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Have a Questions for COCO?

Methods of Medicating with Cannabis

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.


Smoking is an ancient custom most commonly associated with cannabis but is not the only inhalation method of consumption. Alternatively, vaporization is a smokeless form of inhalation that uses controlled temperature methods rather than combustion like traditional smoking methods. These methods create a chain reaction that occur upon inhalation which happens very quickly and delivers the cannabinoids to your system with extreme efficiency.


  • Onset: 0-15 Minutes

  • Duration: 1-4 Hours

  • Peak: 15-30 Minutes

  • AKA: Smoking & Vaporization



An oil, concentrate, or extract is any product derived from cannabis flower that is processed into a concentrated form that contain only the medicinal properties of the plant. Concentrates come in many different forms and consistencies. This method can be a catchall for patients, as they can be inhaled, orally ingested, or used topically.

  • Onset: Immediately after inhalation.

  • Duration: Slightly longer than other inhalation methods which have a duration of 1-4 hours.

  • Peak: 15 – 30 Minutes

  • Includes: Oils, Extracts, Cured, Live, & Solvent-less Concentrates


Oral Ingestion

Orally ingested cannabis has become a rising trend in patients around the world due its ability for effectiveness, wide array of options available, and discretion. The onset for oral ingestion is slower with longer lasting effects. This is because, during the process of digestion, the cannabinoids undergo a chemical transformation through the liver creating a more potent and prolonged result.

  • Onset: 15-60 Minutes

  • Duration: 4-6 Hours

  • Peak: 60-120 Minutes

  • Includes: Tinctures, Edibles, Capsules, Oils



Sublingual’s are a popular choice for patients who chose not to inhale cannabis. Cannabis can enter the bloodstream when placed under the tongue and held in the mouth. Within the mouth there are dense networks of blood vessels that provide a direct route for cannabinoids to be absorbed. By administering these products under the tongue or in the mouth, patients are able to medicate quickly and with ease.

  • Onset: 20-30 Minutes

  • Duration: 2-6 Hours

  • Peak: 60-120 Minutes

  • Includes: Tinctures, Sprays, & Dissolvable Strips



These infused products are applied and absorbed into the skin intended for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. This is a great idea for individuals who want relief but don’t want to participate in the psychoactive effects of cannabis, common in oral ingestion and inhalation, because the cannabinoids cannot breach the bloodstream.

  • Onset: 5-120 Minutes

  • Duration: 2-12 Hours

  • No Known Psychoactive Effects

  • Includes: Lotions, Balms, Salves & Oils



Similar to topicals, patches offer a unique method of administration as they don’t require inhalation or ingestion. Individuals will experience psychoactive effects. This method of medicating allows cannabinoids to pass directly into the bloodstream simply by applying the product to a venous area of the body. This method typically provides effective, time-released, and long-lasting results for patients.

  • Onset: 5-120 Minutes

  • Duration: 2-12 Hours (Infrequent cannabis users may experience extended effects)

  • Administration of cannabis can be halted at patient’s discretion by removing the patch, although there will be some continued administration even after removal of patch due to residual remaining on the skin.

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