Smokeless Cannabis: 9 Ways to Consume Without Sparking Up
Since its legalization at the end of 2018, the number of marijuana users in Canada continues to grow — and not just recreationally. More and more people are turning to cannabis products to treat symptoms associated with disorders such as insomnia, IBS, arthritis, and anxiety, or simply for every-day pain relief and relaxation. However, there remains one major obstacle between many prospective pot users and the benefits that cannabis use can provide: smoking. Not everyone is a fan of the very distinct aroma that comes along with marijuana smoke, and Canadian winters don’t make smoking outside very appealing. Luckily, there are now several legal alternatives available that allow non-smokers to enjoy cannabis.
Vaping & Dabbing
A popular alternative to smoking cannabis is to vaporize it. Vaping devices allow users to heat cannabis flower to a point just hot enough to release the cannabinoids without burning the plant, thus avoiding smoke and tar. Vaping is a convenient smoking alternative that provides all the benefits of smoking without the carcinogens released when the plant is burned/smoked. There are many different kinds of vaporizing devices, the most common being the table-top vaporizer or portable vape pens. Vape pens are single-use or refillable pens that vaporize cannabis concentrates and not the plant itself.
Another vaping method that is becoming increasingly popular is dabbing. If you follow any cannabis accounts on social media, you have probably seen people using a dab rig to vape cannabis concentrates. Many people enjoy dabbing because it is much smoother than smoking flower from a joint or a bong and results in a more potent high. There are several different concentrates that you can consume through dabbing. From shatter, and sugar wax, to saucy diamonds, there is a myriad of concentrates to explore. Another perk of vaping extracts is that various terpenes are often added to cannabis concentrate for added flavour and a more enjoyable vaping experience.
While some argue that vaping mimics smoking too closely, many people are also choosing to avoid vape pens in favour of ingestible cannabis products. Cannabis edibles contain THC- and/or CBD-infused oils and come in a variety of forms, from lollipops and gummies to chocolate bars and brownies. Infused-beverages and teas are also available. Aside from being delicious, the benefits of edibles/drinkables are the ability to control your dosage, as well as variety, and ease of use. The effects of edibles also last much longer than smoking cannabis, and many describe the high as being more intense. When you consume THC, enzymes in your stomach convert ΔTHC 9 into ΔTHC 11, which is more potent, giving you a full-body buzz. However, one thing to consider is that edibles may take upwards of an hour to take effect, and those containing THC can have strong psychotropic effects at high dosages. If you are new to dosing with edibles, a good rule of thumb is to start low, and go slow.
Cannabis Oil Tinctures
Cannabis tinctures are cannabis extracts in liquid form. The most common method of dosing with tinctures is using a dropper beneath the tongue (sublingually). Like edibles, tinctures can come in THC and CBD-infused varieties and come in a range of appealing flavours. When dosing sublingually or buccally (anywhere else in your mouth), the effects of tinctures are fast-acting, which allows convenient, more controlled dosing. People who suffer from anxiety may find tinctures to be the perfect solution for managing symptoms since this method will enable users to micro-dose daily or only as symptoms arise.
Cannabis Lotions & Topical Applications
The mental health benefits of ingesting cannabis products are only a fraction offered by marijuana. In fact, topical applications of cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils might even be more varied than cannabis ingestibles. Many medically sanctioned athletes are opting for topical cannabis products to ease muscular and joint pains as a safe alternative to corticosteroids. There is growing evidence that conditions such as psoriasis and eczema are responsive to topical applications of cannabis, more specifically, topicals rich in cannabidiol (CBD).
Cannabis Pills, Capsules & Tablets
Cannabis pills and tablets typically contain an oil concentrate or powder distillate. Like most pills, the most common dosage method is oral consumption. However, another dosing option is rectal or vaginal insertion. People who suffer from anal fissures, hemorrhoids, or pain occurring in the lower GI tract can benefit from rectal insertion. Many women who suffer from severe menstrual cramps find that vaginal dosing is a faster and more effective way of managing period pain. Like edibles, oral pills and tablets can take longer to kick in, so if you are not feeling the effects after 20 minutes, be patient—you’ll get there soon enough.
Cannabis Dissolving Oral Strips
Cannabis strips are a relatively new product to the market. If you are not familiar with them, they are not much bigger than your thumbnail, and as thin as a rolling paper. Despite their small size, they can contain as little as 5 mg of THC to upwards of 100mg. They are odourless, so if the smell of burning cannabis is a concern, or if you find yourself in a situation where smoking or vaping isn’t possible, this would be the perfect solution for you. Although more people are adopting cannabis as a safe alternative to many first-line medications, there is still a lingering stigma surrounding its use. For older patients or people who are concerned about drawing attention to themselves when using medical marijuana now have a discreet method of administering cannabis, that can travel with them (almost) anywhere.
As the post-legalization market expands, there are bound to be more methods of smokeless cannabis options, especially as research reveals new health benefits of the plant. Whether you are turning to cannabis to supplement a beauty routine, ease aches and pains, lessen anxiety, or even as a recreational treat, you can rest assured that there is no shortage of smokeless options available for you.