- Inhalation of cannabis usually produces effects quickly.
- Ingestion takes longer to produce effects, but the effects can be stronger and last longer.
- Some cannabis products are applied topically, such as creams and salves; these are not currently legal and will not be available for purchase on OCS.ca.
The two main methods of cannabis consumption are: inhaling and ingesting.
The effects experienced when consuming cannabis will always vary by individual and may be based on many personal factors including: genetics, physical health, mental health history, age, personality traits, and gender. Your body’s response is also based on the products you choose, the cannabinoid content in the product, and the method you’ve chosen to consume. Read on to learn about how each method of consumption can impact your experience.
This involves the combustion (burning) or vapourization of dry, ground cannabis flowers. Combustion could involve rolling the dried flower in paper and lighting it with a flame or putting it in a pipe or water pipe (sometimes called a “bong”), which cools the smoke before it is inhaled. Another way to inhale cannabis is to put it in a vapourizer or “vape”– an electronic device that heats the cannabis to an ideal temperature for the release of its active compounds in a vapour.
Inhalation delivers cannabis to your body via the lungs and therefore quickly to the bloodstream, and so an effect will be felt quickly ⎯ one inhalation may be all it takes to feel the effects. For this reason, you should wait 5 to 15 minutes after a single inhalation to gauge its full effect.
If you’re new to inhaling cannabis, it’s wise to begin with one inhalation and consider that the more you inhale, the stronger the effects will be.
It’s also important to understand that inhaling cannabis may come with risks to lung health (as well as other potential negative effects associated with cannabis use) and should not be used around children.
This involves eating or drinking cannabis via oral tinctures, capsules, oils or edible products.
When you ingest cannabis, the active compounds enter through your digestive system and are carried via the bloodstream through to your central nervous system and your brain. Because it takes longer to enter the bloodstream via this method of consumption, the effect takes longer to experience than it does from inhalation. This can lead to consuming more cannabis than intended. The effects from ingestion can also last longer than with inhalation.
If you’re new to ingesting cannabis, consider sampling very small amounts and wait at least an hour to determine your body’s response.
3. Topical Application
These cannabis products are mostly used for medical purposes. They are rarely psychoactive. Even so, it’s wise to apply a small amount on your skin to start. Please note that OCS.ca does not currently carry any products solely for topical use, and research on this method is limited.
4. Other Consumption Methods
There are a variety of other ways to consume cannabis. Currently, OCS does not sell items in these categories.
Juicing: Fresh cannabis flowers can be used to make a juice. You would still ingest the plant’s cannabinoids, vitamins and minerals in this method. However, because the cannabis has not been heated in the process of making the juice, the compounds will not be activated or produce any intoxicating effect.
Nasal spray: Similar to sinus medication, this method delivers a standardized dosage of THC or CBD directly to the bloodstream.
Tinctures and lozenges: More research into these methods is required, but they typically have an intermediate onset time.
Suppositories: These may be used medically for specific conditions. More research is required.
Shatter and “dabs”: This refers to concentrated cannabis oil that delivers very high doses of THC through inhalation. Risks of this method include toxic psychosis, orthostatic hypotension and acute impairment.