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Different Ways To Consume Medical Marijuana

Different Ways To Consume Medical Marijuana

When it comes to taking medical marijuana, there are several different options. It can be taken by pill, by mouth in the form of a tincture, smoked, dabbed, drank, vaporised, or eaten. Which route you take is entirely up to you and your preference on how you want to experience the effects. The first thing you have to do is get your Illinois Marijuana Card so you can purchase medicinal cannabis legally. It’s important to know that states that have recreational adult-use programs and medical marijuana programs fall under different regulations and standards. Medical patients get favourable pricing and pay fewer taxes than adult-use programs. In Illinois for example the savings for medical patients is huge and actually help us all with the rise of inflammation in other goods and services!

Medical marijuana can be an effective treatment for many chronic and debilitating medical conditions. If you’re considering using medical marijuana to treat your ailment(s) like PTSD, or severe or chronic pain and you aren’t an experienced user then, you’re probably wondering about the best way to consume it.  If you are an experienced user and now you have a legitimate medical condition that you want to treat and don’t want to take narcotics the probability of choosing the right strain, consumption method, dose, number of doses and titration is lower than if you get medical guidance from a marijuana doctor.

Here are some of the most popular ways to consume medical marijuana (MMJ)

popular ways to consume medical marijuana

Pill Form:

Perhaps the most common way to take medication, pills are easy to dose and can be taken with water. Pills usually take effect within the hour and the effects can last anywhere from four to six hours. This method is ideal for those who want long-lasting relief from their symptoms but don’t want to smoke or vaporize their medication.


Tinctures are another popular way to take medical marijuana, especially for those who don’t want to smoke or eat their medication. Tinctures are made by extracting cannabinoids from the cannabis plant using alcohol or glycerin most of the time. They come in small bottles with droppers attached so they offer a consistent dosing method. Tinctures can be taken by mouth, or added to food or drinks. They usually take effect within 30-45 minutes and the effects can last up to four hours.



Smoking is one of the most popular ways to consume medical marijuana because it’s quick-acting and if you are experienced it’s somewhat easy to control the amount you’re taking if you know how potent your marijuana is. Smoking cannabis flower (dried leaves and buds of the cannabis plant) is still the most common way to consume marijuana, but pre-rolled joints, pipes, bongs, and bubblers are also popular choices.

The effects of smoking medical marijuana can be felt within minutes and typically last for two to four hours. Smoking is not recommended for those, especially those with respiratory conditions such as asthma,  COPD, or bronchitis.


Vaporizing is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to smoking because it’s a healthier option for those with respiratory conditions like asthma or COPD assuming your marijuana is contaminated with microbes, heavy metals, or pesticides. Vaporizing involves heating cannabis flower or concentrates (extracts made from cannabis) until it turns into a vapor that can be inhaled.

Like smoking, vaporizing offers quick relief from chronic symptoms because THC enters your bloodstream almost immediately through the lungs without the harmful side effects of smoking (including tar, carbon monoxide, or other toxins). The effects of vaporizing typically last for two to four hours.



Medical marijuana edibles are a great alternative for those who don’t want to smoke or vaporize their medication but still want the full therapeutic benefits of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Edibles come in many different forms including gummies, chocolates, baked goods like cookies and brownies, hard or gourmet candies, and even savory snacks like trail mix or granola bars.

They’re convenient and easy to dose. Just make sure you start with a low dose (5mg THC or less) until you know how they’ll affect you because it takes longer for edibles to take effect (30 minutes to 2 hours) but they also last much longer (4-8 hours). Higher doses are not recommended unless you’re a very experienced cannabis user because they can lead to unpleasant side effects like anxiety and paranoia.


This one causes a bit of controversy and is quite intimidating to novices or first-time users. Why? Marijuana concentrates can have 80+% THC content compared to traditional cannabis flower which typically ranges between 3%-34% on the extremely high end.

Quick fact, Godfather OG held the title of the most potent cannabis strain in 2022 coming in at 34%. This isn’t your parent’s marijuana from years ago. Keep in mind at minimum, these types of Butane Hash Oil (BHO) products produce an intense high altogether as opposed to traditional marijuana consumption methods. How are dabs consumed?


This is how people dab medical marijuana concentrates like rosin, wax, shatter, amber, crumble, diamonds, honeycomb, batter/badder, honey, or budder. Dabbing cannabis concentrates involves a device called a “rig”. Think bong made specifically for dabbing. A blow torch is then used to heat the part of the rig up called a “nail” which is usually made of either quartz, ceramics, or titanium. A marijuana concentrate is placed on the nail when heated to the optimal temperature which varies based on the type of material the nail is made of. The user will then put a “carb cap” over the nail and inhale their dose or “hit.” The effects are felt almost instantly and are in full effect within 10-15 minutes.

Important tips

Important tips

If you are new to MMJ and want to use cannabis medicinally, always start with a low dose, or else you may experience unwanted side effects.

Always consult and get the advice of a qualified MMJ doctor before you alter, start or change any medical treatment.

There are many different ways to use medical marijuana depending on your preferences and symptoms. Talk to a qualified marijuana doctor about the best way to consume your cannabis. Ask about the endocannabinoid system and how your medical condition is affected by it and don’t forget to ask the marijuana doctor about the benefits as well as any contraindications so you really understand and empower yourself to decide which form of the  medicine will best suit you. Any expert alternative medical practitioner will be able to answer your questions and also help you choose products, dosing, and titration to suit your lifestyle. A crowd favourite for MMJ consumption is to consume Sativa during the day and Indica in the evening.

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Article reviewed by:

Dr. Richard Koffler

Richard Koffler, MD

NPI Number- 1467557264

  • Dr. Koffler is a Physiatrist, specializing in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 
  • Graduated from the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in 1993 Dr. Koffler completed a one-year internship in internal medicine at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. 
  • Residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rusk Institute at NYU Medical Center in New York City. Board certified in 1998. 
  • Trained in acupuncture at Helms Medical Institute at UCLA His medical practice incorporates proven conventional western medicine integrating eastern alternative practices. 
  • Medical Director of several medical clinics in NYC, Stamford CT, and Miami Beach, FL.