Marijuana is by far one of the most versatile substances on the planet. In addition to producing an intoxicating effect, marijuana has been known to have medicinal properties, and the stalks of the plant can be used to produce a variety of products, from clothing to concrete.
Not only can marijuana be used for multiple purposes, it can also be consumed in a variety different ways as well.
Perhaps the best known method of marijuana consumption is by smoking the dried flower or leaves of the marijuana plant. The most common devices used while smoking marijuana are the pipe, water bong, the joint or blunt.
When marijuana is smoked, some users have claimed its effects can be felt almost instantly, and depending on the strain, the high can last anywhere from 90 minutes to four hours. While marijuana itself is relatively safe, smoking marijuana can be one of the least healthy methods of consumption.
The second best known method of marijuana consumption is eating it. Marijuana’s cannabinoids can be extracted and infused into butter or oil, which is then in turn cooked into food products. Alternatively, users can simply consume the oil itself, although the taste will likely leave a lot to be desired.
The most popular way of eating marijuana is usually through baked products like cookies or brownies, although marijuana can infuse most oily or fatty foods. According to Leafly, it can take somewhere between 30 minutes to two hours to fully feel the effects of edible marijuana.
Because of this, states like Colorado have instituted rules limiting servings of marijuana to 10mg. If you choose to eat marijuana infused products, exercise caution because it is very easy to overconsume.
Although not as well known as smoking or eating, vaporization is slowly becoming one of the more popular forms of marijuana consumption.
Vaporizers work by heating up marijuana at a low temperature, usually around 200°C. This lower temperature allows the active ingredients in marijuana, like CBD and THC, to convert into vapor form, which is then inhaled by the user.
Some vaporizers use dried marijuana, others use marijuana oil, and some are capable of using both forms.
The effects of vaporizing marijuana are similar to smoking marijuana, but with potentially fewer health concerns. There are no carcinogens from smoke to inhale. However, there have only been a few scientific studies into the health effects of vaporizers so it cannot be said for certain that vaporizing marijuana is 100 percent safe.
One of the lesser known methods of marijuana consumption is the use of infused topical solutions. Marijuana can be infused into sprays, creams, lotions, oils or balms. Because marijuana infused topicals are non-psychoactive, they are often used by people seeking the therapeutic effect of marijuana without the high.
Like vaporizers, there is a dearth of scientific research on marijuana-infused topicals, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that the topicals are efficacious. According to Americans for Safe Access, marijuana-infused topicals are commonly used for joint inflammation, muscle pain and headaches, among other ailments.
Perhaps the least known method of marijuana consumption is through the use of tinctures. A tincture is an extract of a plant in an alcohol solution. Marijuana tinctures often taken in droplets under the tongue or mixed into a beverage. Marijuana tinctures can be very strong and, like edibles, can take a long time to take effect.
One of the more well known kinds of marijuana tinctures is the Green Dragon, which is simply vodka infused with marijuana. A favorite among college students, the Green Dragon is not a beverage meant for those seeking the medicinal benefits of marijuana.
by: William Sumner