What forms of Medical Marijuana are allowed in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, nine pharmacies were awarded a license from the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy to distribute and dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients.
FORMS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Available today are cannabis tinctures, distillate syringes (RSO), topical creams, gelatin-based chewables. metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), and raw flower as approved forms of medical cannabis.
As the medical marijuana program grows in Louisiana, we expect more dosage forms to become approved and/or available.
Flower refers to the trichome-covered part of a female cannabis plant. Otherwise known as bud, cannabis flower is the most popular form of medication due to its versatility. Some ways it can be consumed include smoking in a pipe or joint, vaporizing in a vaporizer, and incorporating into edibles.
Medical cannabis tinctures are packaged in a 30 mL glass bottle with a dropper. Tincture dosages are easy to self-titrate and measure. Tinctures are easily absorbed by the liver, so the effects are felt more quickly than in pill or gelatin based chewable form. Because of this, tinctures represent an effective method of consumption for precise dosing.
Tinctures are administered either:
Orally: You place the instructed dosage into your mouth and swallow. You should start to feel the effects coming on between 30 to 90 minutes, with a peak maximum effect reached after two to three hours, and last for about 4 to 12 hours, depending on the dose.
Sublingually: You place the instructed dosage under your tongue and hold for 30 seconds and then swallow. This helps get the medicine into your bloodstream quicker and is a preferred method that will allow you to feel the effects coming on faster and stronger.
Topicals can include cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils that are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. Topicals are often used by patients who want the therapeutic benefits of marijuana without the cerebral euphoria associated with other delivery methods as they are non-intoxicating.
Since the rate of absorption of the skin is slow, this allows the therapeutic relief to last longer, while avoiding the altered mental states from developing.
A distillate syringe contains a highly concentrated oil that can be used sublingually underneath the tongue or orally indigested.
Oil is a concentrated extract derived from the marijuana plant. Oils can be consumed in many ways, but the most common are placing under your tongue via a dropper or through a vaping device. Depending on how the oil was consumed, it typically will take up to 20 minutes to start feeling the effects.
Extracts are a type of concentrate created using solvents (alcohol, carbon dioxide, etc.) that essentially wash the trichomes off the cannabis plant, collecting them for further refinement. All having similar effects, cannabis extracts can come in many different forms, like oils, lotions, sprays, and more.
Gelatin-based chewables are another option for patients who choose not or does not want to consume capsule forms of medical marijuana. When consuming chewables, the cannabis enters the bloodstream and is further digested. This then is broken down by the stomach and absorbed by the intestines. These chewables take typically 30 minutes- 1 hour to reach the maximum effect.
Metered Dose Inhalation
Charged with natural extracts of cannabis, the aerosol sprayed from a metered dose inhaler is coarser than smoke yielding more cannabinoids per dose. Very little of the product (~5%) dissipates or is exhaled, allowing you to medicate without exposing others to significant second hand aerosol.
Cannabis sprays are another form of tincture. Sprays come in small bottles, that allows you to consume the oil. Usually used by spraying inside mouth onto cheeks and under the tongue, the effects can take approximately 30 minutes.
Capsuled cannabis comes in a small pill-like form, allowing the patient to ingest orally. Researchers say that a capsule pain-relieving effect may last longer throughout the day.
Medical marijuana solutions are mixtures that dissolve thoroughly, allowing each ingredient to be equally distributed. Some cannabis solutions can include lotions.
In a medical marijuana suspension, there are usually two main ingredients that are unable to dissolve with one another. Therefore, there are small particles that remain intact. Most cannabis suspensions include oils.
Transdermal patches are an easy and effective way to receive pain relief throughout the day. These medical marijuana patches allow an immediate infusion into the bloodstream allowing all day relief. Transdermal cannabis patches range in dosages and are very user friendly: it’s as simple as unwrapping and sticking it to the desired area.
Over the past few years the use of these medical marijuana suppositories has risen. After entering the rectal mucosa, the healing components of the plant-based medicine quickly spread to the organs and into the bloodstream. Unlike pills or any oral consumption of medical cannabis, suppositories do not allow the patient to experience a “head high”. These are also easy to use at home and offers just as many benefits as any other product.