Understanding the Consumption for Medical Cannabis
The patient or consumer can introduce cannabis to the body by several routes, known as Routes of Administration (ROA’s). In other words, this is how we consume cannabis products so that we gain the most benefits.
Each route has specific purposes, advantages and disadvantages.
There are 4 primary ways to consume medical cannabis:
- Oral – Taken by mouth
Edibles, Tinctures, Full-Extract Cannabis Oil, Salves
- Inhalation – Breathed into the lungs
Dried Flower, Vaporization, Inhaler
- Topical – Applied to the skin
Lotions, Bath bombs, Oils
- Rectally – Inserted in the rectum
What are Pharmacokinetics?
Pharmacokinetics are how the active compounds of a medication are released once a product has been incorporated into our body. This includes how it is absorbed, how it is distributed around the body, and how they are inactivated and excreted.
What is Bioavailability?
Bioavailability indicates the percentage of active compounds from a medicine that reaches the bloodstream, which is the system for transporting of nutrients, oxygen, medicines, etc. in our body.
Patient Considerations When Selecting Consumption Methods
When selecting a medical cannabis product and the way to consume it, there are a number of things to consider. The pharmacokinetics and bioavailability differ with the various routes of consumption.
There are 3 Primary Questions to Consider:
- The active cannabinoid content incorporated into our body
- Length of time before the patient feels the effects
- Duration of the effects
Benefits of Consuming Cannabis via Inhalation
Cannabinoids reach their maximum concentration in the blood and brain a few minutes after consuming by inhalation.
The important advantages compared to other forms of administration:
- Accurate Dosing due to immediate absorption (especially for first-time users).
- Therapeutic benefit is almost immediate. (Very important when suffering from acute crises in certain pathologies (peaks of post-traumatic stress, pain, nausea, outbreaks in inflammatory bowel disease, etc.).
- Shorter acting (Allows for easy and effective micro-dosing).
- Bioavailability of the useful cannabinoids and phytochemicals is the highest (around 25%)
Benefits of Consuming Cannabis Orally
Activation and duration times for edibles are generally much longer due to the way our bodies metabolize it.
Consuming cannabis orally can typically be felt within the first 30-60 minutes of consumption, with full effects peaking within 1 to 2 hours.
The total effects can last between 4-8 hours. Micro-dosing edibles is an extremely effective way to use cannabis as a performance enhancer for those who need it throughout the day. Contact us today to learn more about medical cannabis.
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