There is an explosion in the consumption of marijuana, or weed, pot, reefer, smoke, grass, cannabis (whatever you call it) for its psychoactive effects.
Covered in this article will be the two primary methods of marijuana consumption, smoking, and eating/drinking, with smoking being the most common method.
There are plenty of lies, half-truths, myths, and suppositions about the consumption of marijuana. In this article, we will try to clear things up as much as possible.
Joints are marijuana cigarettes; they are the perennial favorite of most marijuana smokers. Joints are made from marijuana that has been broken down into small particles with an herb grinder or by some other method, hopefully with the stems and seeds removed.
The marijuana particles are put inside a fold of rolling paper. This is then rolled into a cylinder. Once the joint has been rolled this is probably the singularly most portable method to smoke marijuana,
When a joint has been smoked down so far that it is difficult to hold, it is called a "roach." A wide variety of paraphernalia exist, which are designed to hold the roach without burning yourself.
Collectively known as "roach clips," they include alligator clips, forceps, needle nose pliers, ceramic pieces with holes through them, and tweezers.
There are several tools available to facilitate rolling a joint. The most essential is a cleaning tray to remove the stems and seeds from the marijuana. You need not buy one.
Anything flat and stable (like a book) will do. If it allows you to separate stems and seeds from MJ powder, even a tabletop will work.
There are a number of papers available to roll one's joint, varying in color, pattern, size, and presence of gummed edges and even flavor.
You can buy "rolling machines," which make the process of rolling a joint much less tricky. However, with a bit of practice, you soon get skilled in the art of rolling joints, and these machines tend to hinder more than they help.
One of the more intriguing techniques when smoking a joint is taking what is known as a power hit.
A power hit is accomplished by having an accomplice cup the burning end of the joint inside their mouth. Care is needed to avoid their skin, touching the glowing end. When cupping the end of the joint, they blow while the smoker takes a hit from the other end. This is a little tricky but offers an intimate way to share a joint.
Smoking etiquette dictates that when in groups, one should pass the joint in a circular fashion around all those who are present. There is no requirement to take a toke if they don't care to, but all are expected to pass the joint along if it comes to them.
"Bogartting" is hoarding the joint when it comes to you. It is a severe breach of protocol. Guilty parties will likely be left out of any further smoking sessions.
People who are too stoned to smoke the joint, let alone pass it, are skipped over the joint being politely given to the next responsive person in the circle.
Bongs (or water pipes), pass the smoke through water to cool and filter it. The marijuana is placed into a bowl at the end of a tube. The other end is placed into a container that is filled partially with water.
The end of the tube going down into the bowl should finish below the water level so that when the smoke exits the pipe, it travels (percolates) through a layer of water.
The chamber's air pressure is lowered through another tube that stays above the chamber's water level. As the air pressure within the chamber is reduced, air from outside of the chamber passes through the bowl down the tube and bubbles through the water.
Bongs are not easily portable, as they tend to be a little bulky and heavy too. Sizes range from a small pill container to an eight-foot-tall mad laboratory. They are often made from glass, plastic, ceramic, and metal, and can be an art form unto themselves.
The main benefit of smoking marijuana through a bong is that that it cools and filters the smoke. Any number of liquids can be put in the chamber to filter the smoke. Beer or other forms of alcohol can be used. However, water is recommended and preferable.
The active ingredients in marijuana are alcohol and fat-soluble.
So when filtered through such liquids as alcohol, the active ingredients go into the solution.
Also, some of the carcinogens in marijuana smoke are water-soluble. This means that as smoke passes through some liquids other than water, you can lose active ingredients and gain carcinogens in the remaining smoke the enters your lungs, which is undesirable.
One method to cool the smoke is to put ice water in the chamber or in the neck of an ice bong. The chilled water is not quite as effective at removing the carcinogens, so additional cooling by suspending ice above an ice pinch in the neck of the bong is a method favored among smokers.
Some water pipes have carburetors, these are small openings in the chamber, which are covered often by a thumb or finger during the hit, and then towards the end, they are opened, which allows all the remaining smoke to escape the bong.
Occasionally one finds a bong designed where carburation is achieved by lifting the bowl ever so slightly, which allows air to be drawn through the bowl end of the down tube.
Pipes are perhaps the simplest devices with which to smoke marijuana. They are fairly similar to pipes used for smoking tobacco. However, as marijuana doesn't tent to remain lit in the pipe, the ignition source needs to be constantly applied when smoking. Hence, these marijuana pipes need to be made of heat resistant materials, often glass, metal, stone, or sometimes even harder woods.
A common variant of a pipe is the stash pipe, a pipe where one may store a small amount of marijuana.
