Medicinal cannabis has gained significant attention for its therapeutic benefits in managing a variety of health conditions across the globe. As the spread of legalisation and acceptance for medicinal cannabis grows, so does the diversity and innovation involved in cannabis delivery systems. Each option available to patients offers unique benefits, allowing individuals to tailor their medication and treatment plan to their specific needs and preferences.
The experts at Releaf, the UK’s first all-in-one medicinal cannabis e-clinic, have broken down and discussed some of the different consumption and administration methods available to medical cannabis patients.
Cannabis-infused gummies, and other edible products, have become a popular choice for individuals seeking a discreet and convenient method of consumption. These gummies are typically infused with cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and come in various flavours and strengths. The effects of ingested cannabis gummies tend to last longer, and take longer for the effects to be felt, compared to other methods of consumption due to the slower absorption process in our digestive systems.
Releaf conducted a survey earlier this year, which revealed that gummies were the most appealing method of consuming medicinal cannabis in the UK. They found that 84.98% of people who would consider taking a medicinal cannabis prescription found them acceptable, and 62.09% positively preferred this treatment option.
Vapourising, or vaping, is another popular consumption method. This involves heating cannabis flower or concentrates to a temperature that releases the active compounds in the form of vapour, which is then inhaled. This method is praised for its rapid onset of effects which is often felt within minutes and precise dosing ability, allowing patients to have control over the level of cannabinoids consumed. Vaporising also reduces the potential risks associated with inhaling the combustion that cannabis can produce when ignited or smoked. Using this method, the vapour is cooler and generally smoother on the throat and lungs.
Cannabis pills, similar to traditional pharmaceuticals, offer a precise and standardised way to consume medicinal cannabis. These pills contain measured doses of cannabinoids and are taken orally, offering a discreet and tasteless option. The effects of cannabis pills tend to be long-lasting, making them suitable for conditions requiring sustained relief. They also eliminate the need for smoking or vaping, addressing potential respiratory concerns – but because they are processed by the liver, there is a possibility that they may interact or interfere with other prescribed medicines.
Cannabis oils, commonly referred to as tinctures, are liquid extracts made from cannabis concentrates that can be taken sublingually (under the tongue) or added to food and beverages. Sublingual consumption allows for quicker absorption of cannabinoids into the bloodstream, resulting in faster onset of effects compared to edibles because they bypass the digestive system. Oils are versatile and allow users to customise their dosages more easily by adjusting the number of drops taken. This method is often favoured by those seeking both flexibility and rapid relief.
For individuals looking to address localised pain or inflammation, cannabis-infused balms and creams provide an effective solution. These topical products are applied directly to the skin’s surface, and once they’ve soaked in, they can interact with the cannabinoid receptors within the skin and underlying tissues. Balms are generally non-intoxicating and do not produce the psychoactive effects associated with ingested cannabis. They offer targeted relief and are a popular choice among individuals seeking to manage conditions like arthritis, muscle soreness, and skin irritations.
The world of medicinal cannabis offers a diverse range of consumption methods, each with its own set of benefits. From discreet gummies and rapid-onset vaporising, to precise-dose pills, versatile oils, and targeted balms, individuals have the opportunity to select the method that aligns best with their preferences and needs.