Cannabidiol (CBD Oil)

Ways to Consume Medical Cannabis

Do you know which form of CBD to take?

Know more about the methods of administering medical cannabis.


Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, has gained more and more attention in the medical marijuana industry because of its positive therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects normally associated with marijuana. CBD is beneficial for different medical conditions, but it is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to relieve pain, muscle spasms, and anxiety.

CBD is found in most strains of cannabis, but an increasing number of strains are now bred so that CBD is the primary cannabinoid found within the plant, and not tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is psychoactive.

Most people buy and use CBD in its oil form. However, CBD can also be accessed in other different forms. The methods of administering CBD can be overwhelming to patients who are new to the medication, but the availability of numerous methods of administration set medical marijuana apart from traditional pharmaceuticals. Each method can be used for different condition or desired effect.

It is important for patients and caregivers to understand the different methods of administering or consuming medical marijuana, so that they can make educated decision about the products they purchase and try.



Smoking is the traditional way of consuming cannabis. You can choose from numerous strains available based on the desired outcome, but all products provide an almost immediate effect when smoked. It is easy to control the dosage when smoking cannabis because of the quick onset. Patients can feel the effect quickly and adjust dosing accordingly. This method of cannabis administration is processed minimally and inexpensive.

However, there are potential negative effects on the respiratory system when any product is smoked. Patients must use high potency products so less smoking is necessary to get the desired benefits of the medication. This can lower the risk of respiratory problems. In many cases, this is not recommended for anyone with pulmonary damage such as lung cancer, emphysema or asthma. Smoking cannabis will also make you smell like cannabis smoke.


Vaporizing or “Vaping”

Vaporization is a healthy alternative to smoking cannabis. Vaporizing is less harmful than smoking since there are less byproducts inhaled because of the lower temperature used in the vaporizer. Vaporization offers the same quick relief as smoking. It is similar to the administration of an inhaler. Both smoking and vaporization are ideal for patients who need instant pain relief from PMS, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, and many other conditions.

Vaporizing doesn’t make you smell as much as smoking, but vaping units can be very expensive. Vaporizers are available in a different shapes and sizes such as fancy home units and pocket-friendly pens.



In the recent years, edibles were limited to homemade brownies that tasted pretty awful and contained a mystery dose of THC. Today, you can find medicated cookies, popcorn, crackers, nut mixes, lollipops, ice cream, gummy bears, chocolate bars, chews, and much more. Because these products taste delicious, you can hardly tell they contain cannabis. That is why it is important that you keep them away from children and pets. It is a good alternative for people averse to inhaling.

It can take one to two hours after consumption for the effects of an edible to be felt. Edibles can be very difficult to dose because of the slow onset time and inaccurate labeling of products. Most edibles do not contain the percentage of THC/CBD listed on the package. Edibles should be dosed in small amounts and patients should be careful about consuming so much if they do not feel effects as quickly as they expect. However, edibles have longer lasting effects than other administration methods. People with loss of appetite because of cancer, anorexia, or AIDS prefer edibles to promote appetite.


Cannabis Oils, Tinctures or Sub-Lingual Sprays

This form of medical marijuana is extracted cannabinoids mixed into an alcohol, glycerin solution or MCT Oil (Medium-Chain Triglyceride), which in many cases is coconut oil. Cannabis oils and tinctures generally come in a small bottle, and you can just squirt or spray it under your tongue and let it absorb through the thin tissue of the mouth.

Some oils are added to pill capsules and are swallowed like traditional medicine. Quality is very important in concentrates, especially in oils. Oils is the method used to give high CBD medications to people with conditions like epilepsy because they can be very accurately dosed.

Tinctures, which is a concentration made with an alcohol base, tends to be a bit less potent than oils. Tinctures and oils can be helpful for quick relief, accurate dosing, and to get the medication more directly to the gastrointestinal tract without consuming an edible.


Transdermal Patches

The patch is ideally applied to a clean, dry and hairless skin surface.  Many medical professionals recommend using the patch on the inner-wrist area, top of foot, or ankle. This method is perfect for patients who rather not inhale the medicine. It comes in different formulations and mild dosages. However, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction.



Suppositories are small cone-shaped mass of cannabis extract to be inserted into the rectum, where the product is absorbs through the colon. This method is somewhat controversial and rather less noble than other ways to consume cannabis, but some patients swear by it. It may be difficult and embarrassing to administer, but it is a great alternative to edibles and smoking. It kicks in quickly and the effects lasts long. It is also the most efficient way to digest. Suppositories must be refrigerated all the time.



Topicals are one of the less popular forms of medical marijuana on the market, but they are very helpful in relieving pain and reducing inflammation. With topicals, you can be certain that they are absolutely free from any psychoactive properties, making them a great choice for first time users. Topical products provide people the pain relief from cannabis without the potential side effects of ingesting too much of a cannabis product. Topicals are the best option for people who have arthritis, fibromyalgia, or similar pain issues.

Medical cannabis topicals come in many forms. Salves, ointments, lotions, and sprays are ideal for arthritis, chapped skin, eczema, minor burns, muscle soreness, sunburns, swellings, joint pain, and tendonitis, and many other conditions. Topicals addresses skin issues and provide localized pain relief. However, it does not help cancer, PTSD, epilepsy, or glaucoma.


Ingesting Fresh Medical Cannabis

Patients claim that the raw cannabis plant has medicinal properties that are lost when the plant is processed, dried, or heated. You can consume the raw leaves and buds straight from the plant usually by mixing them into a juice or smoothie.

Raw cannabis is packed with THC-A, the acid form of THC, which is not psychoactive. Some patients and doctors believe THC-A has unique medicinal qualities. Some patients whose chronic diseases never responded to other treatment including dried cannabis say that juicing raw marijuana has been their miracle cure. It requires large amounts of fresh cannabis, though, and has an unpleasant vegetable taste. However, there are no studies to confirm results and support its health benefits.


Medical Marijuana Beverages

Your local dispensary probably sells bottles of cannabis-infused teas, juices, smoothies, and sodas. You can also make your own cannabis tea by steeping a bud, piece of wax, or tincture in hot water. You can add a bag of your favorite tea to improve its flavor. This method provides long-lasting relief and an alternative for people averse to inhaling their medicine. It also gives a relaxing feeling, stress relief, and energy. It may take a bit long to experience the effect and dosage can be difficult.


Dabbing Medical Marijuana

A “dab” is a cannabis concentrate such as hash oil, budder, shatter, wax, etc., that you heat to a high temperature and inhale. The delivery devices vary, but they are a bit complicated and usually involve the use of a butane torch. Moreover, concentrates can contain as much as 90 percent THC, so you will get a very high dose of psychoactive compounds. This method is definitely not recommended for patients with a low THC tolerance or those new to medical marijuana.

This can be useful for urgent medication of acute illnesses. It is cost-efficient for patients who need high-THC and this method provides instant relief. However, concentrates are at higher risk of containing harmful chemicals. Solvents are used to extract the cannabinoids and may not be properly removed. It may cause overdose. Although not fatal, it can be very unpleasant and uncomfortable. The devices are difficult to use and accidental burns are very common.

Medical Marijuana” by “Caveman Chuck” Coker is licensed under CC BY-ND

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