Over the last few years, the popularity of cannabis has grown significantly. More and more people are discovering its benefits for managing a wide range of ailments, including chronic pain, inflammation, and anxiety. As the market expands, so has the availability of cannabis products, leaving users with a seemingly endless array of options. While having choices is a good thing, it can also be overwhelming. How are you supposed to know which consumption methods are best for you?
The Many Different Ways to Consume Marijuana
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the different ways to consume marijuana to help you in your quest to find the right ones for you. Here are seven common methods:
Smoking is one of the oldest cannabis consumption methods, and it’s still one of the most popular. It’s a straightforward method, only requiring you to grind fresh buds and roll them into a joint or pack them into the bowl of a bong or pipe. It also offers some of the fastest-acting effects.
However, those effects wear off pretty quickly compared to other consumption methods. Other drawbacks of smoking include contending with the telltale scent of weed and the potential health impact of inhaling combusted cannabis.
Vaping offers an alternative inhalation method that avoids the harsh effects of breathing smoke into your lungs. Instead of combusting cannabis, you use a device to transform it into a smoother, gentler vapor.
Vape pens are generally the first thing that comes to mind when people think about vaping. They are small, handheld devices ideal for more discreet inhalation and on-the-go use. Other than vape pens, portable and tabletop vaporizers produce vapor using cannabis flowers or concentrate placed in a chamber. Dab rigs vaporize concentrates that you apply directly to a heated nail.
Like smoking, vaping provides fast-acting effects. Using a pen, in particular, is much more discreet, too. You don’t produce smoke, nor do you have to worry about the weed smell. However, the benefits don’t last long, and vaporizers are more expensive than rolling papers. When it comes to vaping concentrates, inhaling even just a bit too much could quickly lead to an uncomfortable high.
A tincture is a liquid created by soaking cannabis flowers in alcohol to extract cannabinoids and other valuable compounds. You have a few options for consuming it — sublingually (under the tongue), adding it to food or drinks, or swallowing it as is.
If you swallow a tincture (alone or mixed with another substance), the cannabinoids must first go through your digestive system, which means it takes longer to feel the effects of your dose. However, those effects do last longer than the methods listed above.
Sublingual applications allow for the quickest benefits. The cannabinoids absorb directly into your bloodstream and go right to work. You also swallow some of the liquid, which can provide longer-lasting benefits.
The world of edibles is an expansive one. With all kinds of cannabis-infused foods and beverages — chocolates, candies, coffees, teas, and so much more — there are options for pretty much every palate. You can even try your hand at making your own infused foods. These products offer accurate dosing and an incredibly discreet consumption method.
The cannabinoids have to go through your digestive system first, meaning edibles take longer to kick in. The delayed onset can lead some to ingest a second dose too soon, thinking their first wasn’t enough. Health-conscious users may also worry about the extra calories some edibles contain.
The effects are longer lasting than those produced by inhalation.
Capsules are akin to oral medications like pain relievers and vitamins. Similar products include tablets, pills, and dissolvable powders.
Like edibles, capsules make dosing incredibly easy. Unlike edibles, they don’t contribute any extra calories to your diet. Each one contains a precise amount of cannabinoids, so you know exactly how much you’re getting with every dose. They aren’t as popular as other delivery methods, though, so they may be a bit harder to find.
While you don’t technically consume them, topicals are popular products worth mentioning here. You apply a cannabis-infused cream, lotion, or balm to an area of your body. The cannabinoids absorb into your skin and interact with the cannabinoid receptors there. Many people use them for joint pain relief, but they can also help with muscle aches, inflammation, and various skin conditions.
Along with targeted benefits, cannabis topicals don’t produce the high that other consumption methods do. You can use them as needed without worrying about any mind-altering effects. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, make sure to check the other ingredients before you try them.
7. Transdermal Patches
A transdermal patch is a different type of topical. It’s a thin piece of flexible plastic, similar to a bandage, infused with cannabis. After you stick it on your skin, your body heat activates it. Cannabinoids gradually penetrate deeply into your skin to reach your bloodstream.
Patches provide long-lasting relief. Rather than flooding your system with one larger dose of THC, you get smaller amounts continuously throughout the day or night. You also don’t have to worry about inhaling, eating, or swallowing anything. It’s just there. You can apply it to any vascular area of the body, such as your wrist, inner arm, or ankle.
It takes a little while to feel anything from a transdermal patch, and what you feel is generally less intense than other consumption methods. If you’re allergic to the adhesive, it may also irritate your skin.
How To Choose the Right Types of Cannabis Products for You
At first, looking at all of your prospective options can feel a bit overwhelming. How do you know which types of cannabis products are best for you? The following tips may help you decide:
Determine Your Goals
Are you looking for quick relief? Or would you prefer something a bit longer-lasting? See which consumption methods will give you what you want.
Know Your Preferences
If you don’t like the idea of dealing with smoke or the scent of cannabis in your home, smoking may not be your ideal consumption method. If you’d rather not inhale anything at all, methods like edibles, capsules, or tinctures may be better fits.
Consider Your Tolerance and Dosage Requirements
Are you more sensitive to the effects of THC? Products that allow for precise dosing — such as capsules or edibles — might be good options for you. Topicals may also work well, especially if you’re looking for targeted relief.
Keep Your Health Needs In Mind
Do you have lung-related health issues like asthma or chronic bronchitis? You might want to avoid any method involving inhalation, especially smoking. Those with gastrointestinal issues may not do well with edibles. And don’t forget about your allergies. Added ingredients in some products may cause reactions.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Budtender
If you still aren’t sure what products are right for you, don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with a budtender in a reputable dispensary. Knowledgeable budtenders in shops like VidaCann know what questions to ask and how to help you find products you’re sure to love.
Find an Array of Cannabis Products at VidaCann
Are you ready to explore your cannabis product options and find the ones best suited to your needs and goals? With a broad array of fresh buds, edibles, topicals, vapes, and more, VidaCann is here to help. Check out our selection online or visit one of our Florida dispensaries to start your search today!