5 Different Ways to Consume Marijuana and the Effects of Each

ways to consume marijuana

The popularity of marijuana is on the rise for both recreational and medicinal purposes. But smoking a joint is only one of the many ways you can enjoy herb.

Have you been interested in learning about different ways to consume marijuana?

From smoking concentrates to noshing on sweet treats, the options for marijuana consumption are diverse. To find out more about all the ways to use weed, check out this great list.

Smoking Marijuana

Smoking marijuana is one of the most popular ways to consume marijuana. Depending on the marijuana smoking devices chosen, it can be fairly simple and the high comes quickly and intensely.

Common ways to smoke weed are with rolling papers, hand pipes, dab kits, and various water pipes like bongs and bubblers.

Rolling papers and tobacco leaves can be used to make spiffs, joints, and blunts. Bongs and bubblers cool and slightly filter smoke, making the smoking experience a little more pleasant.

Dab rigs are modified water pipes. They have a joint (instead of a connector for a glass bowl like other water pipes) that holds a nail. Concentrate is placed on the heated nail, which leads to the vaporization of the concentrate.

The high from dabbing is intense. When a carb cap is used on the rig, more terpenes are preserved, so your experience is as flavorful as it is powerful.

Using Vaporizers for Marijuana Consumption

Vaporizers are relatively new on the marijuana scene. They basically work by using heating mechanisms to extract cannabinoids from marijuana by means of vaporization. Vaporizers don’t burn as hot as combustion (smoking), so more cannabinoids and other plant compounds such as terpenes are available.

Vaporizers can use one of two heating mechanism types to achieve vaporizing temperatures.

Convection Heating

In those that use convection, the marijuana doesn’t make actual contact with the heating element. The vaporizer heats air to the correct temperature. The air is then moved across the chamber that contains the marijuana by inhalation or a fan.

Conduction Heating

Vaporizers that use conductive heating to vaporize cannabis have an electronically heated surface onto which marijuana or concentrates are placed. This surface reaches temperatures that vaporize terpenes and cannabinoids without burning them.

Using a Vaporizer

Vaporizers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are handhelds, pens, and desktop vaporizers. They also are made for different types of marijuana product, such as waxes, oils, concentrates, and dry herb. Most vaporizers are portable for convenience.

Because more of the cannabinoids are preserved due to combustion-free heating, vaporizers deliver a quick and powerful high similar to smoking. Because there’s no smoke involved, the experience is easier on the lungs as well.

Cannabis Oils and Tinctures

For those who are looking for ways to consume marijuana that don’t involve inhalation, oils and tinctures are popular products. These products deliver the benefits of marijuana without the risks of smoking.


Tinctures are liquid marijuana extracts that are absorbed through the mouth. They’re generally placed under the tongue where cannabinoids can quickly enter the bloodstream. This sublingual dosing is like a topical application, yet instead of being applied to the skin, it’s applied inside the mouth.

Tinctures are usually made by using a solvent to separate decarboxylated cannabinoids from the flower. Common solvents are alcohol, glycerol, and vinegar.

Tinctures have the benefit of allowing users precise dosing control. Because they’re absorbed quickly in the mouth, the effects are noticeable soon after the dose is given.


Cannabis oils bridge the gap between tinctures and marijuana edibles. They are liquid and taken by mouth like tinctures. However, they are ingested and must be absorbed in the digestive tract and processed by the liver before effects are felt.

In addition to being eaten or used on food, oils can be put into capsules for easy consumption.

Marijuana oils are made in a number of ways. Most are made by heating dry flower at a low temperature for an hour or so to allow for decarboxylation of the cannabinoids. This converts THC-A to the psychoactive THC.

After heating, a solvent is used to separate cannabinoids from the flower. These cannabinoids are left in the oil after the solvent has evaporated.

Edibles: Tasty Ways to Consume Marijuana

Food and drinks that contain cannabis are called edibles. Consuming edibles produces a very different effect than other methods of consumption.

The high from edibles has a much longer onset and tends to be far more powerful and long-lasting. It must be processed by the liver, not simply absorbed into the bloodstream.

Edibles can be tricky when it comes to dosing. Because it takes a while before you experience effects, it’s easy to overdo it with edibles and become uncomfortably high.

These infused edibles come in many forms, from sweet to savory. They’re often made with cannabis-infused butter or oil. These fats allow for the full extraction of cannabinoids.

Flower isn’t usually used in cooking because it’s difficult to maintain a temperature that allows for cannabinoid activation without cannabinoid destruction.

Cannabis Topicals

Our skin is our largest organ. It’s quite efficient at absorbing active compounds, and cannabis is no exception. Marijuana topicals are usually thicker oils that contain powerful cannabinoid compounds meant to be absorbed for a therapeutic effect.

Topicals don’t give users the typical high associated with marijuana. This is one of the few ways to use weed that is meant for local relief only.

These topicals are applied to problem areas for a range of effects. These effects can include:

  • Pain relief
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Increased sexual response

The compounds that would usually provide a mental and physical high instead go straight to the intended area. This is a great option for those who need pain relief but also need to be clear-headed for work or other tasks.

Marijuana Consumption: Pick Your Preference

With all of the ways to consume marijuana that are available, you’ll be able to experiment and find one that works for your needs.

For great information on marijuana and more, feel free to explore our posts today.

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