When people think of cannabis, one of the first things that usually come to mind is someone smoking a joint. From Cheech and Chong to Pineapple Express, cannabis use is often depicted by a couple of half-baked stoners smoking for recreational purposes. Although recreation has its purpose and this depiction is accurate for some cannabis users, the methods of consumption of cannabis are as broad and diverse as the people that use this versatile plant. Cannabis has been used for centuries for purposes ranging from alleviation from physical symptoms such as nausea and pain, to spiritual purposes for religions that view cannabis as a way to commune with God, to a recreational event to unwind after a long day. Smoking is by far the most widely used method of consumption but there are actually four main methods to using cannabis; inhalation, topical application, oral and sublingual.
Most cannabis users prefer inhalation as their primary method of consumption. It’s the quickest way to get cannabinoids into your bloodstream because it enters the bloodstream directly through the lungs. The effects are almost instantaneous, becoming noticeable within minutes and most users feel the full effect about one hour after consumption, with effects lasting for most around two hours.
However smoking isn’t just popular for its convenience and quick effects. In many cultures, smoking in a group is a social event and cannabis can even work as a social lubricant. Inhalation comes in two forms; smoking or vaporizing. When you smoke cannabis, you burn the dried herb and inhale the smoke which contains the active ingredients of the plant. In its raw form, whether you have CBD flower or THC flower, there is a carboxyl group attached to the molecules of the active ingredient. Heating using fire or a vaporizer like our Linx Eden will remove the carboxyl group, allowing the THC and CBD to become activated.
Vaporization is a process that involves heating the active ingredients of the plant up to a point that they are able to be inhaled because they are released in a vapor. Vaporization is a great option for those who are irritated by smoke or prefer something more discreet and more concentrated. Another method for vaporization is a process that involves a concentrated wax. Dab cartridges have increased in popularity in the last few years because they are discreet, due to the vapor not producing as much odor as smoke and no lingering smell. They are also very portable and effective because of their high concentration. However, flower can be vaporized as well. At Alpine Dispensary, we sell a product that includes the best of bud and dab vaporization options. The Linx Eden can vaporize flower but also includes lava plates if you wanted to vaporize a concentrate. (Due to Pact Act, we can only sell vapor products in store).
Topical application is another form of cannabis consumption that is rapidly gaining popularity as we learn more about how cannabis can help with inflammation without being ingested. Many people break the ice by using cannabis with topicals because it’s a great option for a variety of issues such as joint pain, skin conditions, muscle soreness, swelling and more.
Cannabinoids will not penetrate deeply enough to enter the bloodstream, if used properly, topicals can be a great option for those who get drug tested or do not want to produce any psychotropic effects. CBD helps to reduce inflammation, the THC communicates with the nerve endings of the peripheral nervous system to relieve pain almost instantly. CBD has a similar molecular structure to sebum, the oils our skin naturally produces and can help regulate sebum production. In turn this can be specifically helpful for acne, eczema, rashes and more.