6 Ways to Consume Marijuana Without Smoking It

6 Ways to Consume Marijuana Without Smoking ItEveryone is aware that consuming marijuana by smoking is the most popular method of ingestion, and pretty much the only method you see in the movies.

But these days, there are actually a lot of other ways that cannabis can be enjoyed, and you may want to try some to broaden your own experience. There are also some people that have respiratory problems which requires them to avoid any kind of smoking.

Regardless of your motivation, here are many other ways that you can have a rewarding cannabis experience without smoking.

1. Dabbing

This is a type of flash vaporization whereby concentrated cannabis is dropped on a heated water pipe attachment and then inhaled.

The appeal to this method centers around the tremendous potency of the vapor which results from the concentrate being superheated. It also involves no smoke, and is completely disassociated from the plant itself.

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2. Topicals

These are balms and lotions which have been fused with cannabis, and which are applied to the skin directly.

This application is far more about the relief of inflammation, soreness, or aches and pains, than it is about any kind of euphoric effect. In fact, cannabis topicals are well-known for the capability of treating symptoms without any kind of psychoactive effect on the subject.

3. Edibles

Edibles are probably the second most popular way of ingesting cannabis, and the category also includes drinks infused with cannabis.

This consumption has become wildly popular recently, and it continues to grow, with retail shops marketing everything from infused lemonade to brownies to roasted garlic crackers.

A word to the wise: since edibles take longer to kick in and eventually produce powerful psychoactive effects, it’s best to start slowly and eat or drink a little bit before adding on.

4. Vaporizing

Many people prefer the taste of vaporized cannabis to that gained from smoking it, and of course vapors are much gentler on the lungs and respiratory system.

Some of the more expensive table-top size vaporizers offer a variety of temperature control settings, while still producing high-quality vapor.

There are also the smaller hand-held sizes available for enjoying the experience on the go, so there are suitable vaporizers for pretty much any situation.

5. Ingestible oils

These are cannabis concentrates which can be consumed orally, and which commonly come in plastic applicators or capsules. Either of these types can be added to food or drink, or even consumed directly as is.

Ingestible oils are much like edibles, in that it may take a while for their psychoactive effects to kick in, but when they do, the experience can become very intense.

6. Tinctures

These are infused liquids with cannabis extract included, and they can be consumed by applying them directly under your tongue.

Contrary to either infused foods or ingestible oils, tinctures hit the bloodstream quickly, so their effects are felt almost immediately, and don’t leave you guessing about dosage.

An added bonus: they come in a whole slew of flavors and strengths, so you can be sure to find one that appeals to your taste or your medical needs.


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Official Disaproval of Marijuana as a Gateway Drug

In the 1950’s, the US Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics,

candidate as gateway drugs are prescription drugsHarry Anslinger put forth his famous theory about marijuana being a ‘gateway drug’; a substance which led users into harder and more harmful drugs. That perception was taken up by literally thousands of other officials and people in the medical field, with no specific statistical evidence to back it up.

Apparently the fact that it seemed logical was enough people to adopt the theory as fact. For decades, that has been the prevailing opinion among many Americans, even though not a shred of evidence has been found to prove it.

Recently however, more research has been done about the positive effects marijuana has and how its medical properties bring relief to people suffering from an illness. It seems that the time has come for an official renunciation of the ill-conceived notion offered by Anslinger all those years ago – and that’s just what is now happening.

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The US Attorney General Speaks

In a recent talk at a town hall meeting in Richmond, Kentucky, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch clearly acknowledged for the first time that marijuana should not be considered a gateway drug. That it does not encourage users to progress into harder, more addictive drugs.

The meeting was specifically set up to talk about the dangers of opioid abuse among high school teenagers, but during the course of a question-and-answer session, the focus turned more to marijuana usage. In response to some very specific questions, Attorney General Lynch admitted that government statistics simply do not support the notion that marijuana usage leads to opioid abuse or any other drug.

