What’s the best way to Consume Cannabis for me?
Deciding how to consume Marijuana is a personal choice that often reflects not only the type of effect you are looking for but also a combination of lifestyle choices, the setting and even health concerns. Long gone are the days where you had a choice between a joint, bong or pipe - legalization has made other alternative forms of consumption both more accessible and readily available like never before.
Generally speaking, it is important to know that the effect of each form of consumption will produce a different type of effect or “high” with some being subtle while others are more pronounced.
For example, smoking a joint will generally produce an almost instant high and the effects will generally last for an hour or so – with differences generally attributed to the quality of cannabis you are consuming. By contrast, a typically THC-infused edible typically takes an hour to take effect with a high that typically last several hours.
Understanding the general differences between the different forms of consumption can help you pick the right product(s) for your individual preferences.
The different types of cannabis products can be understood under X number of formats:
- Dried Flower (including pre-rolls)
- Vape Cartridges
The oldest and most common form of consumption comes in the way of dried flower and remains closest you can come to the plant in its natural form.
As a primer, it is important to understand that the part of the plant we generally consume comes from the female Cannabis plant and, more specifically, the flower of the plant.
Contrary to images we see of a the Marijuana leaf, the most potent and desired part of the plant is the thick buds that form on a female plant when she is attempting to be pollinated by a male plant. The presence of seeds, a generally undesirable trait in today’s market, indicates that the female plant has come into contact with a male plant.
Dried flower, or typical buds, you find in your favourite weed jar are simply Cannabis flower that have reached optimal bloom and been dried and cured for your consumption.
The first step with any dried flower is to break up or grinding the flower down. Doing so allows for a more even burn by allowing even airflow and the even distribution of some of the flowers desirable ingredients, such as resin and tricombes.
The most common way to break down your weed is via a grinder, which help break down the flower evenly and make it easier to roll. Grinders come in many different materials and styles, we won’t get into that here but feel free to reach out to one of our budtenders for more info!
Alternatively, you can break down the weed with scissors or your hands. These tend to be of last resort because they are much more time-consuming and inevitably some the sticky resin and tricombes (both great sources of THC) get stuck to your fingers or scissors. Aside from being messier, it’s a lot more difficult to get an even consistency to the weed and means you won’t maximize the flower and the overall experience.
Once your weed is ground up, you have various options.
Rolling Paper / Pre-Rolled Cones
The most common way is to consume your freshly ground flower is putting it in a joint by either using rolling paper or by filling a pre-rolled cone. Personally, I enjoy rolling up my weed all on its own but it is also common to add tobacco - some find this makes weed smoother and easier to smoke – but its just a personal preference.
Wraps or Blunts
Alternatively, some people enjoying rolling their flower in wrap – either tobacco, hemp or other plant-based – that can come natural falvour or added flavours (such as watermelon, vanilla, etc). While traditionally only tobacco based wraps are referred to as “Blunts,” the term has now become synonymous with any all forms of wraps.
Pipes come in all shapes and sizes along with a variety of different features. Essentially, however, a pipe is made of a heat resistant material with a bowl on one end for the cannabis and a mouth piece to inhale from.
Unlike rolling paper or wraps, no preparation is required beyond grinding the flower and placing it in the bowl (also known as packing your bowl). Once in the bowl, the consumer places their lips on the mouth piece and simultaneously lights the flower and inhaling the smoke. The benefit of this way of consumption is it is more efficient then rolling a joint because the flower remains lit for a limited time, makes it is much easier to control the quantity you consume and the lack of other substances in your weed. Drawbacks include the need to regularaly clean your pipe from residue and the associated smell attached to a reusable smoking device. Personally, I find smoking a pipe harsher then standard joint but some swear the opposite is true – its all about personal preference.
Bongs are much like pipes, in that they have a bowl to place your weed that you burn while you inhale air through a mouithpiece. Generally, the biggest difference between the two is the size, bongs are generally larger, and the way the smoke is filtered to your lungs. Due to the distance the smoke must travel and greater control on the amount of air flow, it offers a smoother smoke because it is not as hot and you are less likely to inhale ash when smoking. In addition, most bongs offer the ability to add water to further filer your smoke, which further acts to cool and clean the smoke you inhale. On the negative side, Bongs are larger and less discreet, making it suitable for home-use but less so when your on the go. Much like pipes, they also require frequent cleaning .
