Choosing the right cannabis consumption method is all about finding what you’re comfortable with while understanding the different dosing and effects of each consumption method.
Cannabis joints are similar to cigarettes in that you’re rolling your dried herb in a rolling paper. There are many ways to roll a traditional joint: by hand, using a rolling machine, or buying a pre-rolled cone in which you can stuff your own product. Papers range from hemp paper to wood pulp to rice, each with its own burning style. Some people choose to put filters in their cannabis joints for a smoother and cleaner smoking experience (no sticky resin on your fingers!) Pre-rolled joints are available at Mood Cannabis Co. for ultimate convenience in your smoking experience.
Smoking cannabis out of a pipe is one of the earliest methods of consuming cannabis in recorded time. Back in 500 B.C., the Scythians were described by Herodotus as inhaling the fumes of burning leaves through pipe-like devices. Native Americans and Canadians used pipes for smoking dry herbs in tribal ceremonies before the recreational use of said herbs were discovered.
The tobacco trade made the pipe a more popular method of smoking cannabis. Pipes can be made of glass, silicon, wood, or metal, and contain a “bowl” where you place your cannabis to be lit. The cannabis smoke is inhaled through the mouthpiece. Some people choose to light their bowl with a hemp wick, which is a healthier alternative to lighting a bowl with a butane lighter.
The use of the bong can be traced back 2,400 years to Asia and Africa. Derived from the Thai word “buang”, early bongs were usually made from bamboo. Water bongs use also grew with the trade of tobacco.
Bongs are a heavy-hitting method of consuming cannabis. A bong is usually filled at the bottom with a little water to get a “bubbling” effect when inhaled. The cannabis is packed in a bowl and lit with a lighter or a hemp wick, and the smoke is inhaled through the mouth-piece. Start slowly with bongs, ingesting one “hit” and assessing how you feel before ingesting more.
Vaporizing cannabis is one of the most convenient, discreet, and clean methods to use cannabis. Vaporizers have evolved quite a bit in the last few years, with early models being huge clunky tabletop devices; now vaporizer technology has developed to provide vaporizer products that can slip in your pocket or purse.
Vaporizers come in dry herb and oil forms. When you use dry herb, your heating coil will bring the temperature of your cannabis to above 200 degrees Celsius. The heating temperature allows the terpenes and cannabinoids to vaporize, rather than burn; you’re not actually burning flower at all.
Specially-made vaporizer cartridges are not yet available in legal cannabis stores, but once legal, they will be available in pre-filled cartridges, disposable forms, or in refillable form.
Cannabis oils are extractions of the terpenes and cannabinoids contained within the cannabis plant. They can be taken sublingually (under the tongue), orally (swallowed/ingested), or placed into food products to make edibles or used topically.
Tinctures are also cannabis extractions, but are usually extracted by alcohol. Alcohol-based tinctures are not recommended to be placed under the tongue, as it can burn, but they can be taken in food or in water.
For those who want to experience the effects of cannabis without having to smoke or use it sublingually, capsules are an excellent method to consume. The effects may take up to 30 minutes to kick in as your body metabolizes. Capsules can vary from raw cannabis, to decarboxylated cannabis, to full-spectrum and strain-specific capsules.
Dabbing is done with cannabis concentrates, which are not for sale within the legal cannabis market. Dabbing involves a water pipe, a “nail”, a dabber, and a hood, along with a torch device to properly heat the nail and your concentrate to heat the concentrate at a level that it begins to vaporize. Dabbing isn’t for newbies, and as they say “a little dab’ll do ya” due to the potency of cannabis concentrates.
Edibles were legalized as of October 17, 2019. Those who want to make edibles from home may choose to purchase dried flower or cannabis oil. Be aware if you’re cooking with dried flower that you must decarboxylate, or activate your cannabis with heat by baking it in the oven prior to putting it in a recipe.
Consumed cannabis is taken to your liver via your stomach’s lining, where the THC is transformed into 11-Hydroxy-THC, a very potent form of THC. Edibles cross the blood/brain barrier much more effectively through the liver, which is why edibles also have a tendency to be potent.
Cannabis edibles take longer to take effect than more traditional methods like smoking or vaping as the body breaks down and processes fats and cannabinoids via the stomach and liver. For this reason, it’s advised to wait 30 minutes to an hour to feel the full effects of an edible before consuming any more.
Topicals are cannabis products that are applied on and absorbed through the skin. Topicals are not yet available for sale in legal cannabis stores under The Cannabis Act, but they can be made at home using do-it-yourself recipes.