The Different Ways to Using Cannabis
The way you choose to use your weed will have a big impact on how it affects you. Here are some of the most common ways, and what they have to offer.
When it comes to cannabis, the stereotypical assumption is that it needs to be smoked. However, there are many interesting and varied ways to use weed, all with their different advantages and disadvantages.
Not only can changing up your consumption method offer practical benefits, such as improved discretion, but it can also change the effect cannabis has - like the duration of the high or the intensity of the high itself. So what are the different ways of using cannabis and how do they affect us? The answer is different for everyone, but here is a general idea to help you find what works for you!
Smoking is the most common way of ingesting cannabis and at no surprise. There is evidence of us using it in this way for the last 3000 years! With this method, dried flowers, leaves or hash are combusted and inhaled through a bong, pipe or joint.
The effects of smoking cannabis are usually felt instantly and tend to wear off within an hour or two. When smoked in a joint, weed is usually mixed with tobacco or dried leaves such as papaya, white sage or eucalyptus.
Smoking cannabis can be seen as a very cheap and efficient way of staying lifted, because all you need are rolling papers, a pipe or a bong. You can get these without hassle at most head shops.
However, smoking is probably the unhealthiest way of consuming cannabis. The act of combusting plant material produces carcinogens and cannabis is no exception. It produces seven known carcinogens when combusted, as well as tar and other potential toxins. Cannabis doesn’t contain these in its natural form, but burning it breaks the compounds within it converts them into harmful substances. It also destroys many of the cannabinoids, lowering content in the smoke.
Vaporizing is a method of heating cannabis to a point where the THC and other cannabinoids in the bud turn into an inhalable vapour. This is much healthier than smoking and is considered one of the best ways to use. Vaporizing uses much lower temperatures, so the compounds are “boiled” out without causing combustion, which means no smoke, which means no harmful by-products! It is a much purer experience, maintaining a higher concentration of cannabinoids and offering an unadulterated flavour. It makes vaporizing very appealing to most, and is well worth a go if you haven’t tried it out.
You’ll find your bud will go a lot further when you use a vaporizer as well. As vapour maintains its cannabinoid content, less is needed than with smoking to get to the same place. You can also use your AVB (Already Vaped Bud) in edible recipes, such as cannabutter, to get the maximum potential out of your stash!
Vaporizers can also be a very discreet way of using, as they don’t produce a lingering or staining smell, and they don’t take as long to load as a bong or joint. There are a variety of ergonomically designed vaporizers out there to suit your preferences and budget.
The tastiest way to get medicated! All you need to do is cook with your cannabis and enjoy; this can include foods such as brownies, cookies, crepes or pizza! This method tends to take 1-2 hours to work, but generally produces a stronger and longer lasting high than other methods (Up to 8 hours.)
The great thing about this is you can keep your edibles fresh in the fridge or freezer for as long as you like and they are always ready to go. What you create is only limited by your imagination.
Edibles vary greatly in potency and it is hard to gauge the actual THC content of a food product. Weight, metabolism and eating habits will alter the effects of your dosage. Eating on an empty stomach will intensify the effects, so learn the dosage that’s right for you! Initially, this is a disadvantage to eating cannabis – until you know how it affects you, dosing is hard.
This increased potency and effect duration have gained edibles a strong reputation among those who use cannabis for therapeutic reasons. Once you know how you react to doses, it makes for a much cleaner, beneficial experience than say, smoking.
Eating too many edibles can cause you to feel anxious and very uncomfortable, but nobody has ever overdosed on cannabis, so not to worry!
It is also worth noting that cannabis must be heated in order to activate it. So it needs to be baked or cooked with – you can’t simply eat it raw.
Simply put, these are cannabis infused products for use on the surface of the skin. They generally come in the form of oils and lotions.
This method is seen tremendously effective for skin conditions, and localised pain and general skin health. Unlike smoking, however, this method will never get you high, the body metabolises the cannabinoids faster than they are absorbed. However, if you are looking to boost skin health, then it could be an ideal addition to the beauty regime.
Perhaps the least popular method of dosing, tinctures are liquid concentrations of THC and cannabinoid that have been activated then bound in alcohol. Generally, the doses are highly concentrated and a single drop under your tongue can have you feeling high in minutes. Tinctures are known for bringing on the effects quite fast, as they are absorbed sublingually - bringing a steady high over 1-2 hour period. Tinctures are not hard to make and they are a nice alternative to usual methods because you can mix them with whatever you like and they are also discreet.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways to get weed into your system. Some are better than others, and a lot of it comes down to personal preference. Don’t be afraid to see what works for you!