There are several different ways to use the cannabis plant in order to attain its therapeutic benfits. Each of them may be more effective for certain symptoms, and certain circumstances, and each can be done in a manner that promotes its safety and efficacy.

On this page you will find information that will help you use cannabis safely and effectively, including:

  • the whole plant
  • different modes of ingestion
  • options for safer smoking
  • strain selection, potency and tolerance
  • side effects
  • drug interactions
  • safety considerations.
Please note that the following should not be construed as the giving of advice or the making of a recommendation and it should not be relied upon as the basis for any decision or action. It is based on our research and experience. Additional resources are provided for your information.

Using the Whole Plant

The whole cannabis plant may be efficiently utilized. The flower ("bud") is the most resinous and therefore potent part of the plant. This makes the bud ideal for smoking. The leaves ("shake") and stems are less resinous, and therefore are better suited for baking and making tinctures.

Modes of Ingestion

  • Smoking:
Smoking is the easiest way to find the appropriate dosage since the effects are usually felt within 30-60 seconds, and develop fully within 5-15 minutes. The effects may last from 30 minutes to 5 hours.

It is ideal to smoke as little as possible in order to reduce costs and respiratory irritiation. We recommend you take 1-2 puffs and wait 15 minutes in order to find the right dosage. Increase dosage as necessary.

  • Ingesting (Eating and Drinking):
Cannabinoids can be extracted into fat (butter or oils) and then ingested.

The effects of ingested cannabis may be felt within 30 minutes to 2 hours (depending on metabolism), and may last from 2-8 hours.

Effects of ingested cannabis tend to be much more pronounced than smoked cannabis, both physically and psychoatively, and vary depending on strain used in the preparation. An elevated dosage, though not lethal, can be very uncomforable (i.e.vomitting, panic). Therefore it is important to take care in finding the right dosage. Small amounts should be ingested, and it is recommended to wait 2 hours before increasing the dosage gradually, if necessary. 

  • Tinctures:
Cannabinoids can also be extracted into alcohol or glycerine, and make into tinctures. Tinctures may be dropped or sprayed into the mouth to be absorbed into the mucous membranes.

Effects of tinctures are usually felt within 5 minutes up to 1 hours, and last about 4 hours. It is recommended to start with about 3 drops of tincture, and wait an hour before increasing the dosage, incrementally and as necessary.

Alcohol based tincutres may also be dropped into hot water in order to let the alcohol evaporate, and then ingested. Effects will be the same as they are for ingested cannabis (above).

Options for Safer Smoking 

There are various methods of smoking cannabis that can reduce bronchial irritation while obtaining the medicinal benefits of the plant.

These methods include:

  • Cannabis may be ground or cut and then rolled into a “joint”. Using natural-based rolling papers such as those derived from hemp or rice is recommended for both health reasons and to avoid using tree products. 
  • Pipes can be used to avoid smoking paper and are useful when smoking small quantities. We recommend glass pipes to prevent ingestion of possible harmful by-products from other pipes made from other sources of material. 
  • Water pipes can be used to cool the temperature of inhaled plant matter. 
  • Vaporizers can be used as a smokeless alternative and also provide a uniquely “clear” psychoactive effect.
  • A blend of herbs that soothe the lungs can be rolled and smoked with cannabis.  We recommended, as well as, offer a herbal smoking blend made up of the following 4 herbs: damiana, coltsfoot, mullein, and peppermint. We do not recommend rolling cannabis wtih tobacco.

Strain Selection, Potency and Tolerance

The efficacy of cannabis is directly related to strain selection, therefore we recommend care be taken in selecting appropriate strains to meet your needs.

You will need to smoke less of a high-potency cannabis to reach the desired effect. Potency varies with strains.

If you find yourself needing to smoke greatert quantities or more often in order to achieve the desired effect, reduce or stop intake for a time. Changing the variety of cannabis normally used will also help you to return to a minized effective dosage level.

