When it comes to consuming cannabis, you now have more options than ever before. That makes it hard to recognize the “best” form of consumption, especially since new ways to consume marijuana are popping up every day.
Smoking is the oldest practice, but vaporizers are becoming rather popular. As far as edibles go, we can now enjoy practically any food we want with THC, CBD, CBG, or even CBN included. Plus, there are now oils, sprays, and much, much more.
So the “best” method of consuming cannabis really depends on your preferences and how you prioritize convenience, price, strength, health, etc. In this article, the experts at Honest Marijuana tackle the ins and outs of marijuana consumption and describe 18 common ways to partake of the wacky weed.
For your convenience, we’ve separated the consumption methods into three categories:
- Inhalants (fancy word for “things you smoke”)
- Ingestants (fancy word for “things you eat”)
- Other (not a fancy word at all)
By organizing the information this way, we can help you find your ideal method faster. So let’s get started with the most common way to consume marijuana: inhaling.
Inhalation (smoking) is the most common method of cannabis consumption on the market today. It’s also the quickest way to get the much-beloved THC into your system. Because the cannabinoids enter your body through your lungs, they’re passed along directly into your bloodstream.
And because blood flows at an average of three to four miles per hour (yes, you read that correctly: three to four miles per hour), once the THC hits your circulatory system, it only takes a few seconds to reach your brain.
In a study done by the Journal of Chemistry and Biodiversity, subjects who consumed cannabis via inhalation reported feeling the effects of the cannabis within minutes. That’s faster than any of the other methods on this list.
Though smoking is the quickest method of delivery, it’s also the most damaging to the lungs. When you decarboxylate (burn) marijuana in order to smoke it, you also get other plant and paper material with the cannabinoids. These foreign substances can have negative effects on the sensitive tissue in your lungs.
When you think about it, smoking marijuana is a lot like fast food. It’s quick and gets the job done, but it may hinder your afternoon jog. So why smoke? Well, if you’re looking for something that sets smoking apart from the other options on this list, think dosage size.
As you’ll see below, smoking your marijuana allows you to more precisely monitor and control the amount of cannabis you consume. This makes it less likely that you’ll overindulge and get “too high.” Let’s look at the smoking options.
Joints are perhaps the most well-known of the cannabis delivery systems. They’ve even hit the “mainstream” in stoner classics like Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke, Dazed And Confused, and The Big Lebowski.
Some users (especially in Europe, where cigarette smoking is more prevalent) like to load their joints with a hybrid of tobacco and cannabis for an extra-heady high. Either way, one hit of a joint and you feel it instantly.
Blunts are similar to joints in many ways but are rolled with cigar paper instead of cigarette or rolling paper. In addition, blunts are usually thicker and hold more weed, making them a more powerful option than the smaller and thinner joint.
A lot of cannabis users prefer blunts simply because they’ve been popular for many years. Users also enjoy the “old school” act of smoking something that’s more robust and easier to handle.
Add to that the fact that famous celebrities like Snoop Lion and Wiz Khalifa endorse this style, and it’s easy to see why blunts are quickly gaining in popularity over the smaller, more fragile joint.
Pipes And Bowls
Compared to joints, pipes and bowls are an even quicker and easier way to date Mary Jane. There’s no tedious rolling that requires the tiny fingers of a ten-year-old girl and the dexterity of an 1800s watchmaker. Just stuff in some weed, light up, and you’re good to go.
Getting your ganja through a pipe or a bowl is just as effective as through a joint or a blunt, though it may not taste as good since there’s no paper there to smooth out the flavor.
In terms of simplicity and activity, bowls usually need to be lit once for each hit. This can be great if you want to save some of the bowl for later use, but very inconvenient if you’re outside on a windy day. Let’s just say that we hope you have a lot of lighter fluid in your Zippo.
Safety Precaution: In times of desperation, you may turn your attention to the remaining resin in your bowl as a last chance to get high. Don’t do it. Trying to consume the leftover resin is not recommended.
Resin has a much lower THC ratio than the bud from whence it came and most, if not all of that THC, is destroyed when you set the resin alight. Resin also has higher levels of ash, carbon, and tar than good old weed.
That bad stuff usually doesn’t get into your lungs when you smoke the skunky musk, but when you try to inhale the resin, those toxins can start to do some damage. And last but not least, smoking resin heats up your bowl very quickly, and makes it easy to get burned in the process.
Bongs are the king of marijuana paraphernalia. They come in all shapes and sizes and can often be quite beautiful. Some people we know don’t even use them for smoking. They just display their bongs as decoration pieces. To each his own.
A popular form of the bong is the gravity bong. This ingenious contraption uses gravity to force the smoke into a holding chamber where it can inhaled at your leisure. Making them takes a little work, but it’s a fun way to consume cannabis that will get you extremely stoned.
Bubblers are basically miniature bongs that are usually small enough to fit in your pocket. Like bongs, bubblers allow time for the smoke to cool down before it hits your lungs. This makes it easier for the user to take bigger hits and get bigger effects.
Also known as butane hash oil (BHO), dabs are an extremely potent extract of the cannabis plant. Solidified hash oil (the dab) is meant to be smoked with a rig, much like a bong bowl, except that, instead of a lighter, you use a blowtorch. Yes, that’s right, a blowtorch. Dabbing is essentially a flash-vaporization method of cannabis delivery. And because the dab is concentrated extract, inhaling the vapors can get you super high in no time flat.
Though it might look quite dangerous, dabbing is actually healthier than inhaling smoke from joints or bongs. Because of the high heat to which the BHO is exposed, the resultant vapor is free of any foreign plant material. This makes the vapor much more “pure” than burning your weed with a regular old flame. However, this potent option is certainly not for beginners. Dabbing has been nicknamed the “crack” of pot. Use at your own risk…
No matter how you inhale it, all of the methods of smoking mentioned above (with the exception of dabs) contain extra chemicals due to burning the cannabis flower. For those of you who are happy to forgo the act of smoking in order to avoid these chemicals, read on to see the multitude of easy and effective alternatives.