Opinion: Medical Marijuana – if Smoking is Not An Option, How About Taking a Bite or a Sip

Opinion: Medical Marijuana – if Smoking is Not An Option, How About Taking a Bite or a Sip

By Paul Morgan

Editor’s Note: National Pain Report urges anyone considering cannabis to due so with caution and to consult your healthcare provider to ensure proper dosage, and to ensure that it does not interfere with your current pain treatment regimen. Please remember that medical marijuana use may not be legal in your area and may have employment risks. 

Marijuana is an excellent therapeutic plant with numerous benefits to patients battling serious health conditions. Many are aware that cannabis extracts can help them deal with chronic pain, PTSD, and nausea, among other conditions. Even so, some of the possible beneficiaries are averse about smoking cannabis. Besides, smoking has its share of discomfort. The smoke is known to irritate the throat, leave a lingering smell, and the act is indiscreet.

What if you could still get your daily dose from an afternoon bite or beverage? People have come up with creative ways of administering marijuana. One of the popular methods in use today is the oral method of marijuana consumption, providing a good alternative for those who cannot, or choose not, to smoke cannabis due to health related reasons, or otherwise.

Oral methods of administering marijuana

  • Edibles

With the rising legalization of marijuana, most businesses have increasingly availed marijuana-infused edibles. In fact, the culinary science in this area has evolved making cannabis cookies, candies, and brownies among the tastiest snacks in the market today. For the patients who love baking, one could include marijuana products like butter or oils as substitutes for regular butter and oil. It is possible to find canna oil and cannabutter in most dispensaries licensed to sell medical marijuana.

A more hassle-free option is to walk into a marijuana licensed medical dispensary and choose from a collection of cannabis-infused options including lollipops, fudges, tinctures, bagel bites and pizzas. However, one cannot forget that the snacks are a form of medication which should be taken under the supervision of a doctor to ensure the right dosage.

Have in mind that the cannabinoids, and especially THC (the primary active compound in marijuana), are very potent. Consequently, a large dose can be administered in small portions of food. This makes it challenging for users to determine the right dosage. A consumer ought to take care not to overdose when using marijuana edibles.

In some states such as California, Maryland, and Colorado, one may be required to produce a marijuana recommendation letter or patient’s card before acquiring these products. A qualified doctor will examine the patient and write a recommendation that the medical condition of such a person could be better managed through marijuana.

  • Beverages

It is possible for a patient to add marijuana to common beverages to relieve pain or any other relevant medical condition they are dealing with. Many dispensaries licensed to sell marijuana products have juices, sodas, tea, and smoothies mixed with cannabis. Besides, one can prepare their drink at home and add the appropriate marijuana extract. For instance, when making tea, one may choose to include a tincture or bud in their regular ingredients to get it to produce the desired effect.

  • Tinctures

A tincture is an alcohol-based extract of marijuana mixed with glycerin and Medium-Chain Triglyceride. They come packed into small containers or spray bottles. The user squeezes the recommended amount under the tongue and gives it a few minutes to absorb. It is an efficient method for those interested in small precise dosages.

Unlike edibles and beverages which take a while for the user to experience the effects, tinctures are absorbed faster. One can feel the effect within five to fifteen minutes of ingesting. THC sprays are examples of tinctures in the market today.

  • Pills

Pills are another option for a person to take to address their pain. These are typically prepared using marijuana oils and their main ingredients are THC and Cannabidiol. One can find capsules such as THC (80mg-100mg) in the market today. Pills typically have a consistent amount of the active ingredients making it easier to prescribe precise doses and predetermine the effects.

Conclusion

Generally, when consumed orally, marijuana produces more intense effects than smoking. The effects do last longer too. It will typically take the consumer at least 30 minutes to experience the effects, but the intensity could peak after 2 hours.

Paul Morgan is a marijuana enthusiast with 5 years worth of experience working in this industry. He started by trying to grow something for himself and now he is trying to educate people about marijuana seeds, stores, breeders and brands as a content manager at CannabisOwl

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Authored by: Paul Morgan

There are 13 comments for this article
  1. fo br at 7:39 am

    I C SMOKING IS NOT EFFECIENT 9 /10 THS are literally up in smoke.?
    i value this forum and the articles that are written, but wow people are uninformed

  2. fo br at 7:18 am

    Ah Sorry Kathleen NO SMOKING POT HAS BEEN SHOWN TO NOT CAUSE DAMAGE ANYWHERE NEAR WHAT TOBACCO DOES. WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR PEOPLE TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES.

