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November 3, 2021

There are many cannabis consumption methods — From smoking flower or vaping THC distillate to ingesting tinctures, and so much more. Cannabis consumption methods generally fall into one of four categories, and different methods provide different experiences. What kind of high are YOU looking for?

The days of smoking weed out of an apple are over — if you want them to be! With the legalization of cannabis and the growth of the market comes a myriad of ways to consume it, whether you prefer taking it low and slow with edibles, the convenience of your favorite vape pen, or passing the pre roll around the campfire. Let’s take a look at some of the ways consumers around the nation are enjoying that sweet bud, and why you might choose some methods over others.

Inhalation

Some might consider inhalation the most recognizable way to consume cannabis — but, these days, it takes different forms: smoking AND vaping.

Smoking: Light the flower, and inhale the smoke.

  • Glass Pipes: One of the most common ways to smoke cannabis is through a simple (or intricate) glass pipe. With a grinder, scissors or with your fingers, break up the buds. Once broken up pack a bowl (add cannabis to the pipe’s bowl-shaped end), light the flower, and inhale from the other end to pull the smoke through the pipe’s chamber. Voila!
  • Water Pipes: Bubblers and bongs are both water pipes, and offer a similar way to smoke cannabis as glass pipes, except the smoke is cooled and filtered through a water chamber. This tends to create a smoother smoking experience. Take a look at the selection we carry in stores, like Grav.
  • Joints and Blunts: Roll a blunt using blunt wraps; roll a joint with rolling papers or pack a cone; or purchase a pre-rolled joint at your favorite Massachusetts cannabis dispensary. Light one end and inhale through the other. 

The main difference between glass and a vaping device is the convenience factor - choosing something portable for sessions wherever you want, or an always-impressive table top rig.

Vaping: Heat your flower or concentrate to right below the point of combustion (between 356℉ and 374℉) and inhale the vapor.

Vape pen or vaporizer? There’s a subtle, but potent, difference between using a vape pen and a vaporizer. 

  • Vaporizer: With a vaporizer, you can put cannabis flower or concentrate in the heating chamber and adjust your temperature before inhaling. Vaporizers can also be portable or come in tabletop versions. If you’re ready to try a new vaporizer, consider picking up a piece that we carry in our stores from our friends at Ooze, PuffCo, or Yocan.
  • Vape pens: Vape pens are often smaller and simpler than vaporizers. Vape pens include a battery that attaches to a cartridge with either THC distillate or live resin. In fact, Temescal offers our THC distillate two ways: VSPR THC distillate cartridges, made with strain-specific terpenes to maximize strain-specific entourage effects and our Freedom Pen full spectrum vape cartridges, that aren’t reformulated with terpenoids, but made with high quality flower

There are two main battery types for vape pens: 510 Thread (CCell Palm) and Pax Era Life/Pax Era Pro.

  • Freedom Pen and Origyn cartridges use a 510 Thread (CCell Palm) battery.
  • Your favorite Massachusetts cannabis dispensary’s VSPR cartridges, and those made by our friends at Fernway, also take a 510 Thread (CCell Palm) battery.
  • PAX Era vape pens do their own thing — with Pax Era Life or Pax Era Pro batteries.
  • Pro tip: If you buy a disposable vape pen, you don’t need to worry about which carts match with which battery. Just pull and puff! Our Temescal Wellness disposable vape pens are .3g.
  • Dabbing: You can vaporize cannabis concentrates by dabbing. Concentrates come in a few different forms, like wax, shatter, and butter. Some concentrates can be used interchangeably, but there are some differences between types of cannabis concentrates. It’s a more involved method of vaporizing because you need a dab rig to heat a glass, ceramic, or titanium “nail.” Then apply the cannabis concentrate directly to the hot surface, and you’ve got cannabis vapor for consumption.
Pro tip: If you’re not ready to purchase a dab rig, start off with a wax pen or dab pen. The Little Dipper dab pen from Dab Devices is a great way to dip your toes into dabbing.

With smoking and vaping, you can measure your dosage based on the (often immediate) effects. There are a few key differences between smoking vs. vaping, and vaping is a great alternative to smoking (but we think there’s something special about consuming fresh flower, too!) As with many things in life, it’s good to find a balance. 

Pro tip: flower, cartridges, pre-rolls and disposable vape pens make great gifts!

Oral Ingestion

Sure, you’ve heard of pot brownies, but did you know that you can ingest cannabis through edibles, beverages, tinctures, and pills?

Cannabis tinctures and pills offer a great, calorie-free way to get precise when it comes to dosing (and microdosing) with cannabis - doses are measured in milligrams. You can also DIY the dose by infusing beverages with tincture, or cooking with cannabis!

Edibles: The world of cannabis edibles has expanded quite a bit in the past decade.

  • Sweets - When you eat cannabis-infused baked goods, chocolates, gummies, or other edibles, cannabinoids are absorbed through the digestive tract. Our best advice is to start with a low-dose treat and go slow, because edibles can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours to take effect for most people. Check out the edibles section of our menus for the best cannabis-infused treats on the market!
  • Drinkables -  Drinkables were in the spotlight of the cannabis ingestible industry this year, particularly because they provide a great consumption method if you’re trying to stay social and avoid a hangover — plus, they’re tasty and refreshing! Find cannabis-infused seltzers from Cantrip and Levia at our Massachusetts dispensaries. 
  • Capsules or Pills - Choose between time-release or immediate-release capsules. 1906 New Highs offer the latest in plant-based pills, with precise and targeted effects!

Tinctures: Similarly, tinctures can be absorbed through the digestive tract or consumed sublingually (a few drops underneath your tongue should do the trick). Tinctures are liquid cannabis extract and alcohol (or other fat-soluble liquids, such as vinegar or glycerol) used as the solvent. When consumed sublingually, tinctures have a more rapid onset of effects, but you can always drop it into your favorite warm beverage, or use it in your cooking for that extra kick!

Some cannabis lovers might choose edibles over smoking or vaping because they’re more discreet, or because they prefer the slower onset of effects. But if you’re asking yourself “How long do edibles take to work?” just remember to start low, and go slow. You’ll get the hang of it!

Topicals

Topical methods of cannabis delivery don’t induce psychoactive effects, but they’re worth mentioning due to their healing and soothing effects when applied directly to the skin. Topical cannabis products come in salves, balms, gels, butters and lotions and are great for treating pain, dry skin, muscle aches and much more! Keep an eye on our medical menus for body balm during gift giving season!

However you interact with cannabis, if you’re consuming it regularly, you’re building up a tolerance. All this means is that cannabinoid (CB1) receptors in your brain slowly deplete and become more resistant to the active components in weed, such as THC. That’s why you need to gradually increase the dosage to obtain the same effect you’re used to. But research shows that taking a break from THC will gradually increase your CB1 receptors. Everyone’s biology is different, so it could take anywhere from a few days to 2-4 weeks to reset your tolerance.

Don’t be shy when it comes to mixing and matching how you use cannabis! From consuming to help anxiety naturally or for helping you sleep, to cooking with cannabis, sharing flower with friends and family, or hitting the bong solo while playing video games — there’s no “wrong” way to consume cannabis. Choose the right consumption method for you! And remember, Temescal Wellness associates are always happy to make suggestions and help you find what you enjoy most!


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