Using Cannabis: Types of Cannabis from THC
Legal cannabis continues to flourish in California. This growth has brought a wave of different products for consumers to try. From cannabis-infused beverages to edibles of all kinds, there are more than simply smokable cannabis products out there now. Today’s consumers will likely find a host of different types of cannabis products at their local dispensary. Whether you are using it medicinally or recreationally, let’s review different product types worthy of your exploration and how to choose weed products right for you!
While it’s not right for everyone, the OG method of consumption has always been smoking or vaping and is a popular option when figuring out how to choose weed products. Smoking is the inhalation of smoke or vapors released by heating cannabis flowers which releases the main psychoactive chemical, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. The primary categorizations of cannabis flower are Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid and will be labeled as such on packaging. While these distinctions were once thought to influence the effects one feels when smoking, terpene profiles and one’s individual endocannabinoid systems most likely impact the user’s experience.
Cannabis concentrates are just that, concentrated forms of the flower that maintain the cannabinoid and terpene profiles. Unlike cannabis flower, concentrates are a more gooey consistency and have a higher potency, especially in THC percentages. It’s important to note that there isn’t a single type of concentrate as different extraction processes are used. You will find solvent-based and solvent-less concentrates on the market. Solventless concentrates are extracted through a process using only heat and pressure to remove trichomes from thes plant without the use of an external solvent, while solvent-based concentrates can be produced using a variety of external solvents including butane, propane, C02 or ethanol. Either way you go, concentrates are a potent and flavorful way to consume cannabis.
The cannabis beverage industry has seen quite a surge in the last couple of years. Unlike alcohol-based beverages, cannabis-infused drinks are said to provide a healthier, elevated buzz. From cannabis-infused seltzer drinks to cannabis wine (yes, that’s a thing!) consumers can now drink their cannabis instead of smoking it! There are even cannabis coffees and teas available in certain markets. Infused with varying ratios of two major cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), drinks produce psychotropic effects depending on a number of factors such as the potency of the product.
Edibles are a go-to for consumers seeking the benefits of cannabis without smoking.
While edibles have been around forever, legalization has allowed for the creation of innovative new products like chocolate bars, ice-pops, gummies, mints, popcorn, chips and so much more. It’s pretty incredible to see the diversity in cannabis edible products out there. Like other cannabis products, it’s especially important to keep edibles of any kind away from minors as they can look like regular candy or treats.
Cannabis tinctures are another go-to for non-smokers seeking the medicinal or recreational benefits of cannabis. By definition, tinctures are created by soaking organic matter in strong alcohol before straining the material to produce the liquid. However, tinctures can also be produced with MCT oil, glycerin and even olive oil. Many consumers use tinctures because they’re discreet while providing the same benefits of smoking! Tinctures are consumed by placing droplets under the tongue for sublingual entry into the bloodstream. Plus, a little-known secret is that tinctures can also be used as topicals to soothe certain body ailments. Like all cannabis products, be sure to store your tinctures in a cool, dark place to maintain the potency and efficiency of your product.
Another product type bursting onto shelves are cannabis topicals. Topicals include infused balms, bath bombs, oils, sprays, patches and lotions which are absorbed through the skin transdermally to address pain, soreness, or for relaxation purposes. Using cannabis by way of topicals allows consumers to experience the benefits of cannabis at a slower pace since cannabinoids enter the muscle tissue, nerves, and bloodstream at a reduced pace. Cannabis topicals can still produce euphoric effects, just mildly compared to other types of cannabis. Those suffering from arthritis or other muscle and joint pains will likely prefer this method of consumption.
How to Choose Weed Products
How to choose weed products is a common question amongst new and resurfacing cannabis consumers. The answer will vary given your reason for looking to cannabis. If someone is seeking pain relief, they may wish to try a topical first, before moving on to other weed product types to supplement or replace the tincture. For those seeking the recreational benefits of this plant, beginning with smokables, edibles, or drinks may be a good first option. The truth is that types of cannabis products are not one-size-fits-all and neither are you! So, it’s important to go slow, notice how certain products and potencies make you feel, perhaps even journaling about your experience, but above all: listen to your own body.
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