With so many different types of medical marijuana on the marketplace and so many methods of consuming, determining which cannabis product is right for you can be a time consuming and very costly process if you do not take the necessary time to educate yourself. Buddy Boy Brands would like to introduce you to the best medical marijuana products on the Colorado market and assist in finding the right product for you. Stop by one of our 7 convenient Denver locations today.
Sativa vs Indica – What is the difference?
The first step in deciding the best medical marijuana product for you is determining if you need an Indica strain or a sativa strain. Understanding the basic difference in these two types of cannabis products will be the foundational choice which will set you on the right path. Keep in mind many people consume different cannabis products for a range of ailments during different times of the day. So you may find several that work great for your different needs, and that is part of the fun.
The effects associated with a high quality Indica strain will leave you more relaxed than that of a sativa strain. The stronger varieties of Indica products are also known to have more of a numbing effect on your body. Products made from Indica strains are also more commonly those which are used as medication to used to assist in putting you to sleep, the natural version of a Nyquil. Indica strains are also great for relaxation, stress relief and to treat anxiety.
They are often high in the cannabinoid, CBD which creates many of these pain relieving and relaxing properties The physical characteristics, or the look, of an Indica plant is usually described as short, usually under five or six feet, and have fat, or wide, deep green leaves. Indica strains usually originate from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the surrounding areas.
The psychotropic effect a patient will get from from sativa based strain is usually described as more uplifting and energetic. Patients favor sativa for its imaginative and uplifting cerebral effects. Sativa based cannabis products generally stimulate creativity and place people in state of excitement. Sativa strains are great for daytime use as they are less likely to make you tired and are a favorite for daytime pain relief.
Sativa plants in certain regions of the United States such as northern California and Oregon have been known to grow upwards of 25 feet tall but most sativa plants will stay under ten feet tall. The leaves of a sativa plant will appear more long and skinny, and the plant itself is lean in comparison to the busy Indica plants. In short, Indica strains are perfect if you need help getting to sleep at night or pain relief. Sativa strains help stimulate the mind and body and are often selected by patients that need energy or motivation.
In addition any strain that is high in CBD will be great for inflammation, stress, anxiety, pain, and sleeplessness. Generally Indica plants have a higher CBD:THC ratio. Any strain with a ratio of 1:1 THC:CBD up to 1:20 THC:CBD will have strong pain killing and relation effects.
How to Consume Medical Cannabis
Now that you have a better idea of which medical marijuana product you will use to alleviate your symptoms, you have to determine how you are going to consume. Although the product selection process in some dispensaries can be quite overwhelming, Buddy Boy Brands carries only the best products on the market and can help you decide the best method of consumption to treat your symptoms.
Smoking Medical Cannabis
Take a small amount of dried (cured) cannabis flower into a pipe, water pipe (bong), or rolling paper (to make a “joint”). Then hold a flame to the cannabis flower until it starts to burn. Inhale the smoke from the mouthpiece or other end of the joint.
- Fairly easy to regulate dosage
- Fairly inexpensive
- Quick onset
- Minimally processed
- Multiple options
- Smoke may be harmful to lungs. Studies have reached contradictory conclusions about whether and to what extent cannabis may cause lung damage, but combustion of any substance can damage your lungs.
- It is not a good option for anyone with pulmonary damage (lung cancer, emphysema) or asthma
Start small! Inhale lightly (i.e. “take a small puff”). There is no need to hold the smoke in your lungs…exhale. Wait 20 minutes. If you don’t feel the desired effect, or you want to feel a greater effect, take another hit. Start low and go slow!
Vaporizing or “Vaping” Medical Cannabis
Preheat your vaporizer to the recommended temperature. Insert a small amount of dried (cured) cannabis flower or extract into a vaporizer. Press the button and inhale. The cannabis will be heated to a temperature below its combustion point, but still hot enough to release the medicinal compounds. Vaporizers are available in a wide array of sizes, from fancy tabletop units to pocket-friendly vape pens. Many of them will heat up dried cannabis flower or come with pre-packaged cannabis concentrates that you can vape
- Delivers fast relief
- Less harsh on lungs than smoking
- Doesn’t make you smell like cannabis as much as when smoking
- Vaping units can be very expensive
- Battery powered units must be recharged
- Devices need time to warm up
Start small, inhale gently and take a small puff. There is no need to hold the smoke in your lungs, just exhale naturally. Wait 20 minutes. If you don’t feel the desired effect or you would like to feel a greater effect you can take another ‘hit’ or puff of the vapor.
