Can You Smoke Medical Marijuana In Public In 2021?

Since the legalization of medical marijuana began in the United States, 36 states and four territories have allowed for the use of cannabis products for medical reasons. The change in medical marijuana laws that has occurred in those states has helped many people find relief from symptoms of various health ailments – but the laws regarding the use of medical marijuana in public may not be common knowledge as of yet. So, where can you legally smoke or consume medical marijuana products in the United States? Can you smoke medical marijuana in public in 2021? Let’s answer these questions and more.

Where can you smoke medical marijuana in public in 2021?

The last surrounding legalities when it comes to medical marijuana have been changing rapidly in the last few years. This has left people unsure of what’s legal and what’s not. Factor in the difference in laws on a state-by-state basis, and the whole thing becomes even more confusing. The laws between medicinal marijuana and recreational cannabis are also different.

In the United States, there is no designated area specified for those who want to smoke medicinal or recreational marijuana. It seems that all states have come to the agreement that public smoking of medical cannabis should not be allowed. The only exceptions are in California and Colorado, where some businesses have cannabis licenses that allow them to provide people with a public place to ingest cannabis. These cannabis lounges mirror bars for alcohol use. The only other place where medical marijuana patients can ingest their medication is in the comfort of their own home.

Where can you consume tinctures or edibles in public?

The use of medical marijuana tinctures or edibles in public varies on a state-by-state basis. This means that in some states a person can eat edibles no matter where they are, and in others it is just as illegal as if they were smoking medical marijuana.

person holding medical marijuana cigarette
Image by Jeff W on Unsplash: How easy is it to get a medical card in California?

Do you still need a medical card in California in 2021?

Although marijuana is legal in California for both recreational and medicinal purposes, it is still a good idea to get a medical card if you are dealing with an approved medical condition. For patients with medicinal marijuana needs, it is better to get a card so you have documentation to provide to authorities. This is because those with medical marijuana cards are allowed to grow and possess more cannabis than those who use it for recreational purposes. 

How do you get a medical card in California in 2021?

For those looking to get a medical marijuana card in California, you will have to go through the medical marijuana identification card program registration process. Although the program is optional to consume marijuana products in this state, it is suggested for those who wish to verify that they are allowed to carry and or grow medical marijuana.

To get a medical marijuana card in California, you must first put together the proper documentation to apply for the card. This documentation includes a copy of your medical recommendation, a personal identification card or other government-issued ID, and proof of residency. Proof of residency can be a rental or mortgage agreement, any bills that you pay at the residence with your address and name on them, or a California DMV motor vehicle registration.

Once you have gathered all your documents, you will need to apply in person at your County program. The application comes with a fee of up to $100. You will also need to get your photo taken at the County program office for the medical marijuana card. Once the application process is done it can take up to 30 days for your application to be verified, and then up to 35 days to receive your medical marijuana card. 

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Image by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash: Getting a medical marijuana in California is still suggested for patients even though recreational marijuana is now legal, too.

Can a minor get a medical card in California?

In California, minors under the age of 18 can apply for a medical marijuana card as either a patient or a caregiver. if the minor is applying for themselves, they need to be lawfully emancipated or have a declared self-sufficiency status under the California law. If those two conditions are not met, the County program office has to contact the legal guardians of the minor to verify information on their application.

Consuming medical marijuana in California can be easy to do if you go through the proper channels. However, you will have to consume your MMJ at an approved location, which is currently only your home or another private residence.

Featured image by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

Is Coronavirus Mainly Spread By Coughing? How MMJ Smokers Can Reduce Their Risk

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early months of 2020, many people have been affected by the disease. Roughly 103 million people have contracted the virus at the time of writing, with over two million of those people losing their lives to the disease. With the pandemic still in full effect across the globe, the worry of contracting the virus and experiencing severe complications is still at the top of everyone’s minds.

For those who take medical marijuana to help them cope with complications of chronic disease, that worry may be heightened, especially if the chosen method of ingestion is through smoking. But what effect does smoking medical marijuana have on COVID-19? And are those who take medical marijuana more at risk?

How is COVID-19 mainly transmitted?

