The Science behind Delivery Methods of Medical Marijuana

Is there a One-Size Fits-All Formula for Determining the Right Delivery Method for Medical Marijuana?

Various delivery methods generate different effects depending on how they’re absorbed into the body

The choice of delivery system can help or inhibit the effectiveness of medical marijuana treatment And it isn’t just a matter of personal preference – several factors determine the most appropriate method for each individual.

These include the health condition, unique body chemistry, and local laws. For instance, smoking is outlawed in most jurisdictions in Australia, and for people with skin infections, topicals are the best delivery system.

To help you choose the best-suited delivery method for your situation, here’s what you should know about medical marijuana delivery systems.


A relatively safer method of inhalation when compared to smoking, vaping heats cannabis buds and oils to release their chemical contents without combustion. Vaporisers allow you to set the level of heat you want applied depending on the strain of the cannabis product.

Vaping usually generates effect within seconds of inhalation, and the effects can last for up to three hours. Note, however, that cannabis vaping oils can contain up to 3-4 times the THC content of buds, so the dosage should be taken into careful consideration when using this method.

Vaporisers are ideal for use when sharing space with others, as it doesn’t produce smoke and the vapor clears out quickly, therefore minimising secondary smoking risks for others.


Another method that generates instant effects, dabbing is the process of heating cannabis concentrates to release the vapor. You can dab using a dab rig with a titanium or electric nail, or a portable dab pen. The effects are experienced within a few seconds of inhalation and can last for up to 12 hours.

Because concentrates are highly potent, they’re more suitable for people with high tolerance and who appreciate the often heavy flavour of cannabis. However, concentrates can increase your level of tolerance and make you less responsive to other delivery systems.


Edibles are healthier than most inhalation methods

When compared to inhalation, the effects of ingesting edibles take longer to take hold and last for much longer. Edibles produce effects anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion, and the effects can last for up to 12 hours, depending on the amount of cannabis consumed.

Edible cannabis comes in food, snacks, gummies, mints, and many other forms. Different edibles yield different effects, so it’s crucial to carefully experiment to find what suits you best. You can start with smaller doses, and then increase your intake gradually according to your needs.

Medical Marijuana Beverages

Beverages are another form of edibles, but their effects take place much faster and also lasts as long. The effects are induced within 15 – 60 minutes and can last for several hours. Options for this delivery method abound, from smoothies to teas, sodas, juices, and liquor.

You can prepare your own home-made medical cannabis beverage. To prepare a cannabis-infused cup of tea, simply steep some bud, drops of concentrates or tincture into a cup of hot water.

It can be tricky to determine the right dosage of cannabis with this delivery method. Start with small doses and make gradual increments based on your needs.


Tinctures are more discrete and less-irritable than other methods of delivery

This is one of the easiest delivery methods for people who want a method that is discrete with minimal irritation. To use a tincture, you simply need to place drops of it under your tongue, hold it for a few seconds, and then swallow. It takes effect faster than edibles but slower than inhalation.

Its activation time is 15-30 minutes, while activation duration is 3 hours maximum. However, since the product is absorbed through the mucosal surfaces of your mouth and throat, your body absorbs most of the cannabinoids and you’ll feel a stronger effect compared to edibles.


If your health issue is localised, then topical application is the most suitable method to bring instant relief to the site of the ailment. This method is also ideal for people who want to avoid the psychoactive effects of the drug. You can apply cannabis-infused balms, salve, or transdermal patches directly to the site of pain, injury, or skin problem. Activation time for this method differs based on the product, ranging from a few minutes to several hours.


Medical marijuana is still in the early stages of legalisation, and recreational cannabis use is prohibited by Commonwealth law. Before utilising any of these methods, you will need a prescription from a specially licensed doctor. Many of the products that are freely available in areas with legal marijuana use are not available for purchase in Australia, so you may find some types of marijuana difficult to source from legal avenues. Most importantly, you should always consult with your doctor before taking any medical marijuana product. Your doctor will help you determine the most appropriate medical cannabis delivery system and doses for you. The science behind cannabis delivery systems is still new, but ultimately, the best method of delivery will depend on your condition, your tolerance levels, and local law.

Published by Neil

Neil believes Cannabis has medical benefits and should be prescribed by a Doctor. This site aims to provide accurate information on the science and legality of Cannabis so you can make informed decisions.

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