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If you are new to the PA medical marijuana program or do not have previous experience in using marijuana with your condition then we strongly recommend that you schedule a medical consultation with one of our medical specialists. The medical specialist will review your intake information and guide you through an informed process of selecting your first product(s).
Pennsylvania’s program has six approved forms of medical marijuana; pill, oil, topical (gels, creams, ointments), forms for vaporization, tincture (alcohol based), and liquid (usually MCT based).
Dry leaf for vaporization was approved for sale in August, 2018. Dry leaf consists of the dried and cured buds of the cannabis plant. When vaporized, the effects of dry leaf can be felt within minutes and can last for one to two hours, depending on personal body chemistry. Compared to other forms of medical marijuana, dry leaf does not require processing. When vaporized, dry leaf does not produce harmful chemicals, such as tar. Patients are able to purchase up to 28 grams per month.
Cartridges are made using cannabis plants that have been harvested and extracted. During the drying and curing process, some of the terpenes found in the live plant can be lost. This can reduce flavor, but it can also provide a more consistent and less-harsh end product. Sometimes, growers and processors re-infuse terpenes into the oil to add back in flavor, mimic the strain’s natural terpene profile, or make flavored pens. Inhaled and vaporized products are absorbed through the thousands of capillaries located in the lungs. Capillaries are what carry the oxygen we breathe into the blood to all parts of the body including the brain, gut, heart, and extremities.
Concentrates are a highly potent cannabis compound that is most popularly used for vaporization and dabbing. These extracts are made using solvents, such as butane, CO2, ethanol, or propane to strip away the compounds from the cannabis plant. This leaves behind a potent, cannabinoid rich resin, which can be modified using different heats and pressures. When referring to various types of concentrates, the name almost always refers to the consistency of the end-product. There are some advantages and disadvantages to different forms of concentrate, but often it comes down to personal preference.
Capsules are pills pre-filled with blended cannabis oil and are meant for ingestion. Ingestion is typically the slowest acting form of cannabis consumption. Users can typically expect early onset of effects after 45 minutes, with effects increasing steadily to peak in hours 2-3, and dwindling after 4-6 hours. As with other forms of consumption, this is an inexact science, and can be different from patient to patient depending on tolerance, amount consumed, and metabolism. Capsules are reliable for sizing and easy to dose.
Tinctures are liquid oral solutions that absorb sublingually through the mucous membranes. These oral solutions may come in different mediums, but MCT oil and alcohol are two common bases. When using tincture, hold it under the tongue until fully absorbed. The onset for tinctures is about thirty minutes to one hour and tends to last for two to four hours. Tinctures can be titrated for easy dosing and feature botanical extracts.
Similar to pills, topicals are formulated using many of the same techniques found in the pharmaceutical industry. Many topicals infuse other botanicals and natural ingredients to work synergistically with the cannabinoids. Interestingly, topical lotions do not absorb through the bloodstream and will not cause any euphoria. They work by binding to cannabinoid receptors located throughout the skim. The skin contains the largest amount of CB2 receptors of any organ.