With new states and countries legalizing cannabis for recreational or medical purposes – it is important to provide updated medical cannabis tips to help those who may be completely new to the medium. In today’s article we’ll be looking at the most common ways cannabis is being used in a medical capacity and how you can incorporate cannabis as a medicine into your life.
First, let’s understand why cannabis seemingly heals everything?
Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System
Every mammal has an “endocannabinoid system” which will be referred to as the ECS from now on. The ESC is a fairly recent medical discovery. In 1992 – the ESC was discovered by Dr. Lumir Hanus and Dr William Devane.
“In the pursuit of unearthing the metabolic pathways of phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids, scientists came across an unknown molecular signaling system within the body that is involved in regulating a broad range of biological functions. This system was named the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS performs multiple tasks, but the goal is always to maintain a stable environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. It is the system that creates homeostasis within the body. When an imbalance is detected within our internal environment, the body synthesizes endocannabinoids that interact with the cannabinoid receptors. This stimulates a chemical response that works to return the physiological process back to homeostasis.” – Source [Emphasis added]
As you can see, the Endocannabinoid system is critical to keeping you healthy. This is also the reason why many people seemingly have such amazing medical benefits from using cannabis – their endocannabinoid system is being replenished by phytocannabinoids – or cannabinoids derived from plants.
Different Ways of Using Medical Cannabis
In most cases, people utilize cannabis as a preventative measure or as a means of dealing with the symptoms of certain medical conditions. For example; people consume cannabis to fight the nausea associated with chemotherapy or use it to treat pain issues.
Depending on the symptom being treated, there are different ways one could go about consuming cannabis for varied effects.
Inhaled Cannabis [either though smoke or vapor]
Imbibed cannabis [tinctures, teas, or oils]
Edible Cannabis [Tablets or Food]
Inhaled Cannabis is the quickest way to get cannabinoids into the blood stream. It takes roughly 3-seconds for 95% of the cannabinoids to be absorbed when inhaling it. [Source] Once this occurs, it will take roughly 15-minutes for the peak of the experience to hit – and you should begin to feel the symptoms you are treating fade.
Imbibed Cannabis on the other hand comes in the form of tinctures, teas or oils. These days some soft drinks also contain CBD – but that’s another beast to tackle. Today we’re only focusing on the methodology and when it comes to imbibed cannabis, tinctures and oils seem to be the best bet.
This is because you can get a greater bioavailability due to higher concentrations of cannabis. Inhaled cannabis has the lowest bioavailability, whereas tinctures and oils has the highest. In order to use this method, you’ll either take a drop of tincture and place it under the tongue.
Once more, wait for roughly 15-minutes to begin to feel the effects. Give yourself at least 30-45 mins before you try another dose.
Edible Cannabis is the last major category of consumption in terms of “most popular ways”. Edible cannabis is the most potent form of consuming cannabis. The liver processes the cannabinoids differently and in the case of THC – actually turns it into a far more potent form of THC called 11-hydroxy-THC.
When consuming edibles, it is advised to go slow. Eat only a portion of the edible and wait for at least 45 mins before eating the rest. Many people have “greened out” by miscalculating their edible dose.
Edibles are great for more persistent symptoms such as chronic pain, depression, etc. It’s a full-body experience and it is advisable to “not operate heavy machinery” when consuming edibles. If you do somehow “green out” as a result of eating too much – just know that it is physically impossible to overdose and die from cannabis.
Why you should consult your physician with Medical Cannabis
Cannabis ‘can’ interact with certain medications not because it impacts the efficacy of the medicine, but it impacts the processing of your liver. We have a whole bit about it here.
This is why we always recommend that you deal with a trusted physician to help guide you through this process. Of course, some of you may have troubles finding a physician who actually understands the endocannabinoid system, but this is changing.
There are plenty of resources available to find Medical Cannabis Doctors near you online, so if you’re ever running into the issue of having your physician strictly against cannabis use – you can search for a more canna-friendly physician.
Is cannabis a cure all?
While it may seem like it could be, the truth is that it isn’t. The only real reason it seems like a “cure-all” is because many people are suffering from Chronic Endocannabinoid Deficiency – which, when replenished with phytocannabinoids – brings the body back into homeostasis and as a result, people think that cannabis can “cure everything”.
It can certainly help you in many areas, but it is not a cure all. Don’t let hype blogs convince you otherwise.
I have been an advocate for cannabis for many years, yet – making baseless claims or speculating over the potential effects of cannabis is disingenuous and can be harmful for people who are struggling with a dis-ease currently.
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