There are many ways that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted from person to person. The biggest transmission risk is through droplets in the air. When a person coughs, sneezes, sings, shouts, or talks, respiratory droplets are pushed out into the air. If someone breathes in infected droplets, they too now have the virus inside their body.

The droplets range in size from small (often referred to as aerosols, which can linger in the air) to large (which fall to the ground rapidly). This leads the assumption that larger droplets are less of a threat than smaller ones. Coughing can produce both large and small droplets, depending on their origin. If the droplets are produced in the larynx and then coughed into the air, they are likely smaller droplets, whereas droplets from the oral cavity while coughing will typically be larger.

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Image by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash: Could smoking medical marijuana put you more at risk for contracting COVID-19? 

Are smokers more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, smokers may be more vulnerable to contracting the virus, but not because of the effects that smoking has on the body. Smokers are likely more vulnerable because the act of smoking involves putting something to your mouth using your hands, which may be contaminated. This hand-to-mouth motion increases the likelihood of transmission of the virus.

Many people often smoke in social situations as well, which can lead to increased risk of transmission if sharing is occurring. For those who smoke medical marijuana, that social aspect is generally eliminated, and thus the risk of transmission is lower than those who smoke cigarettes or recreational marijuana.

How could smoking affect COVID-19?

Since smoking medical marijuana increases the risk of respiratory infection and complications, it could lead to worse outcomes if someone were to catch the virus. The smoking of cannabis can damage the lungs, and since COVID-19 is a lung infection, this can lead to more severe symptoms. Some research has also suggested that THC may have the ability to alter the efficacy of the immune system, which could make it harder for someone to fight off a COVID-19 infection.

However, other studies have found contradictory results when it comes to cannabis and immunosuppression. Other research has also found that the use of CBD can actually reduce complications and severe symptoms in those with COVID-19. The information is not conclusive, though, and more studies are needed to determine the accuracy of the study’s findings. It also wasn’t clear in the study whether CBD was taken via smoking.

Alternate MMJ dosing methods

The use of medical marijuana via smoking may be some patients’ first choice of ingestion method. But due to the repercussions it can have on lung health, and taking into consideration the COVID-19 pandemic, some may wish to change out how they ingest MMJ. The good news is that there are plenty of dosing methods available for those who require medical marijuana to deal with their chronic conditions.

The first alternative that’s most like smoking is vaporizing. The process is similar, but using a vaporizer involves the inhalation of vapor instead of smoke. It’s not clear whether or not vapor is a healthy alternative to smoking in this instance, though.

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Image by Sarah Takforyan on Unsplash: Medical marijuana has many dosing methods, including edible gummies.

Methods that don’t include any inhalation, which may be good options for those wishing to change their dosing method, include eating MMJ, topical application, or oils. Edible medical marijuana can be ingested through various types of foods such as gummy candies or baked goods. Topical marijuana provides the dose by applying it to the skin, and oils are ingested by placing the appropriate dose under the tongue until it dissolves in the mouth.

Each method will come with different wait times to feel its effects. For example, someone who smokes medical marijuana will likely feel the effects minutes following ingestion, whereas an edible dose can take up to two hours.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people may wish to do everything they can for their health to ensure that if they do contract the virus, they have a fighting chance of a full recovery. For those who take medical marijuana, this means staying the course in your treatment and opting for a different dosing method if you are worried about the risks that smoking may cause.

Featured image by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

Is It Safe To Dose With MMJ If You Have Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a serious illness, especially when it comes to how it can impact the health of the lungs. Many people who dose with MMJ do so through smoking or vaping, which can also affect the lungs. Understandably, you may be wondering: is it safe to dose with MMJ if you have coronavirus? Here’s everything you need to know.

Are MMJ Users More At Risk From COVID-19?

Since COVID-19 attacks the lungs, and since inhaled substances can have an impact on the respiratory system, it makes sense to stop smoking MMJ if you have coronavirus. Researchers have found that cannabis smoke causes irritation to the lungs as well as microscopic injury to the tiny cells that line the lungs. When you expose lung tissues to smoke, you can increase the body’s inflammatory response – something that can be a problem if you have coronavirus.

While healthy people may easily handle the lung irritation that comes from smoking MMJ, a person with coronavirus may not be able to. That’s why it’s important to keep irritants to your lungs to a minimum if you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19.

