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There are many ways to take medical cannabis. It can be smoked, inhaled using vapour, applied to the skin as a cream, or taken orally which includes but is not limited to sublingual drops and edibles. In addition, while uncommon, intravenous and rectal suppository administration are also available.
Using a vaporizer heats the material without burning it. This has shown to reduce the inhalation of hot gases and potential carcinogens chemicals. Vaping also reduces respiratory irritants which is sometimes associated with smoking the flower.
Depending on the route one chooses to use cannabinoids largely influences the how well and how fast it works. For example, smoked and vaporized cannabis has rapid absorption into circulation with a peak concentration being detected within 10 minutes.
In contrast, oral cannabis use is slower to work which can take between one and four hours. This typically results in a delayed and less intense effect and may result in unintentional overconsumption and overdose from cumulative dosing.
Speaking with your health care practitioner and taking into account the situation under which you will most likely be using cannabis – at home, at work, alone or with people around – can help you decide which method is the right one for you.