One of the best things about the medical marijuana program in Ohio is the variety of cannabis products available at dispensaries. Most patients can find something to fit any lifestyle, preference and treatment goal. Ohio cultivators are supplying tons of different strains for flower, vapes and extracts, and many products are tailored to treat specific symptoms.
Qualifying for a medical marijuana card in Ohio is a simple process. There are 25 conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana, and Ohio Marijuana Card’s doctors are here to help you get the natural relief you deserve today!
Give us a call at (866) 457-5559 to get your questions answered, or simply schedule a medical marijuana evaluation appointment online to see a marijuana doctor and discuss your treatment options!
Smoking marijuana is one of the most familiar methods of consumption for many patients who were using cannabis to treat their symptoms before a medical marijuana program was established in the state. However, smoking medical marijuana is against the rules set forth by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP).
This means that technically, Ohio medical marijuana patients are prohibited from combusting marijuana flower, oils or concentrates in a bowl, water bong, joint, or any other device in which a flame is used to burn cannabis products. Unfortunately, knowing that this is against the rules of the program has led to some hesitancy in getting an Ohio marijuana card for some.
But it’s important to know that vaporizing medical marijuana can bring out medicinal benefits that are missed when cannabis products are burned.
While no one is going to follow you home from the dispensary to make sure that you are properly consuming the medical marijuana you purchased, we think that understanding the benefits of vaporizing medical marijuana—rather than smoking it—will help you make the most of your experience as an Ohio medical marijuana patient.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about vaping the medical marijuana products found at Ohio dispensaries.
As of right now, vaporizing medical marijuana is the only way to inhale your medicine. Dispensaries in a few other states offer metered-dose inhalers, but there is nowhere in Ohio to get this product just yet.
Many patients prefer to inhale medical marijuana because of the fact that it provides more immediate relief than any other consumption method. This makes it easier to get your dosing right. Additionally, patients who are using medical marijuana to treat nausea or increase their appetite may not be able to use edibles or tinctures.
The benefits of vaping medical marijuana include reducing the harmful toxins associated with smoking, and a higher administration of the active compounds in cannabis. Vape oils generally have a higher concentration of THC and/or CBD than flower; but even vaporizing dry marijuana flower delivers a purer, more concentrated dose than smoking it.
This is because the higher temperatures used to smoke marijuana burn off the majority of terpenes and cannabinoids before they can be inhaled.
In essence, a vaporizer is a device that has a built-in heating component that cooks the THC and CBD off of the flower or oil without combusting plant material. Rather than burning cannabis flower or oil at an excessively high temperature, a vaporizer heats the product to the ideal temperature for vapors to be released, and then inhaled.
The Difference Between Vaping and Smoking
A helpful analogy is to think of a vaporizer like an oven: the heating component in the vaporizer acts as the oven and bakes the medicine, creating a vapor (rather than smoke) that is then inhaled. Smoking is more like what happens when you have a bonfire and everything (including the less desirable compounds) is burnt to ash.
So the difference between vaping medical marijuana and smoking medical marijuana, is like the difference between baking a delicious apple pie in the oven and setting it on fire. When you inhale vapor, you're inhaling just the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes in your medicine.
When you inhale smoke, you're inhaling burnt plant material as well as the harmful byproducts of smoke.
There are two main ways to vape medical marijuana in Ohio. Dispensaries offer vape cartridges and vape pens, or you can vape marijuana flower using a dry herb vaporizer.
Medical Marijuana Vape Oils: Vape Cartridges and Vape Pens
Pros of Using Medical Marijuana Vape Oils
Milder to inhale
Can be extra flavorful
Convenient and travel-ready
Usually higher THC concentration
Cons of Using Medical Marijuana Vape Oils
Glass cartridges can break
Different brands may need different batteries
Some terpenes may be lost in processing
What are Vape Cartridges and Vape Pens?
Vape cartridges (vape carts) and vape pens are popular at Ohio cannabis dispensaries. Cartridges are glass cylinders filled with medical marijuana vape oil, and vape pens are simply the whole package with the cartridge and the battery (heating element) together.
They are convenient, discreet, and they come in a wide variety of strains. One of the best things about using vape oils is that you can just grab them and go. There is no preparation, and vape devices are usually simple and straightforward to use.
How is Medical Marijuana Vape Oil Made?
To make the medical marijuana oils in vape carts and pens, cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the marijuana plant using a variety of methods including heat, pressure, steam, CO2, or solvents that have been deemed by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy as safe to use in the manufacture of inhaled medical marijuana products.