It’s also important to note that bronchitis is an established side effect of inhaling cannabis smoke. That’s why some regular users will develop chest congestion and a cough. These symptoms are normally temporary, but during a pandemic that impacts the health of the lungs, it can be a good idea to avoid cannabis smoke.

Other risk factors for lung injury include:

  • Your age
  • Whether you have allergies or not
  • Whether you have other issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or an autoimmune disease that puts you at higher risk

 

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Image by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash: Researchers don’t yet know the exact relationship between cannabis and coronavirus.

Should You Be Smoking MMJ If You Have SARS-CoV-2?

Vaping may seem less dangerous than smoking, but the truth is that the ways vaping impacts the health of the lungs simply isn’t known. Plus, some vape cartridges have been thinned with polyethylene glycol or vitamin E acetate, which can destroy lung tissue. (If you’re buying your MMJ cartridges from a legitimate MMJ dispensary, chances are you won’t run into those products.)

If you do choose to vape, make sure it’s with a device that allows for temperature control, since higher temperatures can damage the lung tissue. You can further reduce harm by:

  • Using a flower vaporizer in place of a vape pen
  • Washing your hands before and after you vape
  • Sterilizing the mouthpiece between inhalations with alcohol
  • Keeping temperatures for vaping low – around 390 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Vaping outside and away from others
  • Taking small doses of vapor instead of larger ones to help reduce coughing

Precautions If You’ve Been Diagnosed With COVID-19

If you have been diagnosed with coronavirus, you will need to take precautions to ensure you don’t spread it to others. That means you shouldn’t share any type of device used to dose MMJ.

You should also try to reduce your chances of coughing when dosing, since that can send infected droplets through the air. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after you sneeze, cough, or touch your face. And be sure not to share small spaces with others in your household, especially the bathroom.

Should You Abstain From MMJ With Coronavirus?

There’s no reason not to dose with MMJ safely if you have COVID-19, as long as you explore other ways to take it that don’t involve inhaling. Think about shifting to edibles while sick – you don’t want to miss out on MMJ’s therapeutic benefits while you’re ill, such as:

  • Helping to control inflammation
  • Helping with anxiety
  • Helping to deal with pain and discomfort

There is some evidence that MMJ may also help you to breathe better in small doses, as well as help to quell the inflammatory response called a cytokine storm that has been dangerous to many coronavirus patients.

If you have coronavirus, go ahead and dose with MMJ as you ensure you’re resting appropriately to help your body to heal.

 

Image by Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash: Can cannabis and CBD affect coronavirus? It’s possible.

CBD Oil And Coronavirus

CBD oil has some established antibacterial and antiviral properties, but its best feature is that it helps to control inflammation. Coronavirus ravages the body through inflammation, so anything that can help to reduce overall inflammation is a good thing.

Coronavirus is scary, but it doesn’t mean you should stop therapeutically taking MMJ. You may want to adjust the delivery method with the health of your lungs in mind, but overall, MMJ just might help to keep you healthy.

Featured image by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Are MMJ Smokers More At Risk From COVID-19? (And 5 Alternative Ways To Dose)

Now that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has seemingly take hold of the whole world, it can be tricky to know whether all the things you’re hearing about it are factual. You probably have tons of questions surrounding COVID-19, including, “Are medical marijuana patients at risk from coronavirus?” Keep reading to find out more about how you might be affected as a medical marijuana (MMJ) user, and for suggestions on how to dose MMJ without smoking.

Is CV19 a respiratory illness?

COVID-19 is an upper-respiratory-tract illness. Its symptoms include a dry cough, shortness of breath, and a fever. The disease is spread through person-to-person contact. If an infected person coughs or sneezes close to you, respiratory droplets can transfer to your nose or mouth or can be inhaled into your lungs. People are considered to be the most contagious when their symptoms are at their worst; however, the infection can still be spread to other people even if the person is not exhibiting obvious symptoms.

Are smokers at risk of developing more serious symptoms?