Prescription Drugs as the New Gateway

Instead she pointed out that the more likely candidate as gateway drugs are prescription drugs. Since statistics do bear out the fact that users of prescription drugs tend to seek more and deeper highs, these ought to be considered the real gateway drugs in society today.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has corroborated the statements made in Lynch’s talk at the town meeting, declaring that the majority of cannabis users do not go on to use harder, more addictive substances.

It may have taken 70 years to do it, but the ridiculous notion of marijuana being a gateway drug has finally been officially debunked. Once the general public embraces this new reality, a great deal of the stigma associated with marijuana usage in the past, may finally be overcome and laid to rest.

Medical Marijuana on High Blood Pressure

Medical Marijuana on High Blood PressureMany people have the mistaken notion that cancer is the number one killer of men and women in America, but this is simply not true.

The real culprit and the number one threat to good health to all adults in the United States is actually cardiovascular disease. And the main contributor to cardiovascular disease is high blood pressure.

The importance of managing your blood pressure cannot be overstated

If your heart is working too hard in when going about your normal activities, it will be under significant strain most of that time, and that’s when heart attacks develop.

The really dangerous thing about high blood pressure is that there are no real visible signs of it. You can look and feel just fine, and can carry out all your daily activities without noticing any real difference.

Behind the scenes, however, a person with high blood pressure might have his heart working so hard, that it’s generally only a matter of time before it fails under the prolonged strain.

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Here’s how medical marijuana can help

Medical marijuana has been shown to help control high blood pressure to take the stress off your heart.

People who use medical marijuana almost universally experience lower levels of stress. They enjoy deeper, more prolonged sleep at night, which leads to a more restful and relaxed state the following day.

Patients who have experienced chronic pain in their lives also report that medical marijuana relieves many of these symptoms for hours. They are able to enjoy a fair amount of pain-free time and a more contented outlook on life.

Medical marijuana’s impact

Because medical marijuana has demonstrated an impact, it has consistently been shown to lower high blood pressure.

This is not to say that marijuana cures high blood pressure – but it can manage the symptoms that contribute to high blood pressure.

Of course, the effectiveness of marijuana on high blood pressure does vary from case to case. It is rarely so effective that you can completely do away with blood pressure medications.

Still, in virtually every case where it’s been used to counteract high blood pressure, it has been shown to be effective.

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The Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Cancer and Chronic Pain Treatment

Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Cancer and Chronic Pain Treatment, Med Red CrossThe positive effects medical marijuana has on patients suffering from cancer or chronic pain is the subject of much debate throughout this country. Many supporters tout its ability to ease chronic pain where other pain medication drugs have failed, while others say there’s just not enough known about the potentially harmful side effects of this substance, which is still illegal in many states. Scientific research is still ongoing but the general consensus within the medical community and those suffering from the debilitating effects of pain associated with their disease is that it works.

Benefits

This form of pain management — now legalized in about half the states in this country — is used in precise doses to relieve nausea and pain, and increase appetite in those suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Approved for this use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), medical marijuana is also thought by many supporters to contain anti-bacterial properties, with an ability to reduce tumor growth and enlarge the airways to help those who have asthma. Whether smoked, made into hot tea or eaten with other foods, medical marijuana can relieve pain that cancer patients and others live with on a daily basis. Many are going through chemotherapy which can induce nausea and vomiting.

Medical marijuana can suppress this urge where other drugs have not worked as promised. A mouth spray version of medical marijuana, not yet approved here in the States, is thought to help relieve muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis. Recent studies have shown the inhaled marijuana can help relieve neuropathic pain, which is essentially pain brought on by damaged nerves, as well as improve the food intake of HIV patients who struggle with loss of appetite. Studies have also found that patients who use medical marijuana have a far less need to take conventional pain medication, thereby reducing the negative side effects of those meds, particularly to the liver.

