Different Methods of Consumption
Here are different methods of consuming cannabis:
Smoking is the most common way of consuming cannabis, using a dry pipe, water pipe (bong), or rolling a joint. Its effects are felt almost immediately and typically last 2-4 hours. Smoking can easily regulate (titrate) your dose, making it easy to reach your desired level of medication. However, smoking is not the healthiest method of consumption, and vaporization, ingesting edibles, or using topicals are recommended as healthier alternatives. Smokeable products include cannabis flower and concentrates.
Vaporization heats cannabis to a temperature at which cannabinoids and terpenes are released as vapor. Vaporization is typically a healthier alternative to smoking, but there are still some health concerns. Its effects are felt almost immediately and fully set in within 15 minutes. Both cannabis flower and concentrates can be vaporized, and there are various vaporization hardware and cannabis products available, such as pre-filled cartridges, pods, batteries, devices, and more.
Edibles are designed to be ingested orally, and its effects take longer to set in than smoking or vaporization. The effect typically takes 30-60 minutes to onset and can last 6 hours or more. This is because, when ingested, Δ9-THC undergoes a chemical transformation into 11-hydroxy-THC when metabolized in the liver, making it more psychoactive. Ingestible products include gummies, brownies, chocolates, and more, are effective for patients with chronic pain or those who can't inhale cannabis due to health concerns. Dose titration is made more difficult with ingestion, so starting with a small dose and waiting an hour before ingesting more is recommended.
Cannabis-infused lotions, balms, oils, patches, and bath salts can be used topically to absorb medicine through the skin. This method is recommended for localized pain like arthritis, and it is generally non-psychoactive. The effect onset is within 15 minutes, and relief can last up to a day.
Sublinguals are placed under the tongue and absorbed directly into the bloodstream, making it faster-acting and more consistent than traditional edibles. The effect typically takes no more than 15 minutes to onset and doesn't last as long as traditional edibles. Sublingual products include tinctures, sprays, drops, and strips.