Medical Marijuana Edibles
Just like eating anything else. There are medicated cookies, popcorn, crackers, nut mixes, lollipops, ice cream, gummy bears, chocolate bars, chews, and many other kinds of food. The culinary science has evolved enough that most products are delicious—you can hardly tell they contain cannabis.
- Provides long-lasting relief.
- Good alternative for people averse to inhaling
- You ingest the whole plant – many of the cannabinoids and terpenes in smoking or vaping cannabis are simple burns off; with edibles you ingest all the ingredients
- Dosage can be very precise
- Can take half an hour to several hours to kick in
- Dosage can be difficult to determine for inexperienced consumers
- Must be locked up to avoid children and pets
- Causes a more psychotropic “high” than smoking – sometimes can be intense
Dosages vary widely depending on your weight, metabolism, and other factors. We suggested starting with a small amount—2 mg or less—and waiting at least an hour before eating more. You can always eat more but you cannot eat less. More than any other method, definitely start low and go slow with your dosage.
Medical Marijuana Sublingual Sprays and Tinctures
Extracted cannabinoids are mixed into an alcohol, glycerin solution or MCT Oil (medium-chain triglyceride), which in many cases is coconut oil. These sublingual products usually come in a small bottle. Just squirt or spray it under your tongue and let it absorb through the thin tissue of the mouth.
- Doesn’t irritate lungs like smoking cannabis
- Easy to control dosage for a very low dose
- Mild taste
- Can be expensive for people who require a high dosage of cannabinoids
- Takes effect faster than edibles, but still not as fast as inhalation
Start with just a few drops and wait ten minutes. If you don’t feel relief, try a few more drops. Eventually you’ll figure out your ideal dosage—for most people, it’s between half a dropper and a couple of droppers at a time.
Medical Cannabis Transdermal Patches
How it works: apply patch to a clean, dry and hairless skin surface. This is the ideal method for any patients who rather not inhale the medicine. If you have explored multiple options without success, this might be the right path for depending on your choice of high you are trying to reach.
- No smoking or combusting
- Comes in different formulations
- Mild dosages
- Time released
- Some individuals may develop an allergic reaction
- Must be applied on a clean and dry skin surface
- Not be applied where a great deal of body hair
Most transdermal patches come in 10mg dosed patches. They can be cut in half for smaller doses.
Medical Marijuana Topicals
How it works: Medical cannabis topicals are a great way to medicate without any psychoactive effects. Salves, ointments, lotions, and sprays are great for arthritis, chapped skin, eczema, minor burns, muscle soreness, sunburns, swellings, joint pain, and tendonitis, to name just a few.
- Topicals don’t get you “high” – although some people report a slight head change
- Addresses skin issues
- Localized pain relief
- Expensive products
You’re unlikely to cause any real harm with topicals, but do try to find ones that are aimed at your specific ailment. Use salves and ointments as much as you want as often as you want, keeping in mind that they can get greasy. If you experience skin irritation, discontinue use. Consult your doctor about using transdermal patches.
Ingesting Fresh Medical Cannabis
How it works: Raw cannabis has developed quite a following. Patients claim that the raw plant has medicinal properties that are lost when the plant is dried or heated. You ingest the raw leaves and buds straight from the plant, usually by mixing them into a juice or smoothie.
- Raw cannabis is packed with THC-A, the acid form of THC, which is not psychoactive. Some patients and doctors believe THC-A has unique medicinal properties
- Some patients whose chronic diseases never responded to other treatment (including dried cannabis) say that juicing raw marijuana has been their miracle cure
- Requires large amounts of fresh cannabis
- Has an unpleasant vegetal taste
- Studies have not confirmed results
Dabbing Medical Cannabis Concentrates
A “dab” is a cannabis concentrate (hash oil, budder, shatter, wax, etc.) that you heat to a high temperature and inhale. The delivery devices vary, but they tend to be complicated and usually involve the use of a butane torch. Also, concentrates can contain as much as 90 percent THC, so you will get a very high dose of psychoactive compounds.
This method is NOT recommended for patients with a low THC tolerance or those new to cannabis medications!
- Useful for urgent medication of acute illnesses
- Cost-efficient for patients who need high levels of THC
- Provides instant relief
- Concentrates are at higher risk of containing harmful chemicals
- Solvents are used to extract the medicinal chemicals, may not be properly removed
- Devices are difficult to use; accidental burns are more likely
We truly hope you enjoy your exploration of medical marijuana. If you have any questions feel free to come into one of our Denver marijuana dispensaries and speak with one of our knowledgeable budtenders.