HomeHealthWhy New Medical Cannabis Users Should Be Careful with Edibles

Why New Medical Cannabis Users Should Be Careful with Edibles

The two most common methods of using medical cannabis are inhalation (vaporization and dry heating) and oral ingestion (edibles). Both delivery methods have their pros and cons. For the new medical cannabis patient, vaporization may be the better way to go. Those who do choose edibles need to be careful about dosage.

Both vaping and edible products are available at Beehive Farmacy in Salt Lake City, Utah. The operators of the state-licensed medical cannabis pharmacy recommend consulting with an on-site pharmacist before choosing a delivery method. Pharmacists are always happy to answer questions about vaping products, edibles, tinctures, and topical products.

How THC Is Delivered Matters

It is all about THC in a medical cannabis setting. Patients rely on it to alleviate their symptoms. But because people react to THC differently, how it is delivered matters in terms of whether a medical cannabis product alleviates symptoms as well as it should.

Vaping and dry heating deliver THC through inhalation. A patient breathes the vapor in, and THC is delivered to the bloodstream through the lungs. With an edible, like gummies, THC is delivered through the digestive tract. Tinctures and topicals deliver THC through the skin.

How delivery is achieved affects both the speed at which a patient feels the effects of the drug and the length of time those effects last. Let us just compare inhalation with oral ingestion:

  • Vaping: the effects are felt in minutes; they usually last no longer than an hour.
  • Gummies: the effects do not kick in for hours; they also last for hours.

This sort of thing is important to a medical cannabis patient. Patients need to know how quickly they can expect to feel the effects of their medicine. They also need to know how long those effects will last because duration will influence where and when they take their medications.

Edibles Are Harder to Dose

There is another significant difference between inhaled cannabis products and edibles: the intensity of the reaction. Though there are exceptions to the rule, edible cannabis products tend to produce more intense effects. Experts explain the phenomena as a result of how the liver processes THC. While it takes longer for the effects to kick in, they kick in explosively once THC crosses the blood-brain barrier.

This is a particular concern to medical cannabis patients. Here is the problem: edible products are affected by a range of things including a patient’s weight and rate of metabolism. Some of the factors influencing oral THC delivery can even change on a daily basis. This makes dosing extremely difficult.

One medical cannabis patient might do fine with a standard dose of 10 milligrams while another needs twice that amount to find relief. The difference could partly be due to how the two patients react to THC. But it could also be partly due to the difficulty of determining a proper edible dosage.

Getting It Right Can Take Time

Getting the right dosage can take time to figure out. That is true regardless of the chosen delivery method. But when it comes to edibles, new medical cannabis patients may find things even more challenging. This is why Beehive Farmacy and other retailers recommend regular consultations with an on-site pharmacist.

If you are new to medical cannabis and considering using gummies or other edibles, do so with caution. The general rule is to start low (in terms of dosage) and work your way up if necessary. Find the smallest dosage that achieves the level of relief you are looking for. And if edibles don’t work well for you, consider another delivery method.

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