuana is highly effective for symptom and pain relief.
- Sublingual: Tinctures are the administration of medical marijuana under the tongue where its absorbed into the bloodstream. The medicinal effect has a quick onset, but a longer duration of effects.
- Transdermal: Time-release, self-adhesive patches differ from topicals because the THC and/or CBD in the patch goes directly through the bloodstream. Most topicals only target a very specific area, but transdermal medical marijuana patches can offer all-over pain relief. These pain relief patches are discreet and are typically ideal for patients with chronic pain, inflammation and/or neurological conditions.
- Suppositories: Suppositories for vaginal and rectal ingestion are gaining popularity in more established markets. The increased bio-availability and absorption into the body is greater with these types of medications.
Patients may need to experiment with a variety of methods available for medical marijuana consumption. Each patient should consult their medical marijuana physician for a recommendation on the method and strain to meet each patient’s unique needs.