Legalization

The long and short of it is that more Americans are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana than criminalizing the substance, according to the Huffington Post. A recent poll says 58 percent of Americans say the plant should be legal. There are several reasons why. For starters, this substance has never been the subject of any recorded overdose when compared with other deadly illicit drugs or even prescription pain killers. It’s even been found to be less addictive than coffee, with a low risk of abuse. It can help you sleep better and alleviate a host of medical ailments including chronic pain due to cancer.

The Politics

Unfortunately, as with anything else, politics gets in the way sometimes of pushing through new legislation that counters the historic view of marijuana being “bad.” Famed neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta is exploring these stigmas of marijuana in his research around the world and resulting documentary called “Weed.” He explores what emerging scientific findings are proving about the positive benefits of this substance to the body and the brain in particular, helping others understand how the old school political system may be hindering patients from getting what he feels is a low risk pain-killing benefit from a plant that occurs in nature.

Initiatives

With more and more states passing legislation allowing the use of marijuana and medical marijuana, there are also more awareness-generating initiatives underway that highlight the struggles people with cancer and other deadly illnesses go through, including the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Movember and Livestrong. These organizations and events help spread awareness of the devastation of cancer and other chronic diseases, sparking ongoing conversations about what can be done to help.

The benefits of medical marijuana for chronic pain relief are well-documented. However, there is a still a long way to go.

NIH Funds the First Long-Term Study into Cannabis Effectiveness for Pain Relief

NIH Funds the First Long-Term Study into Cannabis Effectiveness for Pain ReliefThe National Institute of Health (NIH) has put up almost $4 million to fund a 5-year study into whether or not medical cannabis can be an effective replacement for opioids in managing chronic pain. This is an official federal grant which has been awarded to researchers at the and Montefiore Health System, and the stated mission of the study is to determine if cannabis can truly be a step-down method for weaning patients away from opioids.

Parameters of the study

To conduct this study, only high-quality medical dispensary cannabis from NY state will be used, as opposed to the typically low-grade cannabis generally available for current research projects. The study group will consist of 250 patients currently experiencing chronic pain, many of whom will be HIV-positive, and all of whom have already been approved for using medical marijuana to relieve pain. Since HIV-positive patients are well known to be chronic pain sufferers, the inclusion of a number of such patients will provide very useful data over the life of the study.

Every two weeks, participants will be asked to complete online questionnaires which focus on their level of pain, and their usage of cannabis for relief. Urine and blood samples will also be taken from participants every three months to provide firm medical and scientific backing, and to ensure that opioids are not being taken in tandem with cannabis. Interviews will also be conducted among chosen members of the study group to obtain their perspectives on the effectiveness of cannabis vs. opioid usage.

Unchartered territory

No study of this kind has ever been conducted, so the information it provides can be extremely useful, particularly if there are strong indications that cannabis can be effective as an opioid replacement. There have been localized, on-the-spot observations of course, but no prolonged research has ever been performed over such a long period of time. The duration of this study is one of the aspects which lends greater legitimacy and credibility to its findings, since they would have the advantage of being demonstrated in a pattern of consistency.

No long-term studies have ever been conducted on how the active chemical compounds of cannabis, i.e. THC and CBD, impact the health, pain levels, or quality of life for patients regularly ingesting them. As the study’s chief investigator, Chinazo Cunningham states, “As state and federal governments grapple with the complex issues surrounding opioids and medical marijuana, we hope to provide evidence-based recommendations that will help shape responsible and effective healthcare practices and public policies.”

Amazing Dietary Benefits of Cannabis

In the view of Dietitian Jessica Aragona, the next best thing might be the most nutritious plant ever discovered by humanity with some amazing dietary benefits of cannabis. That’s undoubtedly saying a lot of course, but there is some strong evidence to back up the notion that cannabis has some powerful nutritional advantages.

For instance, it is a terrific source of protein, it’s very easy to digest, and it’s rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are known to provide numerous health benefits.

