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Consumption Methods: Which Method is Right For You?

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve and mature, especially here in the Garden State, there’s a growing variety of consumption methods available. Whether you’re a seasoned consumer or a curious newcomer, understanding the various available consumption methods can help you tailor your cannabis experience.

Let’s dive into the different ways to enjoy cannabis products and discover which option might be best for you.

  • Smoking flower (i.e., Joints, Bongs): Users can expect to feel effects of smoking cannabis within minutes, with the duration of effects lasting about 1-3 hours, depending on the individual. When smoking cannabis, the THC and other compounds are passed from the lungs into the bloodstream. This means, the compounds are quickly carried throughout the body to reach the brain. This makes smoking cannabis is a suitable option for novice users or those looking for immediate effects of the plant.
  • Smoking concentrates (i.e., Dabbing): Dabbing is saved for the more experienced cannabis consumer since it involves consuming concentrated forms of cannabis extracts. Similar to other forms of cannabis inhalation (i.e., joints, vapes), the effects of dabbing are almost immediate.
  • Ingesting Edibles and Capsules (i.e., Brownies, gummies, chocolates, pills): Depending on the individual, edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in, since they must first pass through the digestive system. Edibles are perfect those seeking a longer lasting experience since effects could last as long as 12 hours or more. Its best to start with lower doses to see how your body will respond.
  • Tinctures (sublingual drops): If taken properly (held under the tongue for absorption), sublingual cannabis drops can be felt within 15 to 45 minutes. Tiny blood vessels in the mucous membranes under the tongue quickly absorb the cannabinoids and other compounds. Effects can last as long as 8 hours, depending on the individual and the dosage.
  • Topicals (creams, balms, lotions): Topicals are perfect for those experiencing pain, inflammation, or skin conditions. Effects can take place within minutes to an hour and are perfect for those that are not looking to experience any psychoactive effects. Because of this, they are perfect for novice users or those looking to localize a specific therapeutic effect.

The cannabis experience is far from one-size-fits-all, and the method of consumption plays a significant role in shaping that experience. From the rapid onset of smoking to the long-lasting effects of edibles, each method interacts with the body in unique ways. Likewise, since every individual consumer and body is unique, factors like metabolism, tolerance level, previous experiences, body composition, and hormonal fluctuations can affect how your body responds to cannabis. That’s not all, however. There are other factors contributing to the experience including timing and dosage, strain and product differences, co-consumption with other substances or medications, and social and cultural factors. In other words, the cannabis experience is a complex interplay of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Understanding this can help you better navigate your personal journey with cannabis, whether you’re seasoned or novice.

Tips for ALL Users

  1. Start with a lower dose and go slow, especially with edibles and tinctures. Give the cannabis some time to work its magic before consuming more.
  2. Consult with budtenders! Share your preferences and concerns, this way your knowledgeable budtender can recommend suitable products and methods
  3. Staying hydrated can help enhance your experience and help mitigate any potential side effect (think, dry mouth)

The diverse world of cannabis offers a method for every preference, whether you’re seeking immediate relief, prolonged effects, or a specific targeted application. As you explore, remember to prioritize safe and responsible consumption, listen to your body, and enjoy the journey of discovery. To be transparent, it is best to consult with your physicians to determine if cannabis use (and your preferred consumption method) is suitable for you.

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