Are there ways to use medical marijuana without smoking it?

The simple answer is that there are in fact other ways to use medical marijuana other than smoking it. Before I dive into the other ways to use medical marijuana, I want to briefly go over why you don’t want to smoke marijuana. Research has shown that smoking marijuana does do damage to the lungs long-term. Marijuana smokers have been found to be more prone to lung infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder – if you’ve ever seen people walk around with oxygen tanks, then in all likelihood they have chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).  Smoking marijuana has also been shown to impact lung function. In terms of smoking marijuana causing cancer, the jury’s out, but I generally tend to err on the side of caution and discourage my patients from smoking marijuana. Now what are your alternatives to smoking.



There’s vaporization, ingestion, sublinguals, topicals, rectal, and vaginal formulations of medical marijuana. Well, to start with, there’s vaporization. The basic concept behind vaporization is that it’s a method that heats the plant material rather than burning it. By avoiding burning the plant material, you’re also avoiding a combustion reaction, which is what produces damaging hydrocarbons, ammonia, tar, etc.  Devices called vaporizers are used to, as the name implies, vaporize marijuana. Then there’s ingestion. In places like California and Colorado, the marijuana industry’s fairly evolved.  Patients have options like chocolates, gummies, cookies. And then it’s evolved to the point where it’s gotten a bit ridiculous with options like pretzels and ice cream. Then, there are sublinguals. So, it’s an extract of marijuana made in a base of either alcohol, oil – like coconut or olive, or glycerin.  As the name implies, drops of these tinctures are placed under the tongue. Sublinguals are more commonly referred to as tinctures.

Next there are topicals. Basically, these are ointments, salves, or balms that are applied to the affected area.  They can be used for bone, muscle, and skin conditions. One of the reasons they’re believed to be effective is that there are receptors in the skin for the chemicals in marijuana. Then, there are rectal formulations.  Or, even instances where other delivery methods can’t be tolerated. And, finally there are vaginal formulations.  The most common use of these I’ve found is in post-menopausal women who’ve reported that it helps to increase sensitivity during intercourse.


Now that you know that you don’t have to smoke medical marijuana, are you ready to use it for your medical condition or symptom? Head on over to the GET HELP page.  I’ll step-by-step walk you through how to safely use medical marijuana for your condition or symptom…without smoking it!