For those who follow a vegan lifestyle, cannabis is also dairy-free, gluten-free, and 100% vegan, so it can fit right in with that lifestyle.

Raw dietary benefits of cannabis

Raw cannabis is not psychoactive unless it is first heated, but it still contains two very powerful compounds which are disease-fighting dynamos; cannabidiol (CBD), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

When these two are ingested like any other vegetable (for example mixed in with a salad, blended into a smoothie, or juiced into a liquid) they produce some tremendous health benefits to the consumer.

Dr. William Courtney is credited with being a prime move in the ‘Raw Greens’ movement, and helped to reveal many of these benefits by devising a method for raw cannabis juicing.

In one of his best-known cases, a woman named Kristen Petuski-Courtney experienced an astounding return to good health after suffering through years of chronic illnesses which left her virtually debilitated. All medical treatments had failed her for years until she was introduced to raw cannabis juicing – and her miraculous recovery began.

The woman in this case is far from an isolated success however. As Dr. Courtney himself says, “Whether Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis, male, female, hermaphrodite, native, feral, bred for fiber, seeds or medicinal resin, cannabis is the best source for beneficial cannabinoids. Over 50 patients have used only cannabinoids to put their cancer in remission, and over 150 have found symptomatic relief.”

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Medical conclusions

Dr. Courtney’s medical conclusions about the benefits which accrue from ingesting raw cannabis are startling, and may hold the promise of medical breakthroughs in the future.

He has found that ingesting cannabis raw is far more effective than smoking it, because the properties of cannabinoids are degraded through heating, and lose their therapeutic effectiveness.

Raw cannabis however, triggers activation in the brain’s own cannabinoid system, and that results in the release of antioxidants in the body. As most people are aware, antioxidants serve as cleaners in the body, and cause the removal of many kinds of damaged body cells. This in turn, increases the efficiency of all other cells in the body, which are no longer burdened by weakened or damaged cells.

While smoking cannabis does treat the symptoms of many pains and illnesses, raw consumption seems to be far superior in terms of providing a healthy and therapeutic boost to the body’s systems, and possibly curing the causes of those problems.

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Can Cannabis Treat Migraine Headaches?

In the past decade, cannabis has been found to be highly effective at providing treatment options for several medical issues. As legalization spreads throughout this country, additional research is almost certain to discover many new ways that cannabis can be used to treat health problems.

It has already been proven extremely effective at reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure, relieving various types of aches and pain in the body, and has even shown promise in the treatment of some forms of cancer.

All these uses have contributed to the groundswell of support which cannabis has received in many states for medical applications.

To the growing list of possible medical uses, one more may soon be added; for treating migraine headaches. As most people are aware, migraines are severe headaches characterized by blurry vision, increased sensitivity to light, disorientation, nausea, and sometimes even a disruption of coordination.

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Current treatments for migraines

Migraines are currently treated in two ways, in a preventative mode, and after the fact, when a migraine is already in progress.

When one is in process, pain relief medications are generally used, for instance acetaminophen, opioids, and steroid hormones.

To prevent the onset of a migraine, various drugs are used which are classed as anti-convulsants, anti-depressants, and anti-inflammatories, as well as some types of cardiovascular drugs. To complement the use of these drugs, migraine experts often recommend acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, and massage therapy, in addition to ingesting specific herbal supplements and vitamins.

Cannabis treatment of migraines

Since one of the primary medical benefits of cannabis centers around the treatment of pain, it would figure that cannabis might be an effective way to handle the acute pain associated with migraine headaches.

It can also aid a migraine patient in getting to sleep, restoring appetite, and reducing stress or anxiety, which often attend those intervals between headaches. The nausea and vomiting, which commonly accompany a migraine, can also be mitigated to a large extent by the anti-emetic effects of cannabis, which work to reduce or eliminate nausea.

Another very positive aspect of cannabis use in the treatment of migraine headaches would be to eliminate the dependence that a migraine sufferer might develop for prescription drugs. By replacing most of those opiate-classed drugs with a more benign treatment program, the need for powerful prescription drugs can be reduced or completely done away with.

