What Cannabis Consumption Method is Best for You?

August 31, 2020 – Posted in: Cannabis Accessories, Cannabis and Culture, Cannabis Education, Cannabis in History

One of the best parts about cannabis is that it truly does have something for everyone. While old “stoner culture” may perpetuate taking giant bong rips or smoking a big huge joint, these methods of consumption only scratch the surface.

Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the ways that you can consume the cannabis products you purchase at TOKE. For those who love history, we’ve included some tidbits of the origins of some of the most familiar ways of consuming.

Joints

Joints are a modern method of consumption, according to cannabis lore. Smoking cannabis joints dates back to 1865 when a Mexican university professor noted that his workers were mixing cannabis in with their tobacco. Thus, was born the legend of the cannabis joint.

Smoking a cannabis joint involves rolling finely ground flower into papers, either by machine or by hand. Papers are available to suit any rolling and smoking style, including rice papers, fine organic hemp papers, and even flavored rolling papers. At TOKE, you’ll also find a selection of pre-roll joints, where the Licensed Producer has done the work for you. Joints are available in quantities as small as 0.35 grams (i.e. the Redecann Redees) or up to 1 full gram (i.e. the joints you’’ll find from QWEST Cannabis from BC).

Smoking cannabis joints remains one of the most popular and convenient consumption methods, as there is no need to buy expensive equipment, and joints can be rolled quickly and taken on the go. Joints are great for sharing with friends (well, maybe not these days, but some day!) and offer a fairly discreet method of smoking cannabis.

Pipes

Puffing cannabis out of pipes dates back to 500 B.C., which is a very long time ago. Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, was the first person to make mention of cannabis in literature, describing Scythians inhaling the fumes of burning leaves from a pipe-like object. Native Americans also incorporated cannabis into their ritualistic ceremonies and have forever held the belief that there is a connection between the spiritual world and the cannabis plant. In fact, the term “peace-pipe” comes Indigenous culture, and tribe elders would generally hold meetings while smoking cannabis from a pipe.

Pipes offer a convenient, relatively mess-free way of consuming cannabis. They can be small and discreet or sizeable and bold, but whatever the aesthetics of the pipe, the result is the same.

Cannabis is consumed through a pipe by placing a small amount of ground-up flowers in the “bowl” of the pipe and inhaling the smoke. Most pipes have a “shotgun” or a small hole on the side that you hold while inhaling, and release when you’re ready to pull it into your lungs, so to pull the cannabis into the pipe. Pipes come in all shapes and sizes and can be made from several materials, including silicone, glass, metal, and plastic.

The use of pipes gained significant popularity with the rise of the tobacco industry, although cannabis pipes evolved in their own unique way, resulting in art pieces that also function as something you can puff from.

Bongs

Bongs are a form of water pipe meant specifically for consuming cannabis and are often associated with cannabis culture. Bongs come in all shapes and sizes, just like pipes, although they are larger than traditional pipes and smaller bubblers. If you think using a bong is a discreet method of using cannabis, think again! You’ll definitely catch some eyes when you pull out your bong.

The advantage to bongs is that they filter the cannabis smoke through water, which helps to cool the smoke as well as filter impurities. Smoking out of a bong offers the cleanest form of smoking consumption, compared to joints and pipes. Many bongs also have sets of chambers and percolators to help filter the cannabis smoke.

Bongs can be made from several materials, including glass, plastic, and silicone. Choosing the right bong for you is a very personal experience. We recommend when you’re checking out bongs to make sure it feels right in your hands, fits into the flow of your body, and will be easy enough to clean with some Orange Chronic, or other cleaning solution.

Vaporizers

Vaporizers are a more modern invention compared to cannabis joints or pipes. The first desktop vaporization devices were introduced to the market in the ’90s, with the technology rapidly evolving since then. Vaporizers now come in many different forms, including disposable, pre-filled pen-like vaporizers and portable, pocket-sized units. There are three main types of vaporizers: flower vaporizers, concentrate vaporizers, and hybrid units. The type of vaporizer determines the form of cannabis being consumed.

Vaporizers were created with the medical cannabis consumer in mind, as the cannabis material is only heated to the point of releasing cannabinoids and terpenes, rather than the point of combustion, yet those who like a “clean” smoke free of plant byproducts may flock to these in the recreational market. Vaporization reduces airway irritation and eliminates then ingestion of carcinogens that are produced when cannabis flowers are combusted.

Vaporizers contain a coil element that gently heats the cannabis product, whether it be oil, concentrate, or flower, to release the cannabinoids and terpenes. This process is extremely efficient and releases more cannabinoids and terpenes than consumption methods that involve combustion (lighting it up).

