Seniors have much to gain by utilizing cannabis products for their health. Both dominant cannabinoids, THC and CBD, have demonstrable health benefits, like reducing inflammation and pain, relaxing muscles and reducing spasms, encouraging appetite and even stimulating libido. We over the age of 65 should seriously consider setting aside any propagandized attitudes toward marijuana and seeing for ourselves what good the drug can do.
However, before anyone picks up any kind of cannabis, they should be aware of how different methods of using the drug can impact the experience. Some methods, such as making ice hash, are much safer and steadier than others. Here’s a guide to some of the best ways to partake of the good green herb if you are an absolute beginner.
By far, the best way to take in regular doses of cannabinoids is through concentrated oils administered buccally or sublingually, which means between your gums and check or under your tongue. Your mouth is filled with tiny capillaries close to the tissue surface to help with metabolism, ensuring that certain nutrients are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream for immediate use. The same occurs with cannabis oils, which absorb directly into the blood and begin providing effects immediately.
Oils tend to be extremely concentrated, offering high cannabinoid content. Even so, they are the safest dosing option, for a few reasons. First, because cannabinoids enter your system more efficiently, you can be certain of what dose you of cannabinoids you are receiving; moreover, you feel the effects quickly and are less likely to take another dose prematurely. This makes management of cannabis treatments straightforward, which is essential when you rely on cannabinoids for medical treatment.
Another option for users looking for a medical feel to their cannabis experience is capsules. Just like any other medication, cannabinoids can come in capsule form — and you can even create your own cannabis capsules by infusing coconut oil with dried herb. Unlike oils, capsules must travel through your digestive system to be absorbed into your bloodstream and begin manifesting effects. Thus, there is some delay between when you take a capsule and when you experience results.
However, because capsules contain a certain dosage of cannabinoids, it remains simple to maintain a treatment plan using capsules. What’s more, because cannabis capsules look like any other large pill, it is easy to take a dose through a capsule without drawing attention for cannabis use.
These days, a large section of the cannabis market is devoted to topicals, or products for application on the skin. Lotions, balms, salves, creams and the like are infused with cannabinoids and essential oils. For the most part, cannabis topicals are intended as products for targeted pain relief, like Aspercreme or Bengay. Because the cannabinoids only absorb into the region they are applied, they cannot impact your brain or other elements of your body, like your digestive system or cardiovascular system. This makes the use of topicals extremely safe — even though research testing their effectiveness is scant. You might consider visiting a Berkley dispensary and finding a topical to try if you suffer from arthritis, muscle spasms or other surface pain.
The final truly safe method of using cannabinoids is vaporizers. Inhaling cannabis is among the most common use methods because it is an easy way to get cannabinoids into the bloodstream — through the capillaries inside the lungs.
It is worth noting right away that vaporizers and vape pens aren’t the same. Vape pens rely on super-heating cannabis concentrates, like oils, which are often mixed with potentially dangerous compounds like stabilizers and preservatives. In contrast, vaporizers heat dried cannabis to a temperature just below its combustion point, causing the active ingredients of the herb to vaporize. The inhaled vapor tends to be much cleaner and contain a higher percentage of useful cannabinoids than methods of smoking, like marijuana cigarettes or pipes.
The main drawback to vaporizers is their complexity. They are incredibly finnicky machines, allowing users to fiddle with all sorts of settings to customize the experience. As a result, it can be difficult for weed newcomers to feel confident using vaporizers. Plus, vaporizers tend to be quite expensive, with the cheapest models costing around $200 and the best models upwards of $600.
By no means are these the only methods for using cannabis — they are merely the safest. As always, if you are interested in incorporating any kind of cannabis treatment into your lifestyle, you should talk to your doctor and to cannabis experts at your local dispensary.