Endless Types of Cannabis Consumption
Cannabis can be used in a variety of different ways, depending on the desired effect and preference of the consumer. However, many cannabis enthusiasts don’t understand some of the subtle differences between the multiple consumption methods. However, each can offer different benefits – and potential drawbacks – that should be considered before indulging!
Join us as we outline the most popular methods of consuming cannabis and the pros/cons of each so that you can make an informed decision next time you’re ready to enjoy some herb.
The most popular method of consuming cannabis is undoubtedly smoking. This can be done in several ways, including joints, pipes, bongs, and blunts. Smoking offers a quick and intense high (often rather short-lasting) that is perfect for those seeking relief from pain or wanting to relax and unwind. However, smoking also comes with some potential drawbacks.
Smoking cannabis can be harsh on your lungs and throat, causing irritation and inflammation. Just like smoking anything else, it can also increase the risk of developing lung cancer. The healthiest way to smoke is using a bong or any sort of pipe that offers water filtration. It’s also important to regularly change the water used in your pipes! If you’re a regular consumer, changing the water a few times a week is advised. If you smoke joints or blunts, it’s best to use a filter and take short, shallow puffs to minimize the potential damage to your lungs.
For those who don’t want to (or are unable to) smoke or enjoy a longer-lasting high, edibles are a great option. Edibles are cannabis-infused foods, from gummies and brownies to savory options like chips or Sriracha. Edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two full hours to take effect, so be patient and don’t overdo it.
The main downside of edibles is that people can easily overeat and experience an uncomfortable high. The most common negative side effects related to edibles involve increased heart rate and/or panic attacks. When you’re first experimenting with edibles, it’s recommended to start with a low dose (5-10 mg) and wait at least two hours to gauge effects before eating more. Even if you’re sure where your tolerance and comfort levels lie with edibles, it still may be best to start low and slow when trying a product made differently than what you’re used to. For example, our Nectar Drops are available with either a distillate or live resin base – for some, the live resin kicks in much more quickly and is felt more strongly than the distillate!
Topicals are cannabis-infused creams, lotions, salves, or oils that can be applied directly to the skin. They offer localized relief from pain and inflammation and are perfect for those who want the medicinal benefits of cannabis without any intoxicating effects.
Additionally, infused topicals can be used to make a massage even more relaxing! However, topicals will not get you high as they don’t penetrate into deeper layers of the skin or enter the bloodstream. For more on the science of topicals, check out our blog here!
Vaping is an alternative to smoking that has gained popularity in recent years, often touted as being healthier for your lungs. Vaping involves heating cannabis flower or oil to a temperature just below the point of combustion, which produces a vapor that can be inhaled.
Vaping offers a quick and potent high; it’s very similar to smoking but without the harshness on your throat and lungs. However, vaping comes with its own risks, including the potential for lung damage. These risks are lessened when vapes are made using high-quality materials – it’s a large part of why we use ceramic hardware for all Passion Flower cartridges! If you decide to vape, be sure to use a quality device and avoid options that add other substances (like artificial flavors) to your cannabis oil.
Dabbing is a type of vaping that involves using potent cannabis concentrates. Dabbing offers a quick and powerful high that can be intense or overwhelming for those new to cannabis.
Dabbing can also be dangerous if not done correctly. Use the proper equipment and start with a small amount to avoid adverse side effects. The saying “a dab’ll do ya” exists in the cannabis lexicon for a reason!
While they technically fall into the edibles category, infused beverages can interact with the ECS (Endocannabinoid System) in some ways that are just different enough to warrant their own section. Here in WA, infused beverages vary anywhere from 2.5mg to 100mg THC per bottle. For packages containing over 10mg total THC, these beverages are broken down into 10mg servings, often via a dosing cap or lines on the bottle.
The main thing that sets infused drinks apart from standard edibles is the onset time! You can typically expect to feel the effects of a beverage in 15 minutes to one hour; however, it’s still best to wait up to 2 full hours before drinking more if you’re unfamiliar with how a drink affects you.
Cannabis suppositories are a type of medicine that is inserted into the rectum or vagina. They offer localized relief from pain and can be used to treat a variety of conditions.
Cannabis suppositories can be made at home with coconut oil and cannabis flower or bought pre-made from a dispensary – check out Rectify and Feminine Relief from Fairwinds! However, they can be messy and uncomfortable to use (especially for beginners), so be sure to read instructions carefully beforehand.
Capsules are another popular way to consume cannabis. They are easy to take and offer a discreet, convenient way to get your cannabinoids.
Capsules can be purchased at most dispensaries, or made at home with cannabis extract and a base such as coconut oil. Just like any other edibles, they can take up to 2 hours to take effect, so patience is important here as well.
Tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts of cannabis that are taken by mouth. They offer a quick and easy way to consume cannabis. Plus, due to sublingual absorption that bypasses the need to be metabolized through the liver, the effects can often be felt within just 15-30 minutes!
Cannabis is an incredibly versatile plant that can be consumed in many different ways. Your preferred consumption method will likely vary and will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Be sure to start with a low dose and go slowly to find the plan that works best for you!
Thanks for reading,