If you are going to smoke cannabis, keep in mind that there are a variety of ways to consume cannabis, each with different effects. The consumption methods fall into four categories: inhalation, ingestion, sublingual and topical.
When you inhale cannabis (smoking, vaping and dabbing), the active compounds make their way through the lungs, into the bloodstream, and to the brain and the rest of the body. The onset of effects is almost instant, usually in about 90 seconds, but could take 5 -15 mintues. One dose is one puff – lightly inhale for 2-3 seconds, hold in the lungs for no more than 2 seconds and then exhale. Effects usually last between 2-4 hours, but could last as long as 8 hours, with peak effects lasting 15-30 minutes. If you’re looking for the healthiest way to inhale cannabis, vaping could be a healther alternative because the cannabis does not combust, although it will get you higher.
Unlike inhaling, ingesting cannabis (edibles, beverages and capsules) can be more psychoactive, but they do take longer to take effect, as they need to clear your digestive system before entering your bloodstream. It can take up to 4 hours for the onset of effects, but will usually occur in 1-2 hours. We mean it when we say it’s best to start low and go slow. The psychoactive effects can be up to 10 times stronger and longer lasting. It’s best to start with a small dose of 2.5mg to 5mg and wait at least 2 hours before taking another dose. You want to make sure you’ve experienced the full effect before ingesting more.
Tincture and sublingual methods are absorbed through the blood vessels under the tongue. To get the full effects, hold the drops under the tongue for a minimum of 20 seconds and then swallow. It usually takes 15-45 minutes for the onset of effects, but could take up to 4 hours. The effects last longer than inhaling cannabis but shorter than ingesting.
Topical and Transdermals.
Topical and Transdermal products (balms, salves, patches and oils) are to be applied to the skin or designed to absorb deeply through the skin. People looking for therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects will benefit from topical products as they won’t get into the bloodstream. Transdermal topicals will enter the bloodstream and have psychoactive effects. All transdermals will have packaging that indicate it is transdermal and especially formulated to penetrate deeply through the skin. It’s best to start with a low dose or a few small doses rather than one big dose. Observe the effects after several days and consider if you need to adjust the ration or amount. Increase or decrease in small increments according to the desired results.
Read the labels carefully and consult with our Joint Operations team for application and dosing recommendations. Don’t overdo it – less is more. Too much THC may increase anxiety and have negative effects.