Cannabis Consumption: Picking the Right Method for You
The subject of cannabis medicine is both broad and deep. Just as there’s not just one kind of cannabis plant, there’s not just one kind of cannabis medicine. You may already be familiar with the Vireo Spectrum™ line of cannabis medicine. It’s a family of products designed to help you get the effects you want from cannabis based on your condition, your diagnosis, and your desired outcome.
But there’s not just one method of cannabis consumption. In a previous post, we tackled the topic of vaping vs. smoking, and why we believe vaping presents a clear advantage over smoking. Today, we’re going to compare another method of accessing cannabis medicine—through oils and capsules—with vaping. The idea is to give you a more complete and authoritative overview of each method of cannabis consumption and why you might want to try one over the other.
Cannabis Consumption: Not All Smoke Is Created Equal
As we mentioned in that earlier post on vaping vs. smoking, we believe that vaping presents clear and irrefutable advantages over smoking. In addition to providing a more precise dose of cannabis medicine when compared with smoking, using a vaporizer such as those offered in the Vireo Spectrum™ line greatly reduces our exposure to potentially irritating materials.
That’s because when we vaporize cannabis, we’re not actually burning it. Instead, a carefully refined cannabis extract is heated to the temperature at which its volatile oils—the compounds containing its cannabinoids such as THC and CBD—are instead released as a fine mist.
One characteristic of consuming cannabis via a vaporizer is that its onset—or the time required for it to take effect—is very brief, typically less than a couple of minutes. This can be useful for those wishing to access its medical benefits quickly, but for those who desire a longer, more gradual onset time—or perhaps experience some anxiety or discomfort around the rapid onset of psychoactivity (the feeling of being “high”) produced by consuming cannabis with a high THC content—oils and capsules may present a better option.
Capsules and Oils: A Slower, More Gentle Method of Cannabis Consumption
The capsules and oils offered by Vireo contain the same cannabis medicine as that in our vaporizers, but they affect our bodies in different ways. Because oils or capsules are consumed orally, the medicine is metabolized in our liver rather than in our lungs.
This means that the onset time for this method of cannabis consumption is far slower than with vaping. It’s normal for the effects to take an hour or more to become apparent, and for that reason, we advise patients to wait at least three hours before taking another dose of cannabis capsules or oils.
If we have to wait that long for the medicine to take effect, what’s the benefit? For one, the effects of consuming cannabis this way typically last far longer than with using a vaporizer. In addition, many patients report that compared with vaping, the effects are also more noticeable—again, in products containing a high THC content—and stronger.
Whether or not this suits your particular needs and goals is very much dependent upon your physiology and your comfort level. With vaping, for instance, some of us are uncomfortable with the rapid onset of psychoactivity produced by THC, finding it to be distracting or in some cases even anxiety-producing. The slower onset of consuming cannabis capsules or oils might help alleviate this feeling. But for others, the more gentle effect of a small puff from a vaporizer may be a gentler way for them to access cannabis medicine.
As with all medicines, some adjustment may be necessary to find the best product, consumption method, and dose for your particular needs. If you have questions or concerns about how to consume cannabis, please don’t hesitate to write us an email. We’d love for you to join this important conversation.