Marijuana, known among different cultures and countries by different names, continues to be one of the most popular things in the world. It has been consumed by humans for thousands of years and ancient civilizations were the first to realize its medicinal potentials too. Over the years it had become a part of many cultural, religious, and social activities too before the misguided war on drugs became a war on marijuana. Nonetheless, the recent decades have seen a shift in the mindset of governments all over the world as marijuana is now getting legalized across several countries.
Over the years weed has gone through many changes. From a plant that grew outdoors, it has become something that growers can grow under perfect conditions inside a tent. While it was something that was consumed by everyone thousands of years ago it became a social taboo and from that, it has started off a third journey towards global acceptance once again. It became the symbol of peace and love and the hippie culture of the 60s and the 70s. From what used to be just one common plant, growers have managed to introduce several variations which carry different amounts of THC, CBD, and even different tastes and flavors.
What has also changed in these years is the way weed has been consumed. Ancient cultures used to smoke it up or used to crush it to use it in medicine. Today, there are many different ways to smoke weed and to consume weed. There are joints, blunts, spliffs, bongs, vapes, dabs, waxes, oils and the list can go on for quite a while! Many times stoners get confused as to when they hear different terms. In this article, we bring to light the different ways to smoke weed
How Can Weed be Consumed?
The most popular way to consume weed is to smoke it. For centuries this has been the common practice. Be it a wise old hermit living in the forests of China or India smoking it in his mud pipe or be it the college student in the US rolling up a joint or using a bong – smoking weed is the most popular way across the world to consume weed.
However, apart from smoking weed, there are many other ways in which marijuana can be consumed as well as marijuana extracts such as CBD and THC can be consumed. These include vaping, inhaling, consuming in the form of edibles, hotboxing, etc. Over the course of this article, we shall be taking a look at the different ways in which stoners can get high off weed!
We are dividing this into two parts
- Different ways to smoke weed
- Different ways to consume marijuana without smoking it
In each of these parts, we will express in detail the ways in which you can consume marijuana and even give our expert insights into it. Let us first begin by the most popular method of them all: smoking weed.
Different Ways to Smoke Weed
The basic idea behind smoking weed is that when you heat it, you are essentially separating the THC and CBD away from the rest of the weed and when you smoke it, it goes straight into your bloodstream which gives you the effect of being ‘high’ or shows the medicinal benefits that you get. Historical evidence discovered by archaeologists shows that humans have been smoking marijuana for at least 2,500 years! What makes it even more incredible is that after 2500 years of continuous practice the art of smoking weed continues to thrive even today!
Here are the most popular ways in which you can smoke weed:
The easiest and the most popular method to smoke weed is to make a joint. A ‘joint’ technically refers to weed that is crushed and rolled in a rolling paper. A joint works on the same fundamentals as a cigarette which is filled with weed instead of tobacco. In some places you might find a fair mix of tobacco and weed. These rolling papers can be made out of plain cellulose for those people who like to enjoy the natural taste of weed and they can also be flavored rolling papers for those stoners who like to have an extra splash of taste in their mouth while they smoke it. Some people like to smoke regular sized classic joints while others like to make different shapes by joining multiple joints together. There’s also something known as a ‘pre rolled cone’ which is a pre-rolled joint where you can simply fill in the weed, twist it and smoke it!
Blunts work on the same principle of smoking your weed like you would smoke a cigarette, except that you smoke it like you would smoke a cigar. Blunts are made of tobacco leaves or cigar wrappers instead of being a regular rolling paper. These generally come in the form of pre-rolled cones, which may or may not carry a flavour. These are meant for those stoners who enjoy a little bit of tobacco content along with their weed. These originated in New York and have become quite common all over the world. There are some flavored variants available too, but most stoners who like to smoke blunts prefer unflavored variants to get a more ‘authentic’ flavor.
Bongs are basically water pipes and the idea behind using these equipment to smoke weed is that they carry water at their base. Thanks to this, the smoke that the stoners draw gets cooled down and filtered. This allows the stoners to inhale larger quantities and get a higher dose of THC in their body in one draw than they would get in traditional means of smoking weed. Compared to a regular pipe these water pipes are much more effective in terms of allowing the stoners to filter and consume larger quantities. When you consume weed via a bong you would generally find it less harsher than a regular/dry medium and hence it is a little easier on your throat and lungs. There are many different types of bongs based on their shape and cooling mechanism and stoners have plenty of options to choose from!
