Cannabis 101: How Can I Consume Marijuana?
A quick reference for learning the many methods of ingesting the plant.
Now that cannabis is readily and legally available in many states, there's a number of ways we can consume it. Edibles and infused products are on the market, from candy to cocktails to baked goods and topicals. Effects can vary depending on product type and what they're being used for, so ensure you are informed on proper dosing and your product's intensity (percentage rates of THC/CBD/etc.) before you dive in.
In any case, here's a short guide to the best ways to consume your cannabis.
We love tradition here at Hytiva. And smoke is what got the industry where it is today. There are many devices you can use to smoke cannabis flower, ranging from a handheld pipe, water pipe, bubbler, or rolled up as a joint/blunt.
When smoking the plant, effects are felt almost immediately. But just as quickly, the effects wear off in two to four hours. There is no problem with smoking again at that point but over time the health effects of repeatedly smoking anything can take a toll on the body. For this reason water pipes are preferred if you regularly smoke the plant. Or you can use a vaporizer.
Vaporizing or vaping uses a device that heats the cannabis without burning it, allowing the release of cannabinoids instead of singeing & burning them. The cannabinoids include THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, so you still feel the high without the ill effects of ingesting smoke into the lungs.
Learn More: Differences Between Vaping & Smoking
The interesting thing about vaporizers is that they heat the cannabis more efficiently and thoroughly so you get more of the cannabinoids in your system, resulting in a stronger overall effect.
You can’t always carry a device with you whether traveling or in a social setting that does not allow it. In these cases, edibles are a great way to go. Edibles come in many varied forms: candy, baked goods, chewing gum, beverages like soda or beer. There are many more appearing on the market as bakers and chefs experiment with what works. If you want to take the time at home, you can make your own cannabis infused butter or other oils to incorporate into your own cooking and baking.
Learn More: Hytiva's Edible Guide
Edibles take longer to feel the effects - be patient - between a half-hour and an hour. And once they do kick in, effects are stronger and longer. Just know what dosage you are working with, take your time without overeating too many at once, and you will be fine. Labeling and packaging are continually improving so excess dosing will become less of an issue.
Did you know you can apply cannabis directly onto the skin? Many of the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis have analgesic properties, making it a great method of pain relief. You can find topical creams, lotions, balms, sprays, oils, etc. either infused with THC, CBD, or both along with other cannabinoids. You won’t get high no matter how much cannabalm you rub on your elbow - but you might help your eczema.
Tinctures traditionally have been a way to get high amounts of herbs or medicines into concentrated form for consumption. The same can be done with cannabis. The tincture can be added to liquid to make a drink or applied orally, usually under the tongue, for direct absorption.
Tinctures can vary in dosage and are highly concentrated. Exercise caution and restraint when first beginning until you grow accustomed to your particular mixture.
Learn More: How To Make a Cannabis Tincture
These are some of the ways you can enjoy your cannabis. We are at an exciting time in the industry because new products and methods are appearing every day and because cannabis is slowly being more widely accepted.