As the legalization of marijuana is sweeping across the nation for both medicinal and recreational uses, new products are being invented to aide users with cannabis intake. And while it is only legal for medicinal use in the state of Oklahoma, you will still find most of the same great products available. The variety of available marijuana products and their terminology can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming to inexperienced medical marijuana users, so here is a quick guide for reference.
Now believed to be the safest and healthiest way to smoke marijuana, vaping has become a popular choice for many medical cannabis users. When smoking cannabis using traditional methods, marijuana is heated to a higher degree than it needs to be. Cannabinoids change at only 284 °F, while marijuana will go on to produce smoke at 450 °F. Normal butane lighters create a temperature of around 3500 °F. This unnecessarily high temperature releases toxins and allows tar and other debris to be drawn into the lungs. Vaporizers function using a lower temperature, closer to the degree where cannabinoids change, which protects users from the toxins and debris.
A report highlighting the difference between respiratory symptoms of marijuana smoker’s vs those who vaporize their marijuana, concluded that vaporizers heat cannabis enough to feel its effects, but not enough to release smoke and toxins that burned cannabis releases. This report also indicated there is increased marijuana safety and fewer respiratory side effects when a vaporizer was used instead of regular pipe, joint, blunt or bong products.
To add to the benefit of vapes, they also create little to no smell, making them more inconspicuous for users. Vaporizers come in portable and chargeable models and are available in a variety of price ranges. For new vape users, a great article by Civilized details how to properly use a vaporizer.
When smoking from a vaporizer or vape pen, you should feel the effects within a minute or two, with the full effects being felt within fifteen minutes. With any inhalation method, the effects should last between one and three hours.
Joints are known for their convenience and are undoubtedly the most classic way to smoke cannabis. They’re small, easy to prepare in advance and allow you to feel the medical marijuana effects instantly, to within just a few minutes of smoking, and should last one to three hours.
Joints are made by filling rolling papers with cannabis. Rolling papers, usually for sale along with your medical marijuana, are made from a variety of materials such as rice, bamboo and hemp. Most papers come with a piece for a filter/crutch which hinders debris from going into your mouth and keeps you from burning your fingertips. Leafly teaches you, step by step, how to properly roll a joint, but keep in mind that practice makes perfect! You aren’t going to get the perfect joint on your first, or maybe even fifth try, but you’ll have fully functional joints before you know it.
CBD products are taken for a variety of medical ailments. Pure CBD products do not produce any high yet still provide a large number of health benefits. Find more information on our CBD page.
Topicals are perfect for those who need localized relief from inflammation, soreness or pain. They come in the forms of oils, balms and lotions and have no psychoactive effects; this means pain relief without the high, making topicals perfect for anytime use. Especially beneficial to those with conditions like arthritis, cannabis topicals are starting to show promise for those dealing with skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis as well as pain associated with headaches and menstrual cramping.
The response time for topicals varies depending on which topical is used, how much is used, and for what type of relief is needed. Most users report feeling the topicals working within minutes and have reported their effects up to twelve hours after application.
Concentrates are extracted from cannabis and produce an extremely potent product that comes in many forms such as: rosin, shatter, wax, BHO, CO2, capsules and hash. There are a variety of methods for using these concentrates and achieving the best effects. These products can be confusing to some newer medical marijuana users, so it is best to talk to your budtender about how to use them correctly. You can also find more information on our cannabis concentrates information page.
Technically falling under the concentrates category, these ‘old timey’ sounding products are infused liquids that use an alcohol soak to extract cannabis compounds. Tinctures come in a variety of potencies and flavors and are easy to take in specific doses since they are either swallowed or dissolved under the tongue as drops.
If you take the tincture drops sublingually, you will feel the effects in 15 to 45 minutes, with peak effects at 90 minutes. The effects are faster with this method due to the drops being absorbed into your bloodstream via the sublingual ducts underneath your tongue. To do this, simply place your preferred number of drops underneath your tongue and (without swallowing) let them dissolve.
You may also add the drops to food or drink, or simply swallow your preferred dosage amount. This method allows it to be processed by your body similar to eating edibles. You will feel the effects in 30 minutes to 2 hours.
It’s recommended that first time tincture users start with 1ml, if you feel as though you need to increase the dosage, try 2ml at next use. Continue this until you find what dose works best for you. The effects of tinctures last longer than inhalation methods but not as long as oil or butter-based edibles, so expect between two to four hours.
These helpful items are a must have for any medical cannabis smoker. An herb/marijuana grinder is a tool that “grinds” up your herb into smaller pieces, so it can be used in a bowl or for wrapping into a joint. They come in a variety of styles from a basic plastic grinder to a fancier 4-piece metal version that includes a kief catcher. You can also grind the bud up with your fingers, but there are many benefits to grinders: they are quicker, more precise and keep you from getting sticky bud and kief all over your fingers.
To use a grinder;
- Break up the bigger buds with your fingers and place between the teeth of the grinder (the top chamber if your grinder has multiple parts).
- Place the lid back on and twist back and forth until you don’t feel any resistance and all the pieces have been ground and fallen through the holes. If any pieces are stuck in the teeth, a toothpick can help remove the pieces and put them into the holes.
- Your cannabis is now properly ground and ready to use! Unscrew the grinder (if a multi-chamber grinder, unscrew the second chamber) and fill your bowl or rolling papers with your perfectly sized bud.
- If you have a multi-chamber grinder, your kief will be collected in the very bottom chamber.
Also known as pollen or dry sift, these crystal-looking substances found on the marijuana flower are resin glands that hold a high concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes. This powdery, sticky substance is added to increase the potency of cannabis. Sprinkle onto an already packed bowl or add something extra while rolling a joint to maximize the effects of your cannabis.
Blunts and Spliffs
You may hear these terms in pop culture since they are often confused with joints. Joints are made using special lightweight papers for rolling and are filled with only marijuana bud. Blunts, however, are made by filling cigar papers with marijuana, the thicker paper burns slower and the tobacco in the paper adds to the experience for some users. Spliffs are made using rolling papers but are filled with both marijuana bud and tobacco. We do not recommend either “blunts” or “spliffs” as tobacco is detrimental to your health, and nicotine is extremely addictive.
With all of the available methods and products for medical cannabis consumption, it is always best to educate yourself, beforehand, on what will work best for you.
*Information is not intended to be used as medical advice.