Because the virus is so new (it only appeared in humans for the first time last year), research is still being conducted towards fully understanding its effects. However, in general, smoking or vaping can lead to suppressed immune function in the lungs and an increase of inflammation. Smokers, vapers, and e-cigarette users have all already been associated with a heightened risk of developing chronic lung conditions. In turn, individuals with chronic lung conditions have also been noted to have more severe symptoms after contracting COVID-19, according to some early research out of China. Therefore, it’s easy to make the connection that smokers are likely more at risk of catching the virus and of having more severe symptoms.

 

MMJRecs - coronavirus

Image by CDC on Unsplash: Does HCoV-19 affect your lungs? Yes – so it’s possible that smokers are at higher risk.

 

Are MMJ smokers more at risk from COVID-19?

There aren’t any definitive studies to show that MMJ smokers are more at risk of catching COVID-19, but it makes sense to assume that inhaling any hot smoke could be damaging to your lungs (especially if they are impacted by coronavirus or even just a regular cold). Smoking tobacco is likely much worse for your lungs because of the many chemicals and harmful ingredients, but smoking MMJ might not be a whole lot better for your lung health.

Should I stop smoking my medical marijuana during the COV-19 pandemic?

Because there isn’t enough proof to definitively state that smoking MMJ is dangerous during the spread of COVID-19, you might want to err on the side of caution and refrain from smoking until there have been more studies conducted to rule it out as a danger. There are several different ways you can dose MMJ without smoking or vaping it, so why not just play it safe and try those instead? As we all discover the effects of the coronavirus together, doing all you can to avoid catching it is a good thing.

What are some alternative ways to dose MMJ?

If you’re unfamiliar with alternate ways to ingest your MMJ products, here’s a rundown of a few options.

1. Edibles

Cannabis-infused foods are one of the most popular ways patients consume their medical marijuana. Most dispensaries carry everything from cannabis brownies and chocolate bars to gummies and mints. Plus, because you can purchase cannabis butter or oil, you can infuse lots of different foods yourself. This can be a great way to get your MMJ dose without smoking. However, it’s important to note that edibles can take a while to kick in (because they have to be digested), so don’t be tempted to eat more if you don’t feel the effects right away. Some edibles might have an even stronger psychoactive effect, so it’s important not to overdo it.

2. Teas

There are lots of different beverages on the market with marijuana in them. You can try fun options like lemonade or cold-brew coffee, or stick to a slightly healthier choice like tea. You can infuse tea at home with THC as well if you’d like to experiment with your own brewing.

3. Tinctures

Tinctures are infused liquids that extract cannabis compounds using an alcohol soak. They’re then applied directly under your tongue. Tinctures are very fast-acting since they enter the bloodstream immediately. This means they’re a great option for quick relief and can be easier to control the dose. There are also tons of flavors and potencies available, so it should be fairly easy for you to find a product that works for your needs. There are ways you can make your own tinctures at home too. If you’re experiencing loss of appetite or nausea, tinctures can be an easy way to get your MMJ dose without having to eat something.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ edibles

Image by Margo Amala on Unsplash: Anything from an edible (like a cookie) to an ingestible oil can be an alternative MMJ dosing method.

4. Ingestible oils

Basically, ingestible oils are any cannabis concentrate that you can consume orally. Many come in pill form (in capsules or plastic applicators), which means you can swallow them or add them to your food or drinks. Similar to edibles, ingestible oils can take a little while to kick in, so you have to be careful about the dose you’re consuming.

5. Topicals

Topicals are marijuana-infused body products such as lotions or balms. They’re applied directly to the skin for help with pain, soreness, or inflammation. They typically don’t produce a psychoactive effect, so they can be a good option if you need to skip the feeling of being high. They won’t work for everyone’s medical conditions, but for localized relief, they can be helpful.

Ingesting MMJ instead of smoking or vaping it can mean that its effects might not be present as quickly as when you smoke. Therefore, it might take some experimentation to determine the most effective products or strains to help best treat your medical condition. Also, be sure to pay attention to the THC level in all the products you’re consuming so that you’re aware exactly how much you’re putting into your body. Check with your doctor if you’re considering switching to a higher dose of THC in your cannabis products.

As long as we’re unclear about the true effect of smoking on the likelihood of catching COVID-19, it seems like a good idea to play it safe and consume MMJ products in another fashion. Everyone should be doing all they can to avoid infection, so try out an alternative dosing method while we learn more about the virus and its effects.

