Most people who consume cannabis smoke it. But there are other ways of using it, such as vaporizing, edibles, juicing raw cannabis, cold drinks, ointments, hotboxing, hot knife and rectal administration. Not only are many of these methods just as effective as smoking, they often are healthier too.
In addition to smoking joints, there are also other methods of enjoying the plant which is still illegal in our country. Some of those methods, such as vaporizing, are not as well known, but are gaining in popularity. Others are simply too unusual, too wasteful, or for various reasons not always widely practical to attract a lot of supporters. But they do work too.
Vaporizing is generally much healthier than burning weed and not as unusual as it once was. It tastes better than smoking and is much more economical. Vaporizing is not a problem if you have a good piece of equipment, but what should you do if there’s no vaporizer available?
Jamaica was familiar with the steam pipe, long before the time of Volcano, etc. At the end of the 1980s, you could learn, in the mountains of the Caribbean islands, how to vaporize ganja instead of burning it, using a few pieces of fresh bamboo, a little charcoal, a small tin and red-hot charcoal. Reports about steam pipes and instructions on how to build your own vaporizer can now also be found online.
In addition to the right temperature, the degree of coarseness of the buds is very important when vaporizing. The finer they are crushed, the more effectively the active components can be dissolved.
2. Baking/cooking with edibles
This is definitely the most popular method after smoking. Almost everyone has tried hash cake or space cake. No hazardous substances are created when eating or drinking, although the quantity is much more difficult to measure than when smoking or vaporizing. When used for medicinal purposes in particular, it is often the only alternative, because many patients are unwilling or unable to inhale either smoke or vapour.
Overdoses may occur among inexperienced users in particular, because the effect cannot be felt immediately at the time of consumption due to the delayed effect. You can put out a joint that is too strong after only smoking half of it, but you can’t do that with a cake that contains too much cannabis.
Even experienced users often have a more intense response to food products containing THC than to the same quantity of inhaled cannabis, but for others, the exact opposite is true.
If in doubt: consume slowly and always know exactly how much weed or hashish a cookie, cake or hot chocolate contains. When unsure, it is better to keep checking with whoever baked or cooked the treat, rather than simply gobbling it without concern.
3. Juicing raw cannabis
There is another interesting alternative, however: “Juicing”, which is of particular interest to patients who are taking high doses of medication, involves squeezing the fresh plant. When consuming fresh buds, the positive effects of the cannabinoids are felt without getting stoned.
Cannabinoids mainly occur in the fresh plant in the form of acid (THCA, CBDA etc.). Because THC doesn’t have a psychoactive effect in acid form, large quantities of these juices can be consumed without any relevant side effects. This is an ideal alternative for cannabis patients who require high doses but are unable to tolerate its psychological side effects.
4. In cold drinks – blending with lecithin
Until quite recently, you would often hear that cannabis needs heat and fat, or at least alcohol to dissolve it for baking or cooking purposes. A few years ago, Hulabalooza presented a product that makes it possible to make weed or hashish soluble in water. It can therefore be tipped directly into a cold drink or stirred into muesli without much effort.
Whereas when it was presented a few years ago the ingredients were still a big secret, it is now clear that the main ingredient is simple lecithin. But be careful: If dried weed is not heated before mixing it with a lecithin product, the THC acid will not be converted into THC and the drink or the yoghurt will not have the desired effect (this doesn’t apply to hashish or weed that has been stored for a long time). The process where THC-A is converted into THC is known as decarboxylation. Only then will the pharmacological effects of cannabis unfold.
5. As an ointment
The famous Czech hemp activist Bushka Bryndova took her inspiration from old stories about the use of hemp in folk medicine and the research results of Professor Kabelik at the University of Olomouc from the 1950s, and developed her own cannabis ointment. This enabled her to save her own finger from near amputation.
6. Rectal administration
For the sake of completeness, we should include the most effective way of consuming cannabis, even if it’s not necessarily what the average recreational user has been waiting for. But users who opt for this medical administration method despite their general reservations will be rewarded.
If cannabis is eaten, an average of six to ten per cent of the THC content is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. If it is inhaled, the bioavailability is between two to 56 per cent (depending on many factors).
In suppository form, the cannabinoid is diverted around the gastrointestinal tract and therefore not initially digested in the stomach. The active molecules (THC, CBD and other cannabinoids) can therefore find their way into the blood in a much higher concentration.
The molecules take between 30 minutes and two hours to kick in and the effect lasts up to eight hours. The peak of the effect is not as distinct as when eating, because in the case of rectal administration, no 11-OH-Δ9THC is formed in the liver. The only alternative for many cannabis patients with gastrointestinal diagnoses so far, this administration reportedly promises recreational users unrivalled effectiveness too.
Hotboxing actually involves a communal pure smoking or vaporization experience that is more like a party. Cheech and Chong once led the way in what many older connoisseurs, who once did something similar, now refer to as youthful transgressions.
With hotboxing, several consumers inhale the smoke or vapour from weed, hashish or BHO in an enclosed, small space, including cars, giant motorbike helmets, storerooms, telephone boxes, tents or cupboards. Hotboxing is effective and is above all social in nature.
From a health perspective, it is not necessarily recommended. It can soon result in a lack of oxygen, because you inhale smoke or vapour with every breath. Hotboxing and similar radical methods such as “bucket smoking” are mainly widespread among younger consumers. But hand on heart: shouldn’t cannabis be enjoyed, rather than demolished as quickly as possible?
8. Hot knife/pot needle
With the hot knife method, a small piece of weed, hashish or BHO is placed on a red-hot knife tip and the smoke is inhaled straight away. With the pin method, a pin is poked through a piece of cardboard, so that it can stand up vertically. A small piece of weed or hashish is then placed on the needle, lit and blown out. Whilst it is lit, you capture the smoke in a glass and inhale it as soon as the glass is full of smoke.
These and similar “MacGyver solutions” (such as a pen, potato, cola can or disposable bottle) are not infrequently used by victims of prohibition, who are behind bars because of cannabis, so that they don’t leave any traces behind. Effective and economical.
In addition to the methods described here, there are of course a few other less usual ways of consuming cannabis. Very unusual methods such as injections are rarely considered, although it would be worthwhile studying them more closely for medicinal purposes.
- Disclaimer:Laws and regulations regarding cannabis use differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.