When it comes to methods for cannabis ingestion, there are a plethora of methods to get your ganja on. Most people are aware of the common methods: smoking, vaping, and edibles. But there are many others including tinctures, oils, and topicals. So why all the different methods?
Each method has its pros and cons. Some ways work better for certain people. Depending upon medical conditions, one way can offer more relief without side effects. Still others deliver more of a punch or allow the user to taste different flavors. If you’re thinking about trying it, or you want to try something new, here are some of the most popular ways of ingesting marijuana.
Eating or drinking cannabis will give you a different kind of high than the high obtained when smoked. Edibles take longer to take effect, but they also last longer than smoked marijuana. Edibles are great for long-lasting pain and antispasmodic relief, but only if the patient does not need immediate relief. Additionally, until someone is used to edibles, it is very easy to under or over-dose because the effects come up slowly. The best way to consume an edible is on an empty stomach. Start with a small dose and give it a full hour to kick in. You can then decide if you need more.
Dabbing is relatively new in the list of consumption methods. It involves heating up an appliance known as a dab nail and then placing a small “dab” of cannabis concentrate on the heated nail and inhaling the vapors. Some of the upsides to dabbing is the fact that the concentrated cannabis provides quick relief, produces very little to no cannabis odor at all, and there may be less lung damage inhaling a vapor than combusting marijuana. The downsides to dabbing is that in this highly concentrated form, it is easy to get too much too quickly. This can lead to a high that is too intense for the inexperienced. Cannabis concentrate is also a more expensive product than traditional flower marijuana.
Vape products are rapidly becoming one of the most popular sectors of the cannabis industry and for good reason. A dry herb vaporizer and a portable vaporizer will raise the heat of dry herb, oil, or wax to a point where it extracts the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. However, it does so without the release of carcinogens found in combustion methods. Combine the positive health benefits versus smoking with the reduction in odor and you can see why this method is so popular. Vaporizers also offer a discreet, portable way to consume, which can benefit people who need on-the-go therapy. As technology improves, so will the already diverse types of vapes available, from discrete pens, to all-in-one mods, to desktop varieties.
Cannabis transdermal patches work in a way similar to the way the nicotine patch works. The medicine – usually CBD, THC, or sometimes a combination of both, is absorbed into the skin when the patch is put on. One 10mg patch is the equivalent of an 80mg edible. Unlike other methods of ingestion, transdermal patches have a 100% cannabinoid uptake. Dosing is also more accurate and easy to manage than from edibles, smoking, and vaping.
Many medications make use of the thousands of tiny capillaries just beneath the surface of the skin just below the tongue. It allows for fast absorption and quick relief of pain, anxiety, and other common symptoms, by bypassing the digestive system altogether. Fewer unwanted side effects are reported from users of sublingual sprays. For people who don’t want to get too high and just want some pain relief, this is a good method to try.
Topical cannabis treatments use full cannabis extract, which is a thick oil that has been decarboxylated to activate the cannabinoids. Topical creams and ointments work well for people who need localized relief without the “head high” that comes with most other methods of ingestion.
These are a happy medium between an edible and a concentrate. While they have the consistency of oil, they are swallowed and digested like an infused product. The oil can be swallowed directly or put in an easily-digested capsule.
Tinctures are cannabis extracts that are alcohol-based and can be consumed like a sublingual spray by placing a few droppers full under the tongue. They can also be added to recipes after cooking to infuse cannabis into things like salad dressings, ice cream, and soups as well as other foods and beverages.
Ever made a cannabis salad? High in fiber and also vitamins such as folate, iron, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin K, raw cannabis also contains cannabinoid acids. The plant is also chock-full of antioxidants, and can provide you with pain relief and anxiety relief. By consuming the cannabis raw, you’re not taking the chance of burning off the valuable terpenes and cannabinoids.
These are a few of the most popular methods of ingesting cannabis and what you can expect from each method. Picking the method that is right for you is important to ensure that you both enjoy your cannabis experience and that you get the needed relief from symptoms. Don’t worry if you use more than one method – many cannabis users, both recreational and medical – use multiple means of ingestion.
Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points.