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Methods of Medicating: Smoking

Smoking Medical Marijuana

The inhalation or smoking of medicinal marijuana is to be considered the most expedient method of medicating. When inhaling the smoke from medicinal marijuana, the effects are not only experienced within moments, but they are also considered more controllable. In terms of downsides, the smoke produced when smoking marijuana contains a number of irritants and carcinogens that are not beneficial to its user. A carcinogen is considered any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. However, the threat of carcinogens and irritants, according to a 2006 study, provide no link between smoking marijuana and cancer – even in heavy, frequent and long-term marijuana users. According to a 2007 study conducted by the American Association for Cancer Research Study (AACR), marijuana cuts lung cancer tumor growth in half.

If you are a medical marijuana patient within your respective state or choose to smoke medical marijuana, trying some of the following strategies will reduce some of the risks involved with the direct inhalation of marijuana smoke:   

  • Medicate with more potent cannabis. THC is the major psychoactive constituent of cannabis, and its potency is dependent on the plant’s THC concentration. This is usually expressed as %THC per dry weight of material. The lower the potency or THC content, the more hits are needed to achieve the desired effects. When smoking cannabis that contains a higher THC content, it reduces exposure to irritating tars because less cannabis is required to reach the effective and desired dosage level.
  • Use a vaporizer or pipe. The most highly recommended method of smoking marijuana would be through use of a vaporizer. Vaporizers significantly reduce a user’s exposure to any carcinogenic smoke that may be associated with marijuana. A user’s medical marijuana vaporizes until a thin mist of vapor is created at a lower temperature, as compared to a typical marijuana joint, which burns at a much higher temperature and can create many harmful carcinogens. If using a pipe with your cannabis, this enables more consistent and predictable dosage levels than a joint would. If vaporizers or pipes are not for you, and you prefer smoking a joint, we advise you to use a filter and opt for a rolling paper that is made from all natural ingredients or plant cellulose.
  • Don’t hold your breath.  Several medical studies by high-end organizations have stated that beyond ten seconds of holding in your marijuana smoke is simply considered wasting your breath. This, for the most part is true. After 10 seconds your lungs have absorbed all the THC out of the marijuana smoke that is possible for your lungs. The rest of the THC that is left, nearly 25%, is in the smoke that is released after exhale. Holding your marijuana smoke in for a long time does not absorb more THC, it simply will only coat your lungs with more and more tar. When smoking medical marijuana, inhale deeply and then immediately exhale.

Find a Marijuana Doctor

Before you choose smoking marijuana as your delivery method for medical marijuana, you must first ensure you are in compliance with your state’s medical marijuana laws, obtain a recommendation from a qualified physician, and obtain a marijuana card, where applicable. If you are looking for a qualified medical marijuana doctor, MarijuanaDoctors.com can help. Our database is home to hundreds of physicians in every medical marijuana state. Book an appointment today.

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This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals.  If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional

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