The way you choose to use your weed will have a big impact on how it affects you. Here are some of the most common ways, and what they have to offer. 167 0 11 Oct 2020
Learn all the different ways to use cannabis.
- Experiment with different cannabis consumption methods
As one of the most popular plants on the planet, millions of users smoke, eat, and vape cannabis on a frequent basis. Thousands of different strains offer innumerable cannabinoid and terpene profiles that provide distinct experiences—from deep body highs to lucid CBD-fuelled effects.
Although users experience different effects from cannabis, they all agree on something: It never gets boring. The sheer diversity of cultivars, ingestion methods, and accessories allows herb lovers to get creative.
Each method of consuming cannabis offers slightly different effects and particular advantages. Recreational users can take cannabis in ways to extend their high or enhance the effects, whereas holistic users typically opt for the fastest-acting effects with less of a stoning high.
Discover all of the ways to consume cannabis below. You’ll learn about the pros, cons, duration, and effects of each to enhance your recreational and holistic experiences.
Inhaling smoke from cannabis flowers or extracts delivers cannabinoids into the bloodstream via the alveoli in the lungs. The effects are swift and easy to control.
Smoking Cannabis: Popular Methods
Smoking weed gives users quite a lot of control over their high. Take things one toke at a time until you hit your sweet spot. The high from smoked cannabis arrives within minutes, peaking at around 10–30 minutes and lasting up to three hours.
The quintessential way to smoke cannabis. Joints are typically rolled with dried and cured cannabis flowers, although other preparations can be used. The effects of a joint completely depend on the strength of the cannabis used. Low-THC cannabis will exert a subtle effect, whereas stronger weed will send the mind flying high.
Blunts are similar to joints in design, yet they don’t feature classic paper. Instead, smokers use specialised blunt wraps or conventional cigar wraps. These products often contain tobacco, yet tobacco-free alternatives are available too.
Pipes are available in materials such as acrylic, wood, ceramic, glass, and even silicone. Many of them feature shotgun holes (aka carb holes) to allow users to completely clear each hit. Visit any head shop, and you’ll find pipes of every shape, size, colour, and design that you could possibly desire.
Bongs are less portable than pipes, but smaller models do exist. These genius contraptions range in size from handheld devices to massive glass rigs taller than some people. Bongs offer refreshing and clean hits that pass through water before entering the lungs.
- Fruit Bong
Although fruit bongs aren’t often the first port of call, they are still entertaining and novel. Smokers usually craft these makeshift pieces when they’ve run out of papers or don’t have a rig nearby.
- Gravity Bong
Approach with caution. Gravity bongs are best reserved for smokers that have “broken in” their lungs for some time. If toking a joint still makes you cough, your lungs won’t be happy with you after you hit a gravity bong. The key ingredients are a large plastic bottle (cut at the base) and a bucket full of water. As you hit a gravity bong, push the bottle down into the water. This motion works alongside your lungs to force huge quantities of cannabinoid-rich smoke into the lungs.
Effectively a hybrid between pipes and bongs, bubblers bring the benefits of both. These portable, single-piece handheld devices are effectively pipes with an additional water chamber. Bubblers offer smooth hits of cooled smoke while out on the go.
This isn’t actually a cannabis consumption method, but a way to reduce the smoke emitted by other smoking methods! Simply take a couple pieces of kitchen towel and attach it to one end of a toilet roll tube. The concept is simple. Take a hit and exhale through the tube. The sploof will catch some of the aromatic terpenes, but not all of them.
Smoking Cannabis: Flower and Other Preparations
Smoking cannabis involves more than applying fire to flower. Smokers have access to an assortment of preparations that offer varying levels of potency. Your journey might have started with buds, but it won’t be long until you get a taste for the exotic.
The phytochemical makeup of cannabis flowers varies greatly depending on the strain. Some feature high levels of THC, some large quantities of CBD, others both. Breeders have even developed cultivars to produce elevated levels of lesser-known cannabinoids such as CBG.
After harvesting and drying buds, hash-makers use sieves to separate the trichomes from the flowers. Using a hash press, they generate force to mould the sift into a homogenous mass of trichomes. Hash offers a potent experience, being much more concentrated in cannabinoid-containing resin.
You’ve seen kief before. Trust us. Ever noticed that glistening powder that collects along the bottom and sides of your grinder? That mass of trichomes is kief. Smokers gather large amounts of this substance by sieving their buds. After obtaining a substantial pile, you can sprinkle these pure trichomes into joints and bowls alongside flower to add an extra psychoactive punch.
