Cannabis has been consumed for millennia in various parts of the world because of its health benefits. Modern science and medicine have rediscovered their efficacy in treating inflammation and chronic pain and have been coming up with new ways to enjoy cannabis.
One of the most common ways of extracting cannabis’s active chemical compounds, CBD and THC, has been smoking it. The legalization of marijuana for medical (and in some cases even recreational use) in several jurisdictions has prompted an upsurge in people using cannabis.
Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to smoke it, largely because of the ingrained stereotypes in their minds of cannabis users. Others, like those with respiratory conditions, can’t consume cannabis via smoking.
Smoking also presents risks to people in good health, including respiratory, head, and neck cancers, and long-term lung ailments including bronchitis, emphysema, and COPD.
What do you do if you still want to get all of cannabis’s benefits without all of the risks? Believe it or not, there are lots of other ways cannabis can be consumed. Take a look at 8 ways to enjoy cannabis below.
1. Edibles a fun way to enjoy cannabis
Out of all the ways to enjoy cannabis, this one is probably the most fun. You think of it, cannabis can be added to almost any recipe. Stews, soups, wines, snacks like nachos, even baked goods like cookies, cakes, and brownies. If you’re going to consume cannabis in your favorite chocolate chip or brownie recipe there are a few things you need to know first.
One, if you put raw cannabis into your batter, you are not going to release enough of the CBD or THC to have beneficial effects. The raw cannabis needs to be decarboxylated. Decarboxylation is the chemical process through which CBD and THC are released. You can heat or cure your raw cannabis to get the decarboxylation process going. After doing this you can then add your decarboxylated cannabis to butter.
It is recommended that you use cannabis-infused butter for your baked goods. You can make this butter by hand or with a cannabutter machine for convenience, as the manual process can be time-consuming. After doing this, you can add this to any of your cannabis-baked good recipes that call for butter.
If you’re not one for home cooking, you’ll be staggered by the list of prepackaged cannabis goods available for purchase either at brick and mortars or online.
When eaten, cannabis takes longer to enter the system. Once there, the effects are felt more strongly than if taken through the lungs and last far longer.
2. Vaping a very popular way to enjoy cannabis
Next to edibles, vaping is probably the next most popular way to consume cannabis. This involves combining either the CBD and/or THC with a carrier oil in a small machine called a vaper.
The oil is heated until it turns into a vapor. This vapor is then breathed into the lungs. The thin membranes of the lung ensure that the effects of the CBD and/or THC enter the bloodstream quickly and are felt almost immediately.
This is a good way to enjoy cannabis for people dealing with chronic or intense pain and who need fast relief.
This way to enjoy cannabis is similar to vaping but less common and potentially more dangerous.
Dabs are heavily concentrated forms of CBD and THC, usually in wax. This wax is heated using a nail. After heating, it is inhaled using an apparatus called a dab rig. The main benefit of this form of consumption is that it allows the cannabis user to feel the effects of the active cannabis compounds almost immediately.
4. Pills, Capsules, and tablets
These are possibly the easiest form of cannabis to consume. They come in several formulations. You have pills, capsules, and tablets that feature solely CBD or THC or combine both.
These forms of cannabis are digested mostly the same way as edibles and like edibles can be long-lasting and potent depending on the dosage.
5. Powdered cannabis
The technology behind powdered cannabis is still being perfected, but it borrows from the process used to create powdered alcohol. Something called cyclodextrin is combined with THC. Cyclodextrin and THC combine to create a highly concentrated powder that is easily dissolvable in water.
The powder has a number of applications including additions to juices, teas, and other beverages as well as the use in recipes calling for cannabis.
Because most powdered cannabis is composed of THC, users can expect to experience the psychoactive properties of the plant.
Tinctures, on the other hand, are made mainly of cannabis’s other active ingredient CBD. The CBD is combined with alcohol and water to draw its potency out. Tinctures are taken a few drops under the tongue at a time.
People who may not be able to consume alcohol can have tinctures made up of glycerin or vinegar. The CBD for tinctures is usually extracted from hemp.
7. Transdermal patches
Transdermal patches feature similar technology used in other patches like nicotine and birth control patches. Like these patches, cannabis transdermal patches can feature CBD, THC, or a mixture of the two.
The patch also has other agents which help the cannabis compounds get past the skin and absorbed into the bloodstream so that there is greater efficacy. Transdermal cannabis patches are good for persons who have trouble with the other methods of ingesting cannabis listed above.
Cannabis compounds aren’t just good for chronic pain. They are also great at treating inflammatory conditions, CBD in particular. This is why it has been applied in treating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis which are thought to be fuelled by inflammatory responses in the body.
Topical treatments such as creams, balms, and ointments generally tend to perform their action on the surface layers of the skin, reducing the itching and discomfort associated with these skin conditions. Topicals have also proven effective in reducing joint pain associated with arthritis.
These aren’t the only topicals cannabis compounds are added to. Because of cannabis’s anti-aging properties, manufacturers have been adding them to cosmetics and beauty products.
So you don’t have to smoke to get the benefits of cannabis. These are 8 ways you can use the anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects of cannabis.