A significant part of the efficacy of medical marijuana depends on how it is consumed. It is always recommended to discuss with your recommending physician and dispensary what method of consumption may work best for you, and always keep recommended dosage, desired effects, comfort level, and condition in mind when doing so. The OMMCP has approved vaporization, oral administration, topical and transdermal methods of consumption for the state of Ohio. They have also developed a process for submitting additional methods of consumption for approval by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
Vaporization is a quick-onset, smokeless form of inhalation. In this method, a vaporizer steadily heats medical marijuana product to a temperature that releases the medicinal compounds of the medical marijuana product. Because the cannabinoids quickly and easily enter the bloodstream through this method, the effects can be felt within seconds and last several hours.
* In Ohio, vaporization is prohibited for patients under 18 years of age
Examples of Forms of Vaporization
Flower, also referred to as bud, is the dried part of the marijuana plant sold by dispensaries. Marijuana flowers contain nearly all cannabinoid-rich trichomes in marijuana, which is why they are harvested and dried to be used as medication. In Ohio, flower is categorized into two tiers, Tier I (flower testing with less than 23 percent THC) and Tier II (flower exceeding 23 percent THC but contains no more than 35 percent THC).
A type of concentrate derived from butane hash oil (BHO). Wax is a solid and non-transparent oil, usually coming out in amber or light brown shade. Although solid, wax can be made to have a variety of textures, from gooey (budder) to a soft brittle (crumble). Wax typically has a higher THC content than flower. In Ohio, processed medical marijuana products, such as wax, cannot exceed more than 70 percent THC.
A specialized form of BHO characterized by a rigid, stiff structure that resembles and breaks like glass. Shatter is transparent and typically takes on an amber shade. Shatter usually has a higher THC content than flower. In Ohio, processed medical marijuana products, such as shatter, cannot exceed more than 70 percent THC.
A type of marijuana concentrate manufactured by flash freezing the marijuana plant immediately after harvest, also known as "fresh frozen." Because the flowers are preserved immediately after harvest, and not dried and cured, the terpenes are preserved, creating a more flavorful concentrate when extracted. Live Resins are typically amber in color and take on a solid and sticky consistency. In Ohio, processed medical marijuana products, such as live resin, cannot exceed more than 70 percent THC.
A potent concentrate of cannabinoids made by dissolving marijuana in its plant form in a solvent. Unlike flower or concentrates, oil vaporization allows for more controlled dosage and can be more discreet as well. In Ohio, processed medical marijuana products, such as oil, cannot exceed more than 70 percent THC, although oil is typically metered by milligram content. Please note that Ohio law prohibits the use of medical marijuana by smoking or combustion.
Please note that Ohio law prohibits the use of medical marijuana by smoking or combustion.
Oral administration allows for precise and controlled dosing, as well as strong psychoactive effects. In Ohio, oral administration includes ingestible oils, tinctures, capsules, and edibles.
Oral administration that is sublingual, such as tincture or oil, is administered under the tongue and absorbed directly into the bloodstream. A sublingual is typically composed of extracted cannabis oil and another medium, such as coconut oil or vegetable glycerin. Because this method does not require being digested through the gastrointestinal organs and instead goes directly to the bloodstream, effects are felt quickly, typically within minutes. In addition to rapid onset, sublingual also offer precise dosing as well as discretion when consuming.
For more traditional edibles, cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the flower as oil and then combined with another medium, like butter, which is further processed into edible form. Because edibles must metabolize before the effects are felt, onset typically takes longer than other types of administration (anywhere from minutes to hours). Metabolism depends on many factors, such as food intake and sleep schedule, so the effects can feel different each time an edible is consumed. It is always advised that edibles be consumed slowly and in small doses.
Tinctures are a sublingual method of consumption, composed of medical marijuana extract and infused in a base liquid. Traditional tinctures that were sold in the United States before prohibition were infused in alcohol. Medicinal tinctures sold today are typically infused in bases such as vegetable glycerin, coconut oil or avocado oil, allowing for it to be an easy and tasteful addition to foods and drinks. Tinctures are applied under the tongue and have a quick onset, usually within minutes.
Capsules are made of medical cannabis extract and a base, such as coconut oil, and are ingested orally. Discretion, highly-metered dosing and varied potencies are a few benefits of using capsules. Capsules are a favorite amongst patients with respiratory problems, the novice user and those needing higher doses of medication.
