Dr. Benjamin Caplan’s practice is highly sought out for those considering medicinal cannabis as a treatment plan due to his expertise in the area. He creates a personalized treatment plan for each patient based on individual needs and goals. Part of this process is patient education concerning the different routes through which medicinal cannabis can be used. This section elaborates on the three primary methods of medicinal cannabis administration.
One common misconception concerning the administration of medicinal cannabis through inhalation is that it utilizes a flame. This should actually be avoided because combustion unnecessarily introduces harmful toxins. Further, not only is combustion dangerous, it is unnecessary because a flame burns at a significantly higher temperature than the boiling point of active molecules in cannabis. Instead, for patients who will be utilizing inhalation as a treatment option, Dr. Caplan recommends vaporization. Vaporizing is the process of heating cannabis to a temperature where cannabinoids evaporate but not to the point where plant matter burns. This results in a vapor that doesn’t contain the carbon-monoxide, tar, and other harmful toxins. With experience, patients utilizing vaporization can easily titrate what dosage they are receiving.
For many patients, ingestion is the preferred method of medicinal cannabis consumption. The usage of edible products and/or tinctures allows patients to be treated without the necessity of inhalation. Ingested medicinal cannabis has a delayed onset and a longer duration compared to the vaporization method because, rather than quickly entering the bloodstream through the lungs, ingested cannabis is processed by the liver. Prepared servings come in different sizes and potencies, allowing patients to know what dosage they are receiving. The variety of edible options available is huge; dispensaries typically carry a wide variety of prepared foods and drinks as well as tinctures, capsules, and pills.
The administration of medicinal cannabis through topically applied creams or transdermal patches is an option that many patients use due to its lasting effects and compatibility with daily activities. The onset and duration of these options is dependent on application location and other factors, but it is longer than the vaporization method. This option is often used by patients seeking localized relief of pain or inflammation. Most topical administration of medicinal cannabis does not reach the bloodstream, so there are no psychoactive effects, however, this can occur when utilizing transdermal patches.