The health benefits of marijuana are a subject of interest to researchers and patients alike. Utah legalized cannabis for medicinal use in 2018, and patients can now consume different cannabis products legally within the state.
To access medical cannabis in Utah, patients must have a qualifying condition. Several conditions qualify for marijuana treatment. They include conditions such as epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, severe nausea, and chronic pain. The complete list of qualifying conditions can be found on the Utah Department of Health website.
Patients with qualifying conditions can apply for a medical marijuana card issued by the Department of Health. With this card, patients can purchase medicinal cannabis products from a licensed dispensary in Utah. It is illegal to buy cannabis from other sources or to order it from a different state.
The Department of Health in Utah has been generous enough to allow easy access to various cannabis products. So far, they allow cannabis consumption in the form of an unprocessed flower, concentrated oils, capsules and tablets, transdermal patches, vape cartridges, and waxes and resins. Cannabis edibles are prohibited in Utah other than in the form of gelatinous cubes. This article breaks down the different marijuana consumption methods that are allowed in Utah.
Marijuana pills are a common way of consuming marijuana. Marijuana pills may come in the form of tablets or capsules (hard and soft-shelled). While tablets and hard-shelled capsules are made from compressed cannabis powder, capsules contain cannabis that is in oil form. You can easily find these pills in a Utah dispensary. Since the pills are swallowed and have to go through the digestive system before they hit the bloodstream, the effects are likely to be delayed.
Advantages of Marijuana Pills
- Easy to consume
- Do not require any gadgets to consume
- The effects may last for a longer duration
- Offer discretion
- Pills are easy to fit into one’s routine
Disadvantages of Marijuana Pills
- Delayed onset of action
- Reduced bioavailability
Concentrated Marijuana Tinctures
Cannabinoids and terpenes that have been extracted from cannabis can be concentrated into a tincture. Tinctures need to be stored in dark-colored bottles and away from direct sunlight. Tinctures should be consumed sublingually to increase their efficiency. The region beneath the tongue (sublingual) is highly vascularized. This means that the cannabinoids and terpenes will be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. The tincture will come in a dropper bottle to allow the patient to place a few drops beneath the tongue. However, some people may prefer to swallow the tincture and enable it to follow the digestive process. In this case, the effects may take a longer time to set in, but they may stick around much longer once they do.
Advantages of Marijuana Tinctures
- One of the easiest ways to consume cannabis
- The effects are almost immediate when the tincture is ingested sublingually
- It is easy to measure out dosages and titrate to suit one’s needs
- It offers a discreet way to consume cannabis
- Cannabinoids and terpenes are included in some formulations
- It does not require any special equipment
Disadvantages of Marijuana Tinctures
- The onset may be slow, and bioavailability is limited if the tincture is swallowed
How to use Marijuana Tinctures
- Place one to two drops of the tincture beneath the tongue
- Hold the tincture for 15 seconds before you swallow
- You should begin feeling the effects in about 15 minutes
Marijuana Vape cartridges
Vape cartridges allow patients to enjoy immediate effects while avoiding some of the risks associated with smoking cannabis. In other words, vaping is considered a safer alternative to smoking cannabis because it involves less combustion. While the effects may set in almost immediately, they are likely to last for between one to three hours.
To enjoy cannabis in this way, patients will need to purchase a vape pen and cartridge that contains cannabinoids. The vape pen has an atomizer that, when powered on, heats the cannabis oil and activates the cannabinoids present. Through inhalation, the cannabinoids are immediately taken up to the lungs and into the bloodstream. Vaping cannabis offers the following advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of Vaping Marijuana
- It has a fast onset that is almost immediate
- It is convenient and straightforward to use
- It is easy to titrate dosage and monitor effects
- Less harmful than smoking cannabis because it involves minimal combustion
- It is an incredible way to consume cannabis
Disadvantages of Vaping Marijuana
- Vape cartridges may vary from one producer to another. This may create a variance in the cannabinoid and terpene concentration. In some cases, the concentration may be lower than expected.
- Cheap vape cartridges can easily malfunction
- Some vapes may be contaminated, posing a dangerous threat to consumers
- It is not ideal for children
How to Vape Marijuana
Even if you have never used a vape cartridge before, you may find it easy to get started vaping medical marijuana. Once you confirm that the battery is charged, you should attach the cartridge and allow the cannabis oil to be heated up. Proceed to inhale the cannabinoids and terpenes and hold the smoke for three seconds before you exhale. You can repeat this process of inhaling, holding, and exhaling as you determine the most appropriate dosage to meet your needs. Always store your vape kit away from direct sunlight and heat.
Marijuana Transdermal Patches
Marijuana transdermal patch: Image Source Wikimedia
Transdermal patches are becoming a popular way of consuming cannabis for therapeutic benefits. The skin, which is the largest organ in the body, is richly supplied with endocannabinoid receptors. When marijuana is applied to the skin using transdermal patches, the cannabinoids and terpenes are quickly taken up across the dermal layers, where they interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Marijuana transdermal patches are ideal for tackling skin irritation or inflammation.
Advantages of Marijuana Transdermal Patches
- Easy to use
- Limited side effects
- Effective for skin irritation or inflammation
- Quick onset of action
Disadvantages of Marijuana Transdermal Patches
- Limited benefits outside the skin
How to Use Marijuana Transdermal Patches
Rub in—Wash hands after use. Apply directly to the affected area. Apply a small amount of ointment, salve, cream, or lotion to clean dry skin, avoiding mucous membranes.
Cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis work together to provide maximum medical marijuana health benefits. This is referred to as cannabis synergy or entourage effect. When selecting how to consume medical marijuana, it is essential to prioritize methods that preserve these bioactive compounds. Avoid practices that may destroy these compounds through excessive heating. Additionally, you should choose a method that is best suited for your condition and enhances your lifestyle.