Smoke It, Vape It, Eat It - Different Ways to Use Marijuana

18 May 2021

The golden age of marijuana is dawning. The fad of smoking or medicating with pot has moved beyond subculture and alternative lifestyle. It's not only a simple smoking cigarette in "junky" circles anymore, but it became a mainstream movement where you can choose whether you want to reach for your dealer or dial delivery services to bring some green cush at your doorstep. 

  Oh well, at least that is if you are living in a country where cannabis has finally been made legal.  Whether it's consumed for recreational or medical reasons, marijuana can be consumed differently, and the three basic ingestion methods would include inhalation, oral, and topical.

How to Use Marijuana?

The spectre of these methods comprehends different techniques, and each one of them is intended for a particular occasion.


This is the fastest and probably the most popular way of consuming marijuana. The reason is that when a person inhales marijuana, most cannabinoids enter the body via the lungs and are passed along directly into the person’s bloodstream. The effects are similar to using an inhaler for an asthma attack, except if you have asthma, you should probably seek other ways to get high.  When inhaling weed, it's easy to titrate the dosage and avoid getting too high (or do that if you are up for it, you'll still have a better idea of how much you inhaled compared to how many cookies you ate).  The two favourite ways to inhale marijuana - smoking and vaporising: 


That's the old-school way. Grind the flower, roll it into a joint, and inhale. The rush of the blood to the head is almost instant. Hesitating whether smoking is safe? According to scientists, there's no harm from smoking pot. However, heavy smoking may lead to some health issues, and users who suffer from conditions like asthma are advised to seek other ways to ingest weed. But pretty much, it's safe. According to one study published in 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that "occasional and low cumulative marijuana use was not associated with adverse effects of pulmonary function." The research concerned over 5000 pot-smokers, participants in the study, mining data on their health and habits over a period of 20 years. On the other hand, the American Lung Association recommends continued research to study the effects of marijuana use on lung health, especially since many users mix tobacco and marijuana in a single smoke. But beyond blunts, potheads have been incredibly creative, and they parade with all the different weed-smoking gadgets you can imagine: hand pipes, hookahs, or and even homemade improvised milk jugs. All of these "tools" promote unique experiences and influence the grade of smoke inhaled.

Hand Pipes

The simplicity of the size and their portability are the main reasons why hand pipes are so convenient among pot users. Today, the device stands as a pretentious manner of creative and stylistic expression: both for decoration and functionality. Hand pipes work by trapping the smoke released from fuming chunks, which is then inhaled by the person.

Water Pipes

You can easily mistake these for bongs and bubblers. Also very stylish, but since it's uncertain whether the device actively filters out harmful constituents, it might be the type you don't want to use regularly on a daily basis.

Rolling Papers for Smoking Cannabis

They're basically never-dying. Pretty much the basic. Fellas are going to revoke your pothead license if you fail to roll a joint. Rolling papers can be made of hemp, bamboo, rice, and other materials. Whenever it's possible for you, look for organic rolling papers. If you are the health-conscious cannabis consumer type, blunts are probably not your cup of tea. When weed is rolled in cigar paper, people usually mix it with tobacco, which may deter those who dislike nicotine. But you’ll always meet those who are not saving on their weed and roll wholesome weed joints with their crafty fingers.

Hookahs for Smoking Cannabis

Not so popular but still an option. Hookahs require large quantities of pot to yield the same results as other smoking methods. This method is associated with smoking shisha or wet tobacco. Weed is rarely smoked on its own in a hookah as the low water contents cause the marijuana to burn faster than a person can inhale, wasting the high while sometimes producing an awful acrid taste.

Gravity Bongs

The gravity bong, or a bucket bong or waterfall bong, is usually made from plastic bottles like those used for soda or milk. Or you might never know your red-eyed friend Jeff what sort of bottle will use the next time they call you for a smoke. The bong uses gravity to guide the smoke into the chamber using water or sometimes also booze. A few hits should be good to distort your perception of gravity.


