From edibles to topicals, there are a number of methods one can use to feel the effects of cannabis without the act of smoking. Let’s explore.
A lot of people are curious about cannabis, but they don’t want to smoke it. That’s OK because, with cannabis, there are so many other ways to get the health, therapeutic, and personal benefits of having a relationship with the plant without having to smoke.
Don’t let the fears around smoking weed keep you from finding life-changing experiences. Instead, give the following products a try.
Top Smoke-Free Cannabis Products
Below are six cannabis consumption methods that don’t require smoking.
The most obvious suggestion for people that don’t want to smoke weed is to eat edibles.
Edibles are created by infusing ordinary foods with cannabis concentrates. Concentrates are the oil form of the cannabis compounds that produce the plant’s smell, flavor, and effects. With edibles, you are able to enjoy the many benefits of weed without smoking it.
Using distillate, which is a cannabis concentrate that is stripped of all of the plant’s compounds except THC, is the cheapest way companies make edibles. However, it won’t be the “best” tasting or feeling. It is much more preferred to buy and eat edibles made with full-spectrum concentrates like live resin or solventless hash for a top-of-the-line experience.
Weed gummies are the most popular type of edible. They’re basically candy that gets you high; who wouldn’t love that?! Other edible options include hand candies, chocolates, and baked goods. Beverages are a bubbling category as well.
One of the biggest fears about edibles is that you will get too high and have a trippy experience. To protect yourself from that possibility, always pay attention to your dosage when consuming edibles (or any other cannabis product). It’s also important to be patient. Edibles metabolize in the body differently than smoking or vaping, so they typically have a longer onset time.
You don’t want to eat too many edibles while waiting for the effects to hit and end up overdoing it. That will lead to a bad experience that might turn you off to cannabis when it should really be a lesson in moderation and respect for the plant.
Weed vape pens
Vaporizers are devices that heat your cannabis to produce vapor versus combusting and producing smoke.
A few different types of products fall under the vaporizer umbrella. You’ve got both dry herb vapes and vapes for concentrates, which work with cannabis flower and cannabis extracts, respectively. Then there’s dabbing, which is a whole different discussion.
I’m referring specifically to the weed vape pens, though. Vape pens are essentially a cartridge (or pod) of cannabis oil that heats with a battery to produce a vapor full of the molecules that really matter in cannabis. If you’re not into the idea of inhaling smoke for health and/or personal reasons, but you still want the puff-puff element of consumption, these will probably be your best friend.
Most weed vape pens are made up of a 510-thread cartridge and a 510-thread battery that screw together (the threads refer to the type of screw that connects them). However, there are also companies that make pod-type cartridges, such as STIIIZY and PAX. The proprietary vape pods magnetically snap onto the corresponding battery. These pods only work with the respective brand’s battery, versus 510s which are universal.
Inside those cartridges and pods can be a world of different cannabis oils. The most commonly used ones, at this stage in the cannabis market, are distillates with added terpenes and live resin. Live rosin is growing in popularity as cannabis consumers begin to champion flavor, experience, and natural cannabis profiles over simply getting high.
The differences in these oils come down to if they were made with or without solvents. Solvents are chemicals used to extract the little white crystals from the cannabis flower. Those are trichomes, and they house the cannabinoids and terpenes that produce the full experience of consuming cannabis.
When buying weed vapes, you want to focus on concentrates that can most accurately mirror the chemical profile of the cannabis strain they were made from. Solventless rosins are the best choice for that since they were never touched by any solvents like butane or ethanol. They are packed with bold flavors and potent effects, even if those effects are more short-lived than the typical joint or dab.
Tinctures are another excellent way to enjoy cannabis without smoking it.
Cannabis tinctures are concentrated cannabis extracts made in alcohol or water that you consume orally. They’re basically liquid weed drops that you can drop right under your tongue and feel that relief sensation within about 15 minutes. They can also be added to food and beverages, making tinctures and a one-stop shop for infusing your own edibles.
What’s great about tinctures is that they are easy to dose and can be used by people who want extremely light effects. Many tinctures range from 2mg-5mg THC in potency, which is considered low-dose in cannabis. Plus, many tinctures focus on more than just THC, which is the chemical compound in cannabis that gets you high, and instead, consist of additional cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, CBG, etc. to create more-rounded experiences.
This makes them excellent products for people who are chasing health benefits like pain relief more than recreational experiences. Each cannabis compound has its own respective benefits, and when combined in various amounts, they produce a full experience known as the entourage effect.
THC (or CBD) capsules are basically the pill form of cannabis. I know “pill” just made your heart jump, but rest assured, capsules are much safer to consume than any opioid that popped into your head just now.
They work like edibles in that they metabolize through the stomach, which converts typical THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, a type of THC that produces a more potent, longer-lasting, physical high versus some of the head highs that you typically get when smoking, vaping, or dabbing. 11-hydroxy-THC typically promotes sleep and sedation.
As mentioned earlier, beverages are a growing category of cannabis. People love the idea of drinking weed instead of drinking alcohol for a relaxed social experience. Why? It’s much better for your health (and your bank account), duh.
Cannabis beverages, or elixirs, are a drinkable form of edibles. They are created with the use of cannabis concentrates or cannabis-derived terpenes and make great for people who want a slow and chill(ed) way to get those feel-good compounds in their body.
If you want to drink your weed, the world of cannabis beverages includes all kinds of lemonades, syrups, “beers,” infused mixers, and of course, seltzers. A few companies that make excellent edibles are CANN, Mary Jones Soda, and Artet.
Topicals are cannabis-infused products that you apply directly to your skin. They absorb, allowing the cannabis compounds to enter your bloodstream, but don’t typically produce the psychoactive high that you feel from actually smoking cannabis flower or vaporizing concentrates.
Topicals can be lotions, creams, balms, salves, gels, and pretty much any other type of ointment. The experience is typically great for those seeking physical relief around a certain part of the body.
Many professional athletes use cannabis topicals for recovery. That’s because, like tinctures, topicals are often made with a wide range of cannabinoids, allowing people to really dial the type of relief they seek from the plant, and more importantly, where they want to feel it.
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