Updated: Apr 12
Did you know there are three primary categories to consume cannabis? And under each primary category, there are at least two different ways to consume for each type? I can’t help but feel that cannabis is meant for us to consume. There is a consumption method for everyone.
I hope this article will provide you with the information you need to help you figure out how best to consume cannabis for your needs and the lifestyle you are trying to create.
There are three umbrella categories: inhalation, oral, and topicals.
These three options allow you to consume cannabis that gives you the high, if that’s what you want, or medicinal relief without the high. Another reason I love cannabis!
Now, let’s get to the fun part and learn all the different ways you can consume cannabis under those three umbrella categories.
Topicals are great for aches, pains, and arthritis conditions. I would compare it to using Deep Blue or Aspercreme. Using cannabis topically like this rarely penetrates the bloodstream, and therefore no high is associated with using creams.
A second topical form is transdermal patches—one of my favorite ways to use cannabis. Transdermal patches will penetrate your bloodstream, but usually, the patches have less than 10mg. (Always check the package first) It’s possible to get patches with THC only, CBD only, both, or CBN. I always cut mine in half on days when my regular consumption of medicine is not working or when being high is not an option.
To consume cannabis orally means by baked goods, drinks, or tinctures.
Oral consumption is another favorite consumption method for me, but it’s also the trickiest. Unless you buy edibles, you don’t always know how much you are taking.
I’m thankful I discovered Corrine, who is the creator of Wake and Bake, and she has an excellent dosage calculator. I highly recommend checking her website - she is great about using science and math to figure out dosing.
The rule with edibles - always start with a small dose. The reason to start small is food goes through the digestive system first; then, the cannabinoids are released into the bloodstream.
For example, if you buy edibles and it says 10 mg - cut it in half or quarters. Take one piece and wait an hour. If you feel nothing, take another and wait one hour again.
Every person is different, so take your time with edibles and document your experience.
Tinctures are a different beast - another favorite way for me to consume. Tinctures are absorbed through the bloodstream. It’s an almost immediate effect similar to inhaling cannabis. Similar to edibles, it’s best to start small and increase your dosage.
Inhalation is the most known method for consuming. It’s one of my favorite ways. Have you noticed a trend that everything is my favorite way to consume? Lol, I can’t help it. They are all great for their own reasons!
Inhalation is inhaling smoke via a bong or other device or vaporization methods.
Experienced smokers will tell you that vaping is not quite the same as inhaling via a bong. I would agree, but I use either method depending on my day.
There are many types of devices to use if you choose to smoke cannabis. Smoking cannabis from one of these devices does have health issues. The concern is around the heat - smoking these ways causes combustion, which releases toxins.
The “safer” alternative is vaporization. But - let’s be honest - any smoke in your lungs is not great. BUT there is also nothing proving that smoking cannabis causes any issues with your lungs, unlike tobacco. I believe the problems come in when you use tobacco-based products with cannabis.
Vapor units will heat the cannabis enough to extract THC and CBD, but low enough, so the harmful toxins aren’t released during combustion.
Pens - PAX II
Regardless of how you use cannabis, it is possible to find a way to consume that aligns with your lifestyle. Whether you choose topicals, inhalation, or oral, cannabis is made for us to consume based on the life we are trying to lead.
Let me know in the comments how you consume. Or if you have questions, submit it to Dear MariJane.