How to Consume Marijuana: The Latest in Cannabis Therapy

Sep 4, 2019 | Cannabis 101, Cannabis Therapy, Must Knows About Cannabis, Must Knows About Cannabis

The exploding recreational market for marijuana has rapidly popularized many methods of consuming cannabis that was decidedly part of the fringe just a few short years ago. Smoking marijuana remains the most widely embraced method, due to the greater accessibility of marijuana flower.

However, legal recreational cannabis is introducing many marijuana users to new forms of the drug, especially concentrates and edibles. Here’s a complete guide to the question, how to consume marijuana for cannabis effects.

Smoking Cannabis

Smoking marijuana is hands down one of the most widely used ways to consume marijuana for cannabis therapy. It’s also the simplest: a rolling paper and some dried marijuana flowers are all you need.

Other, more technological, methods of smoking marijuana may be rising in popularity. For many people, the social experience of passing the joint or blunt around with some friends is what cannabis is all about.

Over the ages, countless innovations have attempted to improve on the basic experience of inhaling the smoke for the healing effects of cannabis. As a result, there are numerous ways to smoke marijuana. Including the most popular consumption methods with two notorious pieces of paraphernalia – papers or wraps, and glassware.

  • Rolling Technique – Learning to master the roll of joints, blunts, and spliffs for puff, puff, passing.
  • Glassware – Devices like pipes, bongs, or bubblers for clean and stunning smoke sessions.

So not only are there many ways to consume cannabis, there are many ways to just smoke it as well! We usually find people are very specific and dedicated to the way they consume for cannabis effects.

For example, some people claim joints are the best way to consume, and won’t touch a blunt. Others are the exact opposite. They only smoke blunts, and won’t touch a joint. Some people only use bongs, while others prefer their bowls.

No matter the different ways to consume marijuana, we can all agree that we like to consume cannabis.

Vaping Cannabis Oil

The onset of legal recreational markets for marijuana has led to a dramatic upsurge in the method of vaporizing cannabis, aka “vaping.” In many ways vaping cannabis has quite a bit in common with the process of vaping tobacco, such as the use of “e-cigarette” batteries and heating elements.

Concentrates used for cannabis therapy are almost always in wax or oil form. Vaporizing herbaceous cannabis is also possible, though less efficient and not as portable as hand-held vaporizing methods.

It’s easy to see why vaping has become one of the most popular ways to consume marijuana. The method has a few key benefits that are trending amongst new and veteran cannabis users, including:

  • Vaping is remarkably discreet and produces none of the telltale “weed smells” that often betray cannabis users.
  • Vape pens and other hand-held devices are portable and convenient for the healing effects of cannabis.
  • They’re free of many of the harsh marijuana plant compounds that can harm your lung health, like tars, too.

Over time, brands are getting better at crafting high-quality, flavorful vape cartridges with a wide array of cannabinoid profiles.

Eating and Drinking Cannabis-Infused Edibles

The cannabis culture has always taken pride in its epicurean delights. From the old standby of special brownies to advanced gastropub techniques, culinary cannabis has attracted amateur and professional “cannachefs” alike.

Eating cannabis, however, does not involve simply ingesting dried marijuana flowers. Instead, consuming marijuana edible wisely is a bit more complicated. The process to prepare flower for edibles involves activating and then extracting THC and other cannabinoids from the ground marijuana flower using fatty substances like oils and, well, fat. The process of heating the cannabis flower for activation (like a lighter would a bowl or a joint) is called decarboxylation.

After decarboxylation, THC and other cannabinoids become soluble in fats. Hence the enduring power of the pot brownie; the fats in chocolate and butter excel at sucking up the cannabinoids in the marijuana plant matter.

It’s also possible to drink cannabinoids for cannabis therapy. Again, drinking marijuana involves the use of oils, tinctures, or other concentrates, which are added to the consumer’s beverage of choice. From lemonade to coffee, drinkable cannabis is an easy and smoke-free way to dose.

One important thing to note, however, is that the metabolic pathway of THC is different from that of inhaling. Digestion adds another “stop” on THC’s path to the brain and produces a special form of THC, called THC-COOH. It’s longer-lasting and more potent than THC’s other metabolites.

Be careful when eating edibles as one of the ways to consume marijuana, since it is consumed differently you feel a bigger high, that also lasts a lot longer. Our recommendation is to always start small, then eat more after an hour or two if you want to benefit from more elevated cannabis effects. Depending on the dosage, here is a quick guide on how long it takes for cannabis effects to set in when eating edibles and how long they’ll last:

  • When eaten through edibles, cannabis is metabolized through the digestive system. Meaning it will take 45 minutes – 1 hour for effects to set in.
  • Edible cannabis effects will typically last 4-8 hours, up to 12 with certain doses.

Dabbing Cannabis Concentrates

Dabbing is the process of rapidly heating marijuana concentrates and inhaling the ensuing vapor for cannabis effects. Since users are inhaling concentrates with upward of 90 percent THC, dabbing produces highs unmatched by any other methods of consuming cannabis.

The somewhat crude method of dabbing has evolved over the years thanks to its rapid rise in mainstream cannabis culture. As methods have been refined, the fits of coughing, blasted out lungs, and the infamous “dab sweats” are becoming the purview of only the most diehard dabbers.

Keeping a clean rig and learning how to dial in the perfect temperature of the heated element is essential to a pleasurable dabbing experience. With practice, dabbing can produce smooth yet intensely flavorful experiences that lead to incredible and long-lasting highs.

It’s important to note when consuming cannabis this way, you’re increasing your tolerance. So that same joint that got you high before you started dabbing, may need to turn into two joints for that same cannabis effects.

If you’re looking for calm or relaxing ways to consume marijuana, this wouldn’t be our first recommendation. Although dabbing is fun, it should be used every once in a while so you don’t build too high of a tolerance.

Cannabis Topicals

Okay, so topicals aren’t technically an answer to ‘how to consume marijuana’, but it’s important enough to make it to this list. Topicals are not ingested or smoked, instead, they’re applied topically to the skin for additional cannabis therapy. These can give your skin some much-needed moisture and can act as a localized pain reliever for targeted areas of pain.

What are your favorite ways to consume marijuana for cannabis effects? Do you have any different ways to consume cannabis that we didn’t mention here? Follow us on Youtube and let us know!

If you have questions about the different ways to consume cannabis, contact our expert cannasultants today and they’ll be happy to help! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well!

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Earl Carruthers | Founder of Canna Therapy Group</a>

Earl Carruthers | Founder of Canna Therapy Group

After fracturing his pelvis in his junior year of high school, Earl Carruthers became a medical cannabis user under Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) in 2008. He intensely studied how to grow the plant and eventually opened the Green and Greener Grow Collective to help other medical marijuana patients experience numerous benefits. In 2012 Earl was pulled over while carrying what he thought to be a legal amount of medical marijuana for himself and four other patients. Since then, he has been in and out of court fighting these charges and attempting to re-define the term “usable marijuana” under Michigan law. Now Earl is committed to furthering medical marijuana rights for himself and his patients and continues to fight the good fight.