Smoking cannabis may be the most common form of usage. This can be achieved in several fashions. Commonly, dried flower tops (buds) are crumbled into smaller consistent size (slightly larger than coffee grounds) that can either be rolled into cigarettes, or smoked in a pipe. These methods are quite simple and to the point, however some people may be intolerant to smoke of any kind and this would not be recommended. If these methods are used, the patient must use caution and understand the danger of live ashes and open flames.
Vaporization is quickly becoming the choice of medical cannabis patients. This method heats the product up to slightly under combustion temperatures; it is then inhaled either through a whip (flexible tube device) or fan assist, blown into a cellophane bag, and then inhaled. The advantage of this method is that none of the tar is inhaled unlike smoking. This method doesn’t seem to be as harsh on the lungs and does not emit the unmistakable odor that smoking cannabis does. The disadvantage is the initial cost. A decent vaporizer can cost $100 or more.
Ingestion may be the best choice for patients who prefer not to use either smoking or vaporizing, or may want to ingest in addition to other methods. Unlike smoking or vaporization, ingestion is not rapidly absorbed into the system and can take up to two hours for desired effect. However, the effects do take longer to wear off, the effects can last up to eight hours. Cannabis can be made into a butter product, and then used in any dishes that use butter (cookies, brownies, cakes, etc.). Sandia Botanicals can provide sample recipes to qualified patients (upon request).
Tinctures can be made using cannabis. This method can be achieved by mixing ground cannabis leaves of flowers with high-grade alcohol. The combined mixture must be placed in a dark cool environment for up to 30 days, shaking the jar for about 2 minutes daily. After 30 days, strain leaf from mixture using coffee filter/cheesecloth. The mixture is then heated to activate the tincture (decarboxylates the THC). At request, Sandia Botanicals will supply patients with more detailed information.
Cannabis side effects may be evident to some patients, and be non-existent to others. However, these are some of the reported side effects. Trouble remembering things, sleepiness, anxiety, paranoia, altered time perception. In higher doses it is reported that other side effects such as: dry mouth, nausea, headaches, tremor, muscle strength, decreased cerebral blood flow, increased food consumption, may exist. Some of these symptoms may be a result of other medical conditions.