The only downside to using oils over flower is that some terpenes are lost while making the oils. However, many Ohio cannabis processors have a method for reintroducing the lost terpenes—and even additional terpenes—once extraction is complete.
What Should I Look for at an Ohio Dispensary?
You can buy cannabis vape oil in a pre-filled cartridge, or you can purchase a syringe that you use to fill your own cartridges. If you decide that using a syringe to fill your own cartridges sounds like a fun DIY project, just be aware that cannabis oil is thick and sticky like honey. Be prepared to make a bit of a mess, and possibly waste some of your product the first time around.
In addition to the cartridges, you'll need a battery. This is the heating element that creates the vapor you'll inhale. Some cartridges come with a disposable battery, and these are often called vape pens. Other cartridges require a battery device meant to be used with that specific brand.
Fortunately, budtenders at Ohio dispensaries are friendly and knowledgeable. Asking one is the best way to find out what you need for sure.
Medical Marijuana Flower: Using a dry Herb Vape Device
Pros of Vaping Marijuana Flower
No terpenes lost in processing
Just the flower, nothing else
As close to smoking as it gets
Cons of Vaping Marijuana Flower
Can be inconvenient
What is Dry Vaping Medical Marijuana Flower?
You need a vaporizer that is specifically designed to vape dry herbs in order to vape medical marijuana flower. For many who prefer to smoke cannabis, vaporizing medical marijuana is about as close as it gets. Vaping medical marijuana flower will produce a more pungent odor and flavor, and a tangible amount of visible vapor.
Another thing that medical marijuana patients love about vaping medical marijuana flower is the fact that minimal processing is involved in the making of their product. Ohio cultivators grow the marijuana plants, the buds are harvested, cured and dried, and then they are ready to go!
What Should I Look for at an Ohio Dispensary?
You can find an astounding variety of medical marijuana strains at Ohio dispensaries, and you can even save money by getting the smaller buds (sometimes called budlets) or shake. Most of the time you can also purchase a dry herb vape device at the dispensary as well.
We love the Pax 3, because you can use it for both concentrates and marijuana flower. It comes with a variety of temperature settings as well, so you can make sure you are vaporizing your medical marijuana at the ideal heat settings for the terpenes present in the strain you selected.
Vaping marijuana does not release the same harmful gases that smoking marijuana does, making it a more desirable option when considering your health. But even when using a vape device, inhaling marijuana is less healthy than using other forms like edibles, topicals or tinctures.
On the other hand, inhaling marijuana vapor provides more instantaneous relief than ingesting it, or taking it sublingually or transdermal. It is also often the only format that works for many cancer patients battling nausea, or those with cachexia, IBD, or other digestive problems.
Will I Get Lung Damage from Vaping Marijuana?
Many medical marijuana patients considering vaping their medicine are sometimes concerned about potential lung injuries. This is completely understandable considering the news stories that were coming out during the e-cigarette craze in 2017 and 2018. E-cigs and vape products were touted as being the healthier alternative to cigarettes, but people were turning up in hospitals with lung injuries after vaping.
Researchers scrambled to figure out what was causing so many people to develop Popcorn Lung, a condition that is characterized by scarring of the alveoli (the tiny air sacs in your lungs), causing flu-like symptoms, extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing and even death. They found that this tissue damage to the lungs was caused by a substance often found in e-cigarette flavorings, and in black market marijuana vape oils.
Fortunately for medical marijuana patients in Ohio, all medical marijuana vape oils are carefully monitored and tested in a lab for purity. Medical marijuana processors in Ohio are required to submit a full list of materials and ingredients used in their products and packaging, and finished products are tested in a lab to confirm that they are safe for their intended use.
If vaporizing does not sound like a method that will work best for you, fear not. Ohio has approved a variety of different products to be accessible to patients across our state. Other forms will include edibles, such as gummies and candy bars that are infused with THC/CBD, supplemental pills, and tinctures.
In addition to the consumables and flower/oils there will also be topicals and lotions that can be rubbed on specific problem areas.
At any of the dispensaries throughout the state, you will have access to the type of medicine that works best for you, and part of the fun of having an Ohio marijuana card is experimenting with new forms!
If you have any further questions, or you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our state-licensed medical marijuana doctors, feel to call us at (866) 457-5559, and our friendly staff will walk you through the approval process. Once you’re ready, you can schedule an appointment to see one of our compassionate marijuana doctors and start getting the natural relief you deserve!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Check out Ohio Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Ohio.