As cannabis becomes legal in more states throughout the country, there are new ways of consuming cannabis emerging into the mainstream world. With all these options as to how a user can consume cannabis, the question of what the most effective way to do so is. The answer is, it depends on the person, but let’s discuss the various ways and how effective they really are. There are three main categories of how to consume cannabis, which include inhalants, ingestants, and we’ll call the last one “other”. Each of these categories are broken up into different methods that can be used within each section.
Let’s start with the big one, inhalants. Inhalants are the most common way to consume cannabis as it is the oldest practice of doing so. This includes things like smoking, dabbing, and vaping, which each have different results after using them. Smoking is the most popular way people consume cannabis and can be done so by rolling a joint or blunt, or using a pipe, bowl, bong, or bubbler. Smoking is the quickest way to get THC into the user’s system, as the cannabinoids enter through their lungs and go directly into the person’s bloodstream.
There are many benefits to smoking but of course, there are also downsides. In my opinion, the most important benefit is that the user can monitor how much they are smoking, meaning that they can be sure they won’t get too high. As for downsides, the main one is that smoking is damaging to the lungs. Obviously, any type of smoking will affect a person’s lungs and throat, so this isn’t news to anyone.
Dabbing is similar to smoking; however, the item being smoked isn’t actual bud, but butane hash oil or BHO. It is meant to be smoked out of a rig, much like a bong or bowl, but instead of a lighter, a blowtorch is used. Yes, you read that correctly. I said blowtorch. BHO is an extremely potent extract, meaning that it will get the user high super quickly. When the BHO is exposed to the high heat of the blowtorch, the vapor is free of any foreign plant materials, making it “pure”. Technically, that would make this a healthier way of consuming cannabis, but with the effects hitting so hard, users should be cautious when trying this. I’d even say newbies should stay away until they’re ready.
Next on the list of inhalants is vaping. Vaping is similar to smoking but involves heating the weed. This makes it a healthier option because the heat helps eliminate the possibility of pain in the user’s lung and throat. Vapes come in all shapes and sizes and can range from super cheap to super expensive, depending on what the user prefers. Vapes are small and easy to carry around, making it a good choice for when the user is on the go. The oil in the vape pen can contain THC levels upwards of 80%, compared to flowers which usually range between 5-25%. This means that vapes clearly will have a stronger effect on the user’s body, so be aware of that when smoking this.
Another form of inhalant is Moon Rocks, but those aren’t super common. Moon Rocks are a combination of three different products, a raw, whole piece of bud, honey oil, and kief. Essentially, you take a nug of weed, dip it on honey oil and then roll it in the kief. Once it’s dry, it can be broken up and smoked like weed. But again, these are not super popular, but I’d assume it has similar disadvantages as smoking regular weed.
Moving on from inhalants, the next category of ways to consume cannabis is ingestants. As the name says, this is when the user eats cannabis in some form. There are so many options for ways to eat cannabis, almost any food that comes to mind probably has a cannabis recipe for it. The difference with ingesting cannabis is that it takes time for the cannabinoids to take effect and the effects will be stronger. The general consensus for the time it takes for the weed to affect the user is around 30 minutes or so, but some say it can take anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes to fully hit the user.
Eating cannabis has its upsides and its downsides, as do all the other forms of consuming cannabis, but it is definitely good for long-lasting chronic pain. However, the downside is that the user cannot track the amount they are consuming as easily as they could with smoking. It is said that around the 2-hour mark is the peak of the high, but it can last about six hours or more depending on the amount.
There are other ways to ingest cannabis, such as pills, dissolvable strips, sprays, and even drinks. There are cannabis capsules that can just be swallowed, which is great if the user is trying to avoid actually smoking. These are very potent and concentrated, meaning that users should be careful when consuming these. Dissolvable strips can come in either THC or CBD variety, and look like one of those Listerine strips that go on your tongue. It’s the same thing with these, the user puts the strip on their tongue and the water dissolves it.
Brewing weed tea or beer is possible, but it isn’t super easy. There are now also marijuana wines and coffees, showing that the industry is starting to branch out into new areas. These aren’t super popular but they do have the same effects as ingesting cannabis in any other way. Last but not least, sprays. Sprays are basically tinctures, which I will explain next, but in a spray bottle. Just one or two squirts of this and the user will be high. The best thing about these is they that are totally inconspicuous and can be used without people even knowing what is happening.
In the “other” category, there are tinctures, which I just mentioned, creams, patches, and even lube. Tinctures are a liquid concentration of marijuana matter that dissolves on the user's tongue. These are very underrated as they are both odorless, which is convenient for public places, and they also hit the user within 5-15 minutes. Just place a few drops on your tongue and enjoy the high.
Topicals are lotions that have been infused with cannabis to relieve pain, soreness, and inflammation. These creams have the medicinal properties of CBD, meaning that it doesn’t get the user high in a psychoactive way. The cream is placed directly on the spot that is having problems, whether it be large or small areas. Similar to that, patches are like a Band-Aid but are infused with THC, CBD, or both. When the user applies the patch to a venous part of the body, such as their ankle, arm, or wrist, the body heats the patch allowing it to release a small amount of cannabinoid through the skin into the bloodstream.
To wrap it up, pun intended, let’s discuss cannabis lube. Technically, it is more of a massage oil, but it has the same intentions as lube, to make the sex amazing. While it won’t get the user high per se, the oil is a relaxation aid that takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to work. The experience itself is what this sensual cannabis oil helps with, but it is not to be used with latex because the oil can break down the latex making it not useful. Another thing I’ll note is that this is only for the ladies, sorry gentleman.
In the end, the best way to consume cannabis is up to the user. It is whatever they prefer and what they think will affect them in the best way. With all these exciting new ways to consume cannabis, the experience of being high can now be different than what people are used to. Whether it be smoking, vaping, eating, drinking, or spraying, cannabis consumption has evolved into a whole new experience and will continue to evolve as time goes on.