Be Mindful: Ways to Consume Cannabis

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There are a variety of ways to medicate using cannabis whether it be inhalation, oral consumption, or topical use. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, but the below information is a generalized guide.

SMOKING: 1-3 minute onset, duration of 1 to 3 hours
The most ancient and direct method of using medical cannabis; common methods of smoking include pipes, water pipes, and rolled into papers (a “joint”). Smoking is seen as somewhat controversial in that it is often associated with cancer risk in tobacco users. However, a 2006 study found that there is absolutely no link between smoking cannabis and cancer – even in heavy, long-term cannabis users.


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VAPORIZATION: 1-3 minute onset, duration of 1 to 3 hours
Vaporizing is the medically preferred method of inhalation, whereby a vaporizer is used to heat and activate medical cannabis without the plant material passing the point of combustion. Vaporization eliminates the vast majority of harmful carcinogens and other compounds that can be present in smoke.

EDIBLE INGESTION: 30 to 120 minute onset, duration of up to 8 hours
Cannabis consumed orally has a very different and often stronger effect than smoked cannabis for the most users. Caution is advised when consuming edibles, as the onset time and proper dosage varies widely according to personal preference and body chemistry.

TOPICAL: 5 to 20 minute onset, duration of 1 to 3 hours

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