So you've decided to explore the world of cannabis. Congratulations! You're about to embark on a journey of sensory delights. But before you dive in, it's important to understand your options. Do you want to smoke it, vape it, or eat it? Each method offers a different experience. The good news is you can try them all. Cannabis is meant to be enjoyed, so take your time finding what you like. The world of weed awaits!
The classic way to consume cannabis is by smoking dried flower buds or extracts like hash, kief, or concentrates. You can smoke a joint, blunt, pipe, or bong. Smoking provides an almost immediate head and body high that lasts 1-3 hours. However, smoking long term may be harmful to your lungs.
Vaping heats cannabis extracts, distillates or oils to produce vapor without combustion. Using a vape pen or vaporizer, the effects are felt within minutes and last around 2-3 hours. Vaping is considered a healthier alternative to smoking, but some ingredients in vape products may still be harmful.
Edibles, like brownies, gummies, or chocolates, are made by infusing cannabis extracts or distillates into food. The effects take 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel and can last 4-10 hours. Edibles provide a strong body high but the effects are slower to take hold and last longer. Be very careful with dosage as the effects can be overwhelming. Always start with a low dose and wait before consuming more.
Cannabis tinctures are liquid extracts made by soaking cannabis in alcohol for weeks. A few drops under the tongue provide effects in 15-30 minutes that last 2-4 hours. Tinctures allow for precise dosage and an easy way to consume cannabis without smoking. The alcohol base may irritate your mouth, but the effects tend to be calming and mellow.
Cannabis topicals are balms, salves, lotions and oils infused with cannabis extracts that are applied to the skin. They provide localized relief from inflammation, pain, and soreness. The effects are felt within minutes and last 2-4 hours, but no cerebral high is produced since the cannabinoids do not enter the bloodstream. Topicals are non-intoxicating and a great option for those looking for the healing benefits of cannabis without the high.
When consuming cannabis, the method you choose—whether smoking, vaping, edibles or topicals—will determine how much you need to achieve your desired effects. Start low and go slow until you find what works for you.
If smoking or vaping, take 1-3 inhalations and wait 10-15 minutes before having more. These methods provide an almost immediate high that lasts 1-3 hours. Vaping may require a slightly higher dosage since some THC is lost in the process. Either way, start with a small amount of ground cannabis, about the size of your thumbnail. You can always have more, but you can’t undo the effects once consumed.
With edibles like gummies, brownies or tinctures, start with 5-10 milligrams of THC and wait at least 2 hours before increasing the dose. Edibles produce a longer-lasting body high of 4-6 hours due to how the liver processes the THC. However, the effects are not felt immediately, tempting you to consume more before feeling the initial dose. Be very careful to avoid an uncomfortable experience.
For topicals like lotions, balms or patches, follow the product directions. Absorption through the skin produces localized effects without the cerebral high. This can be a good option if you want the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects.
The key is to go slowly, keep a diary of the amounts and timing that work for you, and remember that less is more when starting out. While cannabis has many benefits, consuming too much THC at once can lead to anxiety, paranoia and unpleasant experiences. With some experimentation, you’ll find the right levels and methods of consumption that suit your needs and maximize enjoyment. Start low, go slow and have an open, curious mindset. The effects may surprise you!
Whether you prefer to smoke, vape, eat, or apply it topically, cannabis offers something for every taste. The options today provide a lot more control and customization over your experience. You can microdose with edibles or get the full effect from dabbing concentrates. The key is finding what works for you and your needs. Start low, go slow, and have fun exploring all the possibilities. The cannabis world is your oyster. Now get out there and partake in the art of cannabis consumption.