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How Is Medical Marijuana Administered?

Marijuana is perhaps best known as plant material that is dried and smoked. Not everyone is able or willing to smoke, even when it’s to consume medicine that will relieve serious symptoms. One of the benefits of medical marijuana, though, is that it can be administered in a number of different ways.

The Florida medical marijuana program recently banned smoked marijuana products. Licensed dispensaries in Florida can no longer produce and sell cannabis products that are meant to be smoked. This is a slight limitation, but it should not restrict any marijuana patients from getting the medicine they need. It is still available in these formats:


Consuming marijuana in a vaporizer is safer for your lungs than smoking. The material is not burned, so there are no dangerous byproducts. The temperature of the vapor going into your lungs is lower than the smoke from a joint. The moisture of the vapor might even protect your lungs. The marijuana is still absorbed through your lungs into your bloodstream and takes effect rather quickly.


Many medical cannabis products are available in capsules. They look just like medicine from the drug store and work the same way. The marijuana goes through your digestive system and is absorbed into your bloodstream. It takes some time for the effects to be felt because you have to wait for your digestive system to work. Depending on your health and the contents of your stomach, this could take several minutes or an hour or more.


Marijuana is mixed into drinks or baked into goodies to make administering easier for those who have trouble swallowing pills. The dosage is harder to manage in this form because one cookie could contain four doses. You have to take one bite at a time and wait for it to move through your digestive system.

Tinctures and Oils

These are concentrated liquids that can be added to food or drinks. For a fast-acting dose, you could put a couple drops under your tongue. They are absorbed into your bloodstream quickly and the effects should be felt within a minute or two.

This form of marijuana administration is especially convenient for those who need to dose several times throughout the day. It just takes a few seconds and can be very discreet.


Lotions, potions and patches infused with marijuana can be applied directly to an area of localized pain. The affects will be felt quickly and only in the area of application. Patches work differently — they actually deliver marijuana to the bloodstream and can have systemic affects. A patch is time-released, so you do not have to repeat doses.

If you think you could benefit from the effects of medical marijuana, use the online application to see if you qualify.


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