5 Awesome Ways To Consume Cannabis
Cannabis consumption has reached new heights with the legalization of medicinal marijuana in 33 states and recreational marijuana in 11. With so many people able to consume marijuana without fear of legal consequences, its popularity has skyrocketed. And with good reason! Cannabis is not only one of the safest drugs out there (even safer, in some cases, than many prescription medications), it is also one of the most user friendly! However, especially for the new user, figuring out the best, safest ways of consuming cannabis can seem overwhelming. Although much of the stigma around cannabis consumption has dissipated, it’s still difficult to really talk about it in public, especially if you’re unsure how the people around you may react.
That means that many people can’t just ask their coworkers or friends how they prefer to consume it without fear of an unwarranted negative reaction. To help, we’ve come up with a list of the 5 ways to safely consume cannabis. We hope this answers your questions and helps you make up your mind on which way you would prefer to consume it!
It may surprise people to find out that a glass bong is one of the safest ways to consume cannabis. They are also one of the longest used and most well known methods out there. When smoking cannabis from a bong, the smoke passes through water at least one time. That water can help to trap the vast majority of the substances and potential carcinogens (like cytotoxins) that can be created by the physical burning of the cannabis.
When smoking a joint, there is no filter that stops those products from entering your lungs. It also can produce a greater high with a smaller amount of product, so that much of the risk that comes with smoking marijuana is minimized. The bubbles in a bong also work to cool down the smoke before it reaches the lungs, which is not only easier on the lungs but healthier overall. However, those benefits only work when the bong is kept clean. Dirty bongs can grow mold, which should never be allowed in the lungs. Always keep your bong clean.
Vaporizers are another one of the safest ways to consume cannabis. Because the cannabis is heated without a flame, none of the potentially dangerous smoke is created or taken into the lungs. The heat level is also adjustable as well, to reduce any risk even further. Heating cannabis to a lower temperature still activates all the essential botanicals and terpenes needed to get a good quality without the risks associated with burning it physically. Vaporizers are probably one of the most expensive smoking methods, however. They are also one of the newest, so long term safety has yet to be determined. However, vaporizers really do have the potential to change the game.
Tinctures are a great way for people who are unable to smoke for any reason (preference or health condition) to still be able to experience all of the benefits of cannabis. The way that tinctures work is by putting just a few drops under the tongue, which absorbs fairly rapidly into the bloodstream. It’s not only a safe way to consume cannabis, it’s also easy and discrete.
You can purchase premade tinctures at most dispensaries or, for the more advanced cannabis consumer, they can also be fairly easily made at home. Just be aware that dosing may vary, so be careful. In fact, the only drawback to tinctures is that it can take time to find the right dose. If you’re a new consumer, it’s best to start slow so that you don’t accidentally take too much (the good news is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to overdose on cannabis).
When it comes to safety, edibles have the edge over most of their competition. Because they are ingested and not smoked, there is no impact on the user’s lungs whatsoever. This can be a major issue with some of the most traditional ways of consuming marijuana, particularly with joints and other methods that don’t contain a way of filtering the smoke. Edibles have gone from the brownies someone brought to a party when you were in high school to a legitimate line of cannabis consumption products. There are even gourmet options out there that come in very official looking tins. The part about edibles that makes them so safe, in addition to lung safety, is that they are dosed very specifically so that you always know just how much THC you are consuming.
The only con is that most edibles will take between 30 minutes to just over an hour to kick in, so there is a long waiting period to see their effectiveness clearly. Overall, though, edibles are definitely one of the safest ways to consume cannabis out there, as well as an easy place for beginners to start.
One final, safe way to consume cannabis is through the use of topicals. With the rise of cannabis as a natural alternative to help treat pain and inflammation, many people use it simply as a way to treat themselves instead of looking for a high. Topicals come in a huge variety of options - mostly as balms, lotions, and oils. They are meant to be used directly on problem areas, like achy joints or lower back pain. They take effect quickly and have very little, if any, side effects. They can be used almost anywhere on the body as well.
The only drawback to using topicals as a cannabis consumption method is that you don’t get the high associated with THC, if that’s what you’re looking for. They can also be expensive to purchase, and some are more effective than others. However, when it comes to safety, topicals are fairly unmatched. Cannabis is one of the most efficient, safe ways to naturally help with pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, and more. It is also legal recreationally in many areas of the country. Knowing how to consume cannabis in a safe way, especially when first starting out, is essential to having a quality cannabis experience.
Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)
Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.
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