Although cannabis is proven not have the same carcinogens as tobacco, inhaling anything other than air, including plant matter, isn’t the best for your lungs. Depending on the ailment, cannabis can be consumed in many ways; orally, topically and by vaporisation. Unlike smoking, vaporising doesn’t actually ignite any plant matter and is, therefore, much better for your lungs.
Edibles have notoriety for being very tricky to dose because of how long it takes your body to process cannabinoids through the digestive system. Edibles can take up to two hours to kick in, maybe longer depending on your endocannabinoid system. Plus the psychoactive effects stay around for much longer in your system, which means if you take too much, you could be stuck with that intoxication for a while. Generally edibles are preferred for someone with lung issues and cant consume their medicine in more traditional ways.
Vaping is when cannabis is refined into an oil using a process that is similar to distilling alcohol. The oil is heated up by an electronic device and inhaled by the consumer. The particles that are inhaled are smaller than Cannabis flower, which makes it easier to do and “easier on the lungs”. It also allows producers to extract cannabinoids from the plant and blend them in anyway they want. It’s very hard to grow a plant with 60% CBD but with vaping it’s much easier to find an oil that has that cannabinoid content. Although vaping removes the downside of inhaling plant material, which isn’t the best for your lungs, and adds the modern convenience of not needing a lighter, there is still debate over the health effects of vaping.
Cannabis flower on its own has no effect because the THC is trapped in its “acid” form which means your body cant process it. To experience any therapeutic effect from THC, the cannabinoids have to be heated. Juicing raw cannabis flower will have no effect except a big dose of fibre to you body, and we’re not getting paid enough to write about what that will do to you. Heat “Treated” cannabis flower, will convert cannabinoids to be broken down by your body, and juicing it actually makes it easier for people with stomach problems to digest. Add some hemp seeds in there and get your daily protein intake too!
Cannabis isn’t just therapeutic when ingested, but it can be helpful when applied to the skin. Cannabis could be the next big post workout supplement because cannabinoids have positive effects for aches, pains and muscles soreness (LINK TO THC AND INFLAMMATION ARTICLE). Topicals only work for small areas of the body, so they are usually only recommended for acute pain. Because your skin keeps THC from entering your bloodstream, topicals will not give you a psychoactive “high”. So patients can lather up for their muscles soreness with confidence that they will not be feeling out of the ordinary.
Sublingual Oils & Tinctures
This is a fancy term for “under your tongue” and is generally for oils and tinctures, which are the oldest form of cannabis medicine in the world. Like vape fluid, modern oils are condensed cannabis plant extract, which is pulled from the plant using processes similar to alcohol distilling. These oils are usually delivered via eye dropper, with each drop containing a set dose of cannabinoids.
Cannabis tinctures have been around since before 1900, when nuns started making medical tinctures in New Zealand. Oil is a general term for a cannabinoid being mixed with a “carrier” like coconut or hemp oil. Traditionally, alcohol was used because it helped break down the compounds in the cannabis, but with new extraction methods, we can isolate exactly what aspect of the pant we want to extract and just put it in an oil.
Hemp CBD Oil
This oil is perfect for the person that wants to try CBD but wants to avoid all THC. Hemp typically has very low levels of CBD and almost no THC, which means that CBD that comes from hemp will have 0% THC, but this also means that the medicine is typically missing the other properties that help reduce pain. CBD on its own is no “magic bullet”, because everyones body is unique and responds to cannabinoids differently, just extracting the CBD molecule on its own wont be enough to help some peoples pain, but might work great for other people. As with any alternative medicine, starting on the lowest point will let you gauge whats right for you. This is the entry level for CBD. Typically CBD oil is good for low level chronic pain, inflammation, hormone issues and small headaches.
Cannabis CBD OIL
Cannabis also produces CBD with much higher potency. Unfortunately for those seeking 0% THC, these oils will usually contain some amount of THC, but its important to keep in mind that THC (like alcohol) can come in amounts so small that you still wont feel it. This is where cannabis gets tricky because 5% THC might do nothing for one person, but might be the key to another persons pain relief and sleep. THC works with CBD, and other cannabinoids to create an “entourage effect” with is the strongest way to fight pain but usually comes with some sort of psychoactive effect (a “buzzed feeling”). For high pain, like chemotherapy, a variety of cannabinoids including THC is usually recommended, just keep in mind that it could have a psychoactive.