With more and more people interested in cannabis use there has been an increase in the various ways of ingesting this powerful little plant. There are the old school heavy hitters who will swear by the joint, and then there are the trendy city slickers who billow clouds of vaporized herb around themselves.
The thing is, with the ever expanding cannabis market is the ever expanding alternative health scene as well. The two seem to be connected as the potential health benefits of cannabis are purported from every corner of every state, well, the Golden State of California at least. So this is where a new corner for potential products has developed. A new wave of cannabis apparatus and pot paraphernalia has been steadily growing and with the new regulations they have grown from a steady stroll to an all out canter. For the newbie cannabis user, or even the seasoned smoker that is not used to all the cannabis hype, these products and paraphernalia can be somewhat daunting.
The natural reaction for many may be to just avoid them all together, steer clear of the shelves with the odd looking paraphernalia and avoid eye contact with the eager dispensary assistant just waiting to show you the latest cannabis extraction product with the most updated cannabis terminology. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case. And, let’s face it, no matter how good the benefits of cannabis are, smoking- no matter what it is- is not good for your health.
Even mores for those with compromised lung health already, or those that have a compromised immune system. The cannabis community has long suffered under the scrutiny of scrounged up noses and disdain (not to mention persecution) and this is mainly due to the unhealthy ‘stoner image’ that is associated with fat joints, bongs, and other heavy hitting smoking apparatus. This could be the one thing that is preventing someone from trying cannabis for the first time, and potentially causing them to lose out on some of the essential health benefits that it has to offer. So, moving forward, if we are to create and sustain a healthy cannabis image then health conscious products need to flood the market.
This is the only way (okay, lets be less dramatic and say one of the only ways) that the image of cannabis and marijuana will attain a healthy level amongst society and maintain a steady footing amongst consumers. Marijuana has some serious benefits to offer, and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet (I’m talking about the science and clinical research bit here).
Cannabis consumption has most definitely evolved throughout the years however there is still a large focus on methods that are not sustainable and, quite frankly, do not do the marijuana community any justice. Walking into a coffeeshop in Amsterdam, and there are people inhaling smoke into a large plastic bag. At the time the shop assistant was running around searching for a plastic bag to replace for a group of locals as the one they had had a hole in it. Now I do not have to go on any detailed rant about how this is so far off conscious consumption, as the situation speaks for itself. The bag with the hole would be discarded in the trash while new ones are manufactured everyday to feed this consumption.
Here are three smoke free alternatives to enjoying your cannabis consciously:
Cannabis tinctures are potent with a powerful punch. These infused liquids contain extracted cannabis cannabinoids (usually CBD or THC where THC is legal). The extraction is usually used by an alcohol soak. The best way to ingest these is to place the tincture underneath the tongue, so that the cannabinoids can bypass the first metabolic digestive system and a larger percentage of the substance can be absorbed. Tinctures thus enter straight into the blood system, and this means that it can be very powerful so be careful with your dosage. As a rule of the green thumb, start small and work your way up if you want. The most important in this method is the purity- the purity of the extraction method and of the marijuana used itself. Always do your background checks to ensure that you are sourcing from an ethical and responsible cannabis company. This way you will bypass all the fluff and find for yourself top quality cannabis.
How is this any different from the tinctures? Well, ingestible cannabis oils are generally speaking any cannabis oil that has been taken orally, and that does not mean under the tongue. These oils are often capsulated or they come in an applicator. These oils can be added to food or to drinks or the capsules can be taken directly. These also can have some powerful kicks and since it takes longer to assimilate into the bloodstream because it goes through the metabolic and digestive system first, you may think you need to consume more than you actually need. Take it easy and slow, then when you feel it start to take effect on your system you can decide whether or not to increase the dosage.
And now, the following method has come under some scrutiny. Dabbing is a fairly new delivery method that does involve some inhalation. However the substance inhaled is a vapour, and not a smoke. This is not a recommended method for newbies however for the seasoned green that may be a little more than curious, here is the information:
This method has been dubbed a ‘flash-vaporisation’. Concentrates from cannabis are placed onto a heated water pipe. This pipe attachment is usually glass or metallic and is heated with a butane torch. Now you can see why this method has come under some scrutiny. While the method may be somewhat sketchy, the marijuana itself is one of the purest. The effect is almost instantaneous and extreme. There are two main reasons that this method has gained a devout following. The concentrates are refined to a point that they contain next to none other plant materials (this is also highly contested as there are some who believe that cannabinoids are actually more effective when combined with the rest of the plant compounds). The second reason for dabbing’s popularity is that the process is an alternative to those who smoke as a vapour is inhaled instead of a smoke.
Now, while the above dabbing method may not be a ‘conscious’ method, it is a new method that deserves some investigation. After all, what we actually know about our body, mind, and the plant is all very limited at this point in time. And time will strip many things of its ‘conscious’ title. For now, just consume responsibly; if your body says ‘nope, this isn’t doing me any good’ then find a different method where you can get the most beneficial cannabis experience.