Cannabis Oral Products: All You Need to Know
Cannabis has long been consumed for its medicinal and therapeutic benefits, and one of its more classic forms as medicine includes tinctures. This oral form of cannabis has expanded to include far more than the bottle-and-dropper combo; think capsules, tablets, oral sprays, and more, all of which are designed to provide you with a convenient and discreet way to consume cannabis.
Why Consider Oral Cannabis?
Aside from convenience and discretion, the key advantage of oral cannabis products over other forms of cannabis consumption, like smoking or vaporizing, is that they allow for more precise dosing and provide longer-lasting effects.
When consuming oral cannabis products, it is important to be aware that the onset of effects may take longer than with other forms of cannabis consumption.
If the product is digested, as with capsules and concentrates that are swallowed, effects may take as long as 30 minutes to up to 2 hours to set in. Edibles are a time commitment, and if you don’t have 2 hours to gauge effects and roughly 6 hours to receive their benefits, a different method may be best. This is particularly important to consider if you will be driving or operating heavy machinery.
Overall, cannabis offers self-care benefits and beyond. As the research in the field continues to evolve, we may see an even wider range of oral cannabis products being developed and made available to patients.
Types of Cannabis Oral Products
As noted above, there is a diverse range of cannabis oral products in today's cannabis market. You can expect to see tinctures, sprays, sublinguals, capsules, concentrates, and more.
Cannabis tinctures are a type of oral cannabis product made first by extracting the desired active compounds, such as THC and CBD. The resulting extract is then refined and purified, to be infused into a carrier oil, most often MCT or coconut oil. The resulting liquid is then packaged in small dropper bottles for easy placement under the tongue or in food or drinks for consumption. Tinctures offer a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis, as the dropper allows for easy dosing, and the alcohol base means they have a longer shelf life than most edibles.
Tinctures can be particularly useful if you are seeking generalized pain relief. They can also be useful if you have a lung issue or breathing concerns or are otherwise looking to avoid the need to draw cannabis smoke or vapor into the lungs. While tinctures are available in various ratios of THC:CBD, CBD-only tinctures are a fantastic way to access the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Cannabis Capsules and Tablets
Cannabis oral capsules are potentially the most convenient way to consume cannabis, as well as one of the most discreet. Dissolvable capsules are filled with cannabis oil or powdered cannabis, and dosing is as easy as grabbing your desired number of tablets and swallowing. Capsules allow for easy tracking of your dosage and can be taken at any time, with or without food. These products are like other oral cannabis products in that they offer a precise and consistent dosing experience.
One key advantage of oral capsules is that the effects take longer to set in but tend to last longer than inhalation methods. This can be therapeutically beneficial, as it allows for sustained relief. Additionally, oral capsules are often an excellent choice if you have a breathing concern and don’t want to inhale smoke or vapor. Capsules are available in a wide range of cannabis strains and potencies, allowing you to find the best product to suit your specific needs. Overall, cannabis oral capsule products provide a versatile and effective method of consuming cannabis.
Cannabis oral syringe products are made by filling syringes with cannabis oil, which can be vaporized for inhalation or consumed orally for edible-like effects. This pre-measured, precision delivery system enables you to accurately control the dosage of cannabis oil. As a result, syringes are extremely useful if you must take a specific dose to control your symptoms. Oral syringes also are a great option if you do not want to inhale smoke or vapor. They can be used with or without food, with effects typically appearing within 30 minutes to two hours after consumption.
Another benefit of cannabis oral syringes is that they can also be used topically. For example, you can use the syringe to apply cannabis oil directly to a sore joint, providing localized pain relief. This can be especially beneficial for conditions such as arthritis. Overall, cannabis oral syringe products provide a versatile and effective way to consume cannabis, allowing for precise dosage, easy transport, and the ability to use it topically.
Cannabis Mints and Lozenges
Cannabis mints and lozenges are a subset of oral products that have recently experienced more widespread use. These products typically come in the form of lozenges or strips that dissolve in your mouth. This method of delivery differs from traditional oral consumption in that the active compounds in the cannabis are absorbed through the thin tissues under your tongue and in your cheeks rather than being metabolized in the gut. This allows for the quicker onset of effects and better absorption compared to oral consumption.
Like other oral products, lozenges offer a way to receive the benefits of cannabis without smoking or vaporizing. For example, they are useful if you suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, or a sleep disorder or if you have difficulty swallowing pills due to cancer or multiple sclerosis. Sublingual products are also excellent if you are looking for quicker relief than that provided by ingestible products.
Cannabis Oral Sprays
Cannabis oral spray products are made by extracting active cannabis compounds like THC and CBD from the cannabis plant and infusing them into a liquid spray. Like tinctures, these sprays are made by first extracting the desired cannabinoids, refining the extract, and infusing it into a carrier oil.
Some oral sprays are also formulated with additional ingredients like essential oils to enhance taste or provide additional benefits. The liquid is then packaged in a spray bottle for simple, precise dosing.
Oral sprays are typically taken sublingually, and you may prefer them for their speedy onset and discretion.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO, is made by using a specific method of extraction that uses room temperature ethanol to extract the compounds from the cannabis plant. The process is a bit different from other solvent-based extract procedures in that rather than isolating cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds, the entire plant’s chemical profile is preserved, including fats and lipids.
This raw extract is purged of its residual ethanol, resulting in a thick, sticky substance that contains all the beneficial compounds of the cannabis plant, including terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and more.
RSO products are typically taken by placing a small amount under the tongue, though you can also add it to food. The onset time can vary depending on whether you ingest the product or take it sublingually.
Some people, including Rick Simpson himself, claim that applying RSO directly to a lesion or other problem area can treat that area topically. RSO is considered a highly potent product and is often used for the treatment of chronic pain, cancer, and other conditions.
Cannabis Oral Products FAQ
While cannabis oral products are becoming increasingly popular, they are still unfamiliar to some cannabis patients and consumers. We’ve rounded up some of the most asked questions so you can learn more about this important cannabis delivery method.
Cannabis Oral Products at Zen
Overall, cannabis oral products are a convenient and effective way to consume cannabis and achieve beneficial therapeutic and psychoactive effects. They offer more precise and consistent dosing than smoking or vaporizing, and the effects can be felt within minutes to an hour. Keep in mind—it’s essential to start with a low dose and increase as needed to find your personal sweet spot. You can find a wide variety of cannabis products at your local Zen Leaf dispensary.