When it comes to consuming cannabis, there’s a plethora of options available, with new techniques and methods being created (and old methods being improved upon) as cannabis continually makes its way into the mainstream. Below is a quick summary of the primary methods used to consume cannabis.
A bong, also referred to as a water pipe (especially in tobacco shops, where the term bong is often prohibited), is a glass piece used to consume cannabis which filters the smoke through water, making it easier on the lungs. These pieces come in a variety of options, including some coming with perculators (which further filters the smoke), and some with other filters such as charcoal. Bongs are typically one to three feet tall (but can vary greatly), and include a detachable “bowl” where the cannabis is placed and ignited. These are popular among cannabis consumers as they’re typically less harsh on the lungs. Taking a glance through a quality glass shop will give you an idea of the variety of bongs that are available.
A joint is cannabis rolled up in smokeable paper, similar to a cigarette. This is one of the most common methods of ingesting cannabis. Although papers are typically made from rice, others are made from different materials, including hemp.
A blunt is cannabis rolled up in a cigar wrapper. Often-times people will take a mini-cigar such as a Swisher Sweet, will empty out the tobacco, and will refill it with cannabis. Due to the increased size of cigar paper over typical rolling paper, this is often a preferred method among those consuming cannabis in a group. However, cigar papers tend to be made from tobacco, making them a smoking method to avoid for those not wanting to put tobacco smoke in their lungs.
A glass bubbler is a cross between a standard pipe, and a bong; you could also view it as a mini-bong of sorts. Bubblers typically have a small chamber where the smoke filters through water, but unlike bongs, bubblers don’t typically have detachable bowls.
A vaporizer is a device used to heat cannabis so that its contents can be inhaled without actually combusting the plant-matter itself. This is one of the most effective ways to leverage the cannabinoids in the plant, and is also considerably easier on the lungs, making it good for patients who can’t handle other smoking methods.
Dabbing is the process of consuming cannabis oil using an oil-burner, which are bong-like devices (though they don’t always include water filtration) that are meant specifically for oil-consumption. These pieces typically come with a nail, a device that replaces the typical “bowl” of a bong. These nails – which can be made from quartz, titanium, platinum and other materials – are heated up through a torch, after which the individual uses a dabber (a stick-like device) – to place the oil on the burner. Given the concentrated strength of cannabis oil, many patients have made the switch from smoking cannabis bud, to exclusively consuming oil.
Cannabis edibles are cannabis-infused food products, such as brownies or truffles. This method of intake is popular among patients as it doesn’t require them to smoke and the effects last considerably longer. Edibles, however, can be incredibly strong, especially for new consumers, so caution is suggested when trying new products.
Cannabis tincture is an elixir created by mixing cannabis with either alcohol, or vegetable glycerin. This is an ideal method of intake for patients who don’t want to smoke, and/or who don’t want to the strong “high” associated with cannabis consumption.