Cannabis Corner Part V Best Practices for Using Cannabis Products


It’s been my pleasure guiding you through the basics of cannabis and the current legal climate here in north county San Diego. In this conclusion to the basics, I’ll be sharing best practices for achieving desired results when using cannabis products.
Once you decide where you will buy your cannabis products, the next step is to decide how you want to use it.

The good news is that smoking isn’t the only option. In fact, less than 20% of the people I’ve worked with over the past decade choose inhalation.

Each of these delivery methods bring their own unique benefits and ultimate results. The nice thing about all the options is that there is something for everyone. It’s your individual comfort zone that defines which method you should start with to discover what is best for you. Below is an overview of the various therapies.

Enters blood stream in 5-10 minutes
Duration of effects 1-2 hours
Method: Smoking or vaporization of the buds/herb/flower or hash oil. Requires a pipe, bong, rolling papers, dry herb vaporizer or personal vaporizer device.

If inhalation is in your comfort zone and you are new to cannabis, this is a good place to begin as it is easy to access, measure and the duration of effects is the shortest, meaning if you are using a product rich in THC, you’ll be back to a normal state fastest.
Always take a very small inhale and wait 5-10 minutes to assess your results. The biggest mistake people make with inhalation is taking too much too quickly.

Enters blood stream 20-30 minutes
Duration of effect 2-4 hours
Method: Taken under the tongue as a tincture or allowing an edible product to melt slowly in the mouth, sublingual administration increases activation and absorption. This is an ideal starting place for most, especially if inhalation is not in your comfort zone.
Can take 1-3 hours or longer to enter blood stream
Duration of effects can last up to 8 hours
Method: Anything chewed and swallowed will take longer to activate as the compounds must process through the digestive track. Edibles are the most potent method for using cannabis and I always caution those new to use, to tread carefully with these products.

Relief in 5-10 minutes L
Duration of effect 1-3 hours
Delivers topical analgesic relief, especially effective for joint, muscle & nerve pain. Topical applications generally do not enter the bloodstream

Relief in 15-60 minutes
Duration of effects can last up to 8 hours
Allows for quick entry to the bloodstream. Be cautious of transdermal patches containing THC, using chemical solutions or in-organic ingredients.

Relief in 1-3 hours
Duration of effects can last up to 8 hours
Anal insertion bypasses the liver which has been shown to reduce intoxication and studies have shown suppositories improve efficacy by as much as 70%.

The three cardinal rules of product selection:
1. Purchase from a state licensed dispensary. How will you know? Ask.
2. Purchase products that display the California Universal Symbol for cannabis and batch #. The batch # will be tied to the certificate of analysis (COA), which you can request to see if you want further details about the safety and actual cannabinoid levels in the product.
3. Pick the product type that is most comfortable to you.

If you select more than one product, always try one product at a time. Ensure you are back to a ‘normal’ state before trying the next one. For example, if you take a tincture, don’t take an edible or smoke something an hour later.
The industry mantra is “go low and go slow”. This means that whatever you try, take the smallest dose and wait the recommended time. Before taking more, assess whether you are getting the desired results. The optimal dose is the least amount for the maximum desired effect. I call it the entering the Cannabis S.E.A. (select, experiment, adjust). There is no one size fits all with cannabis. With a little experimentation, you can find what works best for your body.
Products rich in Cannabidiol (CBD) on its own have unique circumstances, keep an eye on this column for more on that topic alone in a future article.

Medical Cannabis a Viable Option for Aging Adults Part IV

Cannabis Corner The Physiology of Cannabis Part III

Cannabis Corner Part 2

Welcome to Cannabis Corner


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