Remember when your legal options were limited to choosing between a small glass pipe and a spliff?
Those times are long gone.
Now people can choose to smoke from a myriad of products, from the classic joint to percolator bongs to dab rigs and vaporizers.
The industry is expanding and so is the number of ways to ingest THC. If you’re not a fan of inhalation, you can explore the wealth of cannabis-infused edibles, such as gummies, brownies, lollipops, candies, chocolate bars, and god knows what else.
In this article, we’ll highlight the 5 most popular ways to ingest THC.
Ready to learn how people prefer to medicate?
How Can I Ingest THC?
Without further ado, let’s talk about common methods of cannabis consumption.
Please note that these are “methods”, not “tools”. However, for your convenience, we’ll also give you a brief overview of the specific tools you can use for each consumption method.
People typically ingest THC through:
- Sublingual use
Read on to learn more.
5 Ways to Ingest THC
Smoking is the old-school way to deliver THC to your system. It also offers the quickest onset of effects. Because cannabinoids are absorbed through the lungs, they directly reach the bloodstream.
Blood has a flow speed of 3-4 miles per hour. Once the THC gets into your blood, it only needs a few seconds to send signals to the brain. According to a study published in the Journal of Chemistry and Biodiversity, marijuana users who smoke their flowers report noticeable effects within minutes after inhalation.
However, smoking is not the healthiest way to ingest THC. When you light your join, combustion triggers the release of harmful carcinogens because you deliver other plant material and paper along with THC.
We would compare smoking cannabis to eating fast food. It brings fast effects and gets the job done, but it can take a toll on your health in the long run.
Most often, people smoke cannabis in:
- A blunt: weed rolled in a tobacco leaf or cigar wrap
- A joint: weed wrapped in a rolling paper
- A pipe: weed placed in a small glass pipe
- A bong: weed in the bowl of a large, glass device
If you’re not the smoker type, then you may want to consider vaping your cannabis.
Vaping is a process during which cannabis gets heated to a temperature that triggers the release of THC-rich vapor. It delivers cannabinoids through the same pathway as smoking, but without the need to burn your weed.
Vaping cannabis is safer for your lungs because the vapor is free of carcinogens that release upon combustion. In addition, vaporization ensures that the majority of your strain’s THC content will get into your system — around 80% to be more precise.
Last but not least, vaporization allows for experiencing the aromas and flavors of your cannabis buds. Lower temperatures release terpenes — fragrant compounds in plants — which otherwise get destroyed when you smoke cannabis.
You can vape your greens with a vaporizer, a portable or desktop unit with a heating chamber compatible with herbs. Some models come with a separate chamber for vaping concentrates as well
Edibles are probably the most enjoyable way to ingest THC. Since this cannabinoid is fat-soluble, you can infuse it to any cooking fat and make literally every meal with your favorite strain.
Making weed-infused edibles in your kitchen sounds like a great way to spend a weekend, but if you’re not a fan of cooking, there are tons of ready-made edible products on the market because the demand for cannabis food is damn high.
Edibles need some time to take effect, usually between 30 and 120 minutes depending on your weight, metabolism, THC tolerance, and how often you use cannabis. The slower onset derives from the fact that THC ingested that way must be first processed by the liver before reaching your blood.
But because cannabinoids from edibles are released gradually, the high and medical effects last longer and can intensify with time. That’s why you should take extra caution when dosing weed-infused food. Munching on too many candies can result in THC stacking up in your system and leading to dizziness and mental distress.
4. Sublingual Products
Sublingual cannabis is available either as oil drops or alcohol-extracted tinctures. Taking cannabis oil beneath the tongue allows it to avoid the “first-pass effect” people experience with oral consumption. When you place a few drops of a THC-rich tincture, it will be absorbed through the sublingual gland in your mouth. When ingested this way, cannabis needs 10 to 15 minutes to start acting.
Dabbing is a rising trend in the cannabis community. It’s the most scientific way to ingest THC and it can get you high as an airplane. Dabbing is also the fastest method of providing the body with the medical benefits of cannabinoids.
But what exactly is dabbing?
This term refers to a process of smoking cannabis concentrates, where a tiny bit of the extract is placed onto a preheated nail and inhaled through a special dabbing device known as a rig.
As we said, dabbing is beneficial for both medical and recreational cannabis users. Those using weed for its psychoactive effects prefer dabbing because it delivers THC extremely fast. It also offers the highest potency per serving. Concentrates contain upwards of 60% THC, with some products reaching even 90% of this cannabinoid. On another note, medical cannabis patients who need higher concentrations of THC for immediate symptom relief will find dabbing more efficient than flowers or less-potent extracts.
Therefore, we recommend erring on the side of caution when dosing dabs because they pack a punch and going overboard can make you glued to the couch for the next couple of hours.
Ingesting THC: Which Method is Best?
There’s no simple answer to that question because everything boils down to your preferences.
If you aim at getting instant relaxation and keeping your habits healthy, then vaporization is the way to go.
If, on the other hand, you don’t mind waiting for the effects a little bit longer but you enjoy the long-lasting high — go for edibles.
Sublingual use — especially tinctures — comes in handy for medical cannabis users because it offers a high level of convenience and contains high levels of THC.
And if you’re a dedicated smoker… Then go and light one up! We’re not going to judge you.
What’s your go-to way to ingest THC? Share your thoughts in the comments below!