Clearing the Smoke: 4 Alternative Ways to Ingest Cannabis (And What’s Next)

Smoking has long been the tried and true method for consuming cannabis – whether passing a joint at a party or inhaling from a pipe, water bong, or one-hitter.

But if you’re just  exploring cannabis and are feeling a bit resistant to the idea of smoking (combusting) it, or you’re already a user and looking to reduce the amount you smoke for health reasons, there are many other methods to explore.

The belief that smoking is the best way to consume cannabis is an antiquated one. Since medical cannabis became available in Canada in 2001, the legal cannabis market has shown up in big ways to provide users with a plethora of convenient ways to ingest cannabis without adding fire.

Not into smoking marijuana, but are keen to experience the health and wellness benefits of the mighty plant? Here are just a few ways you can experience cannabis without having to go up in smoke:

Vaporize It
Vaporizing or ‘vaping’ as it’s commonly known, is said to be a healthier way to consume cannabis in a similar way to smoking. What differs the two?

Simply put, smoking combusts cannabis while vaporizing is the heating of the dried flower or extracted oil, without burning it.

Users report fewer respiratory symptoms with vaping versus smoking, with a better taste and less odor. Studies suggest it’s less harmful than smoking due to the release of fewer toxins, but more research is needed. It’s worth a shot, we say.

Eat It

Cannabis infusions are all the rage right now and are making their way into people’s kitchens, stomachs, and bloodstreams. Canada’s legal edibles market has been slow moving due to lack of regulations, but will be expected to be able to flourish come 2019.

Through high-quality cannabis oils, artisan confections and culinary infused-creations, cannabis is appealing to the palates of foodies everywhere. DIY oil and butter infusions will allow you to explore the thousands of cannabis recipes the cannabis community has developed at home.

Right now, Modern Leaf is giving away a LEVO so you can infuse your own oils and butters with your favourite flower easily – head to our Facebook Page to see how you can enter!

It’s important that users note that it usually takes a bit longer for edibles to “kick in” as it absorbs into your bloodstream. Start with small doses, and work your way up once you have been able to determine the effect your edible is having on you.

Absorb It

Cannabis topicals are becoming very popular to manage localized pain issues and to promote overall health within the endocannabinoid system, accessed through the largest organ of the body, our skin.

Cannabis topicals serve a few different functions. Certainly, you won’t get a buzz from spreading your cannabis on your skin, but you will be able to feel some tingling as the cannabis works to improve circulation and act as a mild numbing agent for body soreness.

Topicals range from creams to balms, to body butter, to massage oils… one cannabis entrepreneur is even infusing cannabis into nail polish!

Dose It

The way cannabis is dosed is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, and specific, allowing the cannabis user to be able to understand exactly how much cannabis is being ingested.

There are a number of products on the market that pack all the punch of your choice of cannabis in a perfectly dosed tincture or a capsule.

Tinctures are extracted cannabis in liquid form that comes in drops. Drops are usually placed under the tongue, where the membranes under the tongue allow for immediate absorption into the bloodstream. There’s no waiting to find the effects of a tincture.

Those who choose to medicate with cannabis or use the benefits of cannabis as a dietary supplement may find ultimate convenience with a cannabis oil capsule. While you’ll be digesting the capsule, like you would a cannabis edible, you’ll want to ensure you take your time in assessing the effects a capsule has on you before ingesting another.

With any cannabis oil and tincture, you will know how much THC or CBD is contained within each drop or capsule. This allows you ultimate dosing precision.

What To Look For Next?

These above examples are some of the common ways people are ingesting their cannabis, but the market is only getting started with creative cannabis ingestion.

THC “tampons” (vaginal suppositories) are starting to make their way into the discourse of women’s health, recognizing that delivering THC where it counts can provide a woman immense relief during menstruation. Both these and anal suppositories are becoming the talk of some circles, with the belief that some of the most effective membranes for cannabis absorption is in our nether regions, providing relief for conditions like cramping and perhaps most importantly, Crohn’s Disease.

The connection between cannabis treatment for period pain is obvious as it’s long been recognized as an effective painkiller – but what about Crohn’s Disease? An inflammatory disease of the bowel (IBD), Crohn’s can cause symptoms ranging from severe abdominal pain and digestive symptoms to ones much more severe, such as malnutrition and extreme weight loss. Research suggests it’s the cannabinoids that help here, preventing the autoimmune response that’s thought to cause or contribute to Crohn’s, and in fact triggering a positive one.

The best thing about cannabis is that it never ceases to innovate. We can always count on new products hitting the markets that seek to match cannabis with lifestyle and our understanding of the human body.

What will you try next?