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6 Ways to Consume Cannabis Without Smoking: A Guide to Different Cannabis Consumption Methods

Do you want to consume cannabis but don't want to smoke it? Or maybe you don't like the taste or smell of smoked cannabis? No problem! There are plenty of ways to consume cannabis without smoking it.

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This blog post will discuss different methods for consuming cannabis, including sublinguals, dry-herb vaping, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and SUPPOSITORIES! (Yup, we’re going there.) We will also discuss the pros and cons of each ingestion method.


So whether you are a first-time cannabis consumer or an experienced user, read on for information about all the different ways to enjoy this unique plant!


Sublingual dosing - Put cannabis oil under your tongue

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The method of cannabis consumption under the tongue is referred to as “sublingual” consumption. Tinctures are alcohol-based extractions that can be dropped under the tongue for quick absorption. A fun little fact here is that tinctures are technically alcohol-based, whereas infusions are fat-based, but you’ll hear people mess them up all the time.


Besides tinctures, anything you hold in your mouth for a while is considered a sublingual. Think oils, mints, tablets, or quick-dissolve strips, which some companies are now infusing with cannabis!


Onset and duration: Because sublingual dosing bypasses the liver, the product enters the bloodstream more quickly. Sublingual options tend to kick in within 15 to 40 minutes of consumption with a lasting effect of 2 to 4 hours.


Sublingual pros:

  • no smoke

  • discreet consumption

  • quick onset and relief

  • precise dosing

  • This is because sublingual dosing bypasses the liver, so the product enters the bloodstream more quickly.

Sublingual cons:

  • frankly, I don’t have any cons for this method!


Consume cannabis in a dry-herb vaporizer

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There are a few reasons I recommend using a dry herb vaporizer for cannabis consumption.

  1. You get the authentic taste of the plant. By vaporizing rather than smoking, infusing, or eating, you get the different flavor profiles of the plant as the molecules vaporize off.

  2. You benefit from all of the terpenes! Terpenes are the compounds that give the cannabis strain/chemovar its smell and flavor, and “steers the experience.” Terpenes have a range of effects, from a focused, uplifted high to a relaxing, sleep-inducing high. So the terpenes you choose in conjunction with your cannabis really will determine the outcome of your high.

  3. Terpenes have effects of their own, which is why they’re used in essential oils, but when combined with THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, you can benefit from the “whole-plant” effect. For example, limonene provides an uplifting effect, and when combined with THC, you might feel uplifted pain relief. Learn more about all the different terps here.


Why not just use a vape pen?

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First off, I think they’re very unsafe, so I never recommend people use them.


  • There’s no research to show whether inhaling vaporized oils is okay for our lungs.

  • Some companies are incorporating additives and flavors (i.e., we don’t always know exactly what’s in the cartridges since not everything is regulated or labeled as it should be)

  • With the vape pen, you are inhaling the cannabis compounds, but they’re immersed in a liquid, while a dry herb vaporizer allows you to inhale just the cannabis compounds off the plant, and you’re not burning/combusting any of the compounds.


But, there’s more than just my hate-on for vape pens in action here. Diving into the whole plant effect a little more - we need to look at heat and why a dry herb vaporizer is the best device.


Terpenes are activated through heat, but each terpene has a different activation temperature. A vaporizer is useful here because of the adjustable heat setting.


By adjusting the heat settings, you can vaporize the specific terpenes at their vaporizing/boiling point, then adjust the heat again to get the different vaporizing points of the plant. By customizing this vaporization method, you can optimize the benefits of both the terpene and the cannabis plant molecules to work for you!


How neat is that? For a more in-depth guide on terpenes, check out this Top 5 Terpene Chart I’ve created!

Onset and duration: Vaporized cannabis starts to kick in immediately and lasts between 1 and 4 hours.


Pros:

  • immediate relief of symptoms at the proper dose,

  • rapid “wear off” (you won’t have a long-extending high),

  • None of the negatives found with smoking/combustion of the plant

  • Arguably, the most economical way to consume

  • vape with different temperatures to get all of the cannabinoids

  • this is the best way to get terpene effects with controlled vaporization temperature.

