amend cannabis tinctures and balms photo courtesy of superdog

The evolution of cannabis consumption

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When medical marijuana first hit the Missouri market in October 2020, the modes of consumption were quite limited, with most dispensaries only offering a couple strains of flower. Fast forward to little more than a year later, and the methods of consumption have increased exponentially.

No longer relegated to smokers, medical marijuana now comes in myriad forms, from edibles and tinctures to topicals and more. “A lot of our patients don’t like smoking things, whether they have lung issues or are just trying to avoid any stress on their lungs, so the edibles and tinctures really go over well with them,” said Zach Gregory, Swade Dispensary Ellisville general manager.

Swade, which has five locations in the area, recently debuted Kizmet chocolates, with options ranging from chocolate-covered graham crackers to blood orange dark chocolate. “It’s made locally and is just fantastic,” Gregory said. “If you didn’t know there was THC in it, you could chow on it like a snack, but it has some very potent THC with great effects without tasting any of the earthiness.” Gregory is also a fan of the Zoet gummies, which come in flavors like key lime and berry and feature varying ratios of THC and CBD.

Medicated beverages are also making their way into the market. “We have a lot of customers that are trying to get away from alcohol, so we came out with a new drink called MOHI that tastes sort of like a Blue Moon or Shock Top but with no alcohol and just 5 milligrams of THC, so it’s very sessionable,” Gregory said. “It gives that uplifting feeling but with no side effects like a hangover or losing the ability to make good decisions.”

Tinctures are another great way to medicate, and they take effect much quicker than edibles, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel. “You use a little dropper and put [the liquid] under your tongue for about 30 seconds and it gets into your bloodstream within 5 to 10 minutes,” said Ruth Loeffler, lead product specialist for Swade Ellisville. “It’s got kind of a minty taste and it’s great for beginners to try: very user-friendly and cost effective.”

For patients looking for pain relief without any psychoactive effects, topical products like balms are a great choice. “I was a little hesitant about the balms, but we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on it for ailments like arthritis and tennis elbow,” Gregory said, explaining that these products come with THC or CBD or both.

In addition, smokers also have many more options than when medical marijuana first launched in Missouri. “We started with just two strains of flower, and now we have 35 different types, including sativa, indica and hybrid,” Gregory said. “And for people looking for something a little stronger, we’ve got plenty of concentrates like oils and wax.”

So whether you’re looking to medicate the old-fashioned way with some beautiful buds to smoke or you’re more interested in the new-fangled means of cannabis consumption, Swade has something for everyone. For more information, visit

This advertisement is intended only for Missouri medical marijuana patients. Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.