Lozenges offer another discreet and precise form of administration. Lozenges are solid and typically resemble a cough drop and come in a variety of potencies, ranging from high THC, low CBD to high CBD, low THC. Because they dissolve in the mouth, they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and have a quick onset.
Medical marijuana oil is composed of liquid medical marijuana extract. Oil typically comes in a syringe for oral administration, usually under the tongue. Oil can be easily added to foods or drinks; however, onset is slower when administered through food and drink than when administered directly under the tongue. Rick Simpson Oil, known as RSO, is a favorite oil known for its medicinal benefits and often favored amongst cancer patients.
Cannabis-enriched topical treatments have been used for thousands of years. In this delivery method, medical marijuana products are applied directly to the skin to provide focused relief from inflammation, pain, skin irritations, migraines and more. Most topical cannabis products do not reach the bloodstream, eliminating any psychoactive effects.
Lotions, Creams, Ointments, and Salves
Medical marijuana topicals are beneficial in relieving localized pain. In most topicals, cannabinoids don't reach the bloodstream, only penetrate the skin, which is ideal for patients looking for relief without any cerebral effects. Lotions, creams, ointments, and salves are a few of the more popular types of topicals and can deliver a myriad of additional benefits such as warming and cooling sensations. Transdermal
Transdermal patches are small patches that can be applied directly to the skin, such as with birth control or nicotine patch. Patches offer not only discreet delivery, but also controlled doses over a specified period, such as 8 or 12 hours. Unlike a lotion or salve, transdermal patches do deliver cannabinoids to the bloodstream, so knowing what cannabinoids bring your condition relief is essential to success.
Ohio has set guidelines on the amount of product a patient and/or caregiver(s) may purchase within a certain amount of time. A patient’s allotment will be calculated every 90 days and will not be able to exceed a certain amount of medical marijuana during those 90 days. The 90-day supply, as defined by the OMMCP, may consist of multiple forms of medical marijuana, but cannot exceed the specified amount, whether purchased as a single form or aggregated across forms. Ohio’s 90-day supply is as follows:
|Form of Administration||90-Day Supply|
|Tier I Plant Material (23% or less THC)||8oz (226.8g)|
|Tier II Plant Material (23.1% – 35% THC)||5.3oz (153.3g)|
|Transdermal patches, any topical administration||26.55g THC|
|Oral administration (oil, tincture, capsule, edible)||9.9g THC|
|Oil for vaporization||53.1g THC|
For patients diagnosed with a terminal illness, the 90-day supply is as follows:
|Form of Administration||90-Day Supply|
|Tier I Plant Material (23% or less THC)||10oz (283.5g)|
|Tier II Plant Material (23.1% – 35% THC)||6.6oz (187.1g)|
|Transdermal patches, any topical administration||33.3g THC|
|Oral administration (oil, tincture, capsule, edible)||11.7g THC|
|Oil for vaporization||65.7 THC|
Petition to Add A Form or Method of Administration
The OMMCP has approved specific consumption methods of medical marijuana, as well as products that may be sold under each approved consumption category. If there is a form or method of administration you would like to see added to the list, the OMMCP has developed a formal process of filing petitions. Please note that the OMMCP will not approve any form or method of consumption that may be found attractive to children.
Petitions must be complete with all required supporting documents before review. Only completed petitions will be reviewed by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
Petitions require the following information in order to be considered complete:
- Petitioner’s Information
- Form of Method of Administration You are Requesting Be Added:
- Provide a brief and precise description
- Anticipated Benefits from the Proposed Form or Method of Administration:
- Include scientific evidence, capability of being reproduced by multiple scientific experts supporting the benefits described
- Reported Adverse Effects of Proposed Form or Method of Administration:
- Provide information or studies regarding any adverse effects of the proposed form or method of administration. A petitioner is required to disclose known adverse effects as part of the petition.
- Acceptance by the Medical Community:
- Describe the extent to which the proposed form or method of administration is generally accepted by the medical community.
- Expert Support:
- Provide evidence supporting the use of medical marijuana to treat or alleviate the disease or condition, including but not limited to journal articles, peer-reviewed studies and other types of medical or scientific documents
To file a petition or learn more about the petition process, please visit the OMMCP’s website.