Vaporizer (Dry Herb Vaporizer)
The term “vaping” has come to encapsulate various things in the world of weed but, for this purpose, we are distinguishing a “Dry Herb Vape” from other forms of vaporizers such as Vape Cartridges and those designed for use with concetrates.
A dry herb vaporizer works different than burning flower, like you would in joint, blunt, pipe or bong. Instead of burning the plant material, the device heats the flower without lighting it on fire, releasing vapor that contains the active ingredients in the plant. The lack of combustion means that the flower remains intact and, as a result, contains less carcinogens and other harmful properties associated with smoking. In addition, the lack of burning also means that less smell (and smoke) is emitted resulting in a less of a smell that doesn’t stick to your clothes or – making it much more discreet and suitable for indoor use.
The only drawback is that the effects of vaping are not as pronounced or intense as when smoking marijuana and the differences between different flower maybe harder to appreciate. On the other hand, vaping dry herb can help enhance your ability to appreciate the flower’s flavours profile.
Vape Cartridges differ from dry her vaporizers in significant ways. The most obvious is that Vape Cartridges involve the consumption of concentrates and NOT dried flower.
While dried flower THC percentages typically fluctuate between 15-25%, Vape Cartridges are commonly over 80% and even reach as high as 90+%.
It is important to understand that this DOES NOT mean that the high will necessarily be more intense then smoking flower; in fact, one of the drawbacks of Vape cartridges is that they do not offer as intense a high and differences between types of flower – whether Sativa vs. Indica or specific strains – tend to be less pronounced.
Instead, smoking a Vape cartridge involves consuming much smaller quantities of a concentrate that produces a high. As a result, Vape Cartridges typically come in 0.5 gram – equivalent to approximately 100 hits or 1.0 gram – equivalent to approximately 200 hits. Based on how deeply you inhale, this number could be more or less. Typically, three to five pulls from a vape is enough to get you high; however, it isn’t uncommon for people to puff far more after growing accustomed and enjoying the act itself. Strictly speaking, more inhales will not result in a more intense or longer lasting high.
The “high” of a vape cartridge typically doesn’t last as long as smoking. While some will suggest it lasts as long as one to three hours, I find the high typically lasts 15-30 minutes before I am back on the vape for another few halls. While others also suggest it takes 2 to 10 minutes to feel the effects, I am of the view it is generally pretty immediate – much like smoking – but individual experiences will vary.
The beggest benefits from vaping are that it doesn’t have the same carcinogens as smoking and it is both easy and discrete. A vape cartridge produces very little odour, even less then a dry herb vape, and requires nothing more then a charged vape battery to operate. This means people often find themselves vaping indoors without fear of others detecting the smell and no lingering odour to concern yourself with.
There are negatives, however. First, while people do tend to focus on the positive health effects over smoking, it is pretty early goings for vapes and the negative health implications have not been fully explored on a technology largely developed by tobacco companies. In addition, the fact that it is so easy to consume, generally means people tend to consume a lot more.
Which Cartridge is good for me?
510 Cartridges vs. Proprietary Vape Cartridges
Cartridges come in various formats; however, approximately 90% of the market is what is typically referred to as a “510 Cartridge.” This term just refers to the thread size used to screw in to the designated battery, which typically looks like a 2-3 inch cylinder you screw on to a vape cartridge.
In addition to 510 Cartridges, there are various companies that offer their own proprietary formats for Vape Cartridges. Companies like PAX and Dosist, require a special cartridges that fit there specific batteries and cannot be used interchangeably with 510 Cartridges or batteries. There are certain benefits to these types of technology as they tend to have unique features and designed to get the most out of their Vape cartridges. The negative, however, is that they generally have very limited selection and typically involve much higher hardware and Vape cartridge costs.
While a basic 510 Vape Cartridge battery will range from $15-20 (although more expensive batteries exist with many optional features). By contrast, a proprietary vape starter kit, such as PAX system (depending on the model) can cost anywhere from $50 to $300+.