Featured image by Dimitri Bong on Unsplash

The Most Respectful Ways to Consume Medical Marijuana in Public

Although consuming medical marijuana has finally started to become a widely accepted thing to do, 420 card holders still have a long way to go until doing so in public becomes completely welcomed. Not only are there those who would rather you didn’t consume around them for surface reasons — the smell, the image it creates — but there are also people who unjustly hate for the plant and go out of their way to make consuming in public as hard as possible. Fortunately, these people are becoming rarer.

It’s important to know how to consume your MMJ respectfully and, most importantly, legally. Until the new legislation is passed legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, medical marijuana card holders will still have to be careful about where and when they consume. Thankfully, MMJ is a wonderfully dynamic plant, and 420 card carriers won’t ever be short on ways they can use it.

Smoking

It should go without saying that smoking is not an inconspicuous way to consume medical marijuana. The smoke produced is not only very visible to anyone who may want to complain about it, but also it creates a very distinctive smell — one that is usually unwelcome to those around the smoker. Weed smoke clings to people’s clothes and hair and can create an unpleasant atmosphere for those in the vicinity of the smoker. This is especially true for children.

It is imperative to be respectful of those around you when consuming MMJ. You can’t put your need for some relief over everyone else’s right to inhabit a comfortable environment.

It’s also important to note that the police will not take kindly to someone openly smoking marijuana in a public place, regardless of whether you have a medical marijuana card or not.

Vaping

MMJ Recs - e-cigarette

Vaping medical marijuana doesn’t give off a strong smell

A nice alternative to smoking MMJ is vaping. Vaping is done using a vaporizer and is a much more conspicuous way of consuming than smoking. When you pull on the vaporizer, the cannabis is heated and creates a vape cloud, which you then inhale. This vape cloud is much more discreet than smoke as it disappears nearly instantly once you exhale it. Additionally, vaping doesn’t give off a strong smell. You can even get special scented vapes to cover up the marijuana scent completely.

Tinctures

Probably the sneakiest and most discreet way for medical marijuana card holders to consume is via a tincture. A tincture is a highly concentrated form of marijuana that has been mixed with an alcohol solution. This solution comes in dropper form, similar to eye or ear drops, making it perfect for carrying around under the radar.

The dropper packaging enables you to discreetly pop a drop onto your tongue or into your food or drink whenever you need to consume. If orally consuming the mixture doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry: You can also put a few drops onto your skin, and it will have the same effect. The incredibly discreet nature of tinctures means you’re being respectful of everyone around you when consuming while at the same not earning yourself any unwanted attention.

Edibles

A discreet — and delicious — way to consume medical marijuana is edibles. You can conjure up tasty MMJ-infused treats into just about any form you want — the more imaginative the better. MMJ Recs favorites include MMJ granola bars and MMJ mac and cheese. Edibles are perfect for respectful public consumption as they are indiscernible from normal snacks. The only way you could possible insult someone by consuming any of these delectable treats in public is by refusing to share them!

Drinking

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Drinking your medical marijuana is particularly useful to those 420 card holders who need to consume on the go.

Another respectful and handy way to consume medical marijuana in public is by drinking it. MMJ is just as delicious when consumed in a drink as it is in edible form and can be done so in a whole host of ways, from juices to smoothies to teas. Creating medical marijuana-infused drinks is easy to do, but there are some guidelines you need to follow to ensure you do it right. Check out our guides on how to make juice, smoothies and tea to become au fait with the best methods.

Drinking your medical marijuana is particularly useful to those 420 card holders who need to consume on the go. You can make up batches of juice in the morning for you to consume in the car, at work and at home discreetly and respectfully with ease. Additionally, being stopped by the police with a flask of tea in your car isn’t going to land you in any hot water – (excuse the pun!).

When consuming your MMJ, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Although most people wouldn’t have a problem with someone consuming discreetly in public, they will have a problem with you doing so in a disrespectful manner. To be safe from insulting anyone, stick to the above methods of consumption when out and about, even if you have your medical marijuana card, and you’ll be creating the safest and most comfortable environment for everyone.

