New to cannabis? Or maybe you haven’t partaken since college? Either way, it can often feel like there are too many product choices and too many manners of consumption without knowing exactly what to expect from each type. That’s why we’re here–to help you figure out what method of consuming cannabis might work best for you.
There was a time when the only options for consuming cannabis were smoking flower in the form of a joint, bong, or glass pipe, or occasionally baked into brownies (with way too much THC in them!). But along with state-level legalization came product innovations that now offer many more choices and variety. This guide will start by outlining methods of consumption and then offer some tips for dipping your toes in the cannabis pool, and what you might expect to feel and experience along the way.
Ways to Consume Cannabis
Smoking Cannabis Flower
The most commonly known method of cannabis consumption is inhalation of smoke. But smoking means burning (i.e., incinerating) the plant which leads to the production of carcinogenic materials, a harsh throat hit that may leave you coughing, and a pungent odor. While there may be some nostalgic appeal to this method, especially among the 420 crowd, it’s neither discrete nor convenient for those who would prefer to partake throughout their day or on-the-go. Additionally, with many of us looking to lead a more mindful and healthier lifestyle, inhaling the after effects of direct combustion, like tar, may not have much appeal.
Vaporizing, in contrast to smoking, involves gently heating the flower until the terpenes and cannabinoids (i.e., the stuff that makes consuming cannabis worthwhile) become a vapor. The vapor makes inhaling cannabis a smoother, more pleasurable experience, without any added or off-putting residues. And, it tastes great.
This method of vaping cannabis flower is cleaner, less harsh on your lungs, produces less smell, and gives you an enormous amount of control over how much you inhale (more on that later).
Other Ways to Consume Cannabis
With state-sanctioned legalization came much-welcomed regulation and testing regarding dosage in extracts and edibles. Though the process of making edibles is really more science than art these days and each edible sold in medical and recreational dispensaries goes through rigorous testing, the advice to proceed with caution is still valid. Your best bet is to talk to your budtenders, start small and slow, and tread lightly until you find the products that work best with your body.
By steeping cannabis in high-proof alcohol, a solution is made that distills the THC into a liquid. This liquid can then be applied directly under your tongue for fast onset of effects. Many tincture enthusiasts also like to incorporate them into their favorite smoothies, juices, ice creams, and coffee.
Cannabis bath bombs? Sign me up! Though many see them as primarily for those with chronic pain, as they are fast-acting and effective for any region of the body that they are applied. As cannabis becomes more and more lifestyle-driven, topicals have found a wide range of new opportunities, including skincare lotions and other beauty products.
What to expect when consuming cannabis
“High” is a spectrum of effects that you can control
The language around cannabis (which often comes from decades of prohibition and anti-cannabis rhetoric) leaves us thinking that “high” is a black and white state of being. Either you’re high, or you’re not. As it turns out, feeling high or feeling the effects of cannabis occurs on a broad spectrum. How you’ll react to a specific product or amount often comes down to your own body’s chemistry, the dosage, and even how you’re feeling emotionally that day.
What’s cool, however, is that you now have more control than ever over your experience. From microdosing with a plant-based vaporizer to choosing strains known for specific effects, you can maintain your autonomy and control over how much you consume and what you’d like to get from your experience.
In fact, strain nomenclature can actually give you a really good idea of what effects you might expect from a particular product. Your dispensary will likely use the “indica” strain label as a way to identify cannabis products that induce relaxation. Common advice for indica-based products is to use them for times when you’re looking to chill out.
“Sativa” products are often recommended by budtenders for people wanting a more “heady”, energetic experience. Think of them as shots of caffeine. Sativa-leaning products are touted for giving you the energy to be more social and helping to enhance your focus and creativity.
Or even simpler, HUUE™’s line of plant-based vapes is specifically named by the effect or feeling you’re looking to experience at any given moment, from relaxation to productivity. This way you’ll never have to guess which effect will result.
Test, Iterate, and Ask your Budtenders
Ultimately, the best way to find the right product and method of consumption for you is to test different products and iterate based on your experience. With so many different ways to enjoy cannabis, the options are limitless when it comes to how you achieve the desired effect you are looking for. It is also possible to combine different methods and formats for additional benefits or stronger effects. Talk to your budtender to see which method of consumption best suits your needs.
For more information about plant-based vaping and to learn more about our HUUE™ products, visit huue.co/products.