The legalization of cannabis has inevitably led to an increase in the number of people trying weed. For some, it is for medical reasons to relieve the symptoms of a variety of conditions, while others many simply want to try cannabis for recreational purposes to see what it is like.
In either case, the biggest obstacle is often the fact that the most common way of getting cannabis into your system is by smoking it. A generation or two ago, that was no big deal, as cigarette smoking was so commonplace. These days, smokers are in the minority and if you’ve never smoked a cigarette, you probably have reservations about smoking a joint.
Those reservations are well-founded, as cannabis smoke contains many of the same carcinogens that are present in regular cigarettes. However, there are plenty of alternative methods at your disposal.
It’s not just tobacco smokers who have switched to vapes. Even some of the most high-profile potheads like Willie Nelson have followed them. If you’ve ever wondered how a vaporizer works, it heats either herb of liquid concentrate so that it vaporizes the active ingredients, which are then inhaled.
Because there is no combustion involved, there are fewer toxins being inhaled. That doesn’t mean there are no risks attached to vaping, but the consensus is that it is significantly less harmful than smoking. It is also less messy, it’s more discreet and the smell won’t linger on your clothes.
Ah, those famous brownies. Cannabis edibles have been around for a while and there’s a better choice out there than ever. As well as the legendary sweet treats, there are gummies or there’s cannabutter, which is easy to make and can be used in a variety of ways.
When you ingest cannabis through the digestive system, it takes longer for it to enter the bloodstream than when you inhale it through the lungs, but the effect lasts longer. It does, however, mean that you need to be careful and patient, adopting a less is more approach. Overdosing is all too easy – it’s highly unlikely to do you any real harm, but it can be scary.
A cannabis tincture is a variation on the more traditional type of edible that has been gaining in popularity over the past year or so. It’s a highly concentrated form of cannabis that comes in droplet form, and all you have to do is take two or three drops from a dropper and hold them under the tongue for about 30 seconds.
Tinctures enter the bloodstream more rapidly than regular edibles, and are extremely simple and discreet to use. Medical users are particularly fond of this method, as you can measure the right dose with far more accuracy than with smoking, vaping or edibles. The only downside is that the effect is not as long-lasting as it is with cannabis taken through the digestive system. However, it is longer-lasting than vaping or smoking.
These are more commonly CBD-based cannabis products designed for therapeutic benefits as opposed to getting you high. They are available as creams, balms or even patches that you stick to your arm. They can be used to soothe and relieve inflammation. Also falling into this category are cannabis lubricants, for a particularly intimate way to share the joy of weed with your significant other.
If you’ve heard of dabbing but never been quite sure what it’s all about, you are not alone. It’s a method of ingesting concentrated cannabis wax that results in a rapid and intense high. Dabbing involves taking a small amount of concentrate, using a blowtorch to heat it on a small surface like a nail and inhaling the vapor.
All that talk of blowtorches and nails can sound off-putting, but in recent times, dabbing has become so popular it has opened up a market to slightly more refined methods, and there are products like e-nails out there that work on the same principle as vapes. Nevertheless, dabbing is still a method that is not recommended to cannabis novices. Dabs typically have a THC concentration of about 80 percent. Compare that with the average joint, which has around 10 to 15% THC, and you can see why it is easy to overdose unless you really know what you are doing.
To the squeamish, putting any foreign object up your back, or indeed front, passage might not sound like the best way of having fun. Still, there’s a growing market for cannabis suppositories, and people keep coming back for more, so don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
Like the topicals, these are predominantly CBD-based products and are marketed for therapeutic purposes. Having said that, some brands have started marketing THC suppositories that will also have a psychotropic effect.