Updated on December 19, 2018.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Due to the intense pain that interstitial cystitis causes, it’s a common question medical marijuana doctors hear — “Should I use edibles or vaporize?” While the answer varies by your medical history, personal preferences and past treatments, it’s essential to understand the benefits and drawbacks, of both.
What Is the Difference Between Edibles and Vaporizing
The primary difference between edibles and vaporizing is their administration. While edibles are taken orally and pass through your digestive tract, vaporized medical weed moves through your lungs. As a result, there’s a contrast in how soon you’ll feel relief from your interstitial cystitis pain, as well as how long that relief will last.
The Advantages of Using Edibles for Interstitial Cystitis
Edibles offer several advantages that make them a favorite choice for some patients, including:
- Long-Term Pain Relief: Edibles provide a slow, long-lasting dosage. Your pain, for instance, may be alleviated for three to seven hours when consuming a medical marijuana edible, like a brownie or gummy.
- Less Damage to Lungs or Stomach: While many patients prefer smoking cannabis for immediate relief, the administration method does risk damage to your lungs with continued use. By using edibles, you don’t have to worry about harming your lungs or digestive tract.
- Healing Effects Across the Body: Some patients notice edibles offer a more balanced experience. While pain from interstitial cystitis often concentrates itself in the abdomen, edibles can be helpful if you’re also coping with back pain, or mental stress.
Like other administration methods of medical weed, there are some drawbacks of edibles, which include:
- Slow-Acting Pain Relief: For immediate pain relief, edibles aren’t an ideal choice. For interstitial cystitis, this is critical to know, as you’ll want to ease sudden pain without delay. Most edibles will take effect in 30 to 90 minutes, though this can depend on when you last ate.
- Risk of Exceeding Dosages: Because edibles are different from more traditional administration methods, like smoking, it’s not uncommon for patients to increase or decrease their dosage, especially if you’re initially unaware that edibles are slow-acting.
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The Benefits of Vaporizing for Interstitial Cystitis
Vaporizing medical cannabis also provides benefits for treating interstitial cystitis, including:
- Fast Pain Relief: By inhaling medical weed through a vaporizer, you can begin to feel relief within a few minutes. For intense, sudden pain from your condition, this advantage is a significant consideration.
- Safe Alternative to Smoking: Vaporizers offer a healthier alternative to smoking while still providing the same benefits of smoking medical cannabis. In fact, they reduce more than 95 percent of carcinogens and decrease respiratory issues.
Some drawbacks of vaporizing medical marijuana include:
- Brief Relief From Pain: Because vaporizing medical pot is fast-acting, the effects also dissipate sooner. If you’re looking for long-lasting pain relief, this factor may be an issue.
- Investment, Charging and Maintenance: Vaporizers are often expensive and require charging and regular care. Before deciding to vape, you’ll need to research the cost of reliable vaporizers, plus make sure you have an alternative administration method on-hand if your vaporizer should break or die.
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Talk to Your Medical Cannabis Doctor About Administering Medical Marijuana
If you’re looking to manage your interstitial cystitis pain with medical weed, edibles are a viable choice for patients who need long-lasting effects. Should you need immediate pain relief due to a spike in discomfort from your condition, it’s best to use another administration method, like vaping.
To find the best method for you, schedule an appointment with your medical cannabis physician today.
Information About Medical Marijuana and Interstitial Cystitis