Medical cannabis is now legal in a majority of US states — 28 plus DC, to be precise. As the legalization movement continues to gain momentum, buying weed “over the counter” is easier than ever. You no longer have to “know a guy”; you just need to know an app. And we’re not talking about scouring the Dark Web for black market drug bazaars. These days, getting cannabis delivered to your door step

Using medical marijuana is most difficult when it comes to dosing properly. You have multiple ways to administer the drug and even then you have to figure out how to do it accurately. Let’s take a look at the different types you can purchase and what can help provide the most relief for you.

Medical marijuana literally comes in all sorts of different shapes, forms, colors, and styles. If you smoke or vape it you will have a greater selection of different strains and you can learn how each one affects you. Vaporizing, at least so far as we currently know, poses a significantly lower risk than smoking, which I personally wouldn’t recommend. If you want to choose an exact strain responsibly, go buy a quality vaporizer and skip the joints. If you want to avoid any potentially unknown risks of vaporizing, you can purchase sprays and tinctures for equally simple dosing. Marijuana products also come in the form of topical waxes, food, and drinks. Let’s discuss your seriously insane number of options.

Edibles: I prefer edibles over any other form of medical marijuana because although they can provide a dosing challenge, you have a variety of cost-effective (and fun) options like cbd gummies. You also don’t have to waste your time figuring out a specific dose because you can just buy a specific dose with your edible.

Pills: If you don’t want to taste marijuana, or anything at all, you can purchase pills containing marijuana oil to swallow instead. They often look like vitamin E supplements and are pretty discreet. They work similarly to edibles in that they take time to work. Additionally, pills usually cost much more than their edible equivalents. On the upside, the amount of medicine in each pill tends to be more accurate.

Vaporizers: You can get a cheap vape pen at pretty much any dispensary or smoke shop for about $15-20 and it’ll do the trick. You can also buy a high quality vaporizer if you see a real benefit in spending around 10 times more. With a vaporizer you insert a cartridge, press a button, suck in the marijuana vapor, and blow it right out. Unlike smoking, you do not need to hold the vapor in your mouth. Suck it in, push it out, and you’re done.

How do you know how much of the drug you just got with one “hit” (a puff on the vaporizer, basically)? The cartridge you inserted will say how many hits you can get from it and how much marijuana it contains (usually 150mg, 200mg, or 300mg). With some easy math you’ll find that you probably got between 1.5mg and 3mg per hit. We’ll discuss this later on when cover dosing practices, but you’ll probably want to try no more than 4-6mg your first time (whereas a person with a moderate tolerance would take 10-20mg for a dose). Vaporizing/vaping offers the advantage of a quick onset of effects (5-30 minutes) and easy and accurate dosing.

Topical Wax (Balms): Do not confuse topical wax with wax (something we’re going to ignore in this article because it’s not relevant.) Topical wax is a balm that you rub on your skin. You would consider using topical wax or other marijuana balms if you have pain in a specific area. It takes around an hour to work and it smells strongly like—you guessed it—marijuana. Most people won’t find this worthwhile, but some people suffering from skin conditions that cause pain, soreness, and migraines appreciate its somewhat localized effects. If the topical wax contains THC, it will still get you high.

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