Cannabis consumption 101: Ways to Smoke or Ingest Weed
Many paths lead up that mountain, but at the top...we’re all high.
It’s a glorious era for any would-be canna-enthusiast out there. Weed is legal in a lot of places, growing more and more accepted and even drawing in droves of interested psychonauts who may be curious as to why Cheech and Chong love it so much.
For those of us who were familiar with the devil’s lettuce before its re-legalization on that fateful Canadian October in 2018, a new, more open market revealed to us the wonders of human imagination. Consumables in ways we couldn’t even conceive of, now available at your nearest weedery.
From four foot bongs to scented balms, here is our homage to human consumption: marijuana edition.
Ways to smoke weed
Joint, blunts, rollables
We all know this one. In fact, it’s likely how you got first acquainted with lady Mary. From simple forms like the needle, joint or blunt to complex assemblies that defy logical reckoning, humans are always coming up with more creative ways to get high. My personal favorite: canna-cigars, aka Thai sticks. They are some of the most potent cannabis cigars out there.
The history behind Thai sticks:
Originating in Thailand (no surprise there, given their name) in the 1970s and 80s, Thai sticks were assembled by binding cannabis buds to bamboo skewers, dipping them in opium, and then using fan leaves to seal everything into place. Nowadays, we ditched the opium part but they are still really popular. For those curious on how we make them, here’s an article (https://bit.ly/3d5UZ2y) on the subject.
Certainly more practical than a joint (although beware of that residual smell) the pipe can be taken anywhere and provide you with an instant hit, wherever you are. They range from very simple to complex shapes and arrangements with mixes of materials between glass, wood, rock, metal, and ceramic, to name a few.
Water pipe ie “bong”
A crowd favorite, the bong has a special place in many stoners' hearts. Nowadays, we find a plethora of them: some are shaped like your favorite mythological creature, and others are taller than your average 4th grader. It’s all in good fun.
A gravity bong, or geeb uses the effects of gravity to funnel smoke through water and pushes it to the toker’s lungs. Using very simple and readily available materials, g-bongs are made with a 2L and smaller plastic bottle, some aluminum foil, a sharp knife and a “poking device”.
They produce a more potent high, as the highly-concentrated smoke that is being forced into the user’s lungs comes from a whole bowl, and isn’t mixed with the surrounding air like a pipe or bong.
Dabbing is traditionally vaporizing a highly concentrated weed extract through a water pipe. Nowadays, there are actually a few other ways to do this: one interesting alternative is the dab pen, which acts in the same way as vapes and e-cigarettes do. This process is said to provide an extra potent high, with typical THC levels being higher than more traditional methods per consumption.
This part certainly ties into the “contemplative” aspect of smoking. Best enjoyed on a nice, calm evening with good conversation, it’s a slow-burn. You can mix ground bud with your shisha, but some MacGyvers out there started making weed shisha and report it working really well. The tricky part is making it, as finding it online is exceedingly difficult. Here’s a great article (https://bit.ly/30Kl5Wn) on how to make it.
Homemade one-use devices
Sometimes, you’re in a bind. You might have forgotten your trusty pipe, and no convenience stores are around for you to buy what you need to roll a joint. Fear not, friend, for there is always a way. With enough determination, all that is needed is something hollow. Pierce three holes through its shell (one is the toke, the second is the breathing hole and the third is the choke) and seal one of them with a makeshift screen made of aluminum foil. The rest works itself out.
Certainly a healthier way of consuming THC, given it comes into the lungs as vapor and not smoke, vapes and vape pens are becoming more and more popular. They work by vaporizing the THC molecule rather than by combustion (thus saving our lungs from tar). Now for those who are wondering how to use a vape pen, it’s actually simpler than most methods of consumption, i.e. more beginner friendly . Not to mention they are also extra discreet.
Marijuana Edibles and Topicals
Ingested, these lovely, fatty and goodness-infused mixes will provide you with a quality, long-lasting high that’ll yield more existential questions than a conversation with Socrates. They are alcohol-based and are a great way to go smokeless in your THC consumption. As with most of the items in this list, dosage varies depending on the individual.
What’s great about tinctures is that they are easily incorporated in edibles such as:
Ice creams and sherbets
Gelatin (for my gummy fans out there)
Different salad dressings
Some people use them to freshen up, and now people use them to loosen up. A few spritz under the tongue are all it takes. Users report a more lengthy high, given the potent nature of the cannabis spray.
How does one consume them? By spraying directly under the tongue or against the inside of your cheek and swishing the liquid around with your tongue so it covers as much of the inside of your mouth as possible. Careful not to swallow straight away, as it greatly diminishes its effects. As far as dosage goes, start with a few spritz, and adjust according to personal preference.
Resembling coarse sugar, they are another popular option to incorporate into edibles. They are made from the refining of cannabis extract by mixing it with a solvent, then by applying heat and pressure to evaporate the solvent, thus allowing crystals to form. The smell and taste are subtle, and completely free of plant matter (terpenes), thus removing much of the aroma and taste weed is so well-known for. The crystals still produce a high, as THCA converts to THC through a process known as decarboxylation when heated up.
Simple to make, yet very versatile, canna-oil is done by infusing oil (most often coconut oil, as both flavors complement each other really well) with weed buds. As far as ratios go, I recommend using between 0.5g-1.5g per tablespoon of oil. If you’re just starting out, try about 16 grams for 2 cups of oil. You can use trim, leaves, hashish, and buds! Of course, you’ll have to adjust the quantities in relation to THC content. As far as the process goes, there are many different tutorials out there, in the interwebs.
Other edibles: from Canna-gummies to delicious smoothies
With the abovementioned ways to turn weed into a literal ingredient for your favorite edibles, we’ve seen a slew of new products hit the market with remarkable reviews. Nowadays, if brownies aren’t your thing, you can find:
Canna-gummies and other delicious candy
Cannabis or Canna-chocolate
Pretty much anything you can think of, someone has already made an edible version of it infused with THC.
While they may not produce a high per se, THC-infused topical creams and lotions are becoming more and more popular. Their effect is reportedly felt with stress reduction, an increase in mental clarity and reduced swelling and irritation in the area where the cream is applied.
The final toke
As you can tell, we are at the tower of Babel of choices when it comes to getting high. Human ingenuity is put at the service of one of our favorite pastimes for millenia, producing abundance in ways I think many of us didn’t expect. As a wise man once said: “there are many paths that lead to the mountain, but at the top...we’re all high”. And that’s all that matters. Come see us or browse our online section and let us guide you on your way, grasshopper.