How to Consume Cannabis: The Ultimate Guide
Whether you’ are brand new to cannabis or well acquainted with the plant’s properties, there are’s so many ways to consume it that it can feel a little overwhelming! There are countless cannabis products available in many different forms, and each kind has different uses, properties, and effects. That means knowing which one is right for you can be key to making the most of your marijuana experience.
We want everyone who comes to Fine Fettle to have a great experience with our product. That’s why we put together this ultimate guide to consuming cannabis.
Of course, if you have any questions about our products or cannabis in general, our team members are always happy to help. But here’s a great place to begin your cannabis adventure.
How to Consume Cannabis
Flower is what most people think of when they imagine cannabis. Dried female flowers from the cannabis plant are dried and cured and sold as “nugs” “nuggets” or “bud.” It's a very versatile form of cannabis that can be smoked many different ways.
Glass pipes are a very popular way to smoke cannabis flower. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are primarily made out of glass.
Pipes are made up of 3 components:
- A bowl
- A mouthpiece
- A carb hole
If you want to smoke cannabis with a pipe, here’s a step by step guide.
How to smoke cannabis in a pipe:
- Grind up your cannabis flower in a grinder or by hand.
- Fill the bowl of your pipe with the ground flower. Don’t pack it too tight; you need airflow to get through it so it ignites.
- Hold the pipe in your dominant hand and use your thumb or pointer finger to cover the carb hole (usually located on the end or side of the bowl).
- Place the mouthpiece to your lips.
- Use a lighter to slowly light the ground flower in the bowl.
- Inhale the smoke that begins to form in the pipe.
- When you have created enough smoke for your desired intake, remove your finger from the carb hole and inhale the remaining smoke.
- Repeat as desired!
Like pipes, bongs are made of glass and come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, and designs.
The most popular type of bong is known as a straight tube or beaker-style bong.
Bongs have 4 pieces to be aware of:
- The mouthpiece
- The downstem
- The slide/bowl
- The carb hole or stem
How to smoke with a bong
- Grind your cannabis by hand or with a grinder.
- Fill your bong with enough water that 3-7 cm of the stem is submerged.
- Pack the bowl like you would pack a pipe. Remember to pack it loose enough to allow airflow.
- Place your mouth at the mouthpiece.
- Using a lighter, ignite the cannabis flower and inhale.
- The smoke will travel to the base and percolate through the water.
- Once the bong is full of smoke, release the carb hole or pull the stem out.
- Inhale the smoke.
- Repeat as needed!
The most difficult part of smoking a blunt or a joint is rolling it, but luckily Fine Fettle has a wide selection of pre-rolls that are ready to smoke upon purchase!
What is the difference between a blunt and a joint? You roll joints with rolling papers, which tend to be very thin and roll up to the size of a cigarette. Blunts are rolled with blunt wraps or cigar/cigarillo papers, which are usually made from tobacco leaves. Blunt wraps are thicker and longer than rolling papers, so blunts tend to be much larger than joints. You can get flavored blunt wraps to add a little pizzazz to your cannabis session. A spliff is essentially a joint that also has tobacco inside.
How to smoke a blunt, joint, or spliff
- Roll your blunt or joint, or take your pre-roll out of the packaging.
- Light the end of the blunt or joint with a lighter, making sure to burn the end evenly. This helps ensure a consistent burn.
- Simply inhale! If the blunt, joint, or spliff goes out, you can relight it the same way you did in step 2.
Vaping has exploded in popularity lately, and for good reason. Cannabis and tobacco users alike love the portability, ease, and discretion of vaporizers (also known as vapes).
What makes vaporizers different from pipes or bongs? Instead of using combustion (fire) to activate the cannabinoids and terpenes in your cannabis, vaporization uses a much lower temperature to create a vapor from the cannabis flower.
Why choose vaping over combustion? Studies show that vaping cannabis can increase the amount of cannabis compounds that are activated. This means that medical users may see improved results from their cannabis use!
Originally, vaporizers were large enough that they had to be used on a table top, but these days there are much smaller, lighter vapes, often called pens.
Most vape pens have 3 primary components:
- A bowl
- A battery
- A mouthpiece
How to use a vape pen
- Grind your flower by hand or with a grinder.
- Fill your bowl without overloading it.
- Turn on the heating element (usually a button)
- When the vape reaches the right temperature, place your lips to the mouthpiece and simply inhale or press the button before you inhale.
- Repeat as necessary!
We’ve all heard of pot brownies, right? Well, cannabis edibles have come a long way since college parties.
