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Methods of Consumption

Not sure which cannabis consumption method is right for you? We’ve put together this guide to make things easy.

Discreet:

Edibles, Vape Products, Tinctures, or Transdermal Patches

Low Dosage:

CBD Dominant or Microdosed Cannabis Products

Localized Pain Relief:

Balms, Transdermal Patches, Topicals

Sustained Effects:

Edibles, Tinctures, Flower, Concentrates (Shatter, Wax, Live Resin)

Edibles

Cannabis edibles rose to popularity in the 1960s and today enjoy an enduring appeal. Once consumed, cannabinoids travel to your liver, where THC is naturally transformed into the more potent compound: 11-hydroxy-THC. Available in a wide variety, from brownies, snacks, chocolates, cookies, and powders, to candies and beverages, the possibilities when it comes to edibles are nearly limitless. Consumers love this discreet and delicious consumption method—it is an easy and pleasurable way to feel the full-body psychoactive and relaxing effects of cannabis. Just remember to start low and go slow—it’s always best to err on the side of caution. We want you to have the best experience possible—if you have any questions never hesitate to ask a Lightshade budtender.

Why choose edibles?

Potent and long-lasting effects

Discreet and smoke/vapor free

Tasty

A wide range of potential effects

View our Rec EdiblesView our Med EdiblesLearn more about edibles

Dabbing

Dabbing, the newest consumption method on our list, is popular among experienced cannabis consumers (take a trip over Instagram, and you’ll realize just how popular dabbing is—#Dabstagram). This consumption method is not for the faint of heart—we recommend only high tolerance consumers enter the world of dabs. That said, the product options related to dabbing are vast, and for the experienced cannabis consumer, dabbing is a great way to enjoy our favorite plant.

Let’s take a moment to explain a ‘dab.’ A small amount of cