Best Methods for Consuming Weed
As the cannabis industry emerges into the mainstream, and the legal market for cannabis products and accoutrements flourishes, there are more ways than ever to consume marijuana. Whether it’s the time-honoured simplicity of smoking a joint, ingesting edibles, dabbing or vaporizing, there is a consumption method for anyone who partakes. The question is: what are the differences? Are there better methods for different circumstances? We’ll discuss a few of the myriad ways you can get cannabis into your system and their comparative advantages.
The most common way to enjoy cannabis is, of course, to smoke it. This is certainly the simplest and most straightforward of the consumption methods, as well as many people’s favourite. However, it is also one of the least ideal from a health perspective. Smoking anything has obvious drawbacks for the respiratory system, although these can be mitigated somewhat by using a bong or other smoking device that filters the smoke through water. Although it’s not the best for you, there is something undeniably satisfying about it…
One alternative to smoking is to make cannabis edibles. Along with the clear advantage of being easier on the lungs, edible marijuana products are less conspicuous, and can be consumed without drawing potentially unwanted attention or judgment. Making edibles is also a method of extracting as much THC and other cannabinoids as possible from your pot (even that which has already been partially consumed by other methods), so it has the benefit of making your pot go further. Plus, if made correctly, they are delicious! The world of cannabis-infused foods is getting more sophisticated every day, as the choices for medical marijuana continue to expand and well-respected chefs are beginning to incorporate marijuana into fine dining experiences.
With the wealth of knowledge about the process of extraction and cooking with cannabis, making your own edibles at home is becoming increasingly convenient. You can find tutorials on the basic process of preparing bud for cooking in our Decarboxylation Guide, as well as a simple how-to on making Cannabis Tea.
Vaporizing marijuana or extracts is different than smoking in a number of different ways. First of all, vaporizing requires a much lower temperature than smoking does; cannabinoids (the active ingredients in marijuana) begin to vaporize at about 285 degrees, whereas it does not burn until it reaches about 392 degrees, and a joint can burn as hot as 2000 degrees! Now, why does this matter? Well, by using lower temperatures and only vaporizing the stuff you want to inhale, you are not creating the same harmful by-products that are emitted in the process of burning plant matter. The smoke you inhale when you light a joint is about 88% non-cannabinoids, meaning the vast majority of what’s going into your lungs is not the THC, CBD and terpenes that get you high, have medicinal effects, or produce a strain’s flavour profile. Vaporizing is easier on your lungs, and by eliminating burning plant matter, the high tends to be a bit lighter and less cloudy. Taking small puffs from a vaporizer is a good way to medicate in a measured, intentional way throughout a period of time.
There are lots of different types of vaporizers, from tabletop devices like the Volcano to portable, pocket size vape pens like the G-Pen (available in the Wealth Shop).
One of the newest methods of cannabis consumption is dabbing. Not to be confused with a dance craze this author is too old to understand, cannabis dabs are strong doses of hash oil or other cannabis concentrates that produce and intense high. While the THC content in buds ranges from about 10-25%, concentrates can contain up to 80% THC, so this method is not for the uninitiated. Dab concentrates come in different forms, known as budder, wax, shatter or BHO (Butane Hash Oil), depending on the process by which the THC is extracted. These concentrates are applied to a surface that has been heated extremely high temperatures and inhaled using specially made devices, called dab rigs. For medical marijuana patients with severe pain or nausea, who need strong and effective relief, dabs provide a method by which they can take in cannabinoids in a condensed form for immediate medication. It’s popular among recreational users too, but new or casual cannabis consumers should be wary.
Whether you’re a casual consumer or a cannabis veteran, there is a consumption method that fits your needs, and more variations becoming available all the time! We encourage you to experiment with different options for different scenarios, and as always, if you have any questions, the staff at Wealth Shop will be happy to help point you in the right direction.