Oils

Cannabinoid oils are quickly gaining popularity as they were first introduced into the market when cannabis became legal. People enjoy oils because they offer a smoke-free method of consumption. Cannabinoid oils are made by infusing a carrier oil (typically MCT or coconut oil) with cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN. One of the benefits to oils is that they can isolate specific compounds, such as THC or CBD, to produce a product with very specific applications. On the other hand, oils can be made as full-spectrum products that contain an array of cannabinoids and have a broader application.

Oils are used by spraying or using a dropper to administer the oil sublingually. The oil is placed under the tongue for maximum absorption, usually taking full effect within 60 to 90 minutes. Dosing is more difficult with oils as they take longer to take effect; however, once you determine the appropriate dosage, the results can be replicated time after time.

Tinctures

Tinctures are similar to cannabinoid-infused oils in that they are a smoke-free consumption method. Tinctures are alcohol-based substances that incorporate different cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Unlike oils, tinctures should not be taken sublingually is it will cause a burning sensation within the mouth. Instead, tinctures are meant to be added to drink or food. Just be cautious, as like oils, the effects can take 60 to 90 minutes to kick in fully.

Tinctures are a popular way to make infused cocktails at home. All you have to do is add a few drops of the alcohol-based tincture to your favorite drink and enjoy it. As with oils, tinctures can be made in an isolate form or a full-spectrum format. Finding the right dose is a process of trial and error; however, once the appropriate dose is determined, the desired results can be reached repeatedly.

Capsules

Capsules are a newer method of cannabis ingestion, being ushered into cannabis stores with “Legalization 2.0”. Capsules tend to be popular amongst athletic and fitness-minded consumers as they offer a smoke-free and sugar-free option for cannabis consumption.

Capsules are individual gel capsules (typically vegetable-based for vegan consumers) that contain a tincture, oil, or decarboxylated flower mixture. The effects are similar to taking a tincture, oil, or edible and are generally not felt for 60 to 90 minutes.

One of the greatest benefits of cannabis capsules is their discreet nature and specific dosing. Figuring out the correct dose can be a process of trial and error, however discovering that sweet spot will generate replicable results for the consumer. The capsules you will find at TOKE will not exceed a 10mg dose.

Edibles

Edibles are the most enjoyable way to consume cannabis for the majority of people. Lighting up a joint or a bong can be great, but pairing your cannabis with a brownie, gummie, chocolate, or cookie elevates the mind and the taste buds. Edibles are infused foods, such as gummies, cookies, brownies, honey, and other confections, which contain cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. On the legal cannabis market, you will only find edible products that are up to 10mg in dose per package.

Edibles are generally made with infused oils or tinctures but can also be made with decarboxylated flowers. Decarboxylation is a process in which the flowers are gently heated to convert THC-A (its acidic form) to THC (its psychoactive form). This process activates the THC in the flowers and makes them bioavailable to the body.

The trick with edibles is to start low and go slow with dosing. Edibles take up to 90 minutes to fully kick in, so it is important to be patient. Finding the right dose is a process of trial and error, but once you have determined your optimal dose, you can achieve the desired effects time after time.

Topicals

Topical is a broad term for any cannabinoid-based product that is applied externally. The benefit of this type of product is that it will not make the consumer feel high, as with traditional consumption methods.

When cannabinoids are used topically, they do not cross the blood barrier and never enter the body’s bloodstream, which is why they will not make you high. A cream could contain over 1000mg, and it still won’t have the psychoactive effects often associated with THC use.

Legal topicals come in a wide variety of products, including pain-reducing creams, lotions, face creams, body balm, gels, oils, and even intimate lubricating products. Using topicals is a different method of “consumption,” although the body still gets all of the benefits from the cannabinoids. At TOKE, we’ll work hard to find the best topical products that are available on the market, although we’ll admit that the topicals industry in Canada has been moving a bit slow.

Concentrates

Another “Legalization 2.0” product, cannabis concentrates are exactly that: concentrated cannabis. Concentrates come in a variety of products, including wax, shatter, and rosin, and are generally consumed either through a concentrates vaporizer, or using a dab rig through the process of dabbing.

Concentrates are a heck of a lot stronger than consuming flower, and the general rule of thumb is that “a little dab will do ya”. Dabbing involves using a rig, and what is called a banger, as well as a torch to heat the rig to a high temperature. You drop the concentrates into the banger once it’s heated by the torch and inhale. You may use what is called a carb cap to help circulate the concentrate around the rig for the optimal dab.

Dabbing or using concentrates aren’t for the faint of heart. They’re always to be used with caution, while remembering that the littlest piece of your gram of shatter will be enough to produce a strong psychoactive effect.

Find What’s Best For You

At TOKE, we are dedicated not only to helping you find your best cannabis products, but also to find the method of consumption that works best for you, your needs, and your lifestyle.

When in store, feel free to browse our collection of accessories, and our staff will be happy to show you how each method of consumption is executed so that you can get the most out of your smoking experience.