As far as cannabis consumption goes, the delivery method is as important as the type of flower you consume. Most stoners only use one or two ways to take in their preferred marijuana strain. Some don’t even know about the other fascinating methods that are out there.
In fact, new ways keep cropping up every day. How you consume cannabis determines the nature of the mental and physical benefits you stand to gain since each method delivers a unique experience.
In this article, we’ll look at the different ways to partake in the “holy herb.” Let the experimentation begin.
Weed Consumption Methods
There is a host of ways to consume marijuana. All these delivery methods are classified into three categories:
Thanks to this classification system, marijuana consumers can have an easy time finding their ideal method.
This is the most traditional and time-tested method of consuming cannabis. Given that cannabinoids go into your body via your lungs this way, they’re absorbed directly into your bloodstream. Once the THC enters your circulatory system, it’s only a matter of seconds before it reaches your brain.
The good thing about smoking weed is that it affords you better control and monitoring of the amount of marijuana you consume. So, you’re less likely to overindulge and get too stoned.
Here are the various smoking options.
Lighting up a joint is arguably the most common and widely used method of smoking cannabis. You only need three things to make a joint: rolling papers, a bud, and filters.
Your choice of paper will influence your smoking experience. Rolling papers are engineered to afford you a smooth, uniform burn. There are ever-increasing innovations in papers, from designs like terpene-infused papers to see-through rolling papers derived from plant cellulose. Simply roll cannabis buds in your preferred paper, then spark it up and enjoy your smoke.
Blunts are comparable to joints in several ways. However, blunts are rolled in cigar paper derived from the tobacco plant and filled with marijuana. Moreover, they are typically thicker and accommodate more cannabis, making them a more potent option than the smaller, thinner joint. Blunt users usually prefer the mixed effects of nicotine and weed.
These are water pipes used with marijuana flowers. Water is used to cool the smoke right before it enters your lungs. As such, the smoke is smoother to inhale. Plus, the water serves as a filter, eliminating a number of the carcinogens present in smoke. Many experienced smokers prefer bongs to consume marijuana because of the abovementioned benefits coupled with the fact that they deliver quick, intense highs.
Smoking weed through a bowl is one of the most convenient consumption methods. Bowls are small hand pipes that bear a resemblance to tobacco pipes. They come in different designs and materials, including glass, wood, metal, silicone, and ceramic. Users can consume smaller amounts and don’t need to use rolling papers as they would with a joint. You can make do-it-yourself bowls from available products, like bananas or even apples if you’re creative enough.
Crossing an ordinary glass pipe and a water pipe produces a bubbler. They are smaller compared to bongs but somewhat bigger than the average bowl. They use water to give a clean smoke that is less harsh when you inhale it. Owing to their small size, they make an excellent alternative for those who love bongs but only want smaller doses. Plus, they are an excellent travel option. Their overall user-friendliness makes them a suitable choice for both novice and veteran smokers.
Pre-rolls, also called pre-rolled joints, are ground-up marijuana flowers rolled in a wrap or rolling paper along with a filter. Imagine pre-rolls the way you see a cigarette, but replace the filled tobacco with cannabis. You don’t have to do the tough job of rolling it because it’s already done. All you do is buy it from the dispensary and light it up. Many users prefer pre-rolls, as they are discreet compared to bongs, dabs, or bowls.
Dabs are concentrated forms of marijuana created via the extraction of cannabinoids like THC from the weed plant. They are extracted using solvents like CO2, butane, or ethanol. Dabs are also called butane hash oil (BHO), wax, shatter, or budder.
Dabbing requires specific equipment, including a dab rig. The wax concentrate is placed on the rig and then heated while the consumer inhales the smoke. When done correctly, the inhaled product can be clean and pure and deliver an intense high. New cannabis users love dabs, and this has seen the introduction of new dabbing products, like concentrate pens and weed extract cartridges.
Vaping weed can be a healthier option than smoking because it heats the marijuana instead of burning it. A typical vaping device consists of a mouthpiece, chamber, and a heating system, powered by a compatible battery. The oil or distillate made of concentrated quantities of cannabinoids and terpenes is put in the chamber of the vape cartridge. It is then heated to a temperature that converts the active compounds into vapor.
Most vaping devices heat weed products at relatively low temperatures, which activates many of the cannabinoids and terpenes present in each flower. They usually come with precise temperature controls so that users can select a temperature suited to the type of cannabinoid or terpene used. As such, you can effectively decarb or activate your weed with only negligible amounts being burned off. The three primary types of vaporizers are portable vaporizers, tabletop vaporizers, and vape pens.
