Many cultures throughout history have been familiar with the medicinal properties of cannabis, but it has also faced stigma in many societies until very recently. The mainstream acceptance and popularity of cannabis in past years have led to its legalization in parts of many countries, meaning it’s now completely legal in some areas to purchase cannabis, as long as you get it from authorized retailers.
In North America, cannabis is legal across many places in the United States, as well as all across Canada. If you’ve been dissuaded in the past but are now interested in trying out cannabis and want to know more about it, this guide will give you a brief rundown of the different ways to consume cannabis.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a naturally occurring plant grown in many different parts of the world, commonly known for its medicinal and psychoactive properties. Due to its easy availability and many beneficial properties, cannabis sees a wide range of both recreational and medicinal use.
There are many species of cannabis, which vary in CBD and THC content levels. Some of them are man-made, while others are not. Cannabis strains with high THC content have more potent psychoactive properties and are most often used for recreational purposes and in some religious ceremonies. Strains with higher CBD content tend to be used for treatment and pain relief by those dealing with chronic pain, some mental health issues, various forms of cancer, and so on.
You can divide the strains of cannabis into three main categories: Indica, Sativa, and hybrid. Indica strains have a higher THC to CBD ratio, while Sativa strains have a higher CBD to THC ratio. Hybrid varieties are man-made strains that blend different Indica and Sativa strains to create a new strain with the best properties of its parent strains.
1. Smoking Cannabis
The most common and preferred method of cannabis consumption worldwide, smoking cannabis gives you a lot of flexibility and options. There are multiple ways to smoke cannabis, with joints, pipes and bongs being the most popular options.
To roll a joint, you’ll need rolling papers and filters. One bonus of joints is that they are more customizable—it’s common among joint smokers to mix different strains or add slight amounts of tobacco into their mixture.
When smoking with a bong, you place the weed into the bowl of the bong, and fill the reservoir with water. It’s best to avoid adding tobacco to the mix due to potential lung damage from the high volume of smoke bong users inhale.
There are health concerns to be aware of in relation to smoking cannabis, although many medical organizations agree that more studies need to be conducted.
2. Cannabis Edibles
After smoking, edibles are probably the second most common way to consume weed. Many weed users who dislike smoking prefer to consume this plant through foods and beverages. The benefit of doing so is very apparent, as this method bypasses the potential risk of damaging your lungs by smoking. Another benefit of edibles is that the high is often much more potent than that derived from smoking weed.
Edible cannabis takes many forms, such as cooking oils, gum tinctures, and more. Cooking oils and gums contain a lot of THC, giving you what many describe as a comfy and lazy high. Other edibles, like tinctures, are less potent in THC but more in CBD, making them the ideal choice for those who simply want pain relief or encouragement to flex their creative muscles.
In general, CBD-heavy edibles produce less of a high than THC-heavy edibles, making the latter better for recreational use. Knowing your own preferences should make it easy for you to choose what kind of edibles you’re looking for.
3. Vape Pens
Vape pens are a fairly recent addition to the cannabis industry but have gained a lot of popularity in a short amount of time. Other than mechanical differences, there’s little difference between smoking a joint and smoking weed with vape pens. The key difference between the two is that when you vape, you are inhaling steam from heated oil, rather than smoke.
Most people lump vape pens in with e-cigarettes, which is not wrong. However, there is also a second type of vape pen, known as a vaporizer. These devices vaporize the dried cannabis flowers instead of the oil extract, which creates a refreshing high that is definitely more potent.
Despite their rising popularity, users should note that the use of vape pens is commonly associated with heart and lung conditions.
E-cigarettes, which heat the chamber to infuse the contents with the vaping liquid, also produce harmful toxins that directly damage the lungs. According to some medical experts, the damage done to the lungs by vaping is significantly more than that done by smoking a joint.
4. CBD Creams
Topical CBD creams with cannabis content are a bit of novelty but are also quite popular. Applying a cream is the most indirect way of consuming this cannabidiol and is preferred by those who want to avoid the high associated with consuming THC.
Cannabis creams are generally applied to a specific part of the body where there is pain, inflammation, or another affliction. Most creams have high CBD content, and little to no THC content since the focus is on medical use, not recreational. Although there is debate over how well these creams genuinely work, they are certainly worth exploring.
5. How to Get Cannabis
There are currently many marijuana strains for sale on the legal market, offering significant variety. Some popular favorites include Purple Haze, Pink Rozay, Apple Fritters, and more.
In today’s digital age, you can find almost every type of marijuana for sale online. Just search for local marijuana retailers, and you’ll come up with dozens of results. Be sure to read reviews and consider the opinion of others to decide which retailer to choose.
6. Spice Things Up
The different methods of consuming weed can provide you with different kinds of high and varying medicinal benefits. Although not every method of consumption appeals to everyone, there are so many options that you’ll definitely be able to find something that works for you. If you’ve never tried cannabis before, it may be the right time to look into the fun, interesting, and even profound experiences it has to offer.
Ken Weiss is a health blogger who is passionate about natural and holistic cures for men’s health issues. He is the founder of menshealthcures.com