Smoking vs. Vaping: The Best Way to Consume Medical Marijuana

Living in the dawn of the medical marijuana card revolution sure does have its perks. Not only are more MMJ card holders able to access the amazing benefits of this super plant, but they’re also spoiled by all the ways they can consume it. But tinctures, edibles, topical lotions and juices still take a backseat. When it comes to popularity, two consumption methods still reign supreme: smoking and vaping.

Although most people instantly think of lighting up a joint when they consider consuming medical marijuana, a lot of medical marijuana card holders will tell you that this is not representative of their experience. Many opt to vape instead. Although you may be onto something in thinking that vaping is seemingly “better,” the argument is much more nuanced than that. There is no “right” way to consume MMJ, nor is everyone better off choosing one method or the other.

If you’re still humming and hawing over which method to choose, take the following points into consideration. And remember, when it comes to MMJ, you should trust your gut, and choose the method that works best for you — regardless of what others say.

Health

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Burning medical marijuana, just like burning tobacco, produces tar and other carcinogens that actively harm your lungs.

There are no prizes for guessing which of the two methods win when it comes to health. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for your whole life, you’re aware of the risks associated with smoking. Unfortunately for medical marijuana card holders, when you smoke MMJ, you’re still exposed to these dangers. Burning MMJ, just like burning tobacco, produces tar and other carcinogens that actively harm your lungs.

When you vape, you keep the MMJ below the point of combustion, so none of the bad stuff is created. Instead, it’s gently heated with essential oils, which means you’re getting all those amazing benefits without the dirty side effects. However, it’s important to remember that though there are countless studies done on the harm that smoking does to you, because of their relative newness, vaporizers haven’t been subjected to the same amount of testing, so they’re ability to do you harm is largely unsearched.

Cannabinoids

What most medical marijuana card holders may not know is that there is a huge difference in how much good stuff is inhaled when you choose to vape your plant over ignite it. When you hit the bong or smoke a joint, 88 percent of what is inhaled is smoke gas with non-cannabinoid elements. As we all know, cannabinoids are the best, most active part of the plant and the part most likely to alleviate you of your ailment. Conversely, when you vaporize your MMJ, the substance you’re inhaling is approximately 95 percent cannabinoid, which is much, much better. These lovely little cannabinoids then get to work instantly to make you feel right as rain.

Potency

One place where vaporizers certainly lose points is potency. Although they do give you a more plentiful blast of those all-important cannabinoids, the effects, more often than, not don’t last as long as when you smoke, which means you may have to consume it more often to get the same buzz.

Discreetness

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A vape pen is an incredibly discreet way to smoke medical marijuana.

One thing that keeps MMJ card holders opting for a vaporizer over a joint is how delightfully discreet it is. Vaping gives you a sense of mystery in what you’re vaporizing. For all anyone knows, it’s just a classic tobacco vape pen. This enables you to consume whenever and wherever you like without fear of backlash from those around you.

Not only is a vape pen more discreet, but it also allows you to escape the added unpleasantness of potent marijuana smoke sticking to your clothes, hair and breath, which is not a stink you want following you around all day, especially if you have important events on your schedule.

Convenience

Some 420 card holders would argue that vaping is infinitely easier than smoking. Sure, you can just hit a button on the pen and — presto — you’re good to go. But it’s not that simple. Most vaporizers are USB chargeable and will need to be plugged in for an hour or two when their batteries waste, which isn’t exactly ideal when you’re stuck in a jam and need a hit. Plus, you need to regularly clean your vaporizer; otherwise, you’ll start to get an unpleasant, stale taste.

Although vaping presents some challenges when it comes to ease of use, something as primitive as lighting something on fire doesn’t. Loading a bowl or rolling a joint is something that can be done anywhere, at any time, provided you have the right tools. Additionally, smoking will give you the same level of relief each time, something that a vaporizer with a weak battery cannot.

Choosing your preferred method of cannabis consumption is an important decision, but always go with your gut instinct. Your body knows best and will respond better to one or the other, sometimes without rhyme or reason. So just trust it, and you’ll be walking on sunshine in no time.

