There are numerous methods on the market today for consuming cannabis. With the ever-evolving concentrate and edible industry, deciphering it can be confusing to the average person. Here you will find descriptions of the most common methods of hash/flower consumption as well as brief descriptions of the many types of edibles that are on the market today.
Pipes and Water Pipes
The most common method of flowerconsumption is smoking. Whether it be a marijuana cigarette, through a pipe, or through a water pipe, also known as a bong, this method is arguably the most recognizable of any of the forms of consumption. Below are images of both pipes and bongs. Keep in mind, these can be found in virtually any shape or size.
Vaporizers are primarily used for hash consumption. Though live resin, wax, and shatter have different processing methods, their method of consumption is the same. There are two different types of vaporizers used on the market today: vape pens and dab rigs. Vape pens are small, compact, and similar in looks to that of a nicotine vaporizer. Oil rigs are more intricate and require a number of different accessories, including a heating element and the rig itself.
Portable Vape Pens
Portable Vape Pens are a straightforward, compact method of smoking hash and/or flower. Some are composed of a single, rechargeable battery that screws into a general USB charger. These pens are for oil consumption only as the heating element is not exposed and the replaceable or refillable cartridge must be screwed into the top of the battery for the unit to function correctly. The other version of a vape pen is typically sold as a kit and can be used for hash, flower, and oil consumption.
There are usually three different elements that come with a vape kit: a refillable oil cartridge, a flower cartridge, and a heating element, which can be used for meltinghash directly on the coils.
The home version of concentrate consumption is a bit more intricate and requires a few more accessories than that of a vape pen. The accessory often used for smoking wax and shatter is commonly referred to as an oil rig or dab rig.
Rigs take on a similar appearance to that of a water pipe, though the method of heating the hash is much different. Due to the nature of its concentrated form, hash requires much more heat for the material to vaporize. Consumers prefer using a butane torch to heat up the nail where the hash is placed, as a simple lighter does not provide enough heat.
Torches are one of the cheapest forms of heating the nail on a rig. For those who are willing to invest a bit more money, an E-nail is arguably the most convenient.
An electronic nail, or e-nail, uses electronic heating elements to replace the traditional torch and fire method of heating up a nail prior to vaporization. It is essentially a heating coil that is placed around the metal nail, resting on the stem of the rig. This coil is attached to a wire that runs to a temperature control module. Below are the general accessories used for dabbin hash concentrates.
Whether using the butane torch method or the e-nail method, the process is essentially the same. First, heat the nail using the torch or the electronic coil attached to the e-nail. Once the nail is heated to between 650-750 degrees, a dab tool called a wand is used to place a pin-sized amount of hash onto the nail. The hash then instantly vaporizes, and the same method that is used to inhale smoke from a water pipe is used to inhale the smoke from the concentrate. A benefit to using an e-nail is that the temperature is easily regulated, allowing the consumer the ability to manipulate the heat at which the hash is vaporized. Below are images of a butane torch and an E-nail.
Cannabis-infused edibles are a large part of the cannabis industry and can come in many shapes and sizes; from gummiesand chocolate bars to infused honey and soft drinks. For some edibles, the primary cannabis ingredient used is the oil derived from the concentrate process. For most baked goods, dried plant material is used to infuse butter or cooking oil to make cannabutter or cannaoil, which is then used just like a common baking ingredient in the edible. Edibles producers may grow their own cannabis or buy it wholesale. They may use just the trim or they may use whole flower to infuse their products.
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In order to differentiate between cannabis-infused edibles and non-cannabis food and drink products, lawmakers in Colorado have developed a universal symbol. This symbol is required to be placed on all labels with products containing THC. Additionally, to prevent accidental ingestion by small children, edibles may no longer take the shape of well-known candies such as gummy bears, fish, or fruit. Pictured below are Colorado’s THC symbols. These symbols can be found on all products containing THC. The difference between the two is the label with the “M” is found on medical products only.
Edibles can be quite potent with delayed effects. Since they are absorbed through the bloodstream rather than inhaled, it can take upwards of 45-60 minutes before the effects are felt. The single dosage amount adopted by the state of Colorado is 10mg per serving and products are required to be labeled as such. The general rule of thumb in the Colorado cannabis industry is to “Start Low and Go Slow’: as shown in the ad below.
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Tinctures and Topicals
Topicalsare non-psychoactive, cannabis-infused lotions, balms, oils, and patches that are absorbed through the skin and may provide localized relief of pain and inflammation. Topicals are a popular choice for patients who desire the therapeutic benefits of marijuana without the cerebral “stoned” effects of other forms of cannabis consumption.
Topicals may be primarily CBD or a combination of CBD and THC. Most topicals high in THC still won’t have any psychoactive effect since the cannabinoids don’t reach the bloodstream, but bind with cannabinoid receptors in the body. Recently, companies have been developing new forms of topicals which can deliver cannabinoids to the bloodstream and may result in some form of a traditional high. Those topicals include long-lasting transdermal patches, bath soaks, sexual lubricants, and suppositories. Cannabis tinctures and cannabis-infused topicals are an excellent method of experiencing the benefits of cannabis without having to inhale smoke or digest the many other ingredients that edibles may contain (sugar, flour, dairy, caffeine, etc).
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Tinctures are a liquid concentrate made by extracting cannabis in alcohol, the same way that liquid flavor extracts are made. They can also be extracted using glycerin or vinegar, though this is less common. Tinctures are injested by placing a few drops under the tongue. Because they are absorbed under the tongue instead of passing through the digestive tract, the effects can be felt more quickly than with other forms of edibles.
Tinctures can be flavored or flavorless and are a good option for people who want to medicate without smoking or injesting too many calories. They are also used by patients who may be too sick, too old, or too young to partake in other forms of cannabis consumption.
Tinctures are easy to dose consistently, since the eyedropper dosing method allows for the exact same dosage of cannabis in every dropperful. Many tinctures are very high in CBD since they are preferred by patients with chronic ailments. Tinctures are one of the oldest forms of ingesting cannabis aside from the traditional smoking method. Everything from coughs to insomnia were treated with cannabis tinctures prior to its illegalization in the 1930s.
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