Although smoking is the most popular method, you may be looking for new options to enjoy cannabis. Fortunately, thanks to technological and educational advances, there are many ways to use marijuana to obtain its recreational and medicinal benefits.
The health risks of smoking are widely known, leading more and more users to seek alternatives to using marijuana, especially those who need cannabis for the daily relief of their medical issues.
In addition, the heavily stigmatized image of smoking could also be an impediment for some people in their interest to use cannabis, especially when sharing spaces with someone who does not.
Fortunately, there are many ways to consume cannabis without smoking it; and almost every day new ways are being developed and made available. The following are some suggestions for a smoke-free cannabis experience.
To begin with, you have to keep in mind that if you are looking for the healthiest way to smoke cannabis, there is no totally safe method of doing it. Cannabis smoke contains most of the same toxins and carcinogens which cause the smoke of tobacco to be harmful to your health.
However, there are scientific studies that indicate that smoking cannabis is not as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. While both tobacco and cannabis smoke have similar chemical properties, their pharmacological activities differ greatly.
Cannabis smoke contains cannabinoids, while tobacco smoke contains nicotine. Nicotine promotes tumor angiogenesis (the birth of blood vessels that tumors need to grow) while cannabinoids inhibit it. Therefore, the components of cannabis smoke minimize some carcinogenic pathways, while tobacco smoke potentiates them.
Also, smoking anything can cause irritation to the throat and lungs; And for people with respiratory illnesses like asthma, it just may not be an option. So, how do you consume marijuana without smoking?
There are a wide variety of ways to consume marijuana without smoking and the best one for you will depend on several factors. For example, if you do it for recreational or medicinal purposes, as well as if you want to obtain psychoactive effects or not.
Vaporization is considered a healthier alternative to smoking, as it heats the herb much more gently without combustion, protecting the lungs from irritation and preventing the creation of carbon monoxide, allowing cannabinoids such as THC and CBD to be released leaving behind the most dangerous components.
The flavour of vaporized cannabis is also preferred to that of burnt flower, as terpenes are not degraded as much. Terpenes and terpenoids are what give marijuana its characteristic smell and taste. Also by setting a vaporizer to the correct temperature, you can even customize the effects by choosing which terpenes and cannabinoids you want to inhale.
Apart from that, they tend to be discreet instruments, so they can be used almost anywhere without another person knowing what is being consumed, since there is a significant decrease in smell.
Dabbing is similar to vaping in that it produces vapor rather than smoke, although in this case a small metal or glass pot is used that is heated to a high temperature, allowing the marijuana to vaporize when it is drops on it.
It is the most used method to consume cannabis concentrates, which include types such as Rosin, Shatter, distilate, wax…
These properly refined concentrates offer a clean experience without plant material and without the dry heat of smoking paper-rolled cannabis. But they are also very powerful (sometimes they contain up to 90% THC) which means that they are excellent for users with a high tolerance, but maybe not for newbies.
If vaping or dabbing is too much like smoking for your liking, you can always try marijuana edibles. Cannabis edibles are manufactured and prepared at home in such a way that cannabis can be consumed with even more powerful effects than smoking, depending on the dosage, and make your consumptive use more efficient – depending on the skill and process of preparation.
Edibles are a lot of fun, but they deserve to be treated with respect, as they can take a while to kick in, possibly up to two hours or more. Many newbies have made the mistake of getting impatient and taking another dose too soon, only to regret it.
Oils and tinctures are another great way to take marijuana orally. They are produced in a way that different versions can offer psychoactive or non psychoactive effects. They are functionally edibles, with all of the same benefits and taking away all of the negatives of smoking cannabis but exist in a slightly different format not too different than cough syrup.
These oils are generally made from concentrates obtained by extracting the desired materials from the plant and then processing them and binding them with specific kinds of fats which govern how your body absorbs and metabolizes the cannabinoids consumed.
Tinctures sometimes use alcohol, glycerin, or vegetable oils as a solvent to extract cannabinoids from plant material or dilute and bind to the cannabinoids in concentrates.
They are taken by placing a dose under the tongue and allowing it to dissolve. This allows the active compounds to bypass the digestive system and directly into the bloodstream, making them work much faster than edibles do.
Another way to consume marijuana without smoking it is through topical creams – or ointments – that, when applied to the skin, allow cannabinoids to be absorbed by the first few layers of the skin.
Because there are abundant cannabinoid receptors in the skin, there are few psychoactive effects possible through skin absorption, however different skin conditions have been demonstrated as responding well to cannabinoid topical treatment.
They are ideal for people who suffer from painful skin conditions because they can be applied directly to the area where they are most needed. In fact, they are one of the favourite ways to consume cannabis to obtain analgesic properties and to reduce inflammation in people with arthritis, osteoarthritis, lower back problems, tendinitis… or to treat diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.
Cannabis oils, tinctures, and concentrates can also be presented in capsules, a consumption format that has several advantages: They are an excellent option for those who want to consume cannabis in a discreet way and appreciate the classic format of a pharmaceutical product. Because they are just a different format of edibles, oils in capsules can induce powerful effects that take time to manifest, so be aware of their dosage!
Of course, these consumption methods are not the only ones. Legalization is bringing more and more new formats such as sprays, suppositories, intimate lubricants, infused drinks, oral strips, transdermal patches, bath salts…
Whether you’re looking for the quick relief of vaping or dabbing, or the longer-lasting and often more powerful effects of edibles or oils, there are a variety of formats to choose from.
But how do you know the best way to consume cannabis?
Ultimately, that is a decision that you can only make yourself, since everyone’s endocannabinoid system has different responses to cannabis and its mode of administration, regardless of age, gender or weight, so it is difficult to make recommendations. general information about the amount of cannabis or how it should be taken.
With this in mind, it is usually suggested to new users that they experiment with microdosing first to really understand their needs: It is the only way to really know how it is going to work for you and, most importantly, to prevent negative experiences.