Pipes have been in practice for several hundred years now. Be it the clay ‘chillums’ that you would see Asian hermits use or be it the classic pipe that sherlock holmes uses, pipes have been around and about for a long while and are used to smoke tobacco as well as weed. The simplest way to understand how a pipe works is imagine it to be a reusable, sturdier, pre-rolled joint. You stuff your weed and light it up at one end and you draw the smoke from another end with a filter in between which can be anything from a cloth to a stone which will ensure that you don’t suck in the weed when you are drawing from the other end. Of late, the ‘pipe culture’ hasn’t really stuck around and it has become more of an artistic expression than anything else.
Hookahs, also known as sheeshas in some cultures, are a very common means of smoking tobacco as well as weed, especially in the middle eastern and asian regions. It functions similar to a bong but instead of having to light the weed at all times it makes use of coal to burn the weed. Since the fire is on the weed at all times, it burns out pretty fast and often leaves a bad taste in the mouth for the stoners. Hence, when consuming marijuana using a hookah, people usually tend to mix it with tobacco and place the weed in the center so that the tobacco burns first while the weed heats up for a while before burning out. Hookahs usually have a long pipe which can be shared for smoking between multiple people. Sometimes you even find variants with multiple pipes.
This is not a traditional means of smoking weed but is something that has become pretty popular over the past fifty years or so. In ‘hotboxing’, people smoke multiple joints in a (usually small and compact) room without any ventilation and the presence of THC in the air gets everyone high and amplifies the effect as well as prolongs the high. This is the result of the hippie culture and has been something which has stuck around.
Ways to Consume Weed Without Smoking It
Now that we have gone through all the different ways in which you can smoke weed, here’s a look at some of the different ways of consuming weed without actually having to smoke it but still getting the effect of THC and CBD.
Ok this one falls in a grey zone as some people consider vaping to be a form of smoking while others don’t. For the purpose of this article we do not consider it as smoking as vaping is in a league of its own. A vape is a device which has a chamber in the front where you can fill the weed or the concentrate and have it heated to a certain degree which will ensure that the THC and the CBD are separated from the weed but the other harmful toxins that come in the smoke are not generated.
The idea behind consuming weed in vapes is to promote a culture of healthy smoking which will remove the harmful toxins from the weed. Another huge benefit in vaping weed instead of smoking it is that the strong and pungent smell of weed that is usually a ‘tell’ that someone has been smoking weed is usually absent when you use a vaporizer. This is another popular reason as to why an increasing number of stoners have been using vapes these days. They are also portable, easy to carry and less conspicuous!
Apart from smoking and vaping weed, there are many other forms and ways in which marijuana can be consumed by stoners. Tinctures are one such way. These are basically a liquid form of cannabis which are consumed using a dropper. A few drops (usually about three to four would be enough) are dropped under your tongue from where they get absorbed in your bloodstream. It is best advised to consume tinctures on an empty stomach which help them show a faster effect. However, it is in your interest to consume them in a strict and limited dose as the liver takes quite a bit of time to process them. These tinctures require a fat-soluble liquid as a solvent to convert them into a liquid form. Most of the times alcohol is used but something like vinegar and glycerol can also be used for creating these oral solutions for consuming weed.
For those stoners who are seeking a stronger effect of the ‘high’ that they get after consuming cannabis, edibles are one of the best options to check out. Edibles are food products that carry cannabis in them. Food cooked in cannabis oil or butter is one that gives you the taste and filling effect of food along with the high that you get from consuming the THC content in the weed! There are many people who like to cook cookies and brownies out of weed and other products of the cannabis family as well. Our word of advice here is that when you are consuming these edibles, you might want to watch out for the effects carefully. These edibles generally take a much longer time to ‘hit’ you and get you high but the high that you experience is a body high and is a much stronger experience than a regular high. Be careful that you don’t end up eating too much too early!
Concentrates are basically concentrated marijuana extracts which carry in them between 70 to 90% of THC content. This is a pretty strong dose of THC and must be used with extreme caution. These can be solvent-based or non-solvent based. Examples of solvent-based concentrates are CO2 oil, marijuana wax, shatters, distillates and live resins while the solventless concentrates are kief, bubble hash, dry sift, rosin, etc. There are different ways in which each of them can be consumed but the one common thing that goes along with all the different types of concentrates is that they must be used with extreme caution given how potent they tend to be and a strong dose can be disorienting, if not harmful (which they often are in large doses). We strongly suggest that only experienced stoners try this. Concentrates are also quite popular with the stoners who like to use vapes to consume their weed.
