For first time cannabis users, method of consumption can be just as important as the strain you choose to use. New technologies in cannabis extraction and vaporization means strains come in multiple forms, from oils to be vaporized or eaten, to flowers (aka dried cannabis leaves) that can be smoked or vaporized. Each cannabis ingestion method will create a different experience, from the time it takes for the effects to hit, to varied experiences on body and brain. While smoking is certainly a popular method, it absolutely is not the only one – and if you’ve never smoked before, why start a habit when there are so many other options? Our team in Tel Aviv spent years helping new cannabis patients accustom themselves to ingesting the plant, so we’re here to guide you on the various methods and how they can help with your specific needs.
5. Smoking: Bowl / Water Pipe / Bong
Smoking provides the fastest hit of cannabis to your bloodstream, and using a pipe is often the easiest method to prepare. While it requires specialized paraphernalia, it doesn’t require rolling a cigarette which can be tricky for patients with mobility disorders or tremors. It’s also possible to monitor the dose more closely by taking only one small hit, such as with a one-hitter pipe, which can be useful when microdosing. However, pipes can be intense on the lungs especially for new smokers. If you’ve never tried cannabis before, and if tobacco is also not something you smoke, start with vaporizing rather than smoking.
4. Smoking, Marijuana Cigarettes / Joints
Smoking might be the most popular method of cannabis intake, and it’s easy to understand why. Rolling papers are cheap and accessible, it doesn’t require any extra equipment, and many people are accustomed to preparing cigarettes and smoking them even without cannabis. Plus, smoking creates an almost immediate effect of cannabis hitting the brain through the bloodstream as it’s inhaled through the lungs, which is attractive for most users. One thing to think about though – smoked cannabis hits fastest, but also leaves your bloodstream pretty quickly. For a long-lasting effect, try another method.
3. Vaporizer, Flower
At our Tel Aviv clinic, we rarely instruct older patients who are new to cannabis – and smoking in general – to inhale flower (dried herbs), instead offering them an alternative such as vaporizing. Placing dried flowers into the heating unit of a vaporizer causes the cannabis to combust at a different temperature, which varies in effect from the intense heat of combustion when smoking. Unlike traditional smoking methods, less plant matter is likely to be inhaled which is better for the lungs. This process may still take some time to prepare, as the elemtn of the vaporizer requires heating up to the specified temperature which may take 2-5 minutes, but is well worth it. Remember that vaporizers do not have an immediate effect. In fact, they take up to two minutes to cycle via the lungs, through the bloodstream to the brain. If you’re used to the immediate headrush of smoking cannabis, know that vaporizing will take a little longer to experience effects but will also last longer in the body. It’s also helpful to breathe in extra air along with the cannabis – breathing causes a mini-decarboxylation process which cycles the cannabis molecules through the lungs to the brain. Vapor is more concentrated and although it is finer, the feeling is often smoother and deeper than the immediate hit of smoking.
2. Ingestible: oils, edibles or tincture
While smoking typically is fastest acting, it also has the shortest sphere of influence. The effects are almost immediate, but the feeling lasts only two or three hours. Using an ingestible product such as edibles or oils will take up to an hour to act, sometimes longer, but last from 6-8 hours in the body. Ingestibles are also great for new patients who aren’t comfortable smoking or even vaporizing and are accustomed to taking pills, capsules, tinctures or oil drops in other ways in their medicinal regime. However, dosage can be tricky and it’s important to try and test with the minimum medicine initially before increasing dosage. For those new to edibles, it’s common to try it and then add more before the effects are completely felt. It’s always important to wait at least an hour if not two to feel the effects before adding more. However, in the case of immediate pain, edibles or ingestibles are not ideal and should utilize a faster way of accessing pain relief. Edibles can be particularly helpful for insomnia as it metabolizes slower in the body and has a long-lasting effect that helps you stay asleep. In addition, taking CBD oil orally has been shown to help patients with Crohn’s and Colitis since CB2 receptors are found in the body and digestive tract, which is more readily accessible via oral ingestion than smoking.
1. Oil-based vaporizer or “vape pen”
The simplest and most convenient method for ingesting cannabis that is also socially acceptable and easily administered is without a doubt the portable oil-based vaporizing pen, known as “vape pen”. Typically, a cartridge is filled with high-concentration strain specific oil, then an attached battery is used to heat the mini element inside the oil. Vape pens are extremely handy for patients who want the benefit of vaporizing rather than smoking and are looking for something small, lightweight and easy to carry around, in addition to the purity of using purely derived, decarboxylated oils which are crafted by our laboratory specialists. While vaporizing does not cause an immediate “head high” which frequent smokers are used to, it is longer lastaing and typically finer and smoother in feeling than smoking. It also lasts longer after the initial onset which may take up to five minutes.