( a caveat) Allow me to state that I am not currently, nor have I ever been, a medical professional. Okay, there was that game myself and the little girl next door used to play but, that was well over 40 (mumble) years ago. This post is not to be construed as medical advise. Got that? Good.
When most folks think of administering cannabis the first thing that comes to mind is smoking. Though there hasn’t been a single documented case of cancer associated with smoking cannabis, everyone knows breathing more particulates than are in the air is bad for you. I guess. Like I said, I don’t know that I’m qualified to have anything more than a layman’s opinion.
There are methods of administering cannabinoids without burning flowers. Four come to mind right off the bat.
1. I’m sure most are hip to pot brownies. Cannabis can be eaten. One of the drawbacks to ingestion, however, is the rate and level of effect. It can take a half hour, forty-five minutes or so before the effects will be known. Does the person want to wait that long? What if the effect isn’t as desired?
Other methods include using a solvent to dissolve the glandular trichomes in a solution. The trichomes are not water-soluble but will dissolve in alcohol or oils. Anything from glycerine to Everclear will work. These are commonly refered to as tinctures.
The trichomes can be removed from the plant using a physical method (called kiefing) and then used in a number of ways. This would include encapsulation. “What’s that pill you’re taking, man?” “Cannabinoid compounds.” (I could get into decarboxylation here, but I won’t)
2. Suppositories. That’s all I’m sayin’ about that.
3. Some folks use cannabis dissolved in a salve. Yes, as a topical.
4. Vaporizing is like smoking, uh, only different. Remember, it’s within the glandular trichomes that the medicine is found. It isn’t necessary to combust the plant material to inhale the cannabinoids. Vaporizing has the advantage of, like smoking, knowing the effect almost immediately. Not too little. Not too much. Just right.
Vaporizing uses a heat source to raise the temperature of the material to a point where the trichomes rupture and gas off without burning the plant material. They “vaporize.”
Vaporizing also takes advantage of inhaled THCs’ property as a bronchodilator and an expectorant. I read somewhere that it’s actually the THC that commonly causes a cough when smoking cannabis. A cough, however, isn’t necessary to expectorate. An expectorant basically thins the mucus so that the cilia in the tubes can move it upward and out. A person needn’t cough to bring up a gnarly lunger. I learned that reading about cough syrups that are both a suppressant and an expectorant. I’ve been under the weather the last few days. I’ve been reading a lot of drug packaging. Heh.
I know this sounds contraindicated but I know of asthma patients that vaporize cannabis for relief due to its dialation effect. Obviously, inhaling smoke wouldn’t be a good idea for someone with a respiratory issue. If the vaporization is done correctly said vapor is colorless.
There you have it. A morning ramble about alternatives to smoking. I don’t know what came over me. I’ll blame it on the cough syrup.
Now go back and read the first paragraph again. Okay? Okay.