For thousands of years humans have been smoking cannabis. With scattered evidence of everything from recreational, religious, burial, and medical use, the act of smoking cannabis is one of the oldest tools humanity has engaged with. For many Arkansas medical marijuana patients, smoking cannabis will be their first introduction to the plant and its medicinal properties. In this article we’ll cover different ways to smoke cannabis, and which way might be best for you!
Arkansas Marijuana Card Guide: The Basics of Smoking Cannabis
Nearly everyone familiar with cannabis will be familiar with smoking it. Smoking is the go-to way to consume cannabis and has been for a long time. In fact, we know human beings were smoking cannabis at least as early as 2,500 years ago, most likely as part of a burial ritual in China.
Cannabis use has been documented earlier than that, though not all documented cases include smoking the plant. Cannabis is a versatile plant with many different applications in society, culture, and medicine. As such, the plant has been used for different purposes throughout time.
While you might not necessarily want to light up a joint at a funeral like they did in Ancient Western China, you’re likely familiar with smoking cannabis as medication or for enjoyment. And while the act of smoking cannabis is fairly straightforward, the art of smoking cannabis is more complex.
Cannabis brings with it an innate sense of culture and ritual. There’s something about sparking a joint in nature, or sharing a pipe with a friend, that opens an exciting door to connection and experience with yourself, your planet, and life. Different smoking methods produce different experiences and new patients may not be familiar with the intricacies of each method.
So, let’s talk about the top 5 ways to smoke weed.
Smoking any substance can produce carcinogens that could negatively impact your health. Please talk to your doctor or budtender about which consumption method is right for you. Our team of doctors at Arkansas Marijuana Card are here to help -- Schedule your appointment today!
Top 5 Ways to Smoke Weed for Arkansas Marijuana Patients
While these are in no particular order, they all share one thing in common: combustion (or in the case of the last category, potential combustion).
Combustion is the process of burning something.
When you burn something such as plant material, the plant will start to rapidly change its chemical structure and release new compounds into the smoke it produces. These compounds are then inhaled and get absorbed into your system.
Different smoking methods change the composition, taste, and efficiency of that smoke. It is true that the same amount of flower could be consumed in several different ways, producing very different effects and flavors from each way it is smoked.
This list consists of the 5 most common ways to smoke marijuana, how that method interacts with the plant, and how it interacts with you.
Top 5 Ways to Smoke Weed
Pipes are extremely easy to use, produce good smoke and flavor, and can be easily favored for convenience. Pipes are often made of glass or wood and come in every size and construction imaginable. From simple Sherlock pipes to elaborate handblown glass designs, pipes are also very easy to conceal and can be found in gas stations, head shops and tobacco stores.
Pipes don’t typically use any kind of filtration for the smoke, so your hit will be harsher and thicker. While some tobacco pipes include filters, these commonly filter too many compounds and are not suitable for cannabis use.
Pipes are used by grinding up dried flower, placing the desired amount in the bowl, lighting & inhaling.
Most pipes will come equipped with a “carb”, a small hole near the bowl that acts as an air restrictor, allowing you to cut off or increase oxygen to produce more or less smoke.
Pipes are also extremely affordable, if you’re looking for an easily portable, compact way to smoke, a pipe might be right for you.
Joints are excellent for groups, portability, taste and smoke production. While rolling papers can be found almost everywhere, rolling a perfect joint is a science by itself.
“Marijuana cigarettes” are considered one of the best ways to smoke cannabis for flavor, the ember burns down the joint and saturates the cannabis with heat and resin as you smoke it. Joints are the preferred way for tasting the terpenes and cannabinoids in cannabis.
Smoking an entire joint alone might not be the appropriate dosage for a new patient, however joints can be put out and relit for use at another time.
Pro Tip: Blow through your joint before you put it out for reuse, it will taste much better in round 2.
Joint papers are made with many different materials, hemp, rice, and wood pulp for example. They are made in different dimensions, longer or shorter, and filters can be added for a smoother hit. They can even be purchased as pre-rolled cone shapes, for those new to rolling this is an excellent option, just stuff your bud in the cone and light.
