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Cannabis Consumption Methods: From Smoking to Edibles

For centuries, cannabis has been used for both medicinal and recreational purposes. With the recent legalization in various regions, the methods for consuming cannabis have drastically evolved. Understanding the different ways one can consume cannabis helps users make the right choices about what works best for their needs. The following explores the most popular consumption methods, from traditional smoking to innovative edibles, looking at their effects, benefits, and considerations.

Smoking Cannabis

Joints, Blunts, and Pipes

Smoking is a traditional method of cannabis consumption, which involves inhaling the smoke released by igniting cannabis flowers. Users often choose between rolling joints, packing blunts, or using pipes.

  • Joints are rolled using thin paper and contain only cannabis.
  • Blunts are rolled with thicker, tobacco-leaf paper and include a mix of tobacco and cannabis, offering a different kind of high due to the nicotine content.
  • Pipes are small, portable devices made from various materials, such as glass, metal, or wood, suitable for short sessions.

Bongs and Water Pipes

Bongs, or water pipes, use water to cool and filter the smoke before inhalation. This method is favored for its smoother hits and reduced throat irritation.

Pros and Cons of Smoking


  • Quick Onset of Effects: Smoking allows for almost immediate absorption of substances into the bloodstream through the lungs, leading to rapid onset of effects.
  • Control Over Dosage: Users can easily regulate the amount consumed by controlling the size and number of inhalations, allowing for precise dosing.


  • Respiratory Health Risks: Regular inhalation of smoke can lead to respiratory issues, including chronic bronchitis and an increased risk of lung infections.
  • Strong Odor and Smoke: Smoking produces a distinct smell that can cling to clothes, hair, and furniture, and the smoke can bother others nearby.
  • Health Concerns Beyond the Respiratory System: Smoking has been linked to a variety of health issues beyond the lungs, including increased risk of heart disease and various cancers.

Vaping Cannabis

Vaping involves heating cannabis products to a temperature that vaporizes, but does not combust the active ingredients. Users can vape dry herbs or oils, and vaporizers come in various forms, including pen-like devices and more sophisticated desktop models.

Pros and Cons of Vaping


  • Health Benefits: One of the main advantages of vaping cannabis is the reduction in harmful byproducts. Smoking cannabis combusts the plant material, which produces smoke that contains carcinogens and tar, which can harm lung tissue and increase the risk of respiratory issues. Vaping produces a cleaner vapor containing fewer toxins, reducing the risk of lung irritation and potentially harmful effects.
  • Discreetness: Vaping devices produce vapor with a less pronounced odor compared to smoke from combustion. This makes it more discreet, allowing users to consume cannabis without attracting as much attention or leaving a lingering smell. The design of most vaporizers, particularly pen-style models, makes them easy to use inconspicuously.


  • Cost: The initial investment for a quality vaporizer is higher than other consumption methods like smoking. High-quality devices are often priced higher due to their heating systems, durable materials, and advanced features like temperature control. This initial cost can be a barrier for some users.
  • Maintenance: Vaporizers require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them functioning properly and ensure the device’s longevity. Residue from vaporized cannabis can accumulate in the device, leading to clogging and affecting the flavor and efficiency of vapor production. Regular cleaning, while ensuring optimal performance, adds an extra layer of upkeep that some users may find inconvenient.

Edibles and Beverages

Cannabis-infused foods and drinks offer an alternative to inhalation methods. The range includes baked goods, gummies, chocolates, and beverages like tea and soda. The effects of edibles can be more intense and longer-lasting than smoking or vaping. It is crucial to understand the dosage, which is typically measured in milligrams of THC.

Pros and Cons of Edibles


  • No Respiratory Risks: Edibles offer a huge advantage for those concerned about the respiratory risks associated with smoking. This method avoids inhalation entirely, making it a safer option for lung health.
  • Longer-Lasting Effects: The effects of edibles last longer than smoking or vaping, between 4 to 12 hours. This makes them particularly beneficial for managing chronic conditions, providing extended relief from symptoms such as pain or insomnia.


  • Delayed Onset of Effects: Unlike inhalation methods, where effects are almost immediate, edibles can have a delayed onset from 30 minutes to 2 hours. This delay can lead inexperienced users to consume more than intended, believing the initial dosage was insufficient.
  • Dosing Challenges: Accurately dosing edibles can be tricky, especially for beginners. The concentration of THC varies between different products and even within the same batch. It’s also hard to predict how one will react to a specific dose due to individual differences in metabolism and previous exposure to cannabis.

Tinctures and Oils

Tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts that are usually applied under the tongue. They provide a middle ground between edibles and inhalation, offering quicker onset than edibles but longer-lasting effects than smoking.

Pros and Cons of Tinctures


  • Easy to Dose with a Dropper: Tinctures come with a dropper to measure precise dosages. This method of delivery is advantageous for medical cannabis users who need consistent and accurate doses to manage conditions such as chronic pain or anxiety.
  • Discreet Usage and Minimal Odor: Unlike smoking or vaping, tinctures do not emit a strong cannabis smell and can be used discreetly in various settings without attracting attention. This makes them a convenient option for users who prefer to keep their cannabis use private or need to medicate without disturbing others around them.


  • Taste Can Be Off-Putting for Some: Tinctures are often alcohol-based, which gives them a bitter or harsh flavor that some users find unpleasant. While they can be mixed with food or drinks to mask the taste, the strong flavor, when taken alone under the tongue, can be a deterrent for some people.
  • Effects Can Vary Based on Personal Metabolism: The onset and duration of effects from tinctures varies among individuals, depending on their metabolism. While tinctures offer quicker effects than edibles due to sublingual absorption (where the active compounds are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the tissues under the tongue), the overall experience can still be unpredictable. Factors such as digestive health, body weight, and previous exposure to cannabis can influence how quickly and intensely one feels the effects, which can complicate consistent dosing for new users.


Cannabis-infused creams, balms, and lotions are designed for external use. They are popular among those looking for localized relief without psychoactive effects.

Pros and Cons of Topicals


  • Targeted relief: Cannabis-infused topicals offer the advantage of localized treatment, meaning they can be applied directly to the area of discomfort or inflammation. This benefits them for conditions such as arthritis, muscle soreness, or localized pain. The direct application ensures that the active ingredients work where needed, reducing swelling and alleviating pain.
  • No psychoactive effects: Since topicals are applied externally and absorbed through the skin, the cannabinoids do not enter the bloodstream in big amounts. This means they do not produce psychoactive effects, which makes them an appealing option for those who want the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the “high” associated with other forms of consumption like smoking or ingesting.


  • Effects are Limited to the Area of Application: The main limitation of cannabis-infused topicals is that their effects are restricted to the area where they are applied. They are not suitable for conditions that require systemic treatment or for symptoms that affect the whole body.
  • May Not Be Suitable for Those Seeking Full-Body Effects: For individuals dealing with conditions that affect multiple areas of the body, topicals might not provide adequate relief.

Contact Us Today

Cannabis consumption methods are diverse, as each offers unique benefits and considerations. Whether you prefer the immediate effects of smoking or the discreet nature of edibles, there is a method that suits every preference and need. Do not hesitate to contact

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