You’ve made it to the dispensary, asked the budtender all the questions you had prepared, and finally picked out some of that delicious smelling XJ-13 the budtender recommended to you for anxiety relief, pain relief, and a calm, relaxed energy. Awesome! But, there’s still one more step. You’ll need to sort through the plethora of ways to actually consume it. This is the part we believe is the most fun.
While a daunting task at first, it is crucial to your experience with cannabis and can drastically change depending on the delivery method. Many of the different methods will change how the cannabis tastes, how much of the medicine is being delivered, and how fast.
That’s why our team at THC Design put together a comprehensive list of the many of different ways you can consume cannabis flower, including everything you need to know from, an update to the classic joint—the convenient pre-roll—to the new-age vaporizer.
THC Design’s pre-rolled joints are estate grown using responsible, sustainable practices and have been independently tested by a 3rd-party laboratory to ensure potency, purity, and compliance.
This is the most ubiquitous smoking delivery method around. Joints are rolled using papers made from materials such as bleached paper, cellulose, or our favorite organic hemp. This method takes a little time to master but, once you’ve got it down, it’s like riding a bike, you never forget. If you don’t feel like putting in the time, you can always turn to the convenient pre-rolled joint. THC Design’s pre-rolled joints are available in Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid varieties and come in newly engineered, durable, odor-reducing tins designed for discretion and convenience.
Second to joints, straight pipes are probably the second most popular way to smoke cannabis. And, even more so than joints, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors and materials (glass being the most common)—from the artistically creative to the discrete. They are easy to use and very portable, only requiring ground flower in the bowl portion. For most, picking out a straight pipe is more about personal aesthetic than anything else. It is important to note, however, that the shorter the pipe the hotter the smoke will be when inhaling. Pipes like the Twisty Glass Blunt allow you to smoke some and save the rest for later.
Water pipes are a larger category that encompasses things like bongs and bubblers, devices that use water to filter cannabis smoke. Water pipes range from the affordable at around $10 bucks to high-end bongs at $1800 and above to delicate glass art pieces made for more for show than actual smoking.
Water pipes work by forcing the smoke to travel through a reservoir of water, which considerably cools the smoke and traps some of the larger particles created by burning the cannabis. They sometimes have a built-in bowl to hold your ground flower or the bowl is a separate attachment. It’s recommended to start with smaller inhales, because the water cooling the smoke allows for much larger tokes.
For many, this can bring up an image of a bowl made from an apple. Sometimes, joint papers or a glass pipe just aren’t available. Creating one takes a bit of creativity and some basic tools, such as a knife or pen. They are usually created by making two holes that connect - one on top and one on the side. One end is to put your ground flower and the other is to inhale from. Some recommend using tinfoil to create the bowl, but heating tinfoil can actually create unhealthy chemicals. So, skip the foil and dig out a bowl directly into the item that sounds appealing like the famous apple, potato, carrot, or cantaloupe. Depending on the item, you can even eat it after to quell any munchies!
Vaporizers have quickly risen as a more preferred way of consuming cannabis. Vaporizing cannabis allows you to vaporize the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the plant without actually burning the flower. Vaporizers take a little more setup time, but also allow for a wide range of temperatures. That means you can customize your experience. In some cases, down to the degree. Typically, you’ll also use considerably less flower, which can save you both time and money in the long run.
This is a relatively new trend in consuming flower. By juicing the cannabis flower, you get many of the benefits from the plant without smoking. For the vast majority of people consuming this way, it is non-psychoactive because THC only becomes psychoactive when heat is applied and goes through a process called decarboxylation, which activates the plant’s psychoactive THC. Ingesting cannabis usually takes up to two hours to have the active compounds reach your bloodstream and reach your desired effects.
Like we had mentioned above, decarboxylating cannabis flower activates the THC. This is a must for cooking to get the highest concentration of THC. There are some amazing products like the Nova Decarbarboxylator, which allows you to decarb any flower to be eaten raw or easily added to other recipes. For cooking, typically you need to use a carrier oil for the THC, such as coconut oil or butter. The Magical Butter machine is the cannabis industry’s “set-it and forget-it” machine. Just add flower and oil, and it automatically cooks at the perfect temperature for the perfect length of the time. The finished product can again be eaten raw or added to favorite dishes that call for oil or butter. Just like above, eating cannabis takes much longer than smoking, so it’s recommended to wait 45-120 minutes before consuming more.
Ryan Jennemann is the co-founder of THC Design, a leading cultivator of premium estate-grown cannabis in California and longtime legalization advocate.