Topicals are not to get you high but they provide a different, therapeutic effect on the part where you apply them! Topicals are basically cannabis infused lotions and creams which are applied to different parts of your body primarily for their pain relief or anti-ageing properties. These are generally rich in CBD extracts and help you ease inflammations and other kinds of pain-related issues. Here, cannabinoids go into your body via the skin. These are quite an effective way of pain relief but not really something that you would like to use if you want to get high. They are commonly available across medicinal stores but in some regions you would need a doctors permit to buy them so better watch out for that.
6. Anxiety Gummies
Last but not the least, these are technically edibles, but we have them in a different category because they are not for getting high, but for stress relief. Anxiety Gummies are basically CBD infused gummy bears that people pop when they are facing stress or anxiety. The CBD content in these gummies helps people relax and feel better in stressful situations. These are also great for people suffering from restlessness, insomnia and other problems commonly caused by stress and anxiety. Some gummies are also infused with melatonin which help the consumers sleep better. Consult with your doctor before you begin popping them though!
Effects of Consuming Weed
Now that you know which are the different ways in which you can smoke weed as well as the different ways in which you can consume weed without smoking it, let us take a look at some of the effects that you go through when you consume weed.
- An altered state of mind – the first thing that you feel is that your state of mind feels altered. You enter a dreamy euphoric state of being which is quite unlike the regular times. Stoners can vouch for this as the ‘high’ of weed. The sensations that you feel are different from what you would normally feel and all your senses react differently by either hightening or by reducing.
- Increased reaction time – When it comes to time, it also gets altered while you are under the influence of weed. You begin to feel like things are either slowing down or they are picking up a very rapid pace. You don’t really know how much time has passed and seconds feel like hours and sometimes hours feel like seconds. Your reaction time also slows down and it might take you longer to comprehend things than it would otherwise do. This is why it is illegal to drive when high on weed because you can’t think quick enough.
- Altered memory – when you are under the influence of marijuana, you might not be able to recollect things as quickly as you would normally do. THC changes the way information is processed in your brain.
- Increase in Dopamine levels – now this is the thing that drives so many people to smoke weed. An increase in dopamine levels is an increase in the overall happiness. This truly is the ‘happy high’ that many stoners are chasing when they smoke weed. This can also enhance your sensory perceptions.
- Pain relief – One of the best things about consuming weed is that it helps you with pain relief. This is due to the CBD in it and the pain relieving properties it offers. It helps with muscular pain, inflammation of the joints, glaucoma, as well as various other kinds of pains. This is particularly beneficial for cancer patients going through the chemotherapy treatment who tend to feel a lot of pain during the process.
- Increased Hunger – One of the most common effects of smoking weed is an increase in hunger. These are what we generally refer to as ‘the munchies’ where you just want to eat something all the time while you’re high on weed. This helps those with appetite disorders or those people who suffer from appetite issues during AIDS or Cancer treatment.
- Increased Heartbeat – Another common effect that is associated with consuming weed is an increase in heartbeat. This is something that can last for hours even after you are out of your ‘trip’. This is one thing you might want to watch out for because there are people who get anxious when this happens.
- Red eyes – the most common effect of smoking weed is that you get red eyes. This is because the THC causes blood vessels in your eyes to expand. This is a very common effect and is quite a ‘tell’ that someone has been smoking weed. This can be countered by using some eyedrops which help you clear your red-eyes up.
Frequently Asked Questions About Consuming Weed
Here’s a look at some FAQs about consuming weed. These are very commonly asked questions and we request you to go through them as these might be some questions that you might be having as well!
1. Is it legal to smoke weed?
It is legal to smoke weed in some jurisdictions while it is not in others. Almost all states in the US permit smoking weed for medicinal purposes but that requires you to have proper prescriptions from the doctors. However, there are some states where you can smoke weed recreationally too. Hence, the local laws matter the most so always check if it is legal to smoke weed in your area.
2. What is the best way to consume weed?
There are many different ways to smoke weed and the answer to this question honestly depends upon what your personal preferences are, how long you have been smoking and what kind of a ‘high’ do you want to achieve from smoking weed. Keeping all these factors in mind you should go for whatever floats your boat the best.
3. Are there any side effects of smoking weed?
Yes, smoking weed does have some side effects such as increased hunger levels, increased heartbeat levels – and sometimes even an increase in the anxiety levels. One of the most common side effects of weed is that it leaves ‘red eyes’ behind which are a sure-shot ‘tell’ that someone has been smoking marijuana.
To conclude, we hope that we have covered as many different ways to smoke weed as well as to consume weed without smoking it as possible. What is the method that you like the best? Or is there something that we have missed out on? Or do you want to know more about one of these methods? Do let us know all your feedback and questions in the comments section or drop us a mail and we shall get back to you with more information as soon as we can! Till then…
…Happy Smoking! 🙂