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Transdermal and Oral Cannabis

Published on October 21, 2011


Depending on why a person is using medical marijuana, treatment may be short term or continue for years. There are different forms of using medical marijuana and they are all effective and brings benefits that should be consider in the moment you have to decide about how to treat yourself from your health condition.

Although medical marijuana is nontoxic, smoking it can be hazardous over the long term because toxic compounds are created in the combustion process. Fortunately there are options for the administration of cannabis but in general all different ways of administrating hemp oil or raw cannabis can be combined with no harmful side effects. Also there are cannabis vaporizers that allow for inhalation or what amounts to transdermal treatments into the lungs without burning the marijuana. It’s a cool clean smoke of powerful medicine.

Cannabis or marijuana, has been utilized as an ingredient in food and drink for thousands of years. Recipes were often recorded in rhyme, assisting in the memorization process. One such recipe, Bhang (a milk-based drink), dates back to 800 B.C. when it was first concocted in India. The Chinese use of cannabis as a staple food source—for both humans and animals—dates back to the 7th century B.C. Gathered for their exceptional nutritional value, cannabis seeds provided an exceptional source of protein and nutrients.

Smoking Marijuana Vs. No Smoking

Smoking marijuana has limited medical value when used exclusively, especially when it is inhaled through burning. It can reduce blood sugar; it can also help reduce ocular pressure for people with glaucoma. Most people know of marijuana’s ability to reduce nausea, and smoking marijuana will often reduce the pain associated with many medical conditions. Smoking “grass” does make a person relax, which in itself can be quite beneficial. Smoking does help reduce the symptoms of many conditions but in general it does not work on a curative level like oral consumption does.

Rick Simpson, the most courageous medical marijuana expert of them all, says, “Smoking is the least effective method of using hemp as a medicine. The power of hemp medicine is magnified many times when the concentrated essential oil of the hemp plant is produced. If you want to see the real medicinal magic in the hemp plant, start ingesting high-grade hemp oil. When one starts ingesting the raw cannabis, unburned THC and its associated cannabinoids, medical miracles often occur. When a person smokes a joint, over 90% of the medicinal aspect of the plant material goes up in smoke. It’s ironic to see people who have taken chemotherapy smoke hemp to reduce their nausea. They are smoking the very substance that, if taken properly, could cure them.”

How to use Edible Marijuana

When we ingest marijuana it is absorbed via the intestines and then passes through the liver, which processes the THC into a byproduct called 11-hydroxy-THC, which then travels to the bloodstream and then on to our brains. 11-hydroxy THC is thought to be four to five times more potent than regular THC. This is one reason why edibles are known to be more potent when compared to inhaled cannabis. Edible Marijuana is also thought to be strong sedative and many patients uses it for treatment of insomnia.

Marijuana taken in edible form usually takes from 40 minutes to one hour to start working and the peak effect is at two hours. The edible marijuana effects last though from six to eight hours, which is very convenient for those patients who want to sleep or have longer control of pain.

The key to proper use of edible marijuana is to know how much to eat so as to get the best medicinal effect without taking too much. The general rule is, if you buy an edible product from a registered marijuana dispensary, cut the edible product into four pieces and eat one piece to start. Wait at least one hour. If you feel braver start with half! If you feel the effects of the medication, do not eat any more. If you do not feel the effects of the medication, you can eat another piece. There have been patients who unknowingly have ingested too much and have felt “too high,” nausea, vomiting, and very groggy, so it’s best to start out slow in the beginning. If you do not feel much at a full dose than try a dose and a half or even two doses.

In California an adult may grow, buy and smoke marijuana, all while remaining safely within the confines of state law Dr. William Courtney tells his patients “Don’t smoke the stuff. Eat it!” It won’t get you high eaten raw, and juiced with a handful of carrots to cut the bitter taste, its leaves and buds may well offer an important contribution to getting people well.


Courtney juices carrots to cut the harsh taste of the ingredients largely absent in the psychotropic variety of cannabis. Karl Vick for The Washington Post

Kristen Peskuski summarized her return to near-full health—including debilitating lupus, interstitial cystitis, rheumatoid arthritis and 40 medications a day—after juicing fresh pot leaves over a 30-month period. Courtney’s approach promotes marijuana as a good-for-you vegetable like spinach.