  3. fo br at 6:53 pm

    Marty,i feel same here in Mn with about the most worthless mmj program going.I cant and wont participate in thid ill concieved program.
    So for now ill participate in my own program.
    I really have no hope for patient centered mmj in Mn.
    Sad it vould have had a chance but our governor let law enforcement dictate the rules.
    Law enforcement as docs it’d be funny if it wasn’t true,but when its true itd disgusting.

  4. gerard l becker at 3:10 pm

    hellooooooooooooooo-does anyone realize that pure cbd oil is legal in all 50 states and devoid of the psychoactive thc component ( sure—reduced pain but instant lala land-is that a reasonable tradeoff when driving???????????)’
    possibly pure cbd can help but caution- not a miracle!! If u go on line for cannibadiol (cbd ), buyer beware–be sure its organically not industrially prepared and at least 250mg per dropper bottle ( best way to take it is sublingual ). Know your supplier !!!!!!!!!

  5. Vic at 2:07 pm

    Jacobs,

    I use CBD Oil for my back during the day and a combination of CBD THC at night as needed. It works for me. I have a friend who can smoke as much as he wants and does not get high. THC/CBD works differently for everybody. It may not be a solution for everybody but it should be an option.

    When studies are done the media and politicians will only promote the studies that fit there agendas. More than likely they will support the old refer madness that most of them still believe.

    failed studies and thus throw us back into refer madness.

  6. Kathleen E Hirte at 1:22 pm

    I am in high level pain rated equal to the type of pain that stage four cancer patients sometimes have. My condition is very rare but its based in deformity. After a nighmate wreck,it actually got worse.
    And yet, in Indiana, 3 homes away from Illinois..I can not get one tenth of my long, documented Rx. Pain clinics have become the new fake scam. Decent MD’s think they are legit. No. They are making money, not addressing any medication needed. Been to a few. Fancy, plush but demanding Pointless PT. By THEIR Drz,? Yet none ever heard of my problem. A U.Chgo asst. Prof. told me, ” there is no such thing,” S I beld up and inch- tall medical synopsis..He did not bother to look. BUT still, he recommended HIS spinal implant ?? As if I never heard of that..or,- never consulted with top resources on that implant. He was angry, not off to any shred of a good start. Assied me he would never prescribe my comonly used med. Even for surgery apparently..
    I was referred to his associate..but staff mesed up the appointments, said they would reschedule. But told me I could get the help I told them I needed, and should talk to this aszociate..who went ballistic when I explained that I was referred, could not risk the implant for my problem that The cutter had zero clue about..even after I described the artery, the cervical location of deformity.. the well- documented worst scenario effects.
    No, I cant+ wont smoke ..
    Studies long ago- 25+ yrs. prove smoking mj to be more destructive than cigs. Yes, this is bad news. Oralky its not like optes either.. for many.
    My source is a cardio + geriatric speciaist. An md at 18 years old from Harvard and around many top hospitals often consulting.. with 2 speciaties. She has been in demand on the speech circuits for about 40 years. In demand. She worked as a deaconess at Beth Israel. (+Brigham?)Taught at Harvard and so on.
    Me, I am loosing faith. After 20 yers with reasonable help from very routine opiate use, I was cut with garbage refferals and no meds to hold me while I struggled to get even 1 appt. The list was junk. Very demeaning, stressful, terrifying.
    I still would like to be in control of how I choose to live and treat my pain. I have never had serious health problems related to opiate intake long term.
    Yet now I dont see my life going on very long. Its been stopped by people who have no basis to prove it ever has caused one drop of harm when taken for documented, and worst types of pain.
    I did thank God DAILY that I was not in a nursing home. Because those goverent financed jails serve lunchmeat 2 meals a day..with sugared cold ceral..for breakfast. Lots of sugary desserts. No pain meds for seniors. No physical therapy.
    We taxpayers foot a minimum of 6 grand per month for each elder who becomes broke ( assisited living is 4 grand a month.. out of pocket, with no physical help. No assist in assisted living.
    I know, I saw this over my elder’s prolonged abadonement by her extended, and able family. I stayed by her side but even that was difficult with intractable pain. It should have illed us both much sooner. Thanks Feds. You dont have any ideahow hard working Americans ate treated. Nursing homes privately owned,financed bt taxdollats. After Mom’ s life savings went to aszistediving, and her in- home $500/month insurance from Thrivent/AAL was proven to be a horrible sham. You must pay out of pocket..for indefinite time..find your own belp..and gamble that it might be reimbursed.. when Thrivent eventuay comes to inspect your situation. It was all impossibly hard.
    This is my USA. Nothing resembling in- home care. Except for a few insiders. Home care in NW Indiana had a 5 YEAR WAITIST.
    ITS BEEN 10 YEARS, NEVER A WORD FROM ” my taxdollars at wirk for real people”. I could not get help with her $500/mo. insurance. She and my deceased dad, each speny $100 grand on premiums.
    So count yourvlucky stars if mj helps. And your family helps. And you have massive savings..just in case. But if not, what are pain patients supposed to do?
    And please understand the masses of silent sufferers often dont have options. Like many of us can not tolerate Lyrica, or Cymbalta..which now are legal treatments that can cause cancer, — plus death”risks or “death has happened” – risks.
    It sounds criminal..to be pushed to drugs we are allergic to? Taken away from oldtime, well known, inexpensive drugs, – that we managed, if imperfect.. but managed. WHY.whywhywhywhy
    Now we are forced to take improper drugs as a cruelly, and truly forced tradeoff, thanks to some big Pharma for higher profits -for rich investors?- deal – This jolting, killing change forced on THOSE WHO SUFFER THE MOST— is based on /no reason, AND /no studies with real pain patients?

