Cannabis produces many beneficial cannabinoids and phytocompounds. Some get you high and some do not, but all of them are proving to have effective medicinal properties.
Cannabis works with your own body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help heal the body and restore mind/body balance. Ingesting, eating, applying, absorbing, and inhaling are the main methods of consuming cannabis.
There are many ways to utilize cannabis without smoking it.
Even if you do smoke cannabis, using different methods of consumption is your best bet.
Just like the cannabinoids it produces, cannabis products work in harmony together, which produces positive results.
Before starting your cannabis journey, it is in your best interest to understand cannabis, and how cannabis products are made.
Not to worry, I’ve got your back!
I’ve taken the time and done the reading to outline alternative methods of cannabis consumption in one easy read.
Now you don’t have to spend your precious minute scouring the interweb (you’re welcome).
Types of Cannabis Products
Each method of consuming cannabis will have varying absorption levels, time the effects last, and time to effect (how long it takes to feel the effects).
To reap the most of your cannabis experience, experiment with different consumption methods or use multiple methods to enhance the therapeutic properties.
Here’s an example of what I mean: You have stress and uneasiness.
You use a premium cannabis tincture twice per day to manage your feelings, but when a flare-up or when you feel overwhelmed suddenly, you have a vape pen on standby for immediate relief.
Using multiple methods of consumption is essential for helping your body heal.
A cannabis tincture is taken under the tongue (sublingually) can take up to 30 minutes before you feel the effects, whereas a cannabis oil or isolate that is vaped will take effect within minutes ( between 5-8).
Applying Cannabis Topicals
Lotions, salves, oils, and other products you use on your skin are called topical products.
Topical cannabis products may have different textures and names, but they are all relatively similar in how they work.
This method of consuming cannabis does not produce any psychoactive effects.
Because most topical products do not penetrate all seven layers of the skin (dermis), they work best for local pain, discomfort, or irritation.
Rashes, redness, swelling, soreness, dryness, and other unwanted irritations may be effectively treated with a cannabinoid-rich lotion, oil, or salve.
Self-care and beauty products are also introducing cannabinoids like CBG into their products.
CBD lotions tend to be light and filled with rich phytonutrients and antioxidants that may boost the appearance of skin by restoring balance to the body.
Vaping Cannabis Concentrates
Extractions and concentrates are the latest breakthroughs in the cannabinoid community.
Extracting beneficial phytocompounds, terpenes, and cannabinoids and concentrating them into powerfully potent products like isolates and oils is the essence of cannabis extractions.
An isolate is where a cannabinoid like CBD is completely separated from other compounds like THC and terpenes.
While an isolate may work well for those in illegal states, finding a full-spectrum (many phytocompounds) vaping product is best.
THC-rich isolates are quite potent, which means you need very little product before feeling the effects.
For the most part, a cannabis concentrate is named after its texture.
Shatter, wax, budder, oil, RSO, honey oil, rosin, and live resin are some forms of concentrates.
Cannabis concentrates used for vaping are different from the cannabis oil used in a tincture or taken orally.
When you vaporize cannabis, it will bypass your digestive system and enter your bloodstream directly through the membranes in your lungs.
While you may feel the effects almost immediately, the duration of effects does not last long (45 mins- 1 hr).
Take a Tincture: Sublingual Cannabis Products
If you need a fast-acting cannabis product that takes effect rapidly, but you don’t vape, a cannabis tincture is the second fastest option.
Taking a tincture sublingually (under the tongue) will bypass your digestive system and enter your bloodstream directly through mucous membranes in your mouth.
For many moons, our ancestors have used tinctures in times of need.
People have been using tinctures as a holistic medicine for thousands of years.
They are made with any plant (including cannabis) by soaking it in alcohol (liquid) for an extended period.
When it comes to taste, you can expect a potent herbal (or earthy) flavour.
Tinctures give you total control over your dosage size and frequency.
Most tinctures are stored in glass bottles with a dropper.
Dosing is simple: measure your dosage with the dropper, and place the liquid drops under your tongue.
Hold a few minutes. Done.
All cannabis tinctures have guidelines on the bottle, which will provide you with the information you need to find your ideal dose.
Eating Weed: Cannabis Edibles
The tastiest way to consume cannabis? Why, that would be an edible, of course!
Most of the time, cannabis edibles are decadent desserts.
However, more companies are taking a health-conscious approach by creating delicious vegan treats.
Chowing down on your favourite snack is a great mood-booster naturally.
Now, infuse your snack with cannabis and see what it will do.
Cannabinoids like CBD and THC may help your body heal itself, combat discomfort, and reduce stress.
Cannabis edibles have to travel through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream, so it can take quite a while (1-2 hours) before you begin to feel the full effects.
Pro tip: Start low, and go slow. Whether you intend to or not, it is easy to overdo it when it comes to eating edibles.
The most significant side-effect of ingesting too much cannabis is a sensation of drowsiness or feeling of discomfort- nothing harmful.
Cannabinoid ratios and terpene profiles can differ from product to product.
The biggest hurdle to overcome with using CBD edibles is dosing accuracy.
How many gummies should I eat? Is a common question when you’re new to using cannabis edibles.
For the best results, begin with one or two, monitor yourself and the effects you feel, and adjust your dosage as necessary.
Alternate Methods of Consuming Cannabis: Final Thoughts
Using multiple cannabis products means you are taking a rounded approach to reaping the holistic and therapeutic benefits- yay you!
- Maximizing therapeutic properties by using cannabis correctly and consistently.
- Follow the dosage guidelines on the cannabis product of your choice.
If you begin to feel a plateau in effects, increase your dose by small amounts weekly until you have reached the smallest dosage size that produces the most significant effects.
For optimal results, incorporate multiple consumption methods into your body-balance arsenal.
Here’s a little cheat-sheet for you:
Instant effects: use a vaporizer or a tincture.
Long-lasting effects: opt for an edible or tincture.
Always speak to your health care professional before you incorporate any supplement into your regimen.
If you are unsure how much to consume, always start small and work your way up to your ideal dosage size.
How do you consume cannabis?
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And remember, stay lifted!
About the author: Heather Burton
Heather lives with her husband and two children in beautiful British Columbia. Her passion has always been to enhance the lives of others by helping them reach their business goals.
Content management is her specialty, and writing is what she does best. Working specifically in the cannabis market, Heather strives to help dispensaries, patients, doctors, manufacturers and recreational users by giving them the voice they need. When she is not writing, you can find her anywhere outdoors and away from the screen.