When it comes to the best method for consuming cannabis, users are often spoilt for choice. The market is currently flooded with high THC products including tinctures, capsules, gummies, flowers, and many others that you will see mentioned below. This avalanche of products may make it very difficult for stoners to know which THC consumption best meets their needs. That is why we have created this mini- guide to help you work through the maze and find the THC consumption method that is just right for you!
If you have been in the industry for some time you probably know that smoking has been the all- time fav for most stoners. Newer consumers however prefer to vape than to smoke to at least save their lungs some unnecessary exposure to toxins. Adventurous consumers may prefer to try out some THC loaded canna- edibles. Topicals are their own unique class of cannabinoid- based products that deliver THC directly to the rich supply of endocannabinoid receptors on the skin.
The “best” method of consuming THC ultimately depends on personal needs and preferences. But if you are a beginner there are a couple of things that you need to know that could guide your decision on how to best consume your THC. But hey, what’s the big fuss about this cannabis- derived cannabinoid?
What is THC?
THC is the abbreviation for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol which is one of the 113 phytocannabinoids that are found in cannabis. Unlike other phytocannabinoids, THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system by binding directly to the CB1 receptors which are located primarily in the central nervous system. Anandamide, also referred to as the bliss molecule, also binds to this receptor. Through this action THC is able to cause euphoria and change in mental status.
Does anandamide cause euphoria as well?
The bliss molecule causes extreme happiness. However, it is produced on a need basis and degraded as soon as it has accomplished its purpose. This means that it is removed from the system before the extreme happiness can translate to euphoria. THC on the other hand is not degraded by this metabolic enzyme. Therefore when consumed it will bind to the CB1 receptors and go ahead to trigger euphoria.
Why Do People Consume THC?
THC is consumed for different reasons. Traditionally, THC has been consumed for recreational purposes. But since the wave of legalization started off in California in 1996, the therapeutic benefits of THC are now the center of attention. Studies have shown that THC can be used to address the following conditions:
- Poor appetite and wasting syndrome
- Poor sleep
- Nausea and vomiting
As a recreational herb, THC provides a sense of excitement which translates into intense happiness and culminates in a feeling of being floating on the clouds. This feeling is appreciated by people who are trying to kick out low spirits or symptoms of depression.
Whether you consume THC for recreational purposes or medicinal ones, how you consume it really matters. Why is that so?
Why THC Consumption Method Matters
How you consume your THC will influence different important factors. Bioavailability is one of the factors that depends on how you consume cannabis. This means the amount of THC that is available to be used by the body once the cannabis has been consumed. This also implies that not all THC that is consumed in cannabis is usually available for use by the body. For example if you ingest THC the bioavailability is also likely to be lower as compared to if you inhaled it. This is because ingested cannabis will first have to go through the digestive process before it comes into contact with the endocannabinoid system. High amounts of THC are lost through the first- pass metabolism that happens in the liver. On the other hand, inhaled THC hits the bloodstream soon after it has been inhaled. This minimizes losses.
How you consume THC also affects how soon you will begin to feel the effects and for how long you will continue to feel them. Smoked or vaporized THC will hit the bloodstream within seconds. On the other hand it will take between 2-4 hours before you can start to feel the effects of cannabis edibles. The effects of edibles will also be felt for a longer time.
Ease of use is another factor to consider when choosing how to consume THC. For example, dabbing cannabis will require some fancy gadgets (aka dab rigs) that may be scary for a new user. On the other hand, all that is required of THC gummies is to toss them in the mouth.
Dosage is also another important consideration as this is easier with some consumption methods. Capsules and gummies come in standard doses that may range from 5mg to 20mg of THC. This makes dosing easy. When smoking THC it is hard to quantify how much you have actually consumed.
What you want to achieve with the THC is another consideration. For example if you are targeting to relieve inflammation from psoriasis you will be better off starting with a topical application of THC. Same goes for muscle spasms. For nausea and vomiting, inhaling THC will be the best option to limit chances of throwing it up before it begins to work in your body.
Personal preference should guide your choice on how to consume THC. Pick a method that fits your routine and personality.
Availability is the last consideration. As much as you may prefer one method over the other you may be limited to the options that are available to you.
With that settled, here are some of the methods that you may consider. They can be classified broadly into three categories:
Inhalation is among the oldest methods of cannabis consumption. Coincidentally, it is also the quickest way to get THC into your bloodstream and body. This happens because once inhaled the THC hits your nostrils and is carried to your lungs from where it is diffused to the other parts of the body through the bloodstream. Considering that blood flows at a speed of three to four miles per hour, it should take just a few seconds for the THC to reach your brain.