Distillate vs. Full Spectrum Cartridges
The other major distinction between Vape Cartridges is whether thy qualify as Distillate or Full Spectrum.
Distillate represents the first generation of Vape Cartridges where the focus was on only extracting the THC, the active ingredient that gives the euphoric feeling associated with marijuana. Distillate Cartridges involve extracting only the THC from the plant and adding other additives – sometimes flavor or otherwise – to create the concentrate you smoke.
Full Spectrum Cartridges evolved after the first Distillate Cartridges and came from the realization that while THC is the active ingredient, other aspects of the cannabis plant contribute to the “high” in ways we still don’t fully understand. So Full Spectrum cartridges involve adding not just the THC but other Cannabinoids found in the plant. This can come by extracting THC and other cannabinoids adding them together in the concentrate or by extracting as much of the cannabinoids in their original state in creating a concentrate- examples include Live Rosin/Liquid Wax/live Resin.
While Distillate tend to have higher THC percentages, the general consensus is that these types of Cartridges have very similar effects with less noticeable differences between strains and plant type (Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid). By Contrast, Full spectrum Vape cartridges tend to have more variation in terms their effects and taste that more closely resembles the plant itself.
Edibles are one of the fastest means of consumption since legalization and for good reason! Eating cannabis is both a discrete and less intimidating to consume Marijuana for many users who are just beginning their journey with Cannabis.
The First things you need to keep in mind when consuming edibles:
(a) Time commitment required;
(b) know your dosage.
Time Commitment – Edibles require a little foresight because how long the effects can last. As a general rule, expect an edible to take an hour or more to take effect. Everyone is different but, personally, I have found edibles kick in after an between 1hr 15mins and 1hr 30mins. Others have found edibles take effect within thirty minutes. One thing is for sure though, there is generally a delay where it seems like nothing is happening. At some point, you will feel it creep over you and, generally, the high is more body centered although other euphoric effects are not uncommon. Again, everyone’s body reacts differently and you may find that not to be the case – that’s the beauty of the plant!
Once you are high, it is not uncommon for it to last several hours. Using my own example, edibles take a while to kick in for me but when they do I find the effects can last anywhere from three to six hours. Some friends find that the high is shorter length but quicker onset and, for that reason, it’s important to plan accordingly. ESPECIALLY your first time, its important to be prepared for longer high.
Know your Dosage-Unlike dried flower and some other forms of consumption, dosage amounts are understood with the number of milligrams consumed. In Government-Approved dispensaries, any edible product is limited to 10 mg per package. To give perspective, its generally agreed that 10 mg is low-medium dose for an edible and is a safe dosage for someone with low to moderate exposure to Cannabis.
The limits placed on edible products has led to a variety of options when it comes to looking for that perfect match. For the more adventurous, some edibles are package as a one-piece, meaning its intended to be consumed in a single sitting. Others can contain five (5) pieces, meaning each package contains five 2-mg doses. This is great for someone who wants to start slow or has previously found that edibles achieve their desired effect at lower doses.
A WORD OF CAUTION, while we have an infatuation with Mother Jane in all her forms – edibles are one of the places it’s best start out cautiously. Unlike smoking, this form of consumption relies on absorption through digestion and, once consumed, a lot will depend on how your body reacts to it. The digestion of edibles is more efficient then smoking and, as a result, it can be surprising how little it may require to get you where you want to be.
FOR FIRST TIMERS, I suggest setting enough time aside and trying 2.5 mg or 5 mg dose and see how it goes. If you feel nothing, maybe its time to try a 10 mg dose. If you find its too much , you can reduce accordingly.
BEWARE OF GREEN OUT! When you take edibles to EXCESS, the result is not pleasant. “Greening Out” refers to an unpleasant feeling you get when you do too much edibles (also applies to oils and some concentrates). The closest I can come to explaining it is like motion sickness or general discomfort that can last several hours. Over the years, I’ve got advice on this topic from a variety of sources of tried and true solutions and, at least to me, nothing has worked beyond simply waiting it out. It’s not as dramatic as it sounds but its certainly not pleasant – so beware.
