Different ways to smoke Cannabis
When it comes to cannabis consumption, the second-most important consideration, after the product itself, is the delivery method. This point is often overlooked, as evidenced by the prevalence of consumers who have limited their experimentation to only one or two methods.
If you find yourself within this category but aspire to become a comprehensive cannabis aficionado, let this be your guide. Let the exploration begin!
There are three basic delivery methods: inhalation, oral, and topical. Under these umbrella methods are various techniques that serve unique functions, each appropriate for different occasions.
Inhalation Delivery Methods
When cannabis is inhaled, the gases enter the lungs before absorbing into the bloodstream.
There are currently two prevalent types of inhalation methods: smoking and vaporization.
Different Ways of Smoking Cannabis
This ancient custom is the method most commonly associated with cannabis, and there are many different ways for consumers to smoke.
Cannabis smokers have a wide array of devices at their disposal, including hand pipes, water pipes, rolling papers, hookahs, and homemade one-time use devices. Each of these provides different experiences and influence the grade of smoke inhaled.
These are probably the most common smoking device in circulation today and generally favored for their convenience: they are small, portable, and simple to use.
Hand pipes have grown into an artistic expression and are available in countless creative forms and styles, both for decoration and functionality (such as disguise pipes that imitate everyday objects). Hand pipes operate by trapping the smoke produced from burning cannabis, which is then inhaled by the user.
Water pipes come in slightly different variations, including but not limited to bongs and bubblers.
Generally, these are used to smoke joints or blunts. Joints are cannabis rolled in a paper, the composition of which varies across an assortment of plants including but not limited to hemp, bamboo, and rice.
This is one of the less common methods of smoking cannabis and is generally associated with smoking shisha, the American term for wet tobacco.
Homemade One-Time Use Devices
This method may allow for the greatest creativity and includes all disposable cannabis smoking devices. The most common homemade device is a pipe due to its simplicity, but skilled crafters have taken on water pipe designs as well.
Vaporizers are the logical choice for moderate to experienced and/or health-conscious cannabis consumers. A vaporizer steadily heats herbs to a temperature that is high enough to extract THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, but the temperatures are too low for the potentially harmful toxins that are released during combustion.
Essentially, vaporization minimizes the health risks associated with smoking. This improvement comes with an equally significant reduction in odor, which is generally the first acknowledgment of first-time vaporizer users. There is a diverse landscape of vaporizer models and the market is only expanding as the technology improves.
A younger delivery method that is a point of contention amongst the cannabis community and attentive policymakers is dabbing.
Dabbing is a form of vaporization in which potent cannabis concentrates are dropped on a heated nail, creating vapor that is trapped in a glass globe and inhaled.
Oral Delivery Methods
Oral delivery includes all techniques that are administered through the mouth, including tinctures, ingestible oils, and infused food/drinks.
Tinctures are a liquid cannabis extract used by consumers looking for dosage control and fast-acting effects without the health risks associated with smoking. Most commonly, alcohol is used as the solvent (any proof greater than 80 can be used effectively), but other fat-soluble liquids can be used as well, such as vinegar or glycerol.
Ingestible oils are a happy medium between edibles and concentrates: they are swallowed and digested like an infused product, but often have the consistency of oil. These oils can either be eaten or put in easily-ingested capsules.
Eating or drinking cannabis provides significantly different effects from delivery methods that immediately enter the bloodstream, such as smoking or vaping. Edibles can be defined as any food that contains cannabis, whether or not the cannabinoids are bioavailable.
These products have longer onsets and tend to cause powerful full-body, psychoactive effect. Infused food and drinks can be made a variety of ways depending on the dish.
Most often, edibles are infused with a staple infused ingredient high in fat — like butter or olive oil — that enable extraction of the plant’s therapeutic properties.