Side Effects

  • Some effects of cannabis use may not be therapeutic. They can be mitigated through awareness.
  • Cannabis may cause dizziness upon standing due to lowered blood pressure.
  • Initial increase in heart rate and/or blood pressure may be problematic for those with heart conditions or severe anxiety
  • Cannabis may cause a decrease in coordination and cognitive abilities, and short-term memory loss while medicated
  • There are no significant withdrawal effects when cannabis use is ceased or decreased, however symptom relief will cease or be decreased. Minor restlessness, nausea, and fatigue may be experienced.

Drug Interactions

Clinically significant interactions have not been detected. Studies on the interaction of Cannabis and pharmaceutical medications is sparse and inconclusive.

Pharmacy Magazine reported in June 2001 that *:

  • Cannabis has been shown to decrease the clearance of barbiturates so they remain in the body longer, and may need to be reduced.
  • Cannabis has been shown to increase the clearance of Theophyline, therefore its dose may need to be increased
  • There can be side-effects when cannabis is combined with Fluoxetine or Disulfiram. These effects can include mild mania and excitement with moderate behaviour change
  • Cannabis may enhance the effects of amphetamines, anticholinergics, anihistamines, cocaine, hypnotics, physchotomimetics, sedatives or sympathomimetics

  * this study does not take into account different strains.


Results from a survery of OMMP Members overwhelmingly indicate that they do not find negative drug interactions. Many reported that they are able to reduce their dosage of some of their pharmaceutical drugs (particulary opiates) and that cannabis mitigates negative side effects of them, which in some cases is the reason for their use of cannabis.

Those receiving digitalis or other cardiac medications should use cannabis under careful supervision by a medical doctor. 

Safety Considerations

  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery if impaired by cannabis ( indicas can be especially sedating)
  • Cannabis mixed with alcohol may cause vomiting and nausea.
  • Heavy smoking with no harm reduction techniques (i.e. smoking small amounts of high potency organic cannabis) may lead to respiratory irritation.
  • Hold shared joints and other shared smoking implements so as not to touch your lips to them.
  • Choose organic cannabis whenever possible to minimize exposure to radioactivity and chemicals. This is especially important for people with compromised immune systems. 
  • It is still illegal in United States to possess, grow, or distribute cannabis. Know your rights and take precautions to avoid the harmful effects of arrest, cannabis seizure, imprisonment and criminal record.

oregon medical marijuana - Google News

Oregon, Alaska and Washington, DC legalize marijuana - CNN

- Wed, 05 Nov 2014 08:49:21 GMT


Oregon, Alaska and Washington, DC legalize marijuana
Mimicking similar plans in Washington State and Colorado, the Oregon law will also create a commercial regulatory system for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana. Alaska's law is similar to Oregon and would tax and regulate the production ...
Where America landed on marijuanaUSA TODAY
Marijuana Votes: Oregon And DC Legalize; Florida Says No To MedicalNPR (blog)
Alaska, Oregon and Washington, DC vote to legalize recreational marijuanaRT
FOX31 Denver -KTLA -The Tico Times
all 2,247 news articles »

Lawmakers take first look at implementing marijuana law - Statesman Journal

- Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:34:43 GMT

Statesman Journal

Lawmakers take first look at implementing marijuana law
Statesman Journal
"Can we do away with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program if we are going to legalize marijuana?" Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, asked Jesse Sweet, a policy analyst with the OLCC. Measure 91 states that it makes no changes to the Oregon Medical ...
District Attorney Who Opposed Oregon Legalization In Charge Of Implementing ...Huffington Post
Oregon Legislature seeks to tweak legal pot measureWalla Walla Union-Bulletin
Ready to light up? Read this info firstKeizertimes
The Weed Blog (blog) -The Mainstream Online
all 50 news articles »

What you need to know before you grow marijuana in Oregon - The Oregonian -

- Wed, 12 Nov 2014 03:33:14 GMT


What you need to know before you grow marijuana in Oregon
The Oregonian -
Business is brisk when it comes to selling marijuana clones. The plants, rooted clippings from mature plants, are the most common way Oregon medical marijuana patients interested in growing their own cannabis get their crop started. Starting July 1 ...
This Oregon Women Happily Licking A Reporter Discussing Weed Legalization ...Bustle
The Dalles could attract pot growsDalles Chronicle

all 7 news articles »

