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

Medical marijuana in Oregon: James Bowman, raided by feds in 2012, growing ... - The Oregonian

- Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:17:41 GMT

Medical marijuana in Oregon: James Bowman, raided by feds in 2012, growing ...
The Oregonian
Marijuana policy and public perception about the drug have shifted in Oregon and nationwide since High Hopes Farm was raided. Oregon this year began regulating the state's once underground medical marijuana dispensaries. Recreational marijuana is ...

and more »

Medical marijuana in Oregon: Benton Mackenzie, Iowa man convicted of ... - The Oregonian

- Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:03:34 GMT

Iowa City Press Citizen

Medical marijuana in Oregon: Benton Mackenzie, Iowa man convicted of ...
The Oregonian
Benton Mackenzie is well known in Iowa. His recent trial and conviction for growing cannabis on his parents' rural property made for page-one news, closely watched by marijuana activists nationwide. On Tuesday, though, Mackenzie was just another Oregon ...
Mackenzie arrives in Oregon to obtain medical potQuad City Times
Convicted Iowa pot growers travel to Oregon for medical marijuana purchaseThe Tribune
Around Iowa: Terminal cancer patient plans marijuana

all 30 news articles »

MBank exploring medical marijuana banking - Portland Business Journal (blog)

- Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:37:43 GMT

MBank exploring medical marijuana banking
Portland Business Journal (blog)
?While MBank takes no stand in support of, nor opposition to medical marijuana, there is clearly a need to provide a banking solution for law enforcement and taxing agency concerns about what has become an all-cash business in Oregon,? Baker said in an ...

and more »

Medical marijuana in Oregon: Medford activist Lori Duckworth sentenced to ... - The Oregonian

- Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:41:42 GMT


Medical marijuana in Oregon: Medford activist Lori Duckworth sentenced to ...
The Oregonian
Both may continue to participate in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program as patients. The Duckworths' plea and sentencing brought to a close one of the few remaining prosecutions of marijuana retailers accused of selling marijuana before the Oregon ...
Medical marijuana activists get plea dealWallowa County Cheiftain
Most charges in Medford medical pot case dismissedBelleville News Democrat
Plea deal in marijuana caseMail Tribune
The Register-Guard
all 31 news articles »

Oregon Marijuana Legalization Study Predicts $38.5 Million In Taxes On $145 ... - The Weed Blog (blog)

- Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:25:10 GMT

The Weed Blog (blog)

Oregon Marijuana Legalization Study Predicts $38.5 Million In Taxes On $145 ...
The Weed Blog (blog)
The Act does not affect the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, so researchers did not include the 64,000+ patients in their calculations. In the first three years, analysts expect the legal market to capture 40% of Oregon's current black market. There are ...
Estimates differ on marijuana revenuesPortland Tribune

all 10 news articles »

Marijuana miscues: Oregon, learn from Washington mistakes - Statesman Journal

- Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:44:35 GMT

International Business Times

Marijuana miscues: Oregon, learn from Washington mistakes
Statesman Journal
In Washington, medical marijuana has been legal since voters approved its use in 1998 but it's been virtually free of state regulation. And that's caused all kinds of problems that the Legislature has so far failed to address. For example, Oregon is ...
Oregon marijuana legalization advocates aim for 'the new gold standard'The Oregonian
Transporting Pot Across State Lines: Oregon Police Say Driving While High Is ...International Business Times
Marijuana: Oregon and Alaska could be next to legalize recreational useAnchorage Daily News
Huffington Post
all 2,042 news articles »

Oregon To Vote On Cannabis Legalization In November - Medical Jane

- Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:19:18 GMT

The Weed Blog (blog)

Oregon To Vote On Cannabis Legalization In November
Medical Jane
With two states already having legalized cannabis for adult-use, and 23 states with medical marijuana programs in place, there is unequivocal evidence that public opinion on cannabis has shifted. This year has undeniably been the most progressive year ...
Oregon Marijuana Legalization Campaign Lands Major EndorsementsThe Weed Blog (blog)
Another Study Finds No Evidence That Medical Marijuana Increases Cannabis ...Reason (blog)
National Marijuana Legalization: How Much Tax Revenue Could It Bring In?Motley Fool
International Business Times
all 137 news articles »

Do 76 percent of doctors support the use of medical marijuana? - PolitiFact

- Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:12:13 GMT

Yahoo News

Do 76 percent of doctors support the use of medical marijuana?
An initiative proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon is headed for the November ballot. Signature verification by the Oregon Secretary of State's office wrapped up Tuesday, with enough valid names turned in on petitions passed by New ...
The states that will vote on marijuana this yearVox
Oregon recreational pot initiative qualifies for November ballotYahoo News
Marijuana legalization initiative qualifies for Oregon ballotStatesman Journal
Seeking Alpha (registration)
all 240 news articles »

Oregon Views: Oregon is not doing enough to ensure medical marijuana is safe. - Coos Bay World

- Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:59:20 GMT

Oregon Views: Oregon is not doing enough to ensure medical marijuana is safe.
Coos Bay World
It also samples and tests drugs from stores, warehouses and manufacturing sites. There's no guarantee that the FDA's testing catches all contamination or problems, but Oregon's standards for medical marijuana seem downright lackadaisical by comparison.

and more »

Oregon learns from Wash. rollout - Blue Mountain Eagle

- Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:29:58 GMT

Oregon learns from Wash. rollout
Blue Mountain Eagle
Johnson said Oregon should have an easier time crafting regulations than Washington because the Oregon Health Authority has already developed a system for regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. "In Washington, the medical program is not ...

and more »