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Cannabis Consumption Methods

The various ways patients can consume cannabis in Utah, and what to expect with each method

Vape cartridges

Onset: immediate

Duration:1-3 hours

Vape cartridges work in conjunction with vape pen batteries. The vape battery will power an atomizer in the cartridge that heats up the oil, activating the cannabinoids in it. Cannabinoids are then absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs.

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How to use

Edibles

Onset: 1.5 to 2 hours

Duration: 6 to 10 hours

Edibles include gelatinous cubes, tablets and capsules. When digested, cannabinoids are broken down in the gastrointestinal tract and then metabolised by the liver before entering the bloodstream. This metabolism of THC in the liver can produce a greater psychoactive effect.

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How much should I take?

Tinctures, sprays, sublingual drops

Duration: 2-8 hours

The effects of oral mucosal delivery are felt more quickly than edibles but not as quick as inhalation.  These are absorbed best under the tongue and absorb directly into the bloodstream. 

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How to use

Topical cannabis

Duration: 30 minutes to 3 hours

Topicals are often used for localized application of medical cannabis. Topical applications other than patches do not provide psychoactive effects. Cannabinoids react with receptors under the skin, but they do not reach the bloodstream.

Mechanism of action: cannabinoids like thc and cbd cross the skin

Barrier and bind to cb1 and cb2 receptors

How to use:

Apply directly to the affected area. Apply a small amount of ointment, salve, cream, or lotion to clean dry skin avoiding mucous membranes. Rub in. Wash hands after use. 

Flower

Onset: immediate

Duration: 1-3 hours

Vaporizing uses a stream of heated air to vaporize the active ingredients in cannabis flower without combustion. Cannabinoids are then absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs.

Cannabis flower is identified by strain names. The strain names can give us clues to a strain's genetics. You can get more detailed information about the cannabinoid and terpene profiles by looking at lab testing on the labels.

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How to vaporize flower

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