Four ways to take cannabis (or CBD)
June 26, 2019
Weed is popular again. Or should we say, weed is still popular?
There have always been advocates of cannabis, even through the decades of hard-core prohibition. But now, as its legalization continues to grow into a worldwide movement, a lot of science-backed claims about the positive effects of cannabis and CBD — which doesn’t even get you high — are gaining greater acceptance.
Besides their ability to stop seizures and treat cancer, cannabis and CBD (cousins of the same plant) are being used to combat insomnia, anxiety and pain. In other words, weed is not just for slackers anymore — it’s a legit medicine that more people are people trying, for a variety of conditions.
If you are new to the cannabis community and looking to explore the many benefits of this plant, these are the four most common ways of getting cannabis or CBD into your body and eventually to your brain, where you’ll gain the medicinal benefits.
Ingest it for a slow-acting, intense high
One way of getting cannabis in your system is by ingesting it, or in simple terms, eating it. Manufactured edibles including chocolates, gummies and mints are great for situations where you want to keep a low profile by not billowing clouds of smoke or vapor, such as: at the movies, the airport, a wedding, etc…
Homemade brownies and other cannabis-infused baked goods are also gaining popularity. It can take over an hour before you start feeling effects of edibles though, so be patient. The classic rookie mistake with edibles is to eat a cannabis treat, feel nothing after a half hour or so, and then eat some more. Then you have a double dose and can end up with a very intense high. Not so good if you’re just trying to chill at your neighbor’s bar mitzvah.
As far as CBD goes, gummies are a super-popular edible. And what's to like? They're tasty, and they're good for you!
Inhale it for immediate effects
Inhaling is the most common method of taking cannabis and can be done by smoking or vaping. The effects are instant, so it is easier to measure, or titrate, your dose and keep yourself from getting too high. Rolling a blunt with a tobacco leaf is also a good way to unwind if you aren’t concerned about the dangers of tobacco.
If inhaling carcinogens is not your thing, you can try vaping, which has grown in popularity. Be advised, there are many vape products out there, and there has not been a lot of research — other than the ongoing trial of millions of people vaping. There could be health risks to inhaling vapor; we just don’t know yet.
That’s not stopping a lot of people from vaping pre-loaded CBD or cannabis pens, or using box mods with cannabis or CBD oil added to the tank. The battery-powered vape pens are super-easy to use, you just suck on the tip and you’re inhaling vapor. A mod requires a little more of an investment up front, but could be more economical in the long run.
If you want a chemical-free way to inhale, dry vaping flower might be for you. With the right kind of vaporizer, you can adjust the temperature settings to activate the various aromatic compounds, called terpenes, in the cannabis. Better yet, you won’t be sucking in ash or questionable oils.
A word of caution: If you are new to cannabis, be careful with dabs, wax, or any other concentrates; they can get you really high in a hurry.
Go sublingual for medicinal efficacy
Sublingual means “under the tongue,” where you place drops of extracted cannabis or CBD oil, also known as a tincture. Taking drops is a fast and easy way to administer cannabis for any medical reasons. It’s easy to measure out, so you can precisely dose, and it takes about 20 minutes for your medicine to have its effect. This method also doesn’t require the cannabis to go through your liver, or digestive system, which allows for the quick activation.
Topicals for aches and pains
People are using CBD-infused topical creams, balms, or salves to treat joint and muscle pain. As a non-toxic alternative to over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin, topical CBD has developed a following, particularly among athletes, and those with arthritis. Some swear by its analgesic properties, and CBD is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory as well.
Cannabis can be a tool for good health.
While cannabis can help you sleep — which is the foundation of good health — improve your appetite, quell your aches and pains, and perhaps increase your focus, there are other things you need to be doing every day to achieve true good health.
Eat clean, get a workout as often as you can, pay attention to your relationships, make progress at work, and your life is going to go in the direction you want. Cannabis can be your ally along the way.