Passing a joint around on a warm summer night with friends, buying your first pipe, hitting a way-too-dirty bong in a stranger’s house – these things have been rites of passage for marijuana aficionados for decades.
Smoking cannabis is perhaps the most common way of consuming marijuana, but with the advent of new technologies, an open market, and the creations of some innovative entrepreneurs, new ways of consuming cannabis are constantly emerging.
There are plenty of reasons cannabis users may want to avoid smoking – they might be worried about the negative health effects of smoke inhalation, or they may simply not like the taste or smell. If that sounds like you – you’re in luck! We’re going to go over some of the ways you can enjoy cannabis without smoking it:
Edibles have been around for a lot longer than the legal pot market – there are many tales of a hapless parent taking a bite of an innocuous-looking brownie! The edibles we’re talking about now are a little different than those; you won’t have to bake them in your own oven, but they will get you baked.
There are all kinds of different edibles, from chocolates to gummy candies. The biggest advantage of these edibles? The THC/CBD content found in them is tightly controlled thanks to legalization. That means you’ll know exactly how much THC you’re consuming.
If you’re new to edibles, you should be aware that the effects take longer to kick in – usually 30 to 90 minutes, but sometimes longer. How long it will take is almost impossible to predict, as it differs depending on your metabolism. The rule here is to start low, and don’t take more edibles if you’re not feeling high within the first hour – wait a solid two hours before consuming any more cannabis.
These are in the same category as edibles, but you drink them instead! Drinkables come in all sorts of different flavors, and there are even water-soluble THC/CBD drops that you can add to your own drinks of choice.
The rules for drinkables are pretty much the same as the rules for edibles – start with low THC content if you’ve never tried them before, and don’t rush to drink another one if you aren’t high within the first couple of hours.
Capsules are basically little pills filled with THC/CBD. Depending on where you live, you might be able to purchase capsules with 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 50, or more mg of THC. The amount of THC allowed by law varies substantially from region to region.
For folks who aren’t interested in extra calories, capsules are a great option. They’re absorbed in about the same rate as edibles or drinkables, so the same guidelines for a good experience apply.
Tired of waiting for edibles, drinkables, and capsules to kick in? Try THC tinctures. You can add tinctures to drinks to make drinkables (as described above), but you can also apply tinctures sublingually.
When a tincture is applied sublingually (below the tongue), it takes far less time to kick in – usually around 15-30 minutes. As with any cannabis that you’re not smoking (or, as we’ll soon see, vaping), you should start low and wait a bit before taking more. That said, you’ll generally feel the effects much faster than you would with edibles or drinkables – and the longer you keep the tincture under your tongue, the more quickly your body will absorb the THC/CBD.
There are so many different ways of vaping cannabis and THC – it’s pretty astonishing. You’ve probably heard of Juul – what you may not have known is that the company’s original claim to fame is the PAX vaporizer, which has been loved by cannabis consumers for over a decade.
Handheld vaporizers like the PAX are quite popular, but there are also stationary vaporizers like the Volcano, which you can think of as sort of a vape-bong hybrid – they vaporize a lot of THC in one go, and then fill an inflatable bag with the vapor.
Finally, there are new cartridge vapes that are similar to nicotine vapes – but with THC instead of nicotine. These cartridges are filled with a liquid that is vaporized and inhaled. Some systems offer refillable cartridges, but those are few and far between. For the most part, these cartridges are filled with liquid by the manufacturer and disposed of by the consumer when they’re empty.
A quick note on vaping: many users think of it as a healthier alternative to smoking. The truth isn’t so simple – there hasn’t been enough research done on vaping to determine if it’s healthier than smoking. If you want to avoid long-term health problems, it may be best to stick to the other methods of marijuana consumption we discussed above.
Things To Consider Before Trying New Methods of Consuming Cannabis
Cannabis is a fickle drug! When you’re smoking, you’re getting a combination of THC and other cannabinoids. You’re also getting terpenes, which may or may not affect your experience. Many aficionados swear by terpenes, but the research on their effects is still somewhat vague.
Consuming cannabis in other ways will change your experience. You might have more of a body high. There might be more fatigue. You might be more energized – it’s almost impossible to say. That’s why you should always start with a low dosage when you’re trying new methods of consuming THC.
You should also know that the laws in different places allow for different levels of THC/CBD in products. They also dictate what kinds of products are available. This means that shopping at a cannabis store in Winnipeg is going to yield a very different experience from shopping at a cannabis store in Chicago. You might find items we haven’t listed here, or you might not be able to find certain items we’ve listed here.
Finally, you should know that there are a ton of experimental THC/CBD/other cannabinoid products we haven’t listed here. Bath bombs, salves, and other topicals are particularly popular – but there’s little evidence that they actually get you high. If that’s what you’re looking for, we recommend other consumption methods.
We hope this article has helped you find exciting new ways of getting high without having to smoke! Enjoy responsibly and legally – it’s an exciting time to love herb.