Vaping is all the rage these days. A vaping e-pen heats the marijuana material to a point just below combustion. The difference with smoking is that the active ingredients can be inhaled as a vapour which is thought to be safer than the usual smoke. Vaporisers are primarily popular with the new generations of potheads. The device would steadily heat the herb to a high enough temperature to extract THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. The effects of smoking are stronger. It's a more potent hit. Plus, if you want to do it discretely, this is one of the ways to go. The odour is minimal with vapes. It pays to be cautious with vapes because most of these devices utilise oils, and you want to find those brands that are tested to be safe. Whether you wonder what's the striking contrast in potency between smoking and vaping, putting it bluntly: while flowers can contain 5-20% THC on average, some concentrated oils for the vaping pens can hold up to 80% THC.


Another form of vaporisation is dabbing, where potent concentrates of cannabis are dropped on a heated nail, producing vapour captured in a glass globe and inhaled. It could be in oil form (like honey oil and hash oil) or solid forms (like wax, budder, or shatter). A blowtorch is used to heat the glass pipe or bong, and the vapour is created the instance the resin extract is placed into the pipe. Just like vaping, with dabbing, there's a greater high than your average blunt.

Oral Ingestion

The oral ingestion of marijuana has a lot of advantages. It is one of the preferred methods among individuals who are using marijuana for medical reasons as the hit is not instant and does not have the side effects of smoking and vaping. Marijuana users who opt in for oral ingestion usually report feeling the effects within half an hour up to an hour or longer, whereas the peak effects follow two hours after the ingestion. The sensation of high with oral ingestion may last up to six hours. This is due to processing the edible product in the body. The cannabinoids undergo a chemical transformation via the stomach, and they do not directly enter the bloodstream as would when smoking via the lungs. Another benefit of ingesting orally is that none of the product is lost by sticking to the pipe or rolling paper. The products range from pills that are packed no differently than antibiotics to tinctures, powder, oils, syrups, and all other sorts of edibles. Some of these products can be swallowed or administered sublingually in the mouth cavity.

Foods and Edibles

Yeah, this is probably the most luscious part about marijuana. It can come in the form of cakes, cookies, gummy bears, cereal, granola bars, pizza, ice cream, soda, and even chewing gums. Such products are sold everywhere where weed is legal. Or you can always prepare it yourself, given that you master basic decarboxylation skills. With edibles, it's super easy to get overdosed, so it pays to be cautious. Since it's a method of oral ingestion where the food needs to be processed via the digestive tract, the weed will kick in later in the body, so, easy on those space cookies.


Sprays are awesome because they can be used in places where marijuana is still illegal since they can easily pass as any other medication or hand sanitiser. The sprays are super safe as the marijuana is infused by liquids with THC or cannabinol (CBD) under the tongue, and this way, any "harmful" effect of smoking is pretty much avoided.

Marijuana Tinctures

Tinctures are liquids extracted from cannabis plants that are infused with alcohol or water solutions. A few drops of this elixir would get quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. It’s a method of using marijuana popular in the 19th-century and witnessing its reestablishment on the cannabis scene today. For the best effect from tinctures, hold the drops for up to two minutes in the mouth cavity before swallowing. If you are a newbie with cannabis, microdosing with tinctures are the perfect way to start exploring if the plant's effects suit you. 

Topical Methods

The topical applications are coming in the form of lotions, salves, bath salts, and oils applied to the skin. The skin has a fairly complex absorption process which is based on the compound’s ability to dissolve in H20. The cannabinoids penetrate the skin and ease pain and inflammation. The application is local, and the pain seems to be gone for one or two hours. It's an efficient method to treat pains from conditions like arthritis, plus it's a method of use that won't get you high. The possibility of intoxication is very rare because only an insignificant amount of cannabinoids reaches the brain.