The Definitive Guide to the Best Ways to Consume Medical Marijuana

So you finally got your medical marijuana license and your MMJ — now what?! Well, you have a big decision to make: How are you going to consume it? Medical marijuana is just about as diverse as a medical treatment can come, and there are plenty of ways you can choose how to consume it.

Before you make your decision, you need to ask a couple of questions: Do I want a discreet way to consume it? Do I like the idea of smoking? Do I want to be able to consume on the go, on my own time and with as little preparation as possible?

MMJ card holders are more inventive than ever, and these days, the list of ways to consume is growing even longer. If you’ve only recently gotten your medical marijuana card, you may be a little lost as to what consumption method to choose. Lucky for you, that’s where we come in to help you make an informed decision. We’ve outlined the best ways you can consume your medical marijuana.

Smoking

When you think of marijuana, the first thing that comes to mind is probably people smoking it, whether via a joint, pipe or bong. Sure, this is the preferred ingestion method for most recreational marijuana users, but for MMJ card holders, it’s not as popular, largely due to destructive nature of inhaling smoke. However, some medical marijuana users rate smoking as a good method of consumption because it delivers instant relief from their ailment as they inhale it through the lungs into the bloodstream.

Vaping

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Vaping replicates the experience of smoking without the detrimental effects.

Ever increasing in popularity, vaping has become the new way to ingest MMJ without the dangers of smoke inhalation. As is evident by the name, a vaporizer creates a cloud from the cannabis by heating it up. Then, you inhale through a mouthpiece. As you’re not heating up the cannabis as much as you would be via smoking, you’re saving more of those all-important cannabinoids from being destroyed, thus making vaping all the better for you. A bonus of vaping is that it has been proven time and time again to be of assistance to those trying to quit smoking. It replicates the experience without the detrimental effects!

Edibles

The amazing beneficial effects of MMJ with the added deliciousness of an edible? Sign us up! And no, we’re not just talking about making some pot brownies! Medical marijuana edibles have come leaps and bounds from the clichéd chocolate treat that was once (OK, maybe still is) omnipotent in college dorms across the States. Granola bars, gummy bears, popcorn and even mac ’n’ cheese are some of the food items that have been given an MMJ makeover, and foodie 420 card holders around the world are ever so grateful for it. Consuming edibles has not only been proven to give longer lasting relief than other methods, but it’s also an ultra-discreet way to consume, which can be incredibly important depending on your surroundings. If you’re looking for some edible inspiration on what to make, check out some of our recipes here, here and here.

Tinctures

A what now? You may be scratching your head trying to figure out what exactly a tincture is. Let us give you some clarity: A tincture is a concentrated form of medical marijuana that is made in an alcohol solution. You use a tincture by adding it to your food or drink, dropping it under your tongue, or even by applying it to your skin. The container it comes in is very discreet — it looks like an eyedropper — making it perfect for public consumption. If you have a child that is consuming medical marijuana, this would be the best method for them.

Drinking

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Drinking medical marijuana in juice or smoothie form avoids the loss of some of the nutritional value of MMJ.

Yes, you heard us right! Consuming your MMJ by drinking it has become very popular of late — not least in California thanks to the juicing craze that’s sweeping the state! Like most other vegetables — yes, MMJ is technically a vegetable! — cannabis loses a lot of its nutritional value when it’s heated like it is using other methods. Drinking MMJ in juice or smoothie form avoids this loss of the good stuff and allows users to benefit from the ameliorative powers of the plant without getting the cloudy high that is sometimes achieved via smoking, vaping or edibles. If you’re intrigued by this inventive method but aren’t sure where to start, check out our how-to guide for juicing medical marijuana. You’ll be reaching for your juicer in no time.

This is only a rundown of the most popular ways, but if none of these take your fancy, there’s plenty of other methods to choose from such as dabbing, patches, topicals, suppositories and even just ingesting the fresh plant on its own. Most California medical marijuana card holders will usually consume via a combination of these methods depending on their surroundings or the relief they’re looking for. As with most things, your MMJ journey will be an ever-evolving one, and you’ll figure out what works best for you as you go along. Embrace what works, and discard any method that doesn’t agree with you or is ineffective for your ailment. Don’t forget to trust what your body is telling you. It knows best!