Ingest or Inhale? The Basic Ways to Consume Cannabis

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Did you know that benefiting from the mental and physical effects of cannabis is actually dependant on how it is consumed? Two of the main types of consumption methods are inhaling and ingesting. We explore each of them below.

Inhalation Methods

When cannabis is inhaled, the gases enter the lungs before absorbing into the bloodstream. THC travels directly to the brain, causing effects to come on faster but diminish quicker compared to oral ingestion. There are currently two prevalent types of inhalation methods; smoking and vapourization.

Cannabis smokers have a wide array of devices to choose from, such as hand and water pipes and rolling papers. Each provides a slightly different experience. Although evidence is mixed concerning possible carcinogenic risks of heavy, long-term use, smoking can still cause injury to airways.

For those who are more conscious of their health, vapourizing has become a popular consumption method. By heating the cannabis at a lower temperature, you gain a higher cannabinoid efficiency compared to smoking methods. Toxic and potentially carcinogenic compounds were found to be eliminated when patients used vapourizers as well.

See our selection of vapourizers we offer our Members.

Ingestion Methods

Cannabis can be infused in oils and food/beverages (edibles), which can cause a different experience when ingested. THC is metabolized by the liver, which converts it to 11-hydroxy-THC resulting in a more prolonged effect with a slower onset time.

Some Licensed Producers (LP) hold oil production and sale licenses, who offer tinctures or sprays; a cannabis extract dissolved in a solvent. These products can be deposited under the tongue directly from a dosing syringe or mixed into culinary recipes. These oil products generally provide a more precise dosing method.

Keep in mind that, in Canada, cannabis-infused edibles are not yet legally available. However, you have the option to make your own. A great product to help you with this process is the MagicalButter®, which we have available in our store for our Members. If you are new to using cannabis, we advise trying oils from an LP or vapourizing dried cannabis. This is because edibles can be difficult to dose, which increases the risk of ingesting more than the prescribed or intended amount. Regulations are being proposed to try and create for accurate and consistent products before introducing them into the Cannabis Act, however, the timeline on this is likely no earlier than October 2019.

Remember, no matter what consumption method you choose, be aware of your dosage and start low and go slow.

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