Updated: Oct 22
Not everyone wants to have to set fire to something and breathe in a bunch of hot smoke to experience the benefits of cannabis. For those with lung conditions, this simply isn't an option. Fortunately, with all the recent technological advancements you can enjoy the effects of cannabis and CBD without actually having to smoke anything.
As the popularity and availability of cannabis continues to grow, so do the ways to consume it. From tinctures and edibles to topicals and vaping, though, the different forms of consumption can affect you differently.
Cannabis offers many benefits, both physically and mentally. However, a key factor to gaining the biggest benefits is in knowing which method to use. The most common techniques include consuming orally, through inhalation, using it topically, or doing two or more methods in various combinations.
1. Consuming Edibles and Supplements
Everyone enjoys some sort of candy or snack, and with all the CBD and cannabis infused foods out there, whatever it is you love to munch on can likely be found infused with CBD and/or THC. This form of consuming CBD takes a bit longer (up to an hour or two) but it also lasts longer, making it ideal for regulated and routine dosing.
Oral forms of cannabis are available in several varieties, including supplements, gummies, infused foods and beverages, and extracts. Oral products that are swallowed must be assimilated through the digestive tract prior to reaching the bloodstream.
This process of digesting the cannabis will delay the benefits and the feeling of relief based on an individual’s metabolism, as well as whether the cannabis is ingested on an empty or full stomach. Results usually take effect between 15 minutes and two hours and last 4-6 hours, which is twice as long as vaporizing or smoking. Additionally, oral forms such as supplements, snacks, or beverages are the most discreet of all.
If you prefer to take a pill, you can try a natural one such as a CBD oil soft-shell capsule to experience the benefits of cannabis and CBD. This is a preferred method for daily CBD dosing, and can also be an effective way to spread out the effects by way of time-released capsules.
Another ingestible form of cannabis is the tincture. CBD tinctures are similar to edibles, but by administering the CBD sublingually under the tongue, the effects are much faster acting than other ingestible methods. When you put the CBD under your tongue and let it dissolve, it can reach your bloodstream without passing through your stomach first. This makes it perfect for quick relief. You can also add tinctures to other food and drinks to make your own edibles on the spot.
Tinctures are available in different strengths and can have varying ingredients and flavors, with some containing alcohol, coconut, or olive oil. While the tincture can be swallowed just as any other oral method, it is typically placed under the tongue and absorbed into the bloodstream, alleviating the drawn-out digestion process. When used under the tongue, the effects are felt within 20-30 minutes. The duration of effects last up to 2 hours or more, depending on strength and frequency used.
The third form of consuming cannabis without smoking is applying it topically. This can be done in a variety of ways, but all of them will be fast-acting.
CBD infused lotions, salves and balms can be applied to the skin for many different purposes, and are especially useful for fast pain relief, and for their anti-aging and antioxidant properties. CBD facial serums and cleansers have become very popular because CBD naturally helps fight and prevent acne and wrinkles, and helps with complexion. Muscle rubs and gels have also become increasingly popular ways to combat pain naturally without prescription medications.
The topical forms of cannabis include lotions, salves, balms, creams, sprays, and transdermal patches. Topicals are quickly absorbed through the skin and provide a therapeutic effect to a direct location in as little as five minutes. This method is especially helpful in providing immediate relief of sore muscles, inflammation, achy joints, or pain from injury. The topical formulas do not deliver any mental reaction to the cannabis at all, but they do offer successful localized pain relief for 10-12 hours.
Smoking Cannabis: Smoking the raw, dried cannabis flower buds enables you to absorb between 20 to 25 percent of the cannabis potency. A major downside to smoking cannabis (or any other substance) is that it exposes the lungs to heat, smoke, and any chemical residue from the lighter fluid or paper containing the cannabis.
Vaping Cannabis: Due to the high concentration of cannabis in vape oils, the potency is approximately 60 percent stronger than smoking. It is also considered healthier because you’re not exposing your lungs to smoke or any potentially carcinogenic chemicals.
In addition to being healthier, according to various studies, vaping may actually promote the absorption of cannabis antioxidants into the lungs. With the various flavors available, you'll also enjoy a more pleasant taste from vaping versus smoking cannabis.
Although similar to smoking, vaping CBD involves lower temperatures and is much easier on the lungs. This form of consumption is very fast-acting, but the effects won't last as long. There are many ways to try this method, such as disposable pre-filled pens and cartridges, concentrates for dab pens, and flash vaporization in a dab rig.
From the very first puff, you will likely notice a reduction in pain and recognize you’re feeling more relaxed almost immediately. Both vaping and smoking begin delivering the benefits of cannabis quickly because of the fast track method to the central nervous system. The effects of these methods usually last up to three hours.
Although smoking cannabis may be the most traditional form, it is the least discreet method. After all, the unique, pungent odor of cannabis is prevalent in the dried flower buds and is accentuated even more when being burned. The smoking method will leave your home and belongings smelling of cannabis.
Therefore, if you’re looking for fast relief from pain, stress, or anxiety, opt for vaping or using a tincture under the tongue. On the other hand, if you are seeking long-lasting benefits, enjoy a cannabis treat or infused beverage.
Finally, when purchasing cannabis, find a high quality product from a reputable source.