  7. Kim at 11:37 am

    I completely agree with the comments about dosage difficulties, high cost and aversion to allowing opoids and medical mj for a single patient. I have been a chronic pain patient for many years now .. and the medical mj benefit for me was sleep .. precious precious elusive sleep. Problem was two-fold .. I can’t stay under the influence 24×7, and when it wears off the pain for me is worse due to how it affects my condition.

    What is lost in the discussion is patient rights, rights to humane treatment and pain relief. Each human being has the right to request and receive help .. whether help comes from guided meditation, medical mj, opoids, or some other treatment. Acute chronic pain is not a one size fits all situation. We need to be able to live with dignity despite our pain.

  8. Marty at 10:30 am

    Christine Jacobs, I am on MMJ after stopping oxycodone three years ago and sad to say it does not help my neuropathic pain and does not allow me to function as the oxycodone did in the past. MMJ does help with my severe spasms at night and allows me to sleep better the first few hours which I am very grateful for.

    IMO and in my case MMJ is a muscle relaxant, an expensive one here in NYS. After Celebrex ruined my stomach many many years ago I have not been able to take any “true” muscle relaxants so MMJ has at least given me an option.

    I think a combo of opioids and MMJ would work wonders for many CPPers but the way things are going and some pain management rules against MJ and the witch hunt against CPPers, I don’t know if will ever have the chance to see if that is the case.

