Cannabis has the incredible capacity to bring people together. Sharing a blunt or bowl, differences fall by the wayside and conversation and connection flows. One question that may bring some contention, however, is what is the best way to consume cannabis?
Smoking may be the traditional route, but the latest developments in cannabis science and technology have created so many different methods of consumption. From vaping to infused beverages to concentrates, the cannabis enthusiast has more options than ever. So how do you choose?
Of course, this all comes down to personal preference. You may exclusively use a bong while your significant other may prefer the edible experience. But why limit yourself? Becoming more informed about the different methods of consumption may open your world to new possibilities.
Inhalation is a method of consumption that offers the quickest effects. Inhaled through the lungs and then absorbed by the bloodstream, the effects of THC can be felt within seconds or minutes.
The two most prevalent methods of inhalation are smoking and vaping.
The oldest known method of consuming cannabis is smoking. Beyond being highly efficient, smoking is the easiest way to dose cannabis. It is much less likely that you will become “too high” from smoking because you consume it incrementally. On the other hand, some cannabis consumers avoid smoking because it may be damaging to the sensitive tissue of the lungs.
There are several different devices that fall under this umbrella, but the most common are:
- Hand pipes. Hand pipes are the most common device used for smoking cannabis. They are small, which makes them convenient to bring on the go. They are most commonly made of glass, though you may see wood, clay, porcelain, or metal hand pipes as well. Hand pipes trap the smoke from the burning cannabis which can then be inhaled.
- Water pipes. There are several different types of water pipes, but the two most common are bongs and bubblers. The idea behind a water pipe is that it cools the smoke, which makes it gentler on your lungs. It is also believed that the water acts as a filter, but the jury’s still out on that one.
- Rolling papers. Many cannabis consumers use rolling papers to create either joints or blunts. Joints are rolled from paper and are the size of a cigarette. Blunts are rolled in cigar paper and contain nicotine.
Vaping is similar to smoking, except that instead of burning the cannabis, you are heating it at a high temperature. Vaping is considered a healthier alternative to smoking because you aren’t exposing your lungs and throat to the heat and burned matter. However, more research needs to be done to understand whether or not vaping is truly less harmful than smoking.
- Vaporizers. There are many different shapes and sizes of vaporizers, though the most common is a vape pen. These are so portable, easy to use, and discreet, that are quickly becoming a popular alternative to joints and blunts.
- Rigs. Rigs look similar to bongs. This is essentially an extremely quick way to vaporize butane hash oil (BHO), also known as dabs. This method is highly efficient, but is generally not recommended for beginners because of its potency.
Many cannabis consumers prefer to ingest their cannabis rather than inhale it. The advantage of ingesting cannabis is that it safer for the lungs than inhalation. However, ingesting cannabis can make it more difficult to control dosage — it is common for people to become “too high” from eating edibles. On the other side of the coin, some people ingest cannabis and don’t feel any effect at all. Ultimately, ingesting cannabis produces a different effect than inhaling it, so it comes down to a matter of preference.
Cannabis-infused food and drinks are quite popular. As a general rule of thumb, it takes longer for edibles to kick in than other methods of consumption. However, their effects tend to last significantly longer as they are absorbed through the digestive tract. Some common edibles include brownies, gummies, hard candies, and soda.
Tinctures aren’t technically ingested, but they are administered orally. Tinctures are liquid cannabis extract which are administered with a dropper under the tongue. The THC is then absorbed by the oral tissue into the bloodstream, making it faster than methods involving digestion. You can also ingest tinctures, though it will take longer for them to kick in. Some people will add tinctures to their favorite dishes.
Ingestible oils are essentially between tinctures and edibles — they are ingested like edibles, but they have the consistency of an oil. You can eat them as an oil, or you can put them in a soft gel capsule.
You can also find a variety of topicals infused with cannabis, including creams, salves, massage oils, balms, and lubricants. While you do not experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis because the THC doesn’t enter the bloodstream, it can be advantageous for users looking for localized relief, such as for muscle soreness.
Ultimately, how you choose to consume your home grown cannabis is up to you. You may have a tried-and-true method you never waver from, or you may like to switch it up. This is one of the primary advantages of growing cannabis at home — you are able to process it in different ways to meet your consumption method desires. To learn more about the cannabis cultivation process, feel free to contact us.