This is an educational series that we hope will introduce you to many basic concepts and some industry jargon as well as expose you to the culture and industry status quo.
Today we’re going to scratch the surface of cannabis basics around consumption. Protis Global is fully immersed in the cannabis space. We are aligned with many of the “heavy hitters” if you will in the cannabis industry allowing us to have valuable and current insights with responsibly sourced and accurate information.
PG recognizes that some of the stigma associated with marijuana has mitigated and continues to slowly dissipate. This has created an opportunity for adults who never previously considered cannabis as an option to learn and potentially enrich their lives with the healing, medicinal, and recreational properties of cannabis.
Protis Global believes that in any new venture knowledge is power. We understand that the cannabis industry is relatively new. There is a ton of information and terminology flooding the industry constantly and it can be extremely difficult to catch up. We hope to facilitate the learning process in a factual yet digestible way by answering some of the most prevalent questions we see being asked. Our aim is to kickstart the education process of the industry and the plant itself!
How can I use cannabis? Do I have to inhale it?
THE SHORT ANSWER
- Inhalation is just one of the many methods of consumption for cannabis.
- Inhalation can include:
- Hand pipes, water pipes, glass pieces
- Rolling joints/blunts
- One-use devices
- Cannabis can be consumed orally via different forms
- Digestible oils
- Sublingual strips
- Topical Treatments
THE LONG ANSWER
No, you don’t have to inhale cannabis to consume cannabis and reap the rewards of its medicinal, recreational, and wellness-centric effects.
The method you choose for cannabis consumption should be based on what form of cannabis you are aiming to consume and the effects you are vying for.
Potency and length of effects vary and to some degree are based on you as an individual but there are some “rule of thumbs.”
Leafly.com (*link) designates that there are 3 major methods of consumption: inhalation, oral consumption, and topical treatments.
Consuming cannabis via inhalation works as the gases emitted by vaporization or smoking absorb into the bloodstream via lungs. Either way, heat decarboxylates cannabinoids to activate their desired effects. In general, vaporizing has less health concerns associated with it than traditional smoking methods.
There is glass. This could include but is DEFINITELY not limited to hand pipes, bongs, bubblers, steam rollers, chillums, and dab rigs. The most common of these are hand pipes, bongs, and bubblers. Hand pipes are small, portable, and can be very inexpensive. They are also referred to as bowls. Bongs and bubblers are considered water pipers because… you guessed it… there is water in the glass contraption. Percolators in bongs and bubblers force smoke to interact with the water and cool down the smoke.
There are one use methods such as blunts, joints, and smoking devices that are essentially MacGyvered from something that already existed. Joints are rolled in plant-based paper usually – it could be rice, bamboo, hemp, anything. Blunts are rolled in cigar paper made from tobacco. This contains nicotine as well. This is a major drawback for many health conscious individuals. Smoking devices can be fashioned from apples, watermelons, and really anything if you’re creative enough.
Alright and now let’s talk about vaporization. This is one of the newest methods of consumption. Vaporizers are more about temperature control. The flower or concentrate is gently heated to an optimum temperature in attempts to harness the effects of the cannabinoids but not the other potentially harmful toxins associated with smoking. Dabbing is a form of vaporization that is vastly different. Concentrate is placed on a heated nail and it is vaporized at an extremely high temp.
When consuming cannabis orally allows cannabinoids to enter your bloodstream via absorption and/or digestion. There are countless forms of edibles and they are constantly coming up with more. Cannabis can be found in brownies, chocolates, gummies, gum, cakes, water, sodas, beer, wine, etc. If you can eat it, you can probably put cannabis in it. Most edibles are processed via digestion. Tinctures are concentrated cannabinoids diluted with alcohol or vinegar. A few drops are placed sublingually and absorbed into the body versus digested like other edibles. Another form of cannabis that can be taken orally are in a decarboxylated capsule.
Cannabis can also be utilized topically. Decarboxylated cannabinoids (activated cannabinoids) can be absorbed through the skin; however, the psychoactive effects aren’t felt this way. Topical cannabis treatment is becoming increasingly popular in the form of creams, patches, sprays, and even bath bombs. The intent is typically pain relief, relaxation, and to reduce inflammation.