Ways to consume

There are four main methods of consuming cannabis: inhalation, ingestion, and sublingual and topical applications. Each has its own benefits, so before you step foot in the dispensary research what may work best to deliver the most joy for you.


Active compounds are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs via different forms and devices.

Smoking: Lighting cannabis flower and inhaling the smoke.

Pipes: Compact and easy. Add cannabis to the bowl at one end (referred to as packing a bowl)
and light. Smoke travels through the chamber and exits through the mouthpiece to inhale.

Water pipes: Bongs and bubblers. Smoke is filtered through water, which cools down the smoke,
creating a smoother inhalation.

Joints: Roll cannabis into paper or gently pack in to a cone, light one end and inhale through the

Blunts: Tobacco is hollowed out of a cigar and replaced with cannabis…or simply buy blunt

Vaping: A device heats cannabis flower or concentrate to just below the point of combustion,
transforming the compounds into vapor, which is inhaled. 

Vaporizers: Add concentrate or flower to a heating chamber, adjust the temperature, and inhale
the vapor through the mouthpiece. Tabletop or portable.

Vape pens: A cartridge, with cannabis oil or distillate, and a battery, which provides the heat.
Dabbing: A dose of concentrates dabbed onto a red hot surface with a glass, ceramic or titanium
‘nail’ and inhaled.


Active compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestive tract with a delayed
onset (anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours). 

Edibles: A cannabis-infused beverage, baked good, savory snack or gummy.

Sublingual application

Liquid tinctures are applied under the tongue using a dropper. Keep the extract there for 60 – 180 seconds. Afterward, swish the remaining liquid around and swallow.

Tinctures: Steeped cannabis in alcohol. Tinctures are absorbed through blood vessels under the
tongue (sublingually) then again by swallowing any remaining liquid that is then absorbed
through the digestive tract (dual absorption). And, dual onset. One is more oof a rapid onset and
then another one later, like an edible.

Topical application

Cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin for localized effects via:

  • Salve/Balm
  • Cream/Lotion/Spray
  • Oil
  • Bath salts and bombs
  • Transdermal patch


Microdosing is the consumption of small amounts of cannabis in order to reap the medical benefits without intoxicating effects. What is the right amount for microdosing? It’s personal. This can be affected by differences in ages and stages, from liver metabolism and genetics to tolerance levels. The goal: The most minimal noticeable effects.

There is a variety of consumption methods and no one-size-fits-all solution. The consumption
method that is best for you depends on the product you are using and the experience you are
after. Best advice: change it up and notice the effects.

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