When it comes to contemporary cannabis consumption, options abound. While the traditional method of smoking might not be the healthiest way to smoke weed, it remains a highly popular one. But when we move beyond the variety of ways to smoke weed, we open ourselves up to all the other types of cannabis consumption available.

Cannabis can be consumed orally (in the form of edibles or tinctures), vaped, dabbed and even absorbed through the skin. The cannabis concentrate, in all its forms – batter, shatter, wax, dabs, oils, diamonds, etc. – has paved the way for the creative cannabis consumer, interested in experimenting with the latest and greatest cannabis products and technologies.

Tradition meets modernity

What’s more, when it comes to cannabis consumption, the traditional pairs well with the new. The unpredictable nature of the home-made roll-up sits happily alongside the jar of precise softgels, a product that excels in offering an exact cannabis dosage to those who want it.

But what’s the best way to consume cannabis and what’s the safest way to consume marijuana? We answer these questions and more throughout the course of this blog.

What’s your preferred method?

The best way to smoke weed is all about personal taste and individual need. A lot of fun can be had, exploring the many ways to consume cannabis, until you eventually find the method that best suits you.

Some consumption methods induce long-lasting effects. Some bring it on hard and fast, with a fleeting high and an equally fleeting comedown. Some are better suited to treating or managing certain medical conditions. In simple terms, the most common forms of consumption include inhalation, ingestion, oral absorption, topicals and suppositories.

How to inhale cannabis

Cannabis can be inhaled in two ways: smoking and vaporizing. Both methods bring about fast-acting effects and both involve heating the cannabis to the temperature required so that it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. However, when we smoke cannabis, we set the dried flower alight, with pipes or joints acting as two of the ways to smoke marijuana.

When we vape, however, there’s no combustion involved at all. Vaporizing is considered to be the healthier method of cannabis inhalation. A stream of heated air is used to vaporize the active ingredients in cannabis, without actually burning the flower, as is the case with smoking.

Then there’s the creativity factor to consider. Many cannabis consumers prefer vaping to smoking, because they’re able to consume cannabis concentrates as well as dried flowers.

How to ingest cannabis

Out of all the possible consumption methods available to us, the ingestion of cannabis is the method that provokes the strongest and greatest psychoactive effects. When our body digests cannabis, the cannabinoids are broken down in the gastrointestinal tract, passed through the liver and then dropped into the bloodstream. Learning how to consume cannabis edibles and pace yourself appropriately is important.

While much more potent, it can sometimes take between 30 minutes and 2 hours before we feel the effects of ingested cannabis, so it’s a good idea to go slow and to give your body the chance to register the effects before you ingest a second time round. It’s particularly important to learn how to consume cannabis gummies with care.

Body size and metabolism can affect how our body responds to ingested cannabis. While the famous ‘pot brownie’ remains a popular cannabis edible option, the industry has become a lot more sophisticated over the past few years, with some products crafted to be high in THC and others to offer full-flavor sensations.

A number of cannabis edibles hone in on just one of the known cannabinoids, with consumers exploring a whole host of product types, from pills to capsules and tablets to tinctures, to get as much as they can out of each cannabinoid in turn.

How to consume cannabis tinctures

Many CBD consumers are interested in learning how to consume cannabis tinctures and how to make them part of their regular wellness routine.

Tinctures are cannabis oils, designed to be consumed in small quantities on a regular basis and they constitute, perhaps, the safest way to consume cannabis. Most brands usually offer either one type or a whole range of tincture types as part of their product range. Those types can include full spectrum, broad spectrum, isolate, distillate and whole plant extracts.

Learning how to consume a tincture, or learning how to consume cannabis oil, is easy. These products can be enjoyed by dropping a few drops under the tongue (sublingual), on the tongue, or onto the other mucosal tissue linings in the mouth.

While the effects of a tincture will be felt more quickly than edibles and other forms of ingesting, the effects of a tincture aren’t felt as quickly as the effects of inhalation. As a rule, each experience will take around 10 to 60 minutes before fully kicking in.

How to consume cannabis topicals

Topicals are all those product types that we consume via the largest organ in our body: the skin. Lotions, balms, salves and creams, are all examples of the most common topical types, but some cannabis topicals are also available as patches that are placed onto the skin and which gently release cannabis over the course of a day or more, much like a nicotine patch.

Topicals are designed to provide localized relief from specific body complaints, including inflammation, pain and skin irritations, for example. While they react with the cannabinoid receptors in the human body, which are located under the skin, they don’t actually enter the bloodstream, like other types of cannabis products do, and so they don’t induce the psychoactive effects from cannabis that methods, like smoking, vaping and ingesting, can bring on.

The only exception to this rule are the transdermal patches out on the market, which do have the ability to deposit cannabinoids into our bloodstreams.

What about cannabis suppositories?

Just like all other kinds of suppositories, cannabis suppositories are small capsules that are inserted either vaginally or rectally and which are absorbed into the bloodstream via the thin lining of the intestinal wall. Cannabis suppositories are super easy for the body to use thanks to their high bioavailability, making them a popular choice for medical cannabis patients.

In general, the effects of rectal cannabis suppositories are usually experienced only 10 to 15 minutes after insertion and tend to last for about four to eight hours. They are a popular consumption method for chemotherapy patients, because they don’t induce nausea, as some edibles can, and they provide relief that is fairly instant.

Many elderly consumers also choose suppositories over pills or softgels to avoid the need to swallow. Suppositories are a highly popular alternative to inhalation.