There are a lot of factors that shape our experiences with cannabis, and the top two factors that most users consider are: the flower itself-its potency, for example-and the method of delivery. In this time of increasing access to legalized cannabis across the United States, there are more methods than ever before that are being implemented to get high. Craftspeople, cooks and other entrepreneurs are getting in on the ganja game by providing their own innovations to the industry.
It used to be a pretty straightforward process to getting high: you get your bud, get some papers, roll a doobie and invite your friends over to partake. And while rolling a joint might still be a classic among users, there are so many more options out there. Below are 10 of the most popular ways to consume cannabis, from the traditional to the innovative and unexpected.
Read on. You might find a new favorite!
Alongside joints and blunts, glass pipes have long been a fixture in the lives of cannabis users. If you can’t or don’t want to roll, a pipe is an easy solution-and they come in a wide variety, too! Glassblowing has become a genuinely recognized art form, and the creators of these pieces are true artists. From simple designs to intricate patterns and even pipes that are shaped like animals, there is sure to be a pipe out there to suit everybody’s style. The small size of pipes paired with their portability makes pipes a tried and true favorite among pot smokers. Pipes work by trapping the smoke produced by applying flame to the plant matter inside the bowl.
When your buddy breaks out the bong, you know that a serious smoke session is about to begin. Like pipes, bongs vary greatly in size, shape and color. From oversized bongs that you might need a friend to help you light, to hand-held bubblers that are convenient for personal use, bongs are available to suit any lifestyle, budget and preference. Bongs work like pipes do, by trapping the smoke within the piece, but provide the addition of water which has several possible health benefits. The water cools the smoke, but there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that this actually does anything to make the smoke less harmful.
Joints & Blunts
The use of rolling papers is a classic among smokers. Papers are cheap, portable and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and even flavors. In the case of joints, it is not uncommon at all to find papers made from hemp, bamboo or rice. When rolling a blunt, the roller uses the casing of a cigar to form a tube in which you deposit the weed. Many blunt smokers prefer the taste of blunts to joints because of the flavors found in the fashioning of the cigars.
Using a hookah to get high Is not the most common method of ingestion, but it is a very social one. Hookahs are mostly associated with the smoking of shisha, a form of tobacco that is usually flavored. These smoking devices can be incredibly elaborate, to the point of even being a decorative statement piece wherever you have it stashed in your home.
One reason why hookahs are not so popular is that it takes quite a large amount of herb to yield a good high. The plant, when by itself, burns more quickly than it can be smoked. This produces a nasty taste and can be an unfortunate waste of your weed. To make the experience last longer, people often sandwich the weed between tobacco, which presents the health risks associated with tobacco usage.
Improvised Single-Use Objects
Stoners are some of the most creative people on the planet. Give them weed and nothing to smoke out of, and they will find something to smoke out of (come on, who hasn’t smoked using a soda can?). While this may not result in the best-tasting smoke session of your life (though fruit is a popular solution, and can add a sweet kick to the flavor of your ganja), at least you get the bragging rights of saying “I turned _____ into a pipe.” What kind of experience this will provide you with, we can’t say, since it depends strictly on the materials that you have on hand.
Using a vaporizer, otherwise known as “vaping,” is growing increasingly popular as an inhalation method for pot consumers who don’t want to inhale the harsh smoke caused by other methods. Instead of burning your bud to release smoke, vaporizers steadily heat up the plant matter to extract the cannabinoids within-without heat high enough to cause combustion. Basically, vaping eliminates many of the dangers that are associated with the inhalation of smoke.
There are many different styles of vaporizers on the market today, and many first-time users will find that there is often less odor when using this method. This is great not only for more health-conscious cannabis users, but also for those who want to keep their habit on the down-low.
Portable vaporizers, sometimes called “vape pens,” are becoming increasingly sophisticated, making it easier to take your bud on the go with you.
A tincture is a liquid cannabis concentrate that is a great solution for those concerned with dosage control and fast-acting effects without the odor or health concerns that come along with smoking. A fat-soluble liquid is used in the creation of tinctures, such as alcohol, but other options include vinegar and glycerin. To administer these tinctures, three to four drops are generally placed beneath the tongue, where it is then absorbed into the body. On an empty stomach, the anticipated effects can come on rather quickly.
Some describe ingestible cannabis oils as a middle ground between edibles and concentrates. Like edibles, these oils are swallowed and then digested (rather than placed under the tongue, like tinctures). The oil-like consistency can simply be swallowed, with or without being placed into capsules.
One type of oil that you have probably heard mention of at least once is Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. This product originated in 2003 when Simpson used the oil to treat the symptoms of his skin cancer. To make Rick Simpson Oil, the therapeutic compounds of cannabis are extracted using alcohol, and then evaporated to produce a substance that resembles oil.
You or your parents might have once or twice indulged in a “special brownie” before a big concert, but the world of edibles is quite vast, especially these days. No longer are edibles simply confined to sweet confections like the more traditional cookies and brownies. Other candies exist on the legal cannabis market, but truly cannabis can be infused into nearly any dish. As use of the plant becomes more accepted, and perhaps even mainstream, chefs are looking to boost their own dishes with the therapeutic effects of the plant. You can even find gourmet and organic edible options on the market now! There’s even cannabis coffee, sold in pods like K-Cups.
Edibles are characterized typically by a full-body psychoactive effect, a slower onset of the high, and a more profound high once it’s kicked in. Most edibles are created with a substance that is high in fat, such as olive oil or butter, in which the cannabis steeps before going into the dish.
Tinctures and the cannabis flower itself are also becoming more and more commonplace in the kitchens of ganja gourmets.
Topical cannabis products make use of full cannabis extract. This extract is a thick oil that has been decarboxylated to activate the cannabinoids, which can then be applied to the skin. Cannabis-infused topicals are quite popular among those who struggle with muscle soreness and do not want the high that comes with many conventional ingestion methods. Because of the method of application-directly to one’s skin-these products do not cause the psychoactive effects that one would expect from consuming cannabis through some other means.
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