Now, dispensaries like Fine Fettle carry a wide range of edible cannabis in the form of:
- Seltzer and soda
- Cooking oils
- Hot sauce
- Breath mints
- And more!
Consuming an edible is so easy, we don’t have to write a step-by-step. All you do is eat or drink the product like you would any other food or beverage! Instead, let’s look at how eating cannabis works on your body.
When you swallow or eat something that is infused with cannabis, your body has to process it like it would any other food or beverage. Once the food or drink enters our gastrointestinal tract, the active ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream. Once they travel from the bloodstream to your brain, you’ll start to feel the effects.
Because most edibles need to be processed by your GI tract before you feel any effects, it can take up to an hour or two to feel the effects. For this reason, it’s best to start small and slow with edibles--10 mg is usually a good dosage to start with, but this can depend on your diet, metabolism, and other factors.
Underneath your tongue you have a highly absorbent mucous membrane that allows cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream very quickly. This is known as sublingual absorption.
So if you are consuming cannabis by eating mints or lozenges, or using tinctures, the absorption will also take place sublingually. Sublingual absorption can take as little as 15 minutes for the THC and CBD to reach the brain. You also need far less THC to feel the effects when consuming sublingually. 0.3 mg is a good starting point.
Cannabis drinks are becoming more and more popular in Massachusetts, so you’ll probably see THC or CBD seltzer, beer, wine, soda, and more in your local dispensary. Cannabis-infused beverages are processed by gastrointestinally and sublingually, so you will experience rapid uptake and long-lasting effects.
Concentrates are a very powerful, potent form of cannabis. Concentrates can be as much as 95% cannabinoids, making them 2-3 times more powerful than cannabis flower. Concentrate comes in different forms, including wax, shatter, and crumble. Because of concentrates’ impressive strength, it’s best to start slow and small.
Dabbing or “taking a dab” is one very popular way to consume cannabis concentrate. This is done using a dab rig.
To use a dab rig, you will need:
- Glass water pipe
- Nail, e-nail, or banget made from titanium, quartz or glass
- Carb cap
How to take a dab
- Use your torch to heat the nail or banger. Each product is different, but it should only take 15-45 seconds to heat it to the desired temperature. You might want to keep a timer handy for this.
- Wait another 15-45 seconds for the nail or banger to cool slightly.
- Use your dabber to transfer the concentrate to the heated nail.
- Inhale slowly
- Use the carb cap to cover the rig’s opening. This allows the concentrate to vaporize evenly and controls airflow.
- Inhale the remaining vapor.
- Use a 1-tip to clean the remaining concentrate left over on the nail dish. It should be an amber color. If the leftover concentrate is black, wait a little longer before inhaling next time to lower the temperature of the dab.
A word of warning--anything that involves butane torches and open flames can be dangerous. Be careful not to touch the nail when it’s too hot and to always be mindful of your surroundings.
Concentrate pens may also be referred to as vape pens, which can be confusing. But instead of vaporizing flower, concentrate pens vaporize pre-loaded cartridges of cannabis concentrate. Like vaporization pens, concentrate pens are also portable and discreet.
Most concentrate pens are made up of:
- An atomizer
- A battery
- A mouthpiece
You can purchase cartridges pre-loaded with cannabis concentrate for your pen at dispensaries like Fine Fettle.
How to use a concentrate pen
- Load your cartridge into your pen.
- Press the button on your pen to heat the concentrate. No button? No worries. Just begin to inhale.
- Inhale the vapor and enjoy!
Technically, you don’t actually consume topical cannabis products. Instead, you apply them to your skin. The cannabinoids are absorbed through your skin membrane and come in lotions, oils, salves, bath bombs, chapstick, and more.
Topical cannabis products will not produce an psychoactive effects--meaning you won’t get high. But you will experience long-lasting symptom and ailment relief!
If you don’t want to smoke or eat cannabis and instead need to target a particular body part, dermal topical products are the best option for you. All you need to do is apply the product to the area that is bothering you, and you will experience long-lasting relief. Transdermal topicals are similar, but they are absorbed through the bloodstream, which allows them to affect more than just the application site. If transdermal topicals contain enough THC, you may feel psychoactive effects.
Topical cannabis products can help with:
- Sore muscles
- Skin ailments
Adult use and Medical Dispensary in Massachusetts
At Fine Fettle, education is a top priority. Medical and adult use marijuana is relatively new to Massachusetts, so we want to empower our clients and patients with the right information to help them take control of their health and happiness.
Have any questions about consuming cannabis? Contact us today or stop into our Rowley dispensary! We can’t wait to help you out.
Download our Visual Guide to Cannabinoids here.