Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been utilized for its medicinal properties for centuries. With each passing day, techniques of consumption evolve, providing different effects and experiences for consumers. This guide explores various cannabis consumption methods, with a particular focus on products utilized in medical cannabis.

Understanding Different Cannabis Consumption Methods

The consumption method impacts the onset time, intensity, and duration of the psychoactive effects. Categories of cannabis consumption methods involve inhalation, oral, and topical administration.

1.     Inhalation Methods

The inhalation method involves smoking or vaporizing cannabis products to inhale the compounds contained in the plant. Smoking joints, blunts, pipes, bongs, and dabbing are common methods utilized for inhalation. When smoked, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reaches the bloodstream through the lungs, providing immediate effects within minutes.

On the other hand, vaporizing heats cannabis products at a lower temperature, producing a vapor that is inhaled and absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. This method is considered less harmful than smoking as it avoids inhaling smoke particles.

2.     Oral Methods

Oral methods involve consuming cannabis-infused edibles or oils by mouth for absorption through the digestive tract. This method results in a slower onset time, typically ranging from 30 minutes to two hours, as the compounds are metabolized by the liver before entering the bloodstream.

However, the effects also last longer, providing a more prolonged experience compared to inhalation methods. Edibles come in various forms, such as baked goods, candies, chocolates, and beverages.

3.     Topical Methods

Topical methods involve applying cannabis-infused products such as lotions, creams, and oils onto the skin for localized relief. These products are absorbed through the skin’s layers and do not produce psychoactive effects as they do not reach the bloodstream. Topical cannabis is commonly used to alleviate pain, inflammation, and muscle soreness.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Consumption Method

The optimal method of consumption may vary among individuals. Factors influencing this include the health condition being treated, personal preference, and lifestyle. Patients utilizing medical cannabis in Maryland must talk to their healthcare provider to select the suitable method that meets their medical needs. It is essential to start with a low dose and gradually increase until the desired effects are achieved.


Cannabis consumption methods continue to evolve, providing more options for consumers seeking relief from various medical conditions. Understanding the different methods and their effects can help individuals choose a suitable method that suits their needs. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before consuming cannabis for medicinal purposes and to always follow recommended dosages for safe and effective use.