Infusing cannabis into products that can be consumed or applied topically are great ways to use cannabis for pain. The techniques and methods on how they are infused has vastly improved over the years with testing and packaging. Cannabis is being infused into just about anything these days: topical lotions and balms, edibles, cosmetics, and pet treats too. The list of products continues to grow and it can be difficult to decide upon just one type or brand. Most patients are interested in products that are tested for potency strength, purity, consistency, and effectiveness. Luckily, the industry has a variety of labs that can test for these properties.

Things to consider with infused cannabis products will depend on the patients’ needs.  Many patients among us cannot smoke cannabis or don’t want to, so the edible or topical approach is the way to go. In this feature, we’ll explore some of those choices, so that you can decide what is most suitable for your needs.

Edibles are an excellent choice for patients that want a discreet method of medicating without smoking. There are dozens of edibles available today in the market that can serve any patient, at any level of titration (dosing.) Just to name a few types of infused edibles; there are baked goods, tinctures, candies, chocolates, honey, medicated teas, the list goes on and on. Edibles can be infused with Cannabis in a variety of ways such as into: butter, coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, or the latest trend, CO2 (carbon dioxide) extracted oil. Edibles that are infused with CO2 concentrated cannabis oil often have less plant taste and is less noticeable to the sensitive palate. Infusions start from either with buds and or trim, then it is a matter of how it is extracted and processed into the product.

Patients that are concerned about strength and purity should be looking for products that have been tested by a reputable lab that can indicate how many milligrams of THC are inside. Look for products that are well packaged, labeled with ingredients and nutritional facts inside, just in case should you have an allergy concern. Tested cannabis can help avoid pesticides, molds, and other contaminants that can pose a health concern, especially for folks that have immune deficiency disorders. It’s important to know where your cannabis came from and how the product was made and is it tested. Now that most medical and adult use states are regulating products, this should eliminate the dosing guessing game. Always start small and wait, you can always eat more for the desired effect. In many states edibles are broken down into 5 or 10mg of THC per piece. Each package is also limited in total depending on the state you are in. California currently limits each package to no more than 100mg total.

Another great option for pain relief are ointments & massage oils are an excellent choice for pain relief that can be directly applied to the area of concern.  There are a variety of products in dispensaries in medical cannabis states that patients can utilize for this method. Research is showing that CBD rich products that include a small percentage of THC are having the greatest success in patient reporting.  The delivery method is the key to this success. Over the years, we have seen different products, most often they are infused with strictly THC, which is only half of the equation. CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the plant that has been known to repair cells and relieve pain.

The future of cannabis infusions in all aspects looks bright and has a great future ahead, there is plenty of more research that can and will be done to ensure that patients and consumers have choices for their medicating needs and preferences.