The cannabis industry is saturated with different products that allow the user to ingest cannabis in different ways. However, not everyone is aware that the way you ingest cannabis will influence its effect on the body.
We explained the function of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in this article already. To summarize – the effect of cannabis is always influenced by the receptors to which it binds to, and this is further influenced by the method of ingestion.
When you smoke cannabis, you are heating it at a high temperature, which in turn, changes the chemical structure. When smoking, you make cannabis psychoactive, because the THCa in raw cannabis is changed to the psychoactive THC form. The process is called decarboxylation and affects all the acids, not just THCa.
However, smoking isn’t the healthiest way to consume cannabis, because the mouth tissues and lung cells are exposed to the smoke which can cause damage. If you need to consume a high dosage of cannabis regularly, there are many healthier alternatives to explore.
If you like the immediate relaxation effect after smoking, but want to avoid the risk associated with combustion, vaporization is a good way to go for you! When you vaporize the herb, it is heated to a point in which it doesn’t burn, so carbon monoxide and toxic hydrocarbon intake is reduced. Vaporizing is also much more efficient than combustion, the smoke you inhale from vaporizer consists of approximately 95% cannabinoids, compared to 15 % when you smoke.
You also have more options with vaporizing as well. For example, there are many e-liquids infused with cannabinoids that you can choose from at different concentrations. Vaporizing delivers the compounds straight to the bloodstream and brain for a quick effect, in the same way smoking does; so in reality, you aren’t missing out on much by switching to vaporization from combustion!
Eating cannabis is one of the best methods of delivery out there. It is mainly because the edible is metabolized by the liver, and therefore the cannabis is converted into usable forms by the body more effectively, and the effect lasts longer. Moreover, not everyone likes smoking.
In case you are eating an edible infused with THC, the body produces its own metabolite called 11-hydroxy-THC. This metabolite is much more psychoactive than the THC itself and crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily. Therefore it is highly probable, that you’ll be much higher after an edible, than after smoking.
Cannabis oils and tinctures
Cannabis oils are a great option for ingesting cannabis as well. The oils and tinctures are usually made by using alcohol as a solvent. The plant is heated together with the solvent which activates the cannabinoids. Thanks to this process, the final product is very concentrated and you don’t need to use a lot of it.
You can also dissolve cannabis compounds into fats. The more saturated the fat is, the better the results. Coconut oil has a lot of saturated fat, so this is one of the best oils to use. Butter, hemp seed and olive oil are very good options as well.
To enjoy the acids in the plant, one must consume raw cannabis. As we wrote here, before the cannabis is decarboxylated, it contains the acid form of cannabinoids (CBDa, THCa,..). However, when you smoke/vaporize or cook with cannabis (you decarboxylate it), those acids are transformed into their “active” form (CBD, THC,…). None of the compounds in acid form are psychoactive.
It is not only heat that changes the acids into their active form, aging does as well. The longer you let the cannabis flowers mature, and the buds to dry, the more of the cannabinoid acids change into their active states. Like a good wine, good bud gets better with age!
Skin is the largest organ of the human body. It is directly exposed to the elements so it might suffer a lot depending on whether you live in a polluted city center or less so if you are in the countryside. You have probably tried various counter creams, face washes, prescription ointments and pills to provide your skin with the best care, so why don’t you try cannabis topicals? Many cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system are located in the skin. Therefore, the molecules found in cannabis (CBD and THC) interact with this system. Your skin will be nicely hydrated and glowing after using cannabis topicals thanks to the cannabinoids and omega fatty acids.