Many people shy away from cannabis because they think the only way to consume it, is to to smoke it. Since cannabis has become a legal and regulated substance in Canada, there are many ways you can legally consume cannabis beyond smoking a joint.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? This is a summary of ways you can consume cannabis.
- Sublingual (under your tongue)- oils, drops, strips, sprays.
- Inhalation (smoking) – flower used in joints, pre-rolled joints, vape pen (oil), pax, bong (LOL, are we 17?)
- Topical (on your skin) – cream, bath bombs.
- Ingestion (eating or drinking)- food and non-alcoholic beverages like gummies, chocolates, sparkling water.
Sublingual means under your tongue. This is a common method used to get treatments like medication and vitamins into your blood stream and avoid your digestive tract. This method is direct and fast.
Sublingual products can be placed under your tongue and held for 30 seconds -1 minute to be absorbed into your blood stream to dispersed throughout your body. This method generally takes 15-30 minute to feel the effects.
If you are new to cannabis, a CBD dominant sublingual oil or spray is a good place to start.
Smoking or vaping can be done with traditional dried flower or oil. You can kick it old school and grind up flower and roll a joint, but you’re a mom and mamma ‘ain’t got time for that.
One accessible way to smoke and feel the effects as quickly as 1-3 minutes is using a vape pen. It comes ready to go filled with the oil of your choice, no flame required, it is discrete and may have a very faint often fruity smell, associated with it’s terpene – which is essentially the plants essential oil, not necessarily the weed-like smell you would expect.
Some people find vaping oil to be less harsh, but this method will still go through your lungs and avoid your digestive tract.
Topicals are creams and bath bombs, used to spot treat pain externally. It will only have an effect on the are that it touches. And no you will not get high, no matter how much you use and slather on, you will not get high from a topical treatment.
Topicals are great for a muscle pull, post workout recovery or joint pain caused by inflammation like arthritis. If you want to use a product with cannabis, check out my free down load to make sure it is a cannabis containing product. many
companies are starting to roll out lip balms and other body care products like
soap, shampoo and conditioners that contain hemp, not active CBD. And there are limited evidence to suggest they help with anything.
I have saved this one for last as it is the juiciest of all. Ingestion refers to eating or drinking your cannabis. You can purchase premade items like gummies, chocolate or sparkling water, or you can make your own and add cannabis to anything you can think of! Currently, Canadian retailers are not allowed to sell alcohol and cannabis together – either in the same bottle or establishment. For many newcomers to cannabis, ingestion seems like the most accessible method – after all, we all eat! It is this mentality that gets a lot of people into trouble. Ingesting cannabis, like all food and drink, goes through your digestive tract and can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 hours to feel the effects!
Factors like metabolism, body mass, previous experience, food in your stomach, gender, and age are some of the elements that will determine your experience. The good news is that you cannot overdose on cannabis, you can however, have a very bad night. You will be fine once it passes through your system.
I am about to get into the nitty gritty science part of ingestion. If you only read this far, just remember, start low and go slow! A low dose would be 2.5mg of cannabis in your edibles.
ok, now for the science of it all.
when you eat food or medicine it goes from your stomach to your small intestine. From there, the nutrients and other raw material are pulled into your liver to be metabolized further (broken down) or used for various chemical reactions your body needs to function like energy, cell repair and growth. The liver also detoxes harmful chemicals and helps to excrete them from your body.
Lucky for us, our body and liver do not perceive cannabis as toxic! Your endocannabinoid system may be deficient and holding onto the cannabis for later use*. Specifically with THC containing cannabis, instead of breaking down THC to excrete from the body, the liver turns it from the current state of delta-9 THC to a more potent and active form 11-hydroxy THC. This is fancy talk for a different chemical structure, these different structures are used differently by the body and this more potent and active form is the reason so many people have the had a bad experience, especially compared to other methods.
Keeping this whole process in mind when ingesting explains why it can take up to two hours to feel the effects. Many people will feel impatient around 30-60 minutes and consume far more than they should. In good news, you cannot overdoes and there are no known cases of overdose from cannabis alone. But you can have a very bad night one that can turn you off of trying it again. Remember, I cannot say this enough, Start low and go slow!