It's not uncommon that stash pipes are constructed in such a way that the smoke has to pass through the stash area before being inhaled. The material stored inside is bathed in the smoke each time the pipe is lit.
There are glass hash pipes that are used to smoke hashish and hashish oil. The material, as with other pipes, is placed in the bowl, however rather than applying heat to the substance directly, heat is instead applied to the bottom of the pipe or bowl.
A drawback to smoking from a pipe is that it can be very harsh on the lungs. If you use a pipe and find it causes you to cough a lot, you should try smoking marijuana in a joint, water pipe, or a vaporizer.
One-hits, sometimes called dugouts, are a highly portable method of smoking marijuana. It's convenient to use for someone who does not want to smoke an entire joint at one time.
A one-hit is constructed from a small metal tube with a small cavity at one end of the tube and a mouthpiece at the other end.
One presses the cavity end of the pipe into a small container of cleaned marijuana to fill it. Often this container houses the pipe as well. Then it is lit somewhat like a cigarette and inhaled steadily until the marijuana burned.
You will only get one inhalation or "hit" per filling; thus, it is called a one hit. A dugout is a small wooden box or container the has room for the cleaned marijuana and space for the one-hit itself.
Gravity bongs are a style of smoking marijuana rather than a set apparatus. A gravity bong uses the water pressure to create a vacuum in the chamber rather than using just one's lungs as with other water pipes.
The gravity bong is a cylinder that is open at one end and closed at the other (with the exception of a place for a bowl)
Placing the open end of this bong in a large container of water means the chamber of the cylinder becomes filled with water.
The bowl, filled with your finest bud, is then attached at the other end, and a flame is applied to the cannabis that is in it.
The smoker then lifts the cylinder slowly upwards. As the cylinder rises up, the water which is trapped inside will, due to the force of gravity, try to escape out the open end into the container.
This action of the water creates a vacuum near the bowl at the top of the chamber. The vacuum sucks the smoke coming from the burning marijuana into the chamber as the water is replaced. A tube may reach from the bowl to near the base of the cylinder, thus making it a true bong, or the end of the tube may not actually enter the water.
Once the material in the bowl has burned, and the smoke has been sucked into the chamber, the bowl is removed, and the cylinder is lowered back down into the container. The water, as it re-enters the chamber, forces the smoke out into the expectant individual who inhales it.
This is perhaps the most common type of water bong, but a number of similar devices exist which can use a vacuum created by the water to draw in smoke and then use that water a second time to force it out of the chamber.
Vaporizers or vapes have a heating element built into them. The heating element heats the marijuana or extract (such as wax or oil) to a lower temperature than combustion would. There are different types of vaporizers used for dry herb, oil, wax, and other marijuana concentrates and extracts.
The lower (sub-flammable) temperature, causes the vapor to be released, rather than smoke. At these lower temperatures, some of the psychoactive ingredients (cannabinoids) are released from the plant material, while some of the other harmful chemicals present are not.
Because of the reduction of chemicals released (and inhaled into the lungs), vaporizing marijuana may be beneficial to medical marijuana patients. The resulting vapor can still cause a person to cough, sometimes worse than when smoking via other methods. However, lower heat vapor is often found to be easier to inhale.
A vape that lets you adjust the temperature allows you to experiment with different levels of THC and CBD. They are the two primary cannabinoids that affect the intoxication a person feels when they consume cannabis products.
THC will vaporize at temperatures above about 300 degrees F (150 C), and CBD will vaporize at temperatures above about 403 degrees F (206 C). By varying the temperature, you can see what works best for you.
These adjustable temperature vaporizers usually have a display to show the temperature. Use the displayed temperature as a reference only; do not expect it to be 100% accurate.
If a vaporizer does a good job when a certain temperature is shown on display, it does not mean that another vaporizer (even if it's the same model) will produce the same results just because the displayed temperature is the same.
With most vaporizers, setting the temperature to somewhere between 310-325 degrees F (154-163 C) will vaporize THC. Setting the temperature to somewhere between 410-425 degrees F (213-218 C) will vaporize THC and CBD.
If you are interested in trying a vaporizer for the first time, look for a model that costs under $100. A vaporizer that costs under $100 may not be up to par with more expensive units, but some like our Lookah brand Seahorse Pro are more than good enough for every day vaping.
For proper dry herb vaporization, always break up marijuana into small particles prior to vaporizing it. A herb grinder is the recommended tool, but you can break it into particles with scissors or by some other method.
If the particles are small enough to roll a joint with (or slightly larger), they should work well in a vaporizer. However, you don't want the particles to be as fine as powder.
If the marijuana that is going to be heated in a vaporizer is too fine, it can restrict the heated air that flows around it, and some of the marijuana might not get vaporized.
The taste of marijuana vapor is different than the taste of marijuana smoke. Vaporizing will probably take some getting used to for a person accustomed to any method of smoking marijuana.
