The two most commonly used methods of ingesting medical cannabis are ingestion by inhalation or by oral ingestion. These two methods have different effects because the active substances in the medical cannabis are absorbed into the body in two different ways.
Upon inhalation, the active substances in medical cannabis, mainly THC and CBD, are absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. In this way, the active substances are carried to the brain, after which the effect occurs. From the inhalation of the medical cannabis until the effect occurs, in some cases a soothing effect of less than a minute can be felt. When inhaled, the effect lasts for 2 to 4 hours.
By oral ingestion of foods containing medical cannabis, the active substance THC is metabolized by the liver so that the Delta-9-THC molecule is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, which more easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and has a greater effect than normal THC. However, it can take between 1 to 2 hours before the effect occurs. Therefore, as a patient, you must be more careful when taking medical cannabis orally, and not dose again until you are sure that the full effect has occurred. For some, it can cause discomfort if the effect becomes too strong, because you have been impatient and have taken more than the dose agreed with the doctor. When taken orally, the medical cannabis may be effective for 6 to 10 hours. Therefore, this method would be perfect for patients with chronic pain to give them a long lasting relief.
It is very important that you, in collaboration with your doctor, find the dose that suits your needs. Like all other medicines, medical cannabis works from person to person. This also applies to the effect thereof. Therefore, it is important that first-time users of medical cannabis, together with their doctor, try small doses in the beginning. If the desired effect is not achieved, talk to your doctor about increasing the doses or their frequency.
It is up to your doctor to assess whether you can drive when using medical cannabis.