Cons:

  • You need to clean/maintain the vaporizer

  • You only have so much battery life

  • the upfront investment in the vaporizer can be steep

Eat cannabis-infused foods

Many people only consider sugary foods for the infusion of cannabis, but there are plenty of healthy meal options for infused cannabis. If you want a few tips and tricks on canna-cooking, check out my DIY Cooking With Cannabis playlist on YouTube!


Let me be clear - eating and smoking cannabis are NOT the same. You can achieve more psychoactive effects when eating because the THC changes to a different, smaller molecule that passes through the brain more easily.


When eating cannabis, you do need to consider, however, that any cannabis which makes it to your stomach needs to pass through the liver first before entering the bloodstream, which can take a WHILE!

Cannabis-infused foods can look like edibles, oils, candies, mints, capsules, etc.


Onset and duration: The effects of eating cannabis kick in anywhere between 30 minutes to 5 hours (!!!!) depending on various factors. A good guideline is 1 to 3 hours to feel the effects. These effects often last for 6 to 8 hours though higher doses can last considerably longer.

Pros:

  • Having a full stomach may delay the onset of relief, but it can make the effects longer lasting and decrease side effects.

  • no smoke

  • Super discreet.

Cons:

  • It takes a while to find the correct dose that works for you and the long-lasting effect.

Drink cannabis juices or teas

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Drinking “raw” cannabis-infused beverages, such as teas or juices, is similar to eating cannabis because anything you drink will take a while to kick in and can last 6-8 hours.

Pros:

  • You get iron, calcium, antioxidants,

  • It’s a great way to access “acidic cannabinoids” like CBDA and THCA. Learn more about the magic of CBDA in my blog “Why CBDA is magic”).

Cons:

  • It takes a LOT of plant material to get a little juice, and there’s a short shelf-life (you can freeze the juice with a bit of water in ice trays to increase the shelf life).

Apply topical cannabis products

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You may not initially think that topical application of cannabis products would be effective, but you’d be wrong. Our skin contains multitudes of cannabinoid receptors, meaning topical application is useful for about 1 inch of penetration.

These topical products can be used to treat pain, rashes, itchiness, eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc. They come in the form of balms, salves, lotions, sprays, bath bombs, or even just infused olive oil that can be applied topically!

Onset and duration: Topical applications start to work within 15 minutes and have effects that last 2 to 4 hours, after which you can reapply as needed.

Pros:

  • You CAN NOT get high from applying THC topically

  • You can use creams along with other pain creams.

Cons:

  • Again, I see no real cons with this method.

Suppositories!


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Yup! We’re going there. I haven’t talked about suppositories on the blog before, but they are the BOMB! As soon as I teach students at the Cannabis Coaching Institute about suppositories, they go crazy!

Why? You can take a LOT more THC in a suppository than any other method without feeling so uncomfortably high. This is great for those suffering from severe pain, nausea, and more.

Rectal suppositories may help with colitis while vaginal suppositories (even cannabis-infused tampons) can help with period pain.

Onset and duration: These begin to work within 30 to 60 minutes of insertion and last for 4 to 8 hours.

Pros:

  • Really, no one sticks medicine up their butt or hoo-ha unless there’s a good reason. So again, suppositories can deliver higher THC doses and help with “hard to deal with” locations.

Cons:

  • The con is that there’s no scientific consensus on this method working, but there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence!

I know what I just provided you with was loads of information, so if you want an easy reference guide for cannabis consumption, check out this Ingestion Methods Chart I’ve created!


If you love learning all the science behind how and why cannabis works, come and join us in the Certified Cannabis Educator Program. You’ll get a fantastic foundational understanding of cannabis, AND we’ll teach you how to share your knowledge and passion with the world and make money doing it! Check it out here and use code: revealcannabis for $300 off your tuition.


What’s your favorite method of consuming cannabis? Sound off in the comments!


Happy consuming!

Andrea


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