There are many different ways to use medical cannabis to treat medical conditions like chronic pain. Most people are familiar with inhalation techniques, such as smoking and vaporizing. Recently, however, there have been increasing concerns about the safety of these methods. Smoking in particular may have long-term side effects, such as an increased risk of respiratory problems and cancers.
Many patients are now turning to alternatives in order to avoid these potential side effects. After all, they’re taking medical cannabis to improve their health, not to cause additional problems later on down the line.
Cannabis oil is proving to be one popular alternative, as are edibles. Both of these methods allow cannabis to be ingested. Some people will recommend making your own edibles with the oil you’ve been authorized. Most doctors won’t recommend this route, however, and they have good reason not to.
The Differences between Inhalation and Ingestion
It’s important to understand ingested cannabis, such as through an edible or oil, works quite differently than when it’s inhaled. Edibles and oil are ingested, which means they enter the body orally and then often need to travel through the digestive system in order to reach the blood stream. This takes much longer. This is one reason people tend to prefer inhalation, as the effects are more immediate.
The effects of edibles and oils, if ingested, may last longer, since digestion is a slower process. You can think of it as a sort of a “slow-release” mechanism. This may sound good in theory, but it has some unintended consequences. For example, you have less control over when the maximum effect is achieved. It may happen hours after you’ve ingested cannabis, which can cause problems if you need to go to work or drive a car.
The Problems with Oil in Edibles
Some people may recommend using cannabis oil to infuse your baking and make your own edibles. Making your own edibles has long been popular in recreational circles, and some medical cannabis patients also participate in this activity. Using oil or even dried cannabis to do this, however, isn’t recommended by doctors. When you bake with oils, you lose the science of your dose. Doctors want patients to be on exact dosages and the best way is to just swallow the exact dose authorized to ensure the same effect is achieved each time.
There are a few reasons you shouldn’t bake with your cannabis oil. The first reason is that it’s easy to add too much. While few people would recommend replacing an entire cup of oil in a cake recipe with cannabis oil, it’s still very easy to add too much cannabis oil to baking and make it too powerful.
This then causes problems as ingestion and digestion are slower processes. You may not realize your homemade edibles are too powerful until much later. The effects may last too long or effectually cause you to stop using your medicine.
Other Reasons Not to Use Cannabis Oil in Baking
The issue of dosage is probably the biggest reason why you shouldn’t use oil in baking. There are other minor reasons as well, such as a low burning threshold. This is also why some oils aren’t recommended for vaporizing. Finally, you can usually achieve rapid relief of your symptoms by placing oil under your tongue, making it more effective than using edibles anyway.
Dosage control, speed of relief, and other reasons present a strong case for taking oil as it’s intended. Baking with it isn’t a good idea.