There are many ways to consume and use cannabis nowadays other than just smoking. With all the different consumption methods available, the three most typical ways to consumer are through inhalation, oral and topical.
Inhalation is the most common way to consume cannabis — it’s what most people are used to. Once you purchase the dried flower (also known as bud), there are multiple ways in which it can be used. The flower can be ground (using a grinder), rolled into a joint or put into a pipe or a bong, that you smoke directly from. When smoking cannabis, you may feel effects within seconds of inhalation. The effects will generally peak within 30 minutes and will usually last between 1-3 hours based on strain and amount smoked.
Another popular form of inhalation is vaping. Vaping is a more discrete way of consumption which often involves inhaling heated oil through a vaporizing device. This non-combustion method allows you to have control over temperature settings and the amount of vapour you exhale. Vaporizers are portable and easy to use without a strong smell of cannabis. Similar to smoking, effects will be felt within seconds and will last a couple hours.
There are multiple ways to consume cannabis orally. Edibles are one of the most common and just became legal in Canada on October 17th, 2019. Edibles are cannabis-infused products that come in many different forms including chocolates, gummies, beverages, or any kind of baked goods. Edibles are a little different than other forms of consumption because of the onset and duration. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours to feel the full effects and can last between 4-24 hours depending on the dose. Oral consumption of cannabis is a more discreet way to consume however this isn’t something that everyone enjoys due to that longer onset and longer duration.
Capsules are a discrete way to orally consume your cannabis. They contain a pre-measured dose of THC and/or CBD per pill. Because the pills must go through your digestive system, the onset and duration for capsules are the same as they would be for edibles.
Oil can be consumed by using the provided dropper and putting a specific amount under your tongue (sublingually) or added to food or drinks such as smoothies. When using oil sublingually the onset is quite fast (approx.15 minutes) as it is absorbed via the blood vessels under the tongue and inside the cheeks and makes its way into the bloodstream. By doing this, it bypasses the digestive system, so the amount of cannabinoids that are absorbed is higher compared to edibles. When adding the oil to food or drink, the onset and duration will be the same as edibles and capsules.
Sprays infused with THC and/or CBD are another option for consumption. Sprays are used as an alternative to smoking by spraying the substance directly under your tongue. Each spray is pre-dosed, so the user knows exactly how much they are receiving. Since it is being sprayed directly under your tongue, the product enters the bloodstream instantly and therefore the effects are felt within 15 minutes. While the onset is faster with sprays than it is with edibles and capsules, the duration which the effects are felt is the same and can last between 4-6 hours.
Cannabis topicals are something that also became legal in Canada on October 17th, 2019. Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, oils, or body products that are applied externally and absorbed through the skin to help with localized pain or soreness. Using cannabis through this method eliminates the head high you would get from other forms of immediate consumption.
With all the different methods of ways to consume and use cannabis, it is always important for beginners to start with a low dosage until you figure out what is right for you.
Xo, Miss Jones
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