There are many different health conditions in which cannabis looks like a promising medicine or treatment. For some of these conditions, smoking may be more appropriate. For instance if the effect needed is urgent, as smoking works almost instantly. For many others though, the effects of cooking cannabis can be more positive. Here are just a few reasons why you might want to consider eating cannabis rather than smoking it. I suggest you talk to your doctor before making a decision, as he or she will know which method will work best for your particular ailment.
The most obvious benefit is that your lungs are not harmed. Achieving the effects of medical marijuana without smoking it is a great option for people with asthma or conditions which make smoking unsuitable. Because you are not drawing smoke into your lungs there is no risk of tar or other toxins getting into them. Marijuana is virtually non-toxic, so as long as the cannabis is cooked properly (to kill pathogens), there are very little impact on your bodies health.
Cooking marijuana for pain relief also has a few advantages over smoking or vaporizing. Although it may take up to an hour or even longer for an oral dose of marijuana edibles to take effect, it prolongs the drugs effects for several hours longer than if you were to smoke. This is great for people using medical marijuana for arthritis. The medicated state from ingested cannabis can last up to 5 hours and sometimes longer. This also can help reduce the impact on the lungs because it eliminates the need to smoke every couple of hours or so to help relieve pain.
There are many methods that may be used to cook with cannabis. These methods include using an edible fat-based solvent such as butter or oil to absorb the active compounds in marijuana. Alcohol is also used in some applications. Tinctures may also be made for topical medication if needed. These methods do require some learning on the part of the patient or caregiver, however given time it will be an enjoyable process that becomes second nature.
There are many ways to use the products of these methods. For example cannabutter, ghee, and cooking oils may be used in some recipes in place of the real thing. It is important to not use a medical marijuana extraction in any recipe that requires a cooking temperature of higher than 400 degrees Fahrenheit. High temperatures like this can cause the THC, the main active compound in cannabis, to vaporize. This means you lose it to the air! Not good, so keep it below 400!
The benefits of cooking with cannabis, in many cases, far outweighs what you would get out of smoking it. If you are using medical marijuana I highly advise you to ask your doctor if cooking with cannabis is an option for you. If you decide to pursue cannabis edibles it is important you learn the various methods of cooking with cannabis before experimenting. Ask your doctor for information and possibly even recipes. If your doctor cannot provide you with this information you can use the internet. However be cautious as there is a lot of false information about this topic. Use your judgment to determine the best options for you.