  9. Hayden Hamby at 8:32 am

    As a 20 year veteran of chronic pain due to failed back surgeries I struggled with the extreme change in my “standard Of life” for years. After referred to a pain specialist I was no thrilled to have to take opioid medication, the rest of my life. I hoped and still hope that there will be a break through for treatment for any of us suffering from sever chronic pain. Maybe marijuana is the answer. I read a great deal about ALL possible treatment of chronic pain regardless of the method. It seems that if opioid medication has worked as a last resort for millions of sufferers for decades, then why radically reduce the dosage and use a conversion chart for all opiod medication prescribing that does not surpass the equivalent of 90 of 100 milligrams of morphine “pills” especially if that dosage is NOT what the doctor feels is sufficient for a patient after being examined, titrated to an acceptable level of pain relief and the doctor does not feel that the normal body function or opioid toxicity is a problem for an individual chronic pain patient. Marijuana in any form, tincture, edibles and even those marijuana products with zero amount of thc present n them shows promise. It is expensive and different than the opioid medication treatment that many people have been stable on with use for decades. Why is it that doctors are reducing the dosage “across the board” to those that exceed the CDC “guideline”? Because the “guideline” is a published document stating that it is “only” a recommendation. The doctors know that it is more than a “guideline”. It is a mandate form the CDC, enforced by the CDC. Our physicians and our general MD’s are being threatened VERBALLY by mandantory meetings and with visits from the CDC and DEA with threats of license revocation for those doctors that are not bringing their chronic pain patients down to the “guideline” recommendations of maximum dosage for non cancer chronic pain patients. Nothing “on paper” about the FACT that our physicians no longer have the trained, educated authority to prescribe sufficient pain relief for us. The CDC has issued a MANDANTORY system of prescribing opioid medicine right down to the tracking software called “scrubbers” that quickly identify the exact doctors not in compliance with the CDC “guideline”. The DEA WILL enforce the “guideline”. The guideline is being enforced by our General MD’s as well. This is fact. My 80 year old Mother that has multiple surgeries and hip replacement, broken bones, arthritis so bad that her fingers are twisted and pulled so badly that her fingers lie across each other on both hands. She was recently admitted to an ER. She layed in a room on a flat unadjustable bed that did not elevate to ease her discomfort. She was medicated twice in about 24 four hours with insufficient medicine until administration was called by my wife and explained to that an 80 year old woman with absolutely ZERO history of any kind of Opioid medication abuse had lied in a ER room for 36 hours, no adjustable bed a she had severe back pain, no “call” button in her room, and ignored until hospital administration was called and complained too about her very poor extensive “treatment, if you can call it treatment. After hospital administration was complained too, she was immediately prescribed sufficient medication until her level of suffering was reduced. She was also advised that she could call for medication prn or as needed from thence , forward.. Not everyone has someone that will “go to bat” for their treatment of an ER patient that really needed help without being discriminated against. All because she advised the staff that she was in extreme back pain. She had also taken a “fall” just weeks before she had “run away” pain. This is common treatment at an ER and is in harmony with treatment all over the USA as to how people complaining with out of control pain are being consistently treated as a “DRUG ADDICT” The agencies that the jurisdiction for emergency and chronic pain treatment comes under has already conceived a plan to reduce opioid medication prescribing. It is an ideology of “one shoe fits all” or one dosage is all you get to control pain regardless of your individual history with chronic main management. The CDC “guideline ” IS not free will dispensation of opioid medication but, the absolute mandated prescribing of medication for one and all. Bring the marijuana treatment to the people……now. Not after suicide has claimed those who can not find pain relief. Believe it regardless of print, the “guideline” is threat of licensure for our doctors to comply with OR their license WILL BE revoked…..one at a time!!!!!!!!!! Don, t take for granted that the chronic pain patient will be given or prescribed sufficient opioid medication, anywhere.

  10. Marty at 6:45 am

    I wish here in NYS we were allowed to smoke, grow or have edibles, anything to help lower costs.

    Never mind rescheduling MMJ so we can get some help from the insurance companies to cover the cost. I don’t see that happening though since big insurance is more than happy to drop costly chronic pain patients and have them fend for themselves.

    IMO only the rich and/or the connected will the be the only ones to have access to pain relief, big insurance is just as bad as Big Pharma and that is a fact.

    We as chronic pain patients deserve empathy and compassion not abandonment and ridicule enough is enough.

  11. Christine Jacobs at 6:32 am

    I tried medical marijuana and it didn’t work for my pain. I’ve talked to other people who also tried it for pain and it didn’t work for them either.

  12. I.C. Bull at 6:19 am

    I can’t believe there would be any argument from those in crippling chronic pain against using marijuana as a pain reliever. Especially since the new “guideline”, is painting MANY folks “into a corner”. I have read that smoking is the most efficient way to get the therapeutic value from marijuana but, relief in an edible or tincture form could suit some of us better than smoking it. I’m afraid that resistance to marijuana use in any form will be met with formidable objection in many of the states that have yet to approve the use of marijuana in any form, for some time yet. The CDC “guideline” is in print and suggested it is “just a recommendation” to our opioid medication prescribers and opioid medication users. The punishment for non compliance to the “guideline” is NOT in print but, it is well understood by the prescribers!!!!