The active ingredients in cannabis are alcohol and fat-soluble, meaning they can be extracted and added to food. When consumed in this manner, THC and other cannabinoids enter the human body through the digestive system rather than through the lungs.
When consuming marijuana in this way, it tends to take longer for the hit to enter the system and be more efficient than smoking it. Also, the noxious effects of inhaling heated smoke are totally eliminated.
It is for these reasons that this is a favored method of marijuana consumption by some people.
You can not simply eat the raw dry marijuana; it must be heated before being consumed so as to draw out the active cannabinoids. The traditional method of eating marijuana is to cook it in a brownie, though it can be used in all manner of other recipes.
The recommended method of preparation is to reduce marijuana to a powder and mixed it with butter. The butter mixture is placed in a double boiler over low heat for 24 hours (making sure it doesn't dry out or burn). You can find a double boiler in the housewares section of most department stores.
The result is then strained to remove any remaining solids, and the butter is used for cooking. This marijuana butter is commonly used to make brownies, but you can bake cakes, cook vegetables, or use it as a replacement for butter in any other form of cooking.
Many people will mix the residual solids in with whatever they are cooking in hopes of making use of whatever cannabinoids might still be in them. But if done correctly, this is not generally needed because all the valuable compounds have been extracted, and the plant material tastes bad.
A standard ratio for making the marijuana butter is to use one pound of butter to one ounce of marijuana, heated for 24 hours. This equates to one stick of butter to one-quarter of an ounce of marijuana. A stick of butter weighs 4 ounces (a quarter pound) or approximately 125 grams.
More butter can be added if marijuana seems to dry out. It is best to use 1 ounce (or more) of marijuana at a time. Stir the mixture at least once every 30 to 60 minutes (if you can).
You can use waste weed like stems and leaves (no seeds), but good marijuana buds are much more potent. Dose size will vary depending on the potency of the original product and how well the active ingredients were extracted.
If you don't want any remaining solids in the butter, you should strain it through some muslin. The only concern with this is that you will lose some butter in the muslin.
A simple and stronger version of cannabis butter (or ghee) can be made by mixing the melted butter with some hashish or hashish oil in place of the marijuana. You need not heat this butter and hashish mixture for as long as it would be required when using marijuana.
Simply warm it up on a low heat and mix it until the hashish oil (1/4-1/2 gram per person) or hashish (1-2 grams per person) has been dissolved in the butter for about 5 minutes or so. You can put add as much hashish (or hashish oil) into the mix as you want.
The significant advantage of this is that there are no remaining leaves leftover in the mix. So there is no need to strain it, and you can add it directly to a recipe that requires butter.
One can extract the active ingredients from marijuana using alcohol and then make the tincture into a very potent drink.
It's recommended using the highest proof alcohol available, preferably 190 proof grain alcohol. Care should be taken to keep high proof alcohol away from flames and heat sources, as it is flammable.
There is a good amount of water in alcohol that is less than 190 proof, and it will dissolve other chemicals in the marijuana that one wishes to avoid. Some suggest soaking the marijuana in warm water for a period to remove those chemicals, but that presents a host of other issues and is not recommended.
Simply grind marijuana to a fine powder and place it into an airtight container with some grain alcohol. You only have to use enough alcohol to keep the marijuana submerged, but you can use larger amounts. A tall container works better than a wide one.
Put the cap on the container you are using and place in a dark area with a temperature of 60-75 degrees F. The container must be airtight, or the alcohol will evaporate. Let the cannabinoids leach out for a minimum of 4 weeks. Shake up the container whenever you get a chance.
When ready, strain the liquid to remove any plant matter. Place the strained liquid in a clean container with an airtight top and store it in a cool and dark location until needed. A quarter ounce of good (or better) marijuana will produce enough liquid for 2-3 people to enjoy.
The resulting tincture (sometimes called green dragon) is a light to emerald green liquid. It can be consumed directly, but this is not recommended as the taste isn't so good. Instead, try making it into a sweet cocktail of 3 parts lemon-lime soda, 1 part green dragon, and a drop of honey served over ice.
Hash and alcohol can be combined by crumpling up some hash (1-2 grams per person) so that it is reduced to sand grain size pieces. Add some 40% alcohol vodka (1-4 ounces) to a pan and heat it on low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After the vodka has heated for 5 minutes, add the crumpled hashish and mix it together by stirring. When the ingredients have blended together, pour into a glass, and either drink it straight or mix with a soft drink that contains sugar.
If you decide to drink it straight, eat 1 or 2 cookies that contain sugar, or something else that includes a bit of sugar. A bit of food that contains sugar can help your body absorb the THC (the main chemical that produces intoxication) quicker.