New to cannabis and wondering about the best way to consume cannabis? With the legalization of cannabis in many states, several consumption methods are popular today.
From smoking cannabis to cannabis edible options, vape cannabis, tinctures, and topical products, a range of choices are available to suit your needs and preferences, and finding the best cannabis consumption methods for you may take a bit of exploration.
To help you explore the ways to consume cannabis, we are sharing a guide to the different cannabis intake methods and their benefits to find your ideal delivery method and cannabis products. Let’s dive right in.
One of the most straightforward consumption methods is to inhale cannabis. When you inhale cannabis, whether you vape or smoke cannabis, the active compounds get absorbed into your bloodstream through the lungs, providing that high feeling. With this method, effects are almost immediate, making it a go-to consumption method for those who prefer a nearly instant high.
The two main types of inhalation methods are smoking and vaping. Here are the differences.
Smoking is one of the most well-known and commonly practiced cannabis intake methods. To create cannabis smoke, you light a cannabis flower and inhale it, whether through a joint, pipe, bowl, or bong.
The are several ways to smoke cannabis, including:
- Pipes: Pipes are small, easy-to-use devices that are popular for inhaling cannabis. Likely one of the most popular intake method options for smoking, all you need to do to use a pipe is add the cannabis to the bowl-shaped part of the device and light it. This will cause smoke to travel through the chamber, exiting from the mouthpiece as you inhale.
- Water Pipes: Water pipes, also referred to as bongs or bubblers, work like a pipe, however, the smoke is first filtered through the water held in the chamber. The water helps cool down the smoke, helping for smoother inhalation.
- Joints: Made by rolling cannabis with rolling papers, kind of like a cannabis cigarette, joints are easy to use and quite compact. All it takes is a lighter to light one end of the joint, inhaling from the other to inhale the smoke. Cannabis pre-rolls are available at many dispensaries today.
- Blunts: Similar to joints, blunts use cigar paper as opposed to rolling paper to create a smoking device. Typically, a cigar is hollowed out and replaced with cannabis instead of tobacco. Blunts are usually larger than joints and contain more cannabis flowers in each.
As vaping devices rise in popularity for nicotine consumption, the same is happening for cannabis vapes.
Another popular way to inhale the benefits of cannabis, vaping entails heating either a cannabis flower or a concentrate right to the point before combustion, around 356 to 374 degrees Fahrenheit. With this process, active compounds are transformed into vapor to be inhaled.
Vape pens do not release the same tar or carcinogens as smoking cannabis, which has led some to consider it a healthier alternative to smoking.
Some ways to vape cannabis include:
- Vaporizers: Vaporizers are used with both concentrate and flower. All you do is add the cannabis to a heating chamber, adjust the temperature, and inhale the vapor. These can come in table versions, which will require a solid surface, but portable versions are also available.
- Vape Pens: Vape spends are designed to be used with oils and distillates. These are small devices that look like pens and are made with a cartridge containing cannabis oil or distillate and a batter for heat. When purchasing vape spends, it’s important to purchase from a legal dispensary and avoid off-brands as they can be linked to lung disease.
- Dabbing: Dabbing is an intake method involving vaporizing cannabis concentrate using a dab rig. This involves heating a glass, ceramic, or titanium “nail” and putting the concentrate, or cannabis oil, on the hot surface to create a vapor.
Oral Cannabis Consumption
Oral cannabis consumption offers a more discreet, and often more delicious, option for enjoying cannabis. From edibles to tinctures, cannabis beverages, and baked goods, we explore the different methods for oral consumption and their different effects and benefits. Check it out.
Edibles are one of the most popular ways to ingest cannabis today. With a specific dosage and many different cannabis-infused flavors and forms, edibles come in a range of cannabis-infused beverages, baked goods, or gummy options.
When opting for edibles, cannabinoids are absorbed through the digestive tract. Unlike smoking, which is very fast-acting, there is a more delayed onset with edibles consumption, which can take anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours to feel the effects.
Despite the slower absorption, edibles are likely one of the most straightforward consumption methods available. All you have to do is eat or drink your ideal dose and wait for the effects.
A lesser-known form of consumption, yet still as effective and potent, are cannabis tinctures.
Cannabis tinctures are formed when you steep cannabis in alcohol. The tincture is absorbed through the blood vessels under the tongue. To get the full benefits and help the tincture absorb into the blood vessels, a few drops should be placed under the tongue and held there, allowing it to absorb, and swallow any remaining liquid. The cannabinoids that are not absorbed sublingually will get absorbed through the digestive system. With its form of dual absorption, there can be a rapid onset of effects from sublingual absorption, while others onset later.
Cannabis-Infused Baked Goods and Confections
There are a lot of delicious ways to use cannabis. If you opt to consume cannabis orally, you can choose from an array of brownies, cookies, candies, fruit chews, and more at our cannabis dispensary.
Cannabis edibles can be found in nearly any flavor, form, and shape, suiting everyone’s needs and cravings. While these cannabis product options are quite tasty, cannabis edibles do take a little longer to take effect than a beverage or tincture. When ingesting cannabis, expect it to take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel the effects.
These baked goods and confections will come at a certain dosage but can be broken into smaller pieces for the ideal dosage.
Topical cannabis products provide targeted relief and are applied externally. From lotions to balms and transdermal patches, we explore the various forms of cannabis topicals and their help with everything from muscle soreness to nerve pain. Let’s discover the possibilities of topical products available today.