In a study that was published in the Journal of Chemistry and Biodiversity, participants reported feeling the effects of THC a few minutes after they had inhaled it.
Joints can be used to consume THC. They are handheld cigarette- like devices that were popularized by weed classic movies such as Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke and The Big Lebowski. Most times they are loaded with high amounts of THC.
Blunts resemble joints, only that they are thicker and therefore contain more cannabis. They have also been around for several years and are popular with seasoned stoners. Considering that celebrities such as Snoop Lion have endorsed blunts it is easy to see why they offer prestige.
3. Pipes And Bowls
Pipes and bowls are easier to use than joints and blunts because there’s no tedious rolling required before you can have a taste of THC. The weed is simply put in a bowl, lighted-up and smoked. However, the flavor may be harsh and trigger a bout of cough. Bowls can also be an inconvenience since you will need to light up the bowl for every single hit.
Bongs come in all shapes and sizes and are popular with seasoned stoners. Most bongs use gravity to force the smoke into a holding chamber where it can be inhaled at a leisurely pace. It is an effective way to get THC if you're in your system for a short time.
Bubblers are small bongs and work using a similar principle.
This is one of the best ways to consume concentrated amounts of THC, in a safe space. Dabs are intended to be smoked using a dab rig and a blow torch for lighting up. This is often referred to as the crack of pot. The dab which is a wax-like substance is placed on a nail that is heated up and the smoke that is produced is inhaled.
Unfortunately smoking is not the safest way to consume THC because it involves combustion which exposes the lungs to toxic substances.
A safer way to “smoke” cannabis is to vape it. Vaping involves the use of a vaping kit to inhale THC. The vaping kit comprises a vape pen which has a battery, coil and a cartridge which contains that THC.
This is similar to smoking. However, there is no combustion since the cannabis is heated and not burnt. This makes it a healthier alternative, since it eliminates the toxins that are produced through exposure to heat and burned organic matter. Vaporizers are also known as vape pens and vapes.
8. THC Moon Rocks
Moon rocks are a combination of three forms of cannabis:
- Raw flower
- Honey oil
The high THC cannabis flower is dipped in honey and later rolled in kief to create THC moon rocks. Kief refers to cannabis sift that is obtained by agitating the buds and allowing the resin glans to collect to the bottom where they are collected. Moon rocks can be smoked like regular THC flowers.
Ingesting is also another great way to consume THC. It will take a longer time for the cannabinoids to hit the bloodstream. But when they do the THC effects will be stronger. Normally it takes a minimum of 30 minutes for users to start feeling the THC effects. It could take up to two hours for this to happen and for the THC to peak in the system. However, once it peaks it may take up to six hours before the decline begins.
This method is ideal for those using medicinal marijuana for chronic conditions that require prolonged relief.
Here are some of the popular THC ingestants.
9. THC Snacks
This includes weed infused treats such as the famous pot brownies, cakes, and cookies.
THC capsules are similar to regular capsules and come in fixed dosages. This is a popular category due to ease of use and discretion.
11. Dissolvable Strips
This is a newish method of ingesting THC. The THC is infused in dissolvable strips in square shapes. The strips dissolve to release THC when they come into contact with saliva.
THC sprays are similar to breath-freshener sprays. You spray the THC in the sublingual region (beneath the tongue) and it starts to act. THC sprays come in handy when discretion is of the essence.
13. THC Beverages
This is a class of beverages that are infused with THC. Good examples include THC teas, coffees, and wines.
Other methods of Consuming THC
Topical THC applications include creams, salves, ointments, balms, and topical oils. They are good for relieving skin irritation, dryness, inflammation, and pain. Because they are topical they will not cause unwanted side effects.
Patches are also another way to “consume” THC topically. For this to work, you simply place the patch on an area of your body where veins are visible such as the wrist, arm, or ankle. The heat generated by your body will then activate the patch and cause the THC to be released from the patch and into your bloodstream.
Tinctures come in the form of oils that are taken sublingually. Often just a drop or two is sufficient to deliver the desired effects from THC. The region beneath the tongue is well supplied with blood vessels and therefore the THC will hit the bloodstream in a short while. This may be between 5-15 minutes.
17. THC Lube
THC infused lube is intended to spice things up in the bedroom. Basically, it is a THC infused oil that facilitates sexual intercourse. It can be used together with a latex condom. The results are usually immediate.
This is a summary of the popular methods of consuming THC. Remember that THC is a psychoactive compound and can cause euphoria as well as a change in mental status. Therefore caution needs to be exercised when consuming THC, regardless of the method of consumption that you ultimately settle for.