More testing and research will be necessary of course, before cannabis can be anointed as the one-stop wonder treatment for migraines, but the fact that its known properties manage the symptoms of migraines very well, would seem to point toward cannabis as a treatment with tremendous potential for alleviating the unpleasant and often debilitating effects of migraine headaches.

Current Legalization of Marijuana

The push to legalize marijuana for medical purposes seems to be sweeping the country, as state after state vote to allow marijuana within its borders. The movement has gathered considerable momentum in the past few years, and it continues to gain more support each year.

This isn’t happening because it’s trendy or simply in fashion – this little herb has demonstrated some remarkable healing properties. It contributes to the treatment of glaucoma, cancer, epileptic seizures, Alzheimer’s Disease, stress and anxiety, multiple sclerosis, back spasms, Hepatitis C, bowel disorders, arthritis, Lupus, Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, concussions, and strokes.

If this list gives the impression that marijuana is something of a Wonder Drug – well, maybe it is!

Medical personnel who previously were on the skeptical side have been won over by the growing amount of evidence that show the numerous ways it is being used for medical treatments.

CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, recently reversed his position and gave his support for medical marijuana. While he was investigating cannabis for a documentary he was preparing for CNN, Gupta was so thoroughly impressed by the evidence he came across:

It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works. We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that -Sanjay Gupta


State by state breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of the 25 states (plus Washington, DC) where it is now legal for medical use, and what the legal limits of possession are for each:

  • Alaska – allowed 1 oz of usable herb, in addition to 6 pants
  • Arizona – allowed 2.5 oz usable, with 12 plants
  • California – allowed 8 oz usable, with 12 plants
  • Colorado – allowed 2 oz usable, with 6 plants
  • Connecticut – allowed 2.5 oz usable
  • Washington DC – allowed 2 oz usable
  • Delaware – 6 oz usable
  • Hawaii – 4 oz usable, with 7 plants
  • Illinois – 2.5 oz usable within 14 days
  • Maine – 2.5 oz usable, with 6 plants
  • Maryland – 30 day supply (TBD)
  • Massachusetts – 60 day supply (10 oz)
  • Michigan – 2.5 oz usable, 12 plants
  • Minnesota – 30 day supply (non-smokeable)
  • Montana – 1 oz usable, 4 plants
  • Nevada – 2.5 oz usable, 12 plants
  • New Hampshire – 2 oz within 10 days
  • New Jersey – 2 oz usable
  • New Mexico – 6 oz usable, 16 plants
  • New York – 30 day supply (non-smokeable)
  • Ohio – 90 day supply (amount TBD)
  • Oregon – 24 oz usable, 24 plants
  • Pennsylvania – 30 day supply
  • Rhode Island – 2.5 oz usable, 12 plants
  • Vermont – 2.5 oz usable, 9 plants
  • Washington – 24 oz usable, 15 plants

Washington Post’s Article: Marijuana and the DEA

The Washington Post just shared an interesting article about marijuana and the DEA and why they still don’t consider marijuana as “Medicine” but this might be changing in July

We’ve just reached 25 (26 including Washington DC) states to introduce Medical Marijuana use, Ohio just being signed last Monday; which now brings marijuana access to half of the population of the United States, which is an overwhelming increase since the day we saw the first state legalize Marijuana for medical purposes.

These newly introduced legalizations are putting a lot of stress on the Federal Government’s marijuana laws dating back decades.

Now, since there are proven results that show marijuana is safer than previously thought, and can be used as a pain killer for many different types of illnesses and chronic pain, the DEA is starting to reconsider and will have their final review on a petition to reschedule marijuana, in hopes to have a decision made by July.

The Washington Post concludes that the hopes of the petition will “represent a chance to bring the agency more in line with public opinion, scientific consensus, and the lived experience of millions of medical marijuana patients.”