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Cannabis Consumption Methods

There are a variety of ways to consume cannabis, and most people will find that one method is more effective than another for their particular needs. Every person should find which cannabis consumption method is best for them. This will depend on the type of weed you are consuming and what your experience level is. There are four main cannabis consumption methods: inhalation, oral, sublingual, and topical.

Inhalation Cannabis Consumption Methods

Once you inhale cannabis, cannabinoids are absorbed through your lungs and into your bloodstream. You will feel an effect on your brain almost immediately, making this a very popular cannabis consumption method. There are two ways you can inhale medical marijuana: smoking and vaping.


The most common form of consumption is smoking the dried flowers of the cannabis plant – the buds, nugs, flower, ganja, and weed. In this cannabis consumption method, you light the cannabis flower and breathe in the smoke. There are many ways dried cannabis can be smoked, such as through a pipe, rolled in papers (a “joint”), a blunt, or water pipe.

Smoking cannabis has immediate effects and relatively short duration. The effects of smoking cannabis can vary between 45 minutes to 4 hours.

Regular smoking may have a negative impact on health, so vaporizers and edible forms of cannabis are recommended for customers with existing sensitivities or conditions that may be affected by smoke.


Vaping is another extremely popular way to inhale cannabis. A vaporizer can extract the therapeutic ingredients of cannabis, cannabinoids, at a much lower temperature than can burning the cannabis product. This allows users to inhale their cannabis as a vapor instead of a smoke.

Many customers find that their cannabis goes much further when vaporized. Cannabis vapor has a subtle, light, and pleasant odor that does not linger which makes it a nice, discrete way to enjoy cannabis in extremely controlled doses.

Cannabis vaporizers have burst onto the market in recent years and can be found in many shapes, sizes, and strains.

There are disposable vaporizer “pens” which are filled with cannabis oil and intended for a single-use, pre-filled cartridges (require a battery for use) that contain a half or full gram of cannabis oil, and “load your own” style devices that allow a user to determine how much cannabis oil will be vaporized. You can also use a dab rig, a cannabis consumption method that requires heating a glass, ceramic, or titanium “nail,” which turns the concentrate into vapor for cannabis consumption.

Oral Cannabis Consumption Methods

There are two popular ways to consume cannabis orally: edibles and tinctures.


This cannabis consumption method involves infusing cannabis into butter or oil, which can then be cooked in food. Edible cannabis usually takes longer to have a physical effect and can have a significantly longer duration of therapeutic effect than smoking or vaporizing. Edibles can take 20 to 90 minutes to take effect, depending on an individual’s metabolism and other factors. The therapeutic effects can last over four hours.

There is a variety of edibles to choose from, and each type has its own characteristics. That is why it is important to find which one works best for you. Edibles can come in the form of cannabis-infused food and drinks, such as cookies, brownies, gummies, soda, coffee, and so much more.

Many customers report that eating cannabis has a more relaxing bodily effect than a mental high. Often patients consume edibles at night for a sound night’s sleep.

Because dosages can be tricky to judge, it is recommended that one eat a small amount of a product and wait to consider its dosage timing, potency, and intensity. It’s best to wait an hour or more before assessing the dosage so that an individual does not overmedicate. And, if after an hour or 90 minutes has passed with little to no effect, try consuming an additional ½ of the original dosage.


Tinctures are a cannabis concentrate in liquid form. Most tinctures are taken sublingually (under the tongue), diluted into a warm liquid such as tea, or placed onto food, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. The onset and duration of effects vary, so it is recommended that customers take small doses, and wait about 15 minutes to assess potency and intensity.

Due to the vast array of choices, tinctures have become somewhat of a “secret weapon” cannabis product. There are high and low THC content options, THC or CBD options, strain-specific options, and more. For customers who do not prefer the inhalation cannabis consumption method, but are looking for stronger effects than traditional edibles, tinctures can be an excellent choice. Likewise, customers who do not want to consume sugar, gluten, or other ingredients can rely on tinctures as a diet-friendly option.

Topical Cannabis Consumption Method

While topical isn’t exactly cannabis consumption, it is a way to absorb cannabis through the skin. The topical method won’t deliver any psychoactive effects, unlike the previously mentioned cannabis consumption methods.

Body Care

Cannabis body care products are becoming increasingly common. These products are applied directly to the skin and deliver THC and/or CBD into your body via your pores. Cannabis body care products do not provide a mental high and are referred to as “non-psychoactive”. Despite this, we always recommend starting with small amounts as cannabis affects everyone differently.

The cannabis body care products industry has grown, and customers can chose from oils, balms, lotions, sprays, chapsticks, and more. Many customers report that they are extremely effective for psoriasis, sore muscles, spasms, rheumatoid arthritis, restless leg syndrome, and migraines.

Even though there are multiple cannabis consumption methods to choose from, there is no “perfect” one. The right cannabis consumption for you will depend on your preferences and that with which you are comfortable.

Here at Substance, we offer all cannabis products, including flower, vapes, edibles, tinctures, topicals, CBD, and so much more. Whatever you desire, we have got you covered. Order online at one of our locations (Empire, Division, S. Highway 97 or Cottage Grove) today!

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