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The recent wave of change regarding marijuana legalization has resulted in the testing of many different ways to consume marijuana. However, many people don’t know the difference between the various ways to consume marijuana and what affect each way will have on their body. This guide will help you get a handle on the different methods people use to consume weed, and how the affects of each method differ, so that you can get the buzz or medicinal effect that you are looking for.
Smoking is easily the most popular and widely known way to consume marijuana, though there are several different ways that it can be smoked. People can roll weed into joints, put it in a pipe, or run it though a bong, but the method is essentially the same, you apply fire to your weed and inhale the results. The heat that you apply activates the psychoactive chemical THC, which is what gets you high.
Smoking is the most popular method of consuming marijuana, but it is also one of the least efficient. The THC in the smoke can bind to the receptors in your mouth and throat instead of making it to your lungs. This means that you are not efficiently distributing THC in your bloodstream and thus you are wasting some of the effects of your weed. Smoking does get THC directly into your bloodstream through the lungs though, so if you need the effects of marijuana to kick in quickly then smoking is one of the fastest ways you can do that.
Vaping is somewhat of a new trend. It has been used for weed for a number of years but the recent surge in people using nicotine vaporizers as an alternative to cigarettes has helped fuel the rise of vaping in the marijuana industry as well.
Vaping works by heating pot to release the chemicals stored in the plant. The resulting vapor is then inhaled into the lungs. Vaping has the same benefits of rapid onset that smoking does, but avoids a number of the more problematic aspects. This is because nothing is being burnt when you are vaporizing, which means that you don’t have any actual smoke in your lungs. The result is cleaner feeling lungs and less hacking and coughing. With vaping, as with smoking, the THC goes from your lungs to your bloodstream to your brain, resulting in a fast onset. However, other ways of consuming marijuana use different metabolic processes to get THC around your body, and so have slight different effects.
Edibles are probably the second most well-known way to consume marijuana. Edibles work by first cooking weed in some kind of oil or butter. The heat releases the THC, which is soluble in oil, and the oil then accumulates the THC. This oil can then be added to a recipe to introduce the THC to your body. Many people prefer to make baked treats like brownies or cookies, but there are a number of other ways that oil and butter can be used, and so the number of potential treats is almost limitless.
Unlike smoking and vaping, eaten THC is processed in the liver. As a result it produces a different set of THC metabolites than smoked weed. One example of this is a THC metabolite called 11-hydroxy-THC. It is much more powerful than other THC metabolites. In fact, researchers suggest that it is as much as four to five times as potent as the THC metabolites produced by smoking.
When you ingest edibles, most of the THC you take in is turned into this metabolite. This helps explain why marijuana seems so much stronger and lasts so much longer when it is consumed in edible form compared to smoking. This is useful information to be aware of so that you can plan your dosage accordingly. If you are looking for all day pain relief, than an edible will be more effective than smoking.
There are some disadvantages to edibles, however. For one it is hard to determine how strong the edible is without sampling one. As a result some users struggle to control the dose and can wind up being far more stoned than they intended or feeling nothing at all. Another issue is that it can be difficult to know how long it will take for the high to set in and what the duration will be once it does kick in.
Eating raw weed is a practice that has been gaining in popularity lately. In addition to being a great source of B vitamins, terpenes, protein, and fiber, raw weed is the only consumption form that preserves the cannabinoid acids. These acids are thought to play an important role in the endocannabinoid system, which helps to regular a number of important body functions like sleep, pain, hormone balance, metabolism, and appetite. The amount of cannabinoids and cannabinoid acids you get from consuming raw weed is drastically higher than when you smoke or eat it. As a result, many people have begun adding weed to smoothies or salads to reap the benefits of more cannabinoid acids without the feeling of being stoned.
Oils and Tinctures
The final way that you can consume marijuana is in the form of oils and tinctures. This may sound like some old timey medicine, and you’re not wrong about that. Oils are highly concentrated forms of cannabis that can provide fast and highly controlled highs. Tinctures usually are made by extracting the THC from marijuana with an alcohol solution and then applying the outcome to the mouth. These solutions are good ways to micro-dose weed as well as get an incredibly powerful effect in a very short period of time.
Something to keep in mind is that THC is fat soluble and thus works best if it is eaten with something that has fat in it. This is where the oil that you choose for your extraction or combination can be important. For the best effect you should use coconut oil or some other MCT oil.
As you can see, there are many different ways to consume marijuana, and their affects on you will be different depending on which method you choose. Don’t stay stuck in the past, try out these other marijuana consumption methods and see if one is right for you. You may be pleasantly surprised, or you may decide that nothing will ever replace your beloved bong. Either way, you’ll know how the way you are using marijuana affects you, and knowing such information is the key to safe, fun, and responsible cannabis use.