What are the Different Ways to Take Medical Marijuana?

Feel free to Like or Share this article on Facebook.




Hi everyone.  It’s Dr. Chou here with another Medical Marijuana Tip.  Thanks for reading our article and watching our video.

Today we’re going to talk about different ways a patient can take medical marijuana.  Medical Marijuana products can be administered in many different ways, with each method of administration causing a different effect profile.

So read on to learn more about each method.



Inhalation is probably the most common method of administration.  Studies show that about 50% of medical marijuana use is through inhalation.

I should say upfront that under current Louisiana law as of May 2019, any form of inhalation or use of raw marijuana is still prohibited, even for medical purposes, and you will not be recommended or be able to purchase any medical marijuana in that form.

Stereotypically, we all think of people rolling joints with raw marijuana and smoking it.  While that is still a common practice in many states, there are now many forms of inhalation delivery, including cartridges and inhalers.

One of the benefits of using a cartridge or inhaler is that you avoid the combustable by-products that are created if you burn raw marijuana.  In addition, cartridges and inhalers can deliver a measured dose for more consistent effect.

Inhalation results in a quick effect, usually 30 to 60 seconds.  The main downside is that inhalation wears off quickly, which often requires the patient to use the medical marijuana every few hours.



Tinctures are a very popular way to take medical marijuana.  A tincture is basically an extract of the medical marijuana infused into a carrier oil, such as coconut oil.

Tincture are a great treatment option for a few reasons:

  • Good for people who don’t want to inhale marijuana, such as people with lung problems
  • Someone who wants to take their medical marijuana discretely without attracting attention
  • Dropping the recommended amount under the tongue is fairly easy for most people
  • It’s easily titratable so patients can dial up or dial down the dosage as needed

Tinctures usually work in about 30 to 60 minutes, and the effect can last around 8 hours.  It’s a good option for someone that wants a moderate duration of action, for example to get a good night’s sleep.



Typical oral formulations are capsules and edibles.  Some people like oral formulations of medical marijuana because of the longer acting effect.

However, one major downside is the time to feel the effects, which can be 1-2 hours.

The long time to onset is one of the reasons why edibles can be problematic for novice medical marijuana users.  Patients have a tendency to take another dose if they don’t feel the effect right away, and then both doses take effect and the side effects are too much for the patient.

Also, taking marijuana orally can cause more side effects than inhalation or tincture, as marijuana taken orally passes through the liver for degradation.  The by-products of this liver degradation can cause side effects.

However, edibles can be a good choice for patients once you’re body has acclimated to medical marijuana.



There are other routes of administration but they are not common.  These include:

  • Topical, which can be a good option for someone with a specific area of localized pain
  • Suppository, which is quick acting with few side effects, but a very inconvenient method of delivery



I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my latest article on the different medical marijuana routes of administration.

If you’re interested in getting more tips and videos from us, please subscribe to our tips email on our official website MarijuanaClinicLa.com, follow us on Facebook, or subscribe to our YouTube videos.

Thanks for reading


Feel free to Like or Share this article on Facebook.



Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana