In our last Cannabis 101 blog post, we talked about the different strains of Cannabis – and now we think it’s time to learn how to consume them! Today we’re breaking down consuming Cannabis into three main categories – smokable, edible, and topical. These are three common ways people may consume Cannabis, and though there are definitely other ways of doing so, this should cover the basics!
Cannabis 101: Endocannabinoid System
Cannabis 101: Cannabis Strains
UM Club: Using Cannabis For Better Health
Firstly we’ll be talking smokeable delivery methods. Smoking is known as the most common way of ingesting Cannabis, especially in pop culture. There are a few different ways to smoke Cannabis, but some of the most popular ways include: rolled joints (these look like a hand rolled cigarette); pipes (these are taken to a whole new level with beautiful glass designs); water pipes (also known as bongs or bubblers); and vaporizers (different vapes use a liquid concentrate cartridge, or dried flower).
Smokeable delivery methods are going to allow you to get the fastest high, but their effects also wear off the quickest which makes it great for instant relief or if you have something coming up in a few hours that you want to be “clear” for.
Although smoking cannabis has not been linked to lung cancer, smoking itself can be damaging to your body and lungs with an ongoing cough being quite common for seasoned cannabis smokers. Make sure to look into the effects if lung health is a concern.
Common Ways to Smoke Cannabis
- Rolled Joints
- Water Pipes (Bongs, bubblers, etc)
- Vaporizers (liquid concentrate or dry flower)
Next let’s talk edible delivery methods. Edibles come in a variety of forms, ranging from gummies to brownies to soda pop – really any food or drink you can think of! For those who aren’t interested in the food aspect, edibles also come in capsules and tinctures. As smoking has become increasingly less popular due to the possible health risks, edibles have quickly taken over as the new way to get high, so the market for them is expanding every day.
The edible cannabis travels through your stomach and liver before hitting your bloodstream. When the liver processes the THC it can cause a more intense high than a similar dose inhaled. Metabolism can play a role in how fast you feel the effects and to what strength, but there are also some people that just don’t feel anything from edibles. More research is needed to explain why, but it is common.
Edibles provide a more discreet and measured way to consume cannabis. Although they’re thought of as safer than smokables for health reasons, they pose a greater risk when children or pets are involved as they can easily be mistaken for everyday food and accidentally consumed so make sure you are locking your stash up and educating your kids (see how to store cannabis and how to talk to your kids, found further in the Mom’s Cannabis Guide).
Common Cannabis Edibles
- Baked Goods
- Gel Capsules
The last, and most unheard of, way that people can consume Cannabis is through topical delivery methods. These are things like creams, bath bombs, lip balms, or lubricants. This way allows your skin to absorb the Cannabis, preventing a high because it doesn’t go into your bloodstream. This method can be great for sore muscles, pain relief, or inflammation, which is why we see such a diverse range of products!
One thing to note is that because of the wide array of delivery methods, and products have such a wide array of dosages, there’s a big range between how quickly you will start to feel the effects from the Cannabis topicals. Also, because it doesn’t go directly into your bloodstream, you can have much higher dosages compared to smoking or ingesting cannabis because you don’t have the psychoactive effects.
Common Topical Cannabis Products
- Bath Bombs/Salts
- Lip Balm
And that’s it, three ways to ingest Cannabis! As always, start with small doses so you can learn how Cannabis will effect you. We’ve covered the basics here, but remember that the cannabis market is ever changing, so there are sure to be new ways to use it all the time. If you’re interested in learning more about Cannabis and how to use it, make sure to check out our Mom’s Guide to Cannabis!
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