Raw Cannabis Juice has a high concentration of cannabinoids and is excellent for consumption. When consumed, raw cannabis generally does not make a person high. The main psychoactive compound in dried, aged cannabis is delta-9 THC, which is absent in the raw, fresh leaf. However, the other compounds, such as the terpenes, may have an effect on mood or energy levels. Raw leaf contains mainly THC acid (not THC) unless you are using a strain that is much higher in CBD. In that case, you will be getting some CBD from the leaf. Leaves are picked from a plant that is about three months of age. Buds should be at the state where the trichomes are fully present but not yet amber (i.e. cloudy).

Benefits of Raw Cannabis

  • Antibacterial
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-tumor/anti-cancer
  • Bone stimulation
  • Immune modulating
  • Pain-relieving
  • Neuroprotective

What are the “active” ingredients in raw cannabis if there is no delta-9 THC?

  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • CBD Acid
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Flavonoids
  • Phytocannabinoids
  • Terpenes
  • THC Acid

Raw Cannabis Juice

There are more than 525 molecules found in raw cannabis, some with synergistic effects. According to Dr. Courtney it takes about 4-8 weeks before full clinical benefit is reached. It takes that long to fully saturate the fat tissue with phyto-cannabinoids. Phyto-cannabinoids are fat molecules that are stored in the adipose or fat tissue similar to the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It appears that a wheat grass juicer is probably the best method of breaking up the cannabis plant cells. Mix with a minimal amount of organic fruit or vegetable juice—just enough to cut the bitter taste of the raw cannabis. Choose lower sugar juices to minimize your ingestion of simple sugars. Store leaves in a green bag in the refrigerator; do not rinse until immediately before using. Dr. Courtney recommends soaking leaves in water for five minutes before juicing.

Use organic cannabis that does not have any pesticides applied at any point in its life cycle. Dr. Courtney recommends using ten large fan leaves per day in juice, salsa, pesto, salad, etc. If you have access to fresh bud, he recommends one bud/day.

Cannabinoids and THCA are cleared rapidly from the blood, so frequent consumption of a small amount of raw cannabis juice is ideal. Split the juice into five parts for five divided doses per day.

Transdermal Marijuana

Marijuana is lipophilic, which means that it can be dissolved into a fat-soluble substance and readily enter cell membranes. In other words, it can be effective when applied topically on the skin. Marijuana can be used transdermally to relieve pain from many conditions. Medical marijuana can be a balm, lotion, ointment or rubbing alcohol solution. In the old days when people only had plants to use for medication, many patients would soak marijuana leaves in alcohol and apply them as a poultice to an arthritic or swollen joint.

Transdermal medicine is ideal for pain management as well as sports and pediatric medicine. In fact it is one of the best ways to administer medicines quickly and effectively. Transdermal methods of delivery are widely used because they allow the absorption of medicine directly through the skin. Gels, emulsion creams, sprays and lip balm stick applicators are easy to use and are effective in getting medicine into the bloodstream quickly.

Traditional methods of administering medicine such as tablets or capsules get watered down and become much less effective due to stomach acids and digestive enzymes before they eventually get into the bloodstream. Bypassing the stomach and liver means a much greater percentage of the active ingredient goes straight into the bloodstream where it’s needed. In many cases, transdermal methods are used to help avoid potential side effects such as stomach upset or drowsiness. The full potential for transdermal medicine has not been explored by modern medicine though it has been practiced for thousands of years in hot springs around the world.

Hemp Salves and Oils Offer Potent Solutions

One hospital pathologist cut his finger during an autopsy; bacteria resistant to antibiotics infected the wound and it seemed that an amputation was going to be inevitable. Then someone had the idea to ask Prof. Kabelik, who was known for his research on the medicinal use of cannabis, for help. He applied his hemp salve and two days later the wound was already healing and the amputation was avoided.

Topical Solution Uses

  • Arthritis
  • Burns
  • Dry/chapped skin
  • Eczema
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Insect bites
  • Muscle soreness
  • Pain
  • Psoriasis
  • Rashes
  • Rheumatism
  • Swelling
  • Sunburns
  • Stiff neck
  • Skin Cancer
  • Tendonitis

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Professor of Natural Oncology, Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Founder of Natural Allopathic Medicine

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