Whether you’re long time user or someone new to marijuana, it can be fun to learn more and experiment with exactly how you get the benefits of consumption. To make it easier, we break it down into the three most common ways to use marijuana, and even provide different methods for each.
You probably already know about this delivery method — afterall, the term “smoking weed” wouldn’t be so ubiquitous if people weren’t aware that you can light marijuana on fire and inhale the smoke! But you might not know all the different ways to get that smoke, either. Here are some common tools:
- Though they may conjure images of old men or frosty the snowman, pipes tend to be one of the most common ways to smoke. They generally include a bowl for the smoker to ignite the marijuana in, and a tube to capture the smoke. Some also have a hole or “carburetor,” which can be covered to trap larger quantities of smoke, and released to then clear the smoke. Whether a simple “one hitter” (with a small bowl and no carb) or an ornate glass piece, pipes offer a variety of smoking experiences. For smokers looking to be discrete, some small pipes are made to be portable or even look like other objects, such as a traditional cigarette. Pipes can be made from glass, wood, metal, or even homemade from fruits!
- Water pipe (bong, bubbler). A water pipe adds a chamber for the user to optionally add water to their smoking experience. When the marijuana is lit, the water vapor then cools the smoke, which some say makes the smoke feel less harsh and easier to inhale.
It’s also worth noting that a hookah is a type of water pipe mainly designed for smoking wet or flavored tobacco. Some users might enjoy adding marijuana or hash to their pipe, though the leaves burn with a heated coal and generally heat up very quickly, so be cautious if you’re a first timer to this method.
- Rolling paper (joint, blunt). Rolling papers are available at any gas station or corner store that sells cigarettes, so this is a pretty easy and convenient method, if you have the skills. Rolling a good joint or blunt does take practice, though, and can be difficult for new smokers. You can also purchase cigar papers or hollow out a cigarillo if you’re looking to share with a bigger crowd. Some smokers might also choose to mix their marijuana with tobacco to create a spliff, though tobacco can be harsh and mixing nicotine with cannabis will change its effects.
- Cannabis butter or oil (edibles). Generally, edibles are made when marijuana is infused in higher fat content materials, like butter or olive oil. You can even make your own butter or oil pretty easily [link to blog post]. Just keep in mind that an edible high is different than an inhalation high, and it tends to come on more gradually but also be a stronger “body high” — so be aware and keep track of your dosage.
- Liquid cannabis tinctures. Tinctures include a concentrated liquid cannabis extract that can be absorbed directly into the mouth, usually placed with a dropper on or under the tongue. These flavored extracts are especially popular as medication and the user can easily control their dosage with the dropper.
- Oil capsules. Similar to tinctures, but often ingested as a capsule, oils are concentrated marijuana that can contain THC or CBD, and tend to be used for medicinal purposes. In fact, they were created by Rick Simpson from essential oils from hemp as an alternative treatment for skin cancer. Rick Simpson Oil is now one of the more popular options on the market.
This is one of the fastest growing methods of consuming marijuana, and it can be thought of as kind of an offshoot of smoking marijuana. Vaporization can involve using marijuana oil, wax, or leaves, depending on the design of the device, and the key to obtaining the vapor is the right temperature. Vaporizers reach a temperature high enough to pull out THC or CBD but not high enough to combust or pull out the more harmful toxins. For this reason, many see vaporization as a healthier alternative to traditional smoking.
There are multiple devices that can be used to vaporize marijuana, and it’s important to understand what type best fits your lifestyle and needs. For example, a portable pen might be good if you want to be more discrete and don’t mind purchasing oil cartridges. A volcano might be more suitable for a serious smoker willing to drop some more money on a more intense smoking experience. As always, feel free to talk to your local budtender about your needs and expectations to find the right fit for you.
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Using a cannabis oil extract, a marijuana salve is made of concentrated, activated cannabinoids. Since it is heavier in CBD, users should expect pain relief, rather than the psychotropic effects of THC.
Anything we missed on the list? Have a favorite or suggestion for other users? Let us know!