When you think of marijuana, do you think of smoke?
There are at least a dozen ways to consume cannabis, but most people still picture a pipe or a joint. Each method has its benefits, not just for how it makes you feel but also how easy it is to prepare and consume. If your doctor has suggested cannabis as an alternative or supplement to other medications for help with inflammation, seizures, pain relief, mental health, insomnia or something else, you don’t necessarily have to buy a bong.
“Sometimes people are afraid of the culture or the psychoactive effects of cannabis, which is understandable,” says Jakob Miller at The Green Door in Seattle. “But over my years in this industry I’ve seen people start to embrace it, which is really cool to see. It helps them a lot.”
If you’re curious about cannabis, talk to a budtender at The Green Door about the many options available, and find a method that works for your needs and your lifestyle.
Control your dose
“For medical patients I usually recommend a sublingual tincture because it’s easy to use, fast-acting, and allows for an exact dose,” Miller says.
Tinctures are liquid cannabis extract, usually sold in small bottles and consumed a droplet or two at a time. Miller recommends placing a few drops under your tongue (sublingually) because absorption is typically faster than swallowing the oil into your digestive system. When you ingest cannabis your dosage can be harder to regulate, as your dose must first be processed by your stomach and liver — consuming sublingually can be more exact.
“If you’re using cannabis for medical relief, sublinguals are also a great option because you can get a higher milligram dose,” Miller says.
Washington State has set lower limits on THC levels in edibles like gummies, Miller says, partly because they’re exceedingly cautious about dosage control. Commercially-made snacks are carefully made to high standards, but stories still exist of homemade cookies with wildly different effects between bites. By keeping concentrations low, regulators hope to protect consumers from potent variations. Tincture doses, on the other hand, are easier to monitor, so government regulations allow for higher concentrations.
Topical cannabis is also popular among medical marijuana users — some apply cream to seek relief from muscle and joint pain, headaches, cramps and other issues. You can also try a transdermal patch, which slowly releases cannabis into your blood stream over 12 to 24 hours.