Just as there are many variants of the flower itself, there are equal if not more ways to consume it. And deciding on a mode of consumption is probably the second-most important thing to consider. There is no ‘one’ best way of consuming cannabis as it depends greatly on your preferences and priorities wherein certain aspects take precedence over the other i.e. pricing, health benefits etc.
Most smokers limit themselves to either one or two modes of consumption and stick to it as long as they are comfortable, as evidenced by the generalisation of consumerism.
Whether you are just starting out and cannot decide which direction is the right one for you – or perhaps you are a cannabis connoisseur looking to explore more ways to smoke cannabis, consider this a quick guide listing the best ways to consume cannabis. We’ve narrowed it down to 6 ways that dispense that ‘smooth hit’.
As a beginner, you’re either consuming recreationally or for the mental and physical benefits that cannabis affords. For the former, any mode of consumption will satisfy your needs – for the latter however, benefiting mentally and physically is largely dependent on how you consume it. Each method listed below has its own benefits and delivers its own experience. Let’s dive into it!
There are 3 basic delivery methods: ingestion, inhalation, and topical. Each method further branches down into different techniques, each with its own benefit.
There are 3 basic delivery methods:
- Ingestion, where you consume it orally with direct absorption into your system.
- Inhalation, where cannabis is absorbed into your system through vaporization or combusted into the lungs. (This is usually the most common form)
- Topical, where it is applied to the surface of your skin for diffusion, usually in the form of oil or cream.
Now that we’ve covered delivery, let’s move on to instruments. Cannabis smokers have a variety of different instruments at their disposal ranging from hand pipes to vaporizers, each with their own unique experience.
#1 Hand Pipe
Hand pipes are the most commonly used device for smoking cannabis – quite possibly because it is the most straightforward to use. It is favoured amongst smokers for being easy to carry around. The fact that it is small makes it relatively easier to conceal if you want to be discreet.
#2 Water Pipe (or Bong)
A water pipe, better referred to as a bong – is essentially that as the name suggests. A hand pipe with the incorporation of water. Bongs come in different variations and are generally more sophisticated in comparison to the average hand pipe. Bongs are supposedly healthier because as you inhale, the water filters harmful carcinogens out of smoke and gives you a more pleasant hit.
But if not cleaned properly, leftover concentrate solidifies and molds. So bong users are encouraged to clean them regularly to avoid the nastiness of molding. So if you’re opting to use a bong, know that you get a more flavourful smoke from a clean bong. So it will benefit you to know how to clean a bong for a smoother hit.
#3 Rolling Paper
Rolling paper is used to roll a joint. Or a blunt. The only difference between the two is the addition of tobacco. Joints usually contain cannabis rolled into the paper. Blunts are cannabis and tobacco crushed together and rolled. But the addition of tobacco appeals to smokers who generally smoke cigarettes and prefer the combined flavors of cannabis and nicotine.
Vaporizers are the go-to choice for health conscious cannabis consumers. A vaporizer gradually heats the herb till it is hot enough to extract the cannabinoids but not to the point where it would combust and release potentially harmful toxins into your lungs.
First-time vapors admit that one of the most appealing things about the vaporizer is the fact that it does not leave an unpleasant odor. Vaporizers come in many kinds with a wide variety of designs and continue to evolve with technology.
Cannabis consumers who prefer a controlled dosage without the health risks associated with smoking opt for tinctures. Tinctures are typically mixed with fat-soluble liquids like vinegar, glycerol and alcohol (which is the most commonly used solvent for tinctures).
The solution is placed under the tongue and not on it for it to be absorbed into the body rather than swallowed. Tinctures reduce dosage control by being absorbed into your body on an empty stomach but the liver takes time to process it.
Simply put, any kind of food that contains cannabis in it is considered an edible. The effects of an edible are considerably different from that of vaping or smoking as it does not enter the bloodstream directly. Edibles have a tendency to provoke psychoactive effects and have longer onsets (which is why they are most popular amongst the younger crowd)
It is advised that edibles generally be cooked with staple ingredients that are high in fats i.e. butter or oil as it helps break down and catalyse the plant’s therapeutic properties. Which is why brownies are the most common type of edible. Another kind of edible that is now a party staple is CBD gummies – popular amongst its customers because you can enjoy the sweetness of the gummy paired with the high of the CBD without having to experience any extreme psychoactive side effects.
Whether you choose to try a bong or bake an entire cake laced with cannabis – each mode of consumption comes with its own benefits! So take your time – try out different methods before settling for one that suits you best.