Not an enthusiast of inhalants? No worries. You have alternative methods to consume your cannabis, including oral consumption. When weed is consumed orally, note that:
- The resulting effects from the cannabinoids will take longer to show
- The effects will be stronger
On average, marijuana users who opt for the oral consumption method will feel the effects after half an hour. At times, the effects may pop up more than an hour later and last longer, depending on the consumer. Plus, you will experience more substantial effects because during the digestion of the marijuana, the cannabinoids go through a chemical transformation that strengthens them.
Below are the different oral consumption methods.
Edibles include any food item infused with cannabis. Classic examples are:
- Cannabis ice cream
- Weed cookies
It may take almost two hours before you start feeling high from an edible, but that high will be intense and long-lasting.
No matter the type of edible, its recipe calls for marijuana to undergo decarboxylation at some point. Decarboxylation is a process that involves applying low heat to cannabis for a prolonged period to stimulate its compounds, such as CBD and THC. You can directly mix a small amount of activated cannabis into your favorite food for an immediate edible experience.
Cannabis tinctures are sold in small dropper bottles and can be taken sublingually, added into different weed recipes, or swallowed for an edible effect. Administering them under your tongue allows the cannabinoids to be absorbed into your bloodstream quickly. Plus, the duration of effects is more prolonged than with smoking.
Since they quickly enter the bloodstream when consumed sublingually, cannabis tinctures are suitable for users seeking quick but lasting effects of cannabinoids. Rates vary based on the individual and type of tincture, but the effects generally hit their peak at two or three hours.
Medicinal users will benefit from the use of tinctures because they can easily measure and regulate the dosage through dropper vials. They are also suitable for non-smokers, those who want low doses, and those who don’t want the more potent high of edibles. Tinctures are discreet. Sublingual administration in public does not attract snooping eyes, like puffing a joint would.
THC sprays are often either oil or alcohol based. They are mainly administered orally by spraying a few spritzes under the tongue, and then you can enjoy a fast-acting hit of cannabinoids.
They come in varying ratios of CBD and THC and different flavors so that users can use them for medical or wellness purposes. They are well suited to all types of marijuana users, whether novice or experienced, because they come in a range of strengths. If you’re asthmatic and unable to inhale smoke, THC sprays can be your go-to weed consumption method. Typically, a few spritzes are all you need to get to a nice high place.
As with any prescription drug, cannabis can be administered in the form of a pill or capsule. Weed capsules are many users’ preferred way of consuming marijuana because of the following reasons:
- They deliver a predictable dose of cannabinoids, so they are regarded as safer than smoking.
- They are discreet since they don’t smell or release smoke.
- They can treat different illnesses when mixed with other ingredients, like B12 vitamins or melatonin for insomnia.
- The THC in them produces long-lasting psychoactive effects.
You’ve probably seen or used a breath strip, right? Weed strips borrow the same concept but are infused with CBD or THC. These are small squares of edible paper that effortlessly dissolve when they mix with your saliva. That makes your cannabis consumption as discreet as can be.
While drinks mixed with cannabis are nothing new, they are not the most popular way to ingest cannabis. It’s not a straightforward process, but you can make weed tea, weed beer, or even cannabis coffee right in the comfort of your home. All you need is decarboxylation, and then you can combine the decarbed concentrate with your choice of drink.
Cannabis drinks vary. Some are entirely non-psychotropic or have milder high effects, thanks to a blend of CBD and THC strains. Others contain higher THC content and combine caffeine with THC to deliver a more potent high. If you prefer a chilled-out morning, consider CBD coffee for a relaxed feeling.
Don’t fancy inhaling or ingesting your weed? Well, consider topicals. These are lotions infused with marijuana for relief from chronic pain, muscle spasms, and soreness. They employ the medicinal attributes of CBD to transform the way you feel. Some of the main types of topicals include:
You can apply CBD topical creams directly on your skin to target an area affected by pain. Since CBD does not produce the intoxicating effects that THC does, you will not feel high when you rub the cream on your skin. All you can expect is localized pain relief.
In fact, many athletes are turning to CBD creams as an alternative to OTC pain relievers because they can alleviate muscle aches without the possible side effects of medication. Apart from athletes, topical creams are also ideal for sufferers of paranoia, anxiety, pain, PTSD, and other serious conditions.
Transdermal cannabis patches have made a late entry into the marijuana world. They’re the same as band-aids but infused with CBD, THC, or both. They’re not designed to get you high but to alleviate pain caused by a host of conditions. The patch is usually applied to a venous section of your body, like your wrist, arm, or ankle. Next, your body heat triggers the patch, which in turn releases a consistent stream of CBD into the bloodstream, delivering a discreet, steady relief.
The Bottom Line
At this point, you’re well aware of the different ways to consume cannabis. So, if you don’t love smoking, you can still get your dose of CBD or THC. Whether you’re using cannabis for purely medicinal purposes or want something to increase your focus, there’s a delivery method to suit your situation. Now, the onus is on you to figure out what suits you best.