ALL DOSAGE IS NOT CREATED EQUAL – When considering previous experiences. Be aware about the difference between Unlicensed and Licensed Producer [Legacy (or Illicit) Market vs. Government/Legal Edibles]. All products at House of Bud come from Government Regulated producers and this translates to controlled dosing that relies on the same food technology that makes our food and the packaging will reflect that. Legacy market edibles do not have the same oversight and doses can be unreliable. In my personal experience, dosages can be both unreliable and greatly inflated. For example, I have seen stores claim each chocolate bar contains 1000 mg. That is an extremely high dosage and I am skeptical just because – as an experienced user – I have found 30 mg is the point at which I grow uncomfortable with the high. Again, I know other experienced user who would feel little on that dosage. The point is don’t be afraid to take your time to find the proper dosage for you. Slow and Steady is an important rule to follow.
Cannabis-Infused beverages are quietly becoming a fan favourite at House of Bud and for good reason!
Cannabis-infused Drinks come in a wide variety of flavours and dosages, offering options of THC and CBD or a mixture of both.
How are Cannabis-Infused drinks made?
Currently, the vast majority of legal Cannabis-Infused drinks use a process called Emulsification.
To put it in simpler terms, they basically take a concentrated extract and add an ingredient that makes the cannabis extract water-soluble. This allows the THC or CBD to be mixed with any number of flavours to create unique beverages from Non-Alcoholic Beers (including IPA’s and Lagers) to flavoured carbonated beverages (like Cola’s and Seltzers) and even coffee-based beverages. The possibilities are endless and with an ever-growing roster of tasty options, House of Bud has the right flavor and dosage right for you!
Where edibles and drinks differ, however, is how your body processes and absorbs them. Unlike edibles which pass through the body’s digestive system and are broken down before they can be absorbed, water-soluble Cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) instead pass through the digestive system directly into the blood stream. The result is a quicker onset time, which usually occurs within 30 minutes (and sometimes much quicker). As a general rule for myself, I find it to be usually a third or half the time of an edible. Differences in all our bodies mean it can be longer or shorter; go low and slow is still the rule for me.
How do I know the dosage I am looking for?
Cannabis-Infused drinks follow the same limits as edibles and can have a maximum of 10 mg per unit and no limit on the amount of CBD (or other cannabinoid for that matter!).
In the same way, 10 mg is a low-to-moderate dose for a single dosage but you won’t know till you try! Start low and go slow. THC-nly drinks can come in dosages as low as 2 mg or as high as 10 mg. For beginners, I always recommend going with a low dosage and equal THC to CDB ration (i.E. 2.5 mg THC + 2.5 mg of CBD), to test out the effects.
That being said, the effects of Drinks typically don’t last as long or are as intense as edibles – in my experience anyways! And, in some ways, there are subtle differences in the effect. In my experience, beverages have a feeling similar to feeling “tipsy” at lower dosages and come to resemble the effects fo an edible the higher the dosage. As I’ve always said though, everyone is different and you should proceed cautiously to find out the right dosage for you!
Do all Cannabis Beverages get me “high”?
NO, not at all!! While most Cannabis-infused drinks have at least trace amounts of THC, many are made with CBD and its associated benefits in mind.
Many of the Beverages at House of Bud have up to 40 mgs of CBD and as low as 1 mg of THC. The intention is to get some of the benefits of consuming CBD without the psychoactive effect associated with THC. Some of the benefits include a sense of relaxation and a sense of calm, rather than some of the euphoric or cerebral effects of consuming larger quantities of THC.
Are there drinks that have both high quantities of THC and CBD? Why would that be something I would want?
One of the unique features in the realm of cannabis-infused beverages is the interplay between CBD + THC and the various dosages you have to choose from. Ranging from CBD-dominant drinks to THC-dominant or even ratios, some examples at House of Bud are below:
Collective Project: Pear + Lemon Sparkling beverage
Green Monké Orange Passionfruit Beverage
Little Victory Blood Orange Sparkling Beverage
Collective Arts: Blood Orange, Yuzu and Vanilla
In addition, drinks also come in flavours suited for those who a calorie-conscious and those looking for a refreshing burst of flavor. There is a cannabis-infused beverage for all tastes!!!