MEDICAL CANNABIS IN PUERTO RICO
Medical Cannabis Patients are allowed to purchase a 30 day supply each time they make a purchase, but they are also entered into a database so that a patient cannot go to multiple dispensaries in a day. Now that medical cannabis is legal in the territory, and shops are starting to open now, we’re starting to work on a Puerto Rico Dispensary Map & Directory, which will help lead you to the territory’s best shops Kush encourages discretion for all travelers. Use common sense and courtesy. Vape pens are often the best way to consume if you must in a public area. Don’t drive while high – you can be convicted of a DUI for driving under the influence of cannabis in Puerto Rico.
METHODS OF MEDICATING
Cannabis vaporizers heat cannabis flowers or concentrates to a temperature at which cannabis active ingredients boil off, forming a vapor, below the temperature at which cannabis burns. When cannabis burns, over 1500 compounds are formed including toxic chemicals such as benzene and carbon monoxide. Vaporization does not produce these toxins. Vaporization delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the human bloodstream as rapidly as smoking.
Cannabis has been used as an oral medicine for thousands of years. When properly dosed, cannabis is very effective both orally and beneath the tongue. When taken orally, THC is transformed by the liver into 11-hydroxy-THC, which feels different than smoked cannabis. It can take 45-180 minutes after eating cannabis for peak blood levels of THC to be reached. When taken beneath the tongue (sublingually), THC is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Oral THC is effective for 2-3 times longer than smoked or vaporized cannabis.
Absorption of oral cannabis is slow and the rate of absorption varies widely among different patients. The effects can take over three hours to be felt in some patients. In the majority of patients, onset takes 30-90 minutes. Peak blood levels of THC can be reached in 75 minutes to 7 hours, which is why each patient needs to understand how they react individually to oral cannabis. The biggest risk when using oral herbal cannabis products is overmedication. Overmedication with oral cannabis can be an extremely unpleasant experience, especially given how long these effects can last. Cannabis dispensaries often carry oral cannabis products of known dose, but patients should be careful when using cannabis edibles with dosage guidance such as “10x”, when “x” is not defined.
Raw cannabis contains its cannabinoids in the form of acids. For acidic THC, heat is required to convert it to a form that is psychoactive. Once converted into a form that is psychoactive, THC can be incorporated into various products/forms.
Baked goods: The most common form of edible cannabis medicines are baked goods, such as cookies, cakes and brownies that have been infused with cannabis or cannabis extractions. Great care should be observed to take a manageable dose. Always start with a one-tenth portion of any edible to get a sense for its dosage.
Chocolate: Because of its fat content, chocolate is simple to infuse with cannabinoids and the dose can be well distributed through the chocolate. Hard candies: Dissolved beneath the tongue, these candies can deliver a dose directly and quickly into the bloodstream.
Vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free – There are many cannabis infused products that are intended for restricted diets. In the case of severe sensitivity to gluten, such as in celiac disease, great care must be observed to ensure inadvertent trace exposure to gluten.
Delta-9 THC vs. delta-11-OH-THC. Smoking delivers delta-9-THC, the psychoactive drug found in cannabis, to the brain within minutes. When eaten, the liver metabolizes delta-9-THC, before it reaches the bloodstream. When eaten, some delta-9-THC is destroyed by stomach acids and in liver metabolism, while the rest is converted into a potent THC metabolite: delta-11-hydroxy-THC, which exhibits different drug effects than delta-9-THC. This is why oral cannabis feels different than smoked cannabis.
Raw cannabis is not very psychoactive. Raw cannabis flowers and extracts contain most of their THC in the form of an acid: THCA. Heating cannabis converts THCA from its acidic form into its neutral form: THC. This process is called decarboxylation. Smoking, cooking or vaporizing heats cannabis to a temperature at which decarboxylation takes place. Overheating cannabis in the presence of air can convert THC into CBN, a much less potent drug, which is why cannabis should be stored in a cool place like wine is.
Overmedicating on oral cannabis is common. Use a small dose of oral cannabis. Ask your Phytologie counselor for tips on using oral delivery cannabis products. Overmedication can result in hallucinations and acute anxiety. One-gram of average medical cannabis flowers contain around 150mg of THCA, but the actual amount can range from 20mg to 300mg. Depending on how efficiently the THCA is decarboxylated, when used in edible form the actual dosage of available THC can vary widely. Choose an oral cannabis medicine with a known and consistent content of THC.
Oral cannabis effects take longer to be felt and last longer. It can take as long as four hours to feel the effects of oral cannabis. Always for wait for the effects to completely manifest before taking another dose.
Topical creams and rubs made from medical cannabis can be useful for treating skin irritation and inflammation. Both THC and CBD are effective when used topically.
A tincture is a liquid extract of cannabis, typically made with grain alcohol (ethanol) or glycerin. Cannabinoids and terpenes produced by the cannabis plant are easily dissolved in ethanol, less so in glycerin. Tinctures should always be shaken well. Cannabis tinctures taken beneath the tongue are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and the effects are closer to smoked or vaporized cannabis than conventional cannabis edibles.