Cannabis has been proven to have many medicinal benefits to humans and even animals. More and more people are looking to cannabis to help with many issues such as mental health, cancer, Parkinson’s and the list that keeps growing.
While there is certainly evidence supporting that smoking, cannabis can help many people, smoking cannabis just as with cigarettes is not safe or healthy. Yes, it’s true that cannabis contains less chemical additives then cigarettes but the actual burning of the plant matter and inhalation of that smoke can and will cause respiratory issues over the long term.
As legalized cannabis and medical marijuana grows in availability in states and countries there are concerns about the long term affects of cannabis smoke on the lungs.
If smoking cannabis is still your main way of medicating, then you must read this article because there are 5 great alternatives to smoking cannabis that will still provide you with positive affects without damaging your precious lungs.
Smoking is Not the Ideal Way to Consume Cannabis from a Health Perspective
The first question to ask yourself is why do you use cannabis? The reason for using it will likely dictate the best alternative to smoking cannabis for you. Each of the following consumption methods will affect your body in unique and wonderful ways. It all depends on what you are trying to treat or if you are just using cannabis for enjoyment.
There are a variety of options for consumption of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. If you are a heavy recreational user, you should most certainly start to think about their long-term health.
Healthy Options for Consumption of Cannabis
Lighting up a joint just isn’t an option most of the time anyway, so looking at new options could open up your ability to use more cannabis in your day to day life. (if that’s what you want)
Let’s dive into the deep end and explore 5 better options for consuming your cannabis.
#1. Vape Your Sweet Buds
Believe it or not vaping is not smoking at all! You get all the benefits of your marijuana and cut out the bad side effects involved in smoking it. The great part is vaping is very similar to smoking. It involves the same ritual and is even great when sharing. I even find that drawing cannabis from a vaporizer feels very similar to smoking but without the bad burned taste.
It isn’t Actually Smoking Weed
Using a vaporizer isn’t smoking because you aren’t combusting the plant material like you would when smoking a joint. With a vaporizer you can control the temperature level and the temperature never had to exceed 400 F. That means nothing is burning. The “vapor” or liquids from the plant material are evaporated into the hot air, this luckily for us brings along the THC, CBD and other cannabinoids along for the ride. Without combustion over 90% of toxins that would be created are completely avoided while still getting cannabinoids into your bloodstream at the same speed as smoking.
#2. Enjoy Some Cannabis Edibles
If you are interested in a healthy alternative to smoking cannabis, then eating it is a fantastic option. Cannabinoids are easily absorbed by the body through the digestive tract if the cannabis has been decarboxylated. Say what now?
Extracting that THC Goodness
Decarboxylation is the process of heating cannabis to covert the THCA to THC which increases the psychoactive affects of the compound. When you smoke weed your heating it, when you vape weed your heating it, so when you eat weed you also need to heat it to activate it. This is normally achieved by first heating the cannabis material in an oven to about 300 F and then cooking the material in fat like butter. Fat is a fantastic transport material for THC and butter happens to be the number one cooking ingredient.
Eating cannabis is extremely discreet which makes it a great choice for people who need to medicate through out the work day. Cannabis can be ingested in THC capsules for convenience but why do that when edibles come in some many amazing options. Yes, there is the inevitable weed taste to some degree, but many products mask the taste very well.
A word of warning about edibles, don’t just run at them without taking them for a small test drive first! When you eat cannabis, it takes the body between 30 and 90 minutes to process the THC and get it into your bloodstream. Impatient people or a person in pain can end up extremely high if they double dose after not feeling the initial effects. Always pay attention to dosing instructions and when you consumed them.
Well it’s true that cannabis is almost impossible to overdose on if you consume too much you can feel terrible.
#3. Why Not Have A Hot Cup of Weed Tea or a Weed Smoothie?
Like to enjoy a cup of hot tea? You can enjoy your tea with THC as a fantastic option for consuming THC. Personally, I love a cup a weed tea often.
It isn’t as Easy as Steeping Leaves
You can’t just toss some cannabis in your cup and pour boiling water on it and expect psychoactive tea. Remember when I mentioned Decarboxylation, earlier which is the process of activating THC? That still goes for tea.
You’ll need to boil your cannabis material in water and then add some fat to your mixture to activate it. I find it better to just add a spoon of canna-butter to my regular tea. I love the relaxing feeling of a cup of tea and then a nice long body buzz.
If you don’t have a hankering for a hot drink, then why not a cool refreshing fruit smoothie? Just make your favorite smoothie and add some cannabutter to it. You won’t even taste the weed flavor.
#4. Cannabis Tinctures
Tinctures, which I always have trouble saying is pronounced (tingk-cher). This substance contains cannabinoids which have been extracted via alcohol. This is an effortless solution for teas or adding cannabis to any drink. The fastest way to get the effects of tinctures is by administering your dose sublingually or under the tongue. Just place the drops under your tongue and swish them around for a few minutes and all the THC and CBD goodness from the cannabis concentrates will be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream.
Tinctures are only sold in some states and in some provinces because of cannabis laws.
#5. The Least Fun Way to Take Cannabis is Through the Skin
Your lungs and digestive tracts aren’t the only way to ingest cannabinoids, you can absorb them through the skin as well. Cannabis infused creams and ointments provide direct pan relief to muscles and joints but won’t provide any psychoactive effects. (Total bummer) But for people looking for relief from:
- Inflammation near the skin
- Muscle pain
then cannabis ointments are for you. Newer options for transdermal cannabis application are cannabis infused patches which are placed directly over the affected area.
Still Have to Smoke Weed?
If you want to keep smoking cannabis, then your best options are going to be the classic old water bong. It avoids the burnt rolling paper or blunt paper which is made of tobacco. Your water bong not only cools the smoke which is less harsh on your throat and lungs, but it does filter some of the contaminants out, but not all.
Let your cannabis experiences be inspired with choice. Experiment with how you consume your cannabis because you never know when you’ll find the perfect option for you.