Society has began to recognize that marijuana is not as dangerous as it was once thought, but what’s the safest way to take it?
The most common form of taking marijuana is by smoking it, usually in a “joint” or a “blunt.” These methods involve burning the marijuana herb, causing it to heat to extremely high levels. This releases the active ingredients which get you high, THC and CBD.
However, there are many more ways for people to benefit from the mental and body highs marijuana can bring you, some of which are understood to have considerably less health risks than smoking marijuana does.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the most popular ways of using cannabis, and assess the health risks of each.
Combustion | Smoking
Causing marijuana to combust and smoking the fumes it releases is by far the most widely known method of using the drug, but there are several different ways to do this.
You can roll up marijuana with cigarette rolling papers and sprinkle some tobacco on your herb to ensure it burns evenly, or you can use a blunt wrap with tobacco embedded in the fibres of the rolling paper so no additional tobacco is needed. You could also use a bong or a water pipe to smoke marijuana for a more intense hit.
Burning Tobacco and Weed Releases Carcinogens
Each of these consumption methods carries with them their own health risks. Firstly, as we all know, smoking tobacco is bad for you, and so smoking even a little tobacco in a joint is unhealthy. Also, the direct exposure of marijuana to high temperatures is likely to release unwanted carcinogens into your lungs, the same chemicals rife in tobacco leaving you at a heightened risk of cancer.
On another note, people not used to smoking through a bong may not react well to the high dosage it gives off. Bongs, while not carrying the risks associated with smoking tobacco, do also directly burn marijuana and so those risks do apply with them too.
When most people think of vaping they think of e-cigs, but marijuana vaporizers exist too. Vaporization works by heating the marijuana to very high temperatures, causing it to vaporize completely and avoid the harmful side-products of incomplete combustion, such as carbon monoxide and ammonia.
An alternative to smoking and combustion.
In fact, the Canadian government, having recently legalized medical marijuana across the country, advise users to avoid smoking and suggest vaporization as an alternative, although they do state it is not without risk.
People who have not vaped marijuana before may be surprised by the lack of initial effect, but this is likely due to the fact the brain is not reacting to the immediate hit of the tobacco. They may therefore take too much and end up suffering from the unpleasant effects of a high dosage.
For those lucky enough to be based in the forward-thinking country of Canada, you can arrange a free medical marijuana consultation over the internet using the free mobile or desktop app Namaste MD. If you’d like to find out more about Namaste MD, click on the following link which provides you with all the information you need about the online medical marijuana consultation service.
Ingestion | Edibles
This method is most synonymously linked with the famous hash brownie, and is considered one of the safest way to use marijuana in terms of protecting your physical health. There is no harsh effect on your lungs and the THC is absorbed into the bloodstream without an issue.
However, ingestion is an inexact method of using marijuana and the strength of its effects are dependent on the individual. Some users may feel relatively mild effects and others may experience an extreme reaction. Therefore, it is recommended to start with a low dose if you have not tried edibles before, and work up to a dosage which works for you.
So Which Method Should I Use to Get High?
The honest answer is that it depends. For infrequent users, smoking cannabis, even with the addition of a little tobacco, does not pose too many health risks, but smoking tobacco in any amount is detrimental to your health. We would recommend using a cigarette filter if you decide to do this; contrary to popular belief, it will not get you any less high when using a filter.
For those who use marijuana more often, especially those who rely on marijuana as a form of medication, we would encourage the purchase of a vaporizer or infusing your food with cannabis oil. These do not pose the health risks associated with combustion, but it is important to be careful with the size of the dosage, especially when using edibles as it is difficult to predict how your body will react.
Alternative Ways to Use Marijuana
There do exist other, less popular ways to take marijuana, such as transdermal patches and cannabis tinctures. The transdermal patches are intended for medical use and work much like nicotine patches do for people trying to give up smoking tobacco. They release a measured dose throughout the day and their effects are minor but long-lasting. Tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts, which you can drop onto your tongue or use in food.
As marijuana becomes more accepted in society, other methods of consumption are sure to emerge and gain in popularity. It will be interesting to see which will become the most common ways to consume marijuana over the next few years.