Ireland currently prohibits qualifying medical cannabis patients from cultivating or purchasing ANY cannabis products in Ireland, they will be reviewed when they finally become available in your local FG/FF TD’s pharmacy.
There are three principal delivery methods, inhalation, oral and topical. Each method has its own unique experience and different effects.
Popular strains of medical cannabis flower include Bubblegum Kush, Trainwreck, Grandaddy Purple, Sour Diesel. Cult strains include Headbanger and G13 with THC levels above 20 percent.
Limited data is available but these are the top ten most popular ways in US to consume cannabis based on the Green Edge Retail sales tracker from Cali, Colorado and Oregon.
-Vape Cartridges-476 million
-Pre-Rolled Joints-185 million
-Live Resin-61 million
-Disposable Vapes-56 million
-Chocolate Bars-39 million
When cannabis is inhaled the gases enter the lungs before absorbing into the bloodstream, there are two inhalation methods, smoking and vaporisation.
Smokers have an incredible array of devices to work with from simple rolling papers to water pipes and hookahs.
Hand pipes are still used , they trap the smoke produced by burning cannabis which is then inhaled, bongs and bubblers are also regularly used with water cooling the smoke. Joints and blunts which are just joints rolled in cigar paper remain very popular and are often considered ‘old school’.
They tend to be favored by smokers who enjoy the combined effects of nicotine and cannabis.My own preferred method is still a hand rolled joint.
Vaporisers significantly reduce the odours associated with smoking cannabis, they have become the preferred choice for moderate and health conscious patients, as they reduce the risks associated with smoking.
Vape pens are portable and very discreet, they also allow the patient more control over dosage.There is an incredible diverse amount of vaporizers available with the market expected to expand considerably as the technology improves.
If Ireland ever decided to get serious about cannabis it would be best to position itself in the extracts and vapor market, with edibles and extracts the future, while bud remains for now the most popular.
Fewer vaporisers are taking flower which requires a heating element to accomplish vaporisation, concentrates including oil in cartridges and wax are becoming more prevalent and popular.
Dabbing is a form of vaporisation in which extremely potent cannabis concentrates are dropped on a heated nail creating vapor that is inhaled-somewhat similar to ‘hash’ and hot knifes.
Edibles are any food or drink that contains cannabis, it’s significantly different from smoking or vaping, edibles tend have longer onsets and can be extremely powerful.
Cannabis infused butter (canna butter) is one the simplest and most common ways make infused cannabis edibiles. Butter is a delicious and extremely versatile carrier for THC,coconut and olive oil can be used.
The cannabinoids reach the cells by way the liver and edibles come in many forms, including sodas,snacks, chocolate,ice cream and mints.
As the onset is delayed this often leads to overconsumption,which can be overwhelming and in some cases leads to full body, psychoactive effects.
Cooking with flower is not as popular as it’s made out in movies or on TV as it’s extremely difficult, most people simply add tinctures to dishes instead of flower.
Tinctures are another oral delivery method often referred to as green or golden dragon-essentially it’s infused alcohol, administered through the mouth and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, unlike edibles or drinks.
These are associated in Ireland with medical cannabis and are fast-acting while allowing dosage control. Alcohol is the most common solvent with glycerol also used, generally a few drops are placed under the tongue which is then absorbed into the body.
Ingestible oils are also likely to be approved in Ireland,t hey are are swallowed like an edible product but come in capsules or taken as a rectal suppository.
Many people laugh at the idea of weed suppositories but one the pioneers of medical cannabis Rick Simpson lived in exile in eastern Europe from 2009 to 2013, popularising this method.
It appeals to many patients who want take extremely high levels of THC but avoid the psychoactive effects or ‘head highs’, RSO suppositories can be made with shea butter and coconut oil, avoiding the head high.
They work quickly as the suppositories exert systemic effects when they enter the rectal mucosa, spreading healing compounds quickly through nearby organs and into the bloodstream, very popular in Central Europe.
Topicals are most often associated with Full Spectrum Oil (RSO), named after Rick Simpson, RSO oil is high potency THC and CBD and available in most cooperatives, various recipes and formulas are online, with many YouTube videos on how make RSO oil for the DIY type.
This thick oil has been decarboxylated to activate the cannabinoids which are absorbed through the skin.Topical effects are different in that they do not get you high and are used for localized relief, muscle aces for example or as is frequently claimed to alleviate skin cancer.
Numerous articles have alleged that frequent cannabis use can cause vaginal dryness, the rectum is not a self lubricating orifice so for some people lube is a must, the ever innovative cannabis industry has numerous THC-infused lubes available with Floira Pleasure and Velvet Swing cannabis lubes almost impossible to get.
Not everyone enjoys or likes smoking weed and THC lube has been described many times as ‘mind blowing’, it’s really a pre-lube in that it should be applied about 20-30 mins before it kicks in.
You apply it directly onto the clitoris, inner and outer labia and inside the vagina, internal application provides the highest absorption, and it’s also edible. It works so well because the skin of the vagina and vulva are highly absorbent, these are know as ‘weed lubes’.
Many middle-aged and older people have commented that weed lubes increase sexual desire, experiencing mind blowing orgasms and vastly improving sex.
Women have found it empowering in that its a sexual enhancement product for them, placing the focus of pleasure and completion on women and is something that can be enjoyed alone, or with a partner.
Lots more ’sex’ based weed products are in various stages of testing, it’s going to be one the more fun medial cannabis areas, Velvet Swing also has a tincture called Velvet Kiss, which provides a. relaxed head high and increase in blood flow.
It’s highly unlikely that FG licenses medical patients to smoke or vape flower, as it does not involve pharmaceutical companies or pharmacies.
The minister has the power to issue growing licenses to patients, each patient should receive a growing license for 6-10 plants. These licenses could be transferred to a qualified caregiver, a neighbor say with a greenhouse or a green-fingered friend.
It’s however expected that the minister will approve a few tinctures,. I am looking forward to the day a minister announces that Velvet Swing and Floria are available in Ireland!
Next week its a deep dive into Spain, this article is a great starting point and a highly recommended read.
The Roll Up column by Johnny Green will attempt to keep Broadsheet readers up-to-date on the growing cannabis industry worldwide. Follow Johnny Green on twitter for even more updates.