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Administration Routes

Pros and Cons of Medicinal Cannabis Edibles

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Vaping vs Smoking

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Administration Routes Comparison Table

Method

Inhalation

Ingestion

Sublingual

Topical

Forms

  • Vape
  • Smoke
  • Floss
  • Oil

  • Capsule
  • Oil
  • Juicing
  • Edibles

  • Drops
  • Spray
  • Lozenge
  • Wafer
  • Tincture
  • Oil

  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Salve

Absorption

Lungs

Stomach and/or small intestine

Thru oral mucosa into bloodstream

At external local application site

Bioavailability

  • THC ~ 5-35%
  • CBD ~ 31%
  • Almost immediate

THC/CBD ~4-20% ~2-6 hrs after Ingestion

Studies of bioavailability not available

Studies of bioavailability not available

Onset

Rapid

90 mins

15-60 mins

unknown

Peak

30 mins

2-3 hrs

1-2 hrs

unknown

Duration

1-4 hrs

6-8 hrs

1-4 hrs

unknown

Comments

Vaping is recommended over smoking

Absorption impacted by stomach contents, carrier medium, type of capsule – some capsules designed to increase bioavailability

Important to hold under the tongue rather than swallow to increase absorption directly into blood stream

Can be used on rashes. Does not penetrate the deeper layers of the aqueous skin efficiently. Does not cause any ‘high’ related to THC.

Inhalation

Forms

  • Vape
  • Smoke
  • Floss
  • Oil

Absorption

Lungs

Bioavailability

  • THC ~ 5-35%
  • CBD ~ 31%
  • Almost immediate

Onset

Rapid

Peak

Rapid

Onset

30 mins

Duration

1-4 hrs

Comments

Vaping is recommended over smoking

Ingestion

Forms

  • Capsule
  • Oil
  • Juicing
  • Edibles

Absorption

Stomach and/or small intestine

Bioavailability

THC/CBD ~4-20% ~2-6 hrs after Ingestion

Onset

90 mins

Peak

2-3 hrs

Duration

6-8 hrs

Comments

Absorption impacted by stomach contents, carrier medium, type of capsule – some capsules designed to increase bioavailability

Sublingual

Forms

  • Drops
  • Spray
  • Lozenge
  • Wafer
  • Tincture
  • Oil

Absorption

Thru oral mucosa into bloodstream

Bioavailability

Studies of bioavailability not available

Onset

15-60 mins

Peak

1-2 hrs

Duration

1-4 hrs

Comments

Important to hold under the tongue rather than swallow to increase absorption directly into blood stream

Topical

Forms

  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Salve

Absorption

At external local application site

Bioavailability

Studies of bioavailability not available

Onset

unknown

Peak

unknown

Duration

unknown

Comments

Can be used on rashes. Does not penetrate the deeper layers of the aqueous skin efficiently. Does not cause any ‘high’ related to THC.

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