Ideal for fast-acting and localized relief, topicals are the go-to choice.
Commonly used for those dealing with chronic pain, topicals are used to reduce nerve pain, muscle soreness, inflamed joints, tension, and all-over achiness. To work, the cannabinoids in topicals are absorbed through receptors on the skin into the endocannabinoid system. This is one of the best ways to use cannabis to help alleviate symptoms in a localized area.
Unlike other consumption methods, topicals do not penetrate deep enough to enter the bloodstream and are only absorbed by receptors. With this in mind, any topical with THC should not cause a high. Instead, many topicals have high amounts of CBD to help with inflammation and skin irritation, while THC topicals are better for nerve pain.
An alternative to topicals is transdermal patches, which, unlike their counterpart, are capable of allowing cannabinoids to enter directly into the bloodstream. These patches do so with a slow, time-released format, and are formulated with a permeation enhancer to allow the cannabinoids to pass through the epidermis to the bloodstream.
Unlike other cannabis intake methods, transdermal patches enter the bloodstream directly instead of going through the liver like edibles and result in an effect similar to a slow smoking experience. Typically, the best results come from placing the patch on the inside of the wrist, ankle, or another area where a vein is close to the surface.
Matching Cannabis Products with the Best Intake Methods
With so many options to choose from, understanding the different products available and their ideal consumption methods ensures that you can fully enjoy the benefits they offer.
From flowers and edibles to extracts, pre-rolls, vape products, and topicals, we will delve into the characteristics of each product and recommend the consumption methods that can provide the best results. Let’s dive right in!
Edibles are cannabis-infused products that are consumed orally, providing an alternative to smoking cannabis that will not cause harm to the lungs in the process.
The best (and only) consumption method for edibles is ingesting them, typically in the form of gummies, chocolates, baked goods, or beverages. Edibles offer a longer-lasting and more intense experience compared to other methods, and many prefer this consumption method for the precise dosage control, a wide variety of flavors and options, and delayed onset of effects.
A cannabis flower is the most traditional and widely recognized form of cannabis. The best consumption method for flowers is smoking, whether through a pipe, bong or rolling it into a joint. With this way of consuming cannabis, effects are felt nearly instantly and allow users to experience the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes present in the plant.
Flowers offer a wide variety of strains with unique effects, flavors, and aromas.
Extracts are concentrated cannabis products that come in various forms, such as oils and waxes.
Offering potent and versatile options for consumption, extracts are best used for vaporization. This involves using a dab rig or a vaporizer specifically designed for concentrates and allows for fast and controlled effects.
Inhaling through the respiratory system, smoking pre-rolls involves simply lighting the pre-roll and inhaling the smoke. This method offers ease of use and eliminates the need for rolling your joints. Pre-rolls are ideal for individuals looking for a hassle-free and portable way to enjoy cannabis on the go.
Vape products are cannabis products designed for inhalation, offering a convenient and discreet method of consumption similar to that of nicotine options today. The best consumption method for vape products is through a cannabis vape or vape pen, which provides quick onset of effects and precise dosage control.
Tinctures are cannabis products infused with cannabinoids, typically in an alcohol or oil base. The best consumption method for tinctures is placing a few drops under the tongue for fast effects through the bloodstream. This method offers quick onset and allows for easy dosage control.
Topicals are cannabis-infused products designed for external use, offering targeted relief to specific areas of the body. They come in various forms such as massage lotions, transdermal gels, and muscle rubs, providing relaxing muscle benefits. Topicals are ideal for individuals seeking soothing effects on the skin and muscles.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cannabis Consumption Method
When it comes to choosing your best cannabis consumption method, there are a lot of elements to consider to ensure the best experience. Here’s what you need to know.
Ultimately, the best consumption methods fall to your preferences. Whether you love the feeling of smoking, can’t stand it, have specific flavor preferences, or prefer immediate relief over the delayed effects, all of these personal preferences play a big role in choosing an intake method.
Different intake methods can offer distinct effects in terms of onset time, duration, and potency. For individuals seeking fast-acting effects, methods like smoking or vaporizing may be best, as the effects are almost immediate. On the other hand, those looking for longer-lasting effects may opt for edibles or tinctures.
When exploring other intake methods, health considerations should always be kept in mind.
For instance, smoking a joint or bong may pose a risk to the health of your lungs due to the inhalation of smoke. For those with this concern, alternative methods like vaporizing, edibles, or tinctures could be explored.
When selecting cannabis intake methods, consider the differences between medical and recreational use.
For medical users, our team is available to help you find the ideal strains and forms of consumption to suit your needs. From therapeutic needs to anxiety-reducing solutions, our team can assist. On the other hand, recreational users tend to prioritize convenience and immediate effects, often opting for smoking or vaporizing.
Experience the Best Cannabis Products for Medical and Recreational Use at Windy City Cannabis
As the ways to consume cannabis continue to expand, finding your best delivery methods, whether you choose the oral route or opt for topicals, can help you better embrace the potential benefits that suit your needs and preferences
At Windy City Cannabis, we offer one of the widest arrays of cannabis products available today. With a team of experts in stores, we can help provide tailored recommendations for both medical and recreational users, helping you get the most out of your cannabis products, and earn rewards. Join us today to find your ideal items now.
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