Another ancient cannabis concentrate, charas stems from cannabis operations on the Indian subcontinent. As opposed to hash—made post-harvest—charas is crafted while plants are still alive and in the soil.
This prominent term in the cannabis lover’s lexicon simply refers to adding concentrates to blunts, joints, and bowls. Adding these products to the inside of joints is easy enough, but lathering them on the outside requires some artistic finesse.
Effects of Smoking Cannabis
Smoking cannabis sends cannabinoids into the alveoli of the lungs, where they quickly diffuse into the bloodstream.
The effects of smoked cannabis usually reach their peak at the 30-minute mark. The overall effects linger for three or more hours, decreasing in intensity over this period.
Smoking cannabis involves the combustion of flowers. This violent chemical reaction releases terpenes—aromatic molecules—into the air. These smelly chemicals underpin the signature scent of cannabis. Smoking in public will always turn a few heads and raise some eyebrows.
|Satisfying route of administration||Combustion releases carcinogens into the lungs||Fast onset offers instant relief to some users|
|Community aspect of smoking weed with friends||Not very discreet||Ability to control the high prevents overwhelming experiences|
|Rolling becomes an enjoyable art form||Difficult to determine exact doses|
|Easier to control how high you get|
Vaping has dominated the modern era of cannabis consumption. This alternative to smoking bridges the gap between gadgetry and weed. Although some models are intentionally streamlined, others feature specific temperature ranges and smartphone-controlled parameters.
Vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes. Basic models are forged with metal and require a flame to operate. High-tech devices work via an in-built heating element and boast specific temperature settings and other parameters you can control from your smartphone. However, the key concept remains the same: less heat than smoking. Vaporizers generate enough heat to liberate cannabinoids and volatile terpenes, while leaving almost everything else behind.
Vaping Cannabis: Popular Methods
Many vaporizes offer increased control over the cannabis experience. Different cannabinoids and terpenes evaporate at different temperatures, allowing users to select specific temperature ranges to target specific phytochemicals. Add in a basic knowledge of the synergistic entourage effect, and users can customise their high to generate very specific effects.
- Desktop Vaporizer
Large and bulky, these vapes are capable of altering the consciousness of everyone in the room. Desktop vapes are sometimes compatible with both flower and concentrates, though it depends on the model. Due to their size, desktop vaporizers are not portable.
- Jamaican Steam Chalice
Steam chalices are made from natural materials. The bong-like structure features a bamboo stem, clay bowl, and coconut water chamber. The act of steam vaporization offers a healthier alternative to smoking.
- Vape Pens
These pocket-sized pens neatly pack all of the technology of bulky desktop vaporizers into the size of an everyday discreet item. These futuristic cannabis accessories fit into purses, bags, and even the palm of a hand without drawing any unwanted attention. Upmarket models offer the benefit of adjustable parameters, and some work with both dried flower and a range of concentrates. Vape pens are for cannabis lovers who like to travel and/or keep their botanical fascination on the down-low.
No grinding. No processing. No stopping. Prefilled cartridges are good to go. Simply load one into a compatible device to enjoy a formula containing a tailored array of cannabinoids and terpenes. Cartridges save time, make vaping much less obvious when out in public, and offer a sophisticated way to partake in the herb. Think espresso pods, but for weed.
These incredibly discreet devices offer accurate and tailored dosing.
Effects of Vaping Cannabis
Vaping produces similar effects to smoking, as cannabinoids enter the body in the same fashion. The vapor carries the molecules into the lungs, and then the bloodstream, resulting in an almost immediate high.
Hitting a vape pen or large desktop device will change your neurochemistry for several hours. The effects peak at 30 minutes then begin to taper off.
Vaping releases the same aromatic terpenes as smoking. However, lower temperatures and the absence of burning paper causes less of a pong. Some portable vape pens look just like regular e-cigs, allowing users to take swift and hidden hits in public.
|Less harsh on the lungs; no combustion||Some users claim the light and airy hits lack the satisfaction of smoking||Easier on the lungs|
|More discreet than smoking||Cartridges provide a locked-in dose and lack flexibility||Much more control over the effects|
|High-tech devices target cannabinoids and terpenes with programmable temperature settings||Extracts must be purchased from a reputable source to avoid contaminated products||Target specific terpenes for particular conditions|
|Simple and easy to use||Expense of the vaporizer itself|
|Potent hits save you weed over time|