Oregon marijuana growers gear up for Green Rush - Yakima Herald-Republic

- Sun, 09 Nov 2014 10:13:58 GMT

Jefferson Public Radio

Oregon marijuana growers gear up for Green Rush
Yakima Herald-Republic
FILE - This Nov. 5, 2014, file photo shows a sample of medical marijuana displayed at Shango Premium Cannabis dispensary in Portland, Ore. It will be nearly two years before Oregonians can drop by the corner marijuana store to pick up some bud for the ...
Now That Pot's Legal, Should Oregon End Medical Marijuana?Jefferson Public Radio
Legal marijuana in Oregon: A look at the state's pot historyThe Oregonian -
3 Approve Marijuana Measures, but Florida Passes on PotMotley Fool
JD Supra (press release) powered by KVII
all 209 news articles »

Misunderstood Medicine: 'I feel like a normal boy' - KMTR NewsSource 16

- Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:42:58 GMT

Misunderstood Medicine: 'I feel like a normal boy'
KMTR NewsSource 16
"Oil infused with CBD, medical marijuana," she said as she held a jar of medical cannabis pills from TJ's Organic Gardens, a Eugene-based medical marijuana farm with indoor operations in Oregon and Washington. "I have my son again. He's not this fog of ...

Pot Legalization Measure Divides Marijuana Producers In Southwest Oregon - OPB News

- Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:04:13 GMT

OPB News

Pot Legalization Measure Divides Marijuana Producers In Southwest Oregon
OPB News
In southwest Oregon, cannabis is a cottage industry. Thousands of people grow under the legal protection of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, and have registered with the state. Others grow without any legal protection in secret, in backyards and ...
Legally High: Marijuana Initiatives On The Ballot In Three States And D.C.BuzzFeed News
Legal pot on the ballotCNNMoney
2014 ?Marijuana Midterms? to Establish 2016 as Most Crucial Year for Cannabis ...Brookings Institution (blog)
New York Times -The Cannabist -Reuters
all 431 news articles »

Homemade butane hash oil prohibited under Oregon's new legal marijuana law - The Oregonian -

- Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:52:33 GMT

The Oregonian -

Homemade butane hash oil prohibited under Oregon's new legal marijuana law
The Oregonian -
Closed-loop systems are used by a handful of commercial extract producers in Oregon, where a cottage industry of producers supplies licensed medical cannabis outlets, but they aren't required under the state's medical marijuana rules. Leland Berger, a ...

Where Marijuana Legalization Votes Are Happening Nov. 4 - TIME

- Mon, 03 Nov 2014 17:52:00 GMT


Where Marijuana Legalization Votes Are Happening Nov. 4
Residents in Lewiston, Maine may have seen an unusual Halloween decoration this year: a mobile billboard, towed around town on the bed of a truck, featuring a face screaming in horror and, in spooky-squiggly script, the words ?Marijuana: Less toxic!
Pot legalization approved in South Portland, defeated in LewistonPress Herald

all 69 news articles »

NPR audio: Will marijuana legalization win in Oregon, D.C., Alaska or Florida? - The Cannabist

- Tue, 04 Nov 2014 16:56:44 GMT

NPR audio: Will marijuana legalization win in Oregon, D.C., Alaska or Florida?
The Cannabist
Will Oregon and Alaska legalize marijuana? Can we look at these states attempting to legalize pot and see a broader movement? With 23 states and the District of Columbia already on board for medical marijuana programs, why wouldn't Florida pass its ...

Marijuana and the workplace: Q&A on Oregon's legalization of recreational pot - The Oregonian -

- Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:41:10 GMT


Marijuana and the workplace: Q&A on Oregon's legalization of recreational pot
The Oregonian -
Colorado, Washington and Alaska also are members of the legal cannabis club. Like Oregon, all are among states that have passed medical marijuana laws. Before you go lighting up, there are a few things to consider about legal weed and the workplace.
Marijuana legalization trend calls for research and careLos Angeles Times
The most dangerous medical marijuana mythUSA TODAY
Marijuana-friendly states team up on Capitol HillOroville Mercury Register

all 237 news articles »