Rolling a joint is done by grinding your flower, placing it evenly on the paper, tucking and rolling the cannabis into a tube shape, and folding the paper so it makes a cylinder, finalized by licking the wax strip to hold the joint together. The art of rolling takes time to learn, it is a skill as much as a process. But the satisfaction of smoking a perfectly rolled joint is unmatchable.
Bongs (or water-pipes) are constructed to heavily filter smoke. You might be surprised to find out that bongs are some of the earliest devices used for smoking cannabis. They date back nearly 2,500 years and suggest humans have been trying to efficiently smoke cannabis for quite a long time.
Bongs are constructed of many materials, from synthetic rubbers, plastics, and most commonly glass, bongs have a bowl, water chamber, and a mouthpiece.
Bongs work by passing the smoke through water which cools and filters the smoke before it reaches your lungs. This provides a smoother, cooler hit, and produces a large amount of smoke.
Water is placed into the bong, dried flower is ground and placed into the bowl which is lit & inhaled.
Bongs are notorious for being smooth but heavy, bowls often burn very fast in bongs and as a result can produce a very large hit with a lot of smoke. They are a little less portable but work extremely efficiently. There is even an entire culture behind bongs and dab rigs called heady glass, with extremely intricate bongs made as artwork with extraordinary creative expression.
Blunts are traditionally made of tobacco leaves or tobacco wraps but can be made from hemp and other organic materials as well.
Blunts are very similar to joints, though usually larger and heavier.
Blunts are not best for tasting the flavor of cannabis as the blunt wrap will permeate the cannabis with its own flavor and aroma, however many consumers find this flavor enjoyable and the high from the tobacco can be pleasant.
Blunts can be bought as pre-rolls, flat wraps, or even containing tobacco already, requiring you to split the cigar, remove the tobacco inside and replace & re-roll with cannabis. Blunts can be a great way to consume a greater amount of cannabis and the tobacco can be a nice extra stimulant.
Perhaps the most encompassing of the top 5 ways to smoke weed, vaporizing has become a staple in stoner households across the world.
Vaporizing does come with a caveat, usually the idea is to prevent combustion with vaporizing, however combustion can occur so we’re giving vapor a pass.
Vaporizing is the act of heating a substance until certain compounds like THC, terpenes and cannabinoids are activated and released into a vapor.
This is different from smoking which combusts the material and produces smoke. Smoke is a much thicker constitution, containing many compounds, carcinogens, and particles.
The goal of vaporizing is to intake good compounds and produce vapor, narrowly avoiding the negative compounds that are released when the material gets hot enough to produce actual smoke.
Vaporizing can be considered a healthier alternative to smoking in this aspect – you are limiting the number of negative compounds that you would normally consume by smoking cannabis.
Vaporizers come in a large variety of constructions and devices.
It is important to note that often dry-herb vaporizers and conduction heating devices might advertise as vaporizers, however frequently they are found to combust plant materials.
Vaporizers can come as electronic devices, dab rigs, wax pens and are often convection heating devices.
Convection heating is accomplished by using hot air to raise temperature, rather than hot ceramic or metal. This allows specific compounds to be activated and released from the plant at exact temperatures.
Using a vaporizer is often as simple as the click of a button and an inhale. You can get more complex with concentrates and dabbing, but at the basic level vaporizers are a very easy and approachable way to consume cannabis.
Vaping produces its own unique effects, often a more settled high that can become very potent at larger doses. Vaporizing is an excellent way to use cannabis and much easier on your lungs than smoking.
Check out our article on High vs Low THC Flower!
Have a favorite way to smoke?
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Get Your Arkansas Marijuana Card
Smoking cannabis is an ancient and historical practice. There are many ways to consume cannabis and Arkansas marijuana patients have exclusive access cannabis flower and products in the Natural State.
Being an Arkansas marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you.
The Arkansas Medical Marijuana program is available for anyone with a qualifying condition, and getting your card is fast and easy with Arkansas Marijuana Card.
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at 844-249-8714, and we can answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Arkansas.
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