Overall, we know smoking cannabis isn't as bad for your lungs as smoking cigarettes. However, not everyone likes to smoke, especially if you have compromised lung health or are using cannabis for medical reasons. Here are a few smoke-free ways to enjoy the benefits of cannabis.
Yes, you’re still inhaling. But it’s vapor, not smoke! Vaporizers essentially heat plant material without burning it. There are different kinds of vaporizers out there, but “vape pens,” are what you’re likely most familiar with. The cannabinoids are suspended in a liquid filler, which is heated and inhaled as vapor. Battery-powered and designed for enjoyment on the go, they’re discreet and won’t leave that “weed smell” behind.
You can find a wide selection of baked goods, beverages, cooking oil, and treats such as CBD mints and THC gummies that have cannabinoids. Cannabis-infused butter and oil can also be made from scratch at home using dry flower. Be warned: it’s harder to determine exact doses with the homemade stuff. Make sure to check your labels and start low, go slow.
Edibles may seem fun and innocent (who doesn’t love brownies, cookies or candy?) but you need to be careful with dosing. It takes longer for an edible to hit (45 minutes to an hour and a half) and the high can last up to six hours. Start with an edible of no more than 10 mg of THC, and consider 2.5 to 5 mg the first time out of the gate.
Think of tinctures as an eye-dropper with medicine. You place two to three drops under your tongue and allow it to be absorbed (not swallowed) into your bloodstream through the soft membrane. The medicinal effects will kick in just a little bit slower than they would if you were smoking, but much faster than they would from an edible. You’ll feel the effects within about 15 minutes.
For patients suffering from gastrointestinal difficulties, an edible may not be as palatable as a tincture. It’s important to remember not to swallow your tincture. It will absorb through your digestive system instead, turning your tincture into an edible. Nothing bad will happen; it will just take much longer to feel the effects. For THC tinctures, you may experience a different high similar to an edible.
Great for localized pain, these lotions body oils and sprays are absorbed through the skin. Topics are non-intoxicating — even if it contains active THC, cannabinoids can’t enter the bloodstream through your skin. The exception is transdermal patches, which deliver the medication to your bloodstream.
One of the newer medical cannabis products on the market, cannabis capsules contain oils of varying levels of potency. It allows you to avoid the sugar and high-calorie content of edibles. Similar to edibles, the product is being absorbed through your digestive system so it could take up to an hour to feel the effects.
No matter which form of cannabis you choose, make sure you do your research to ensure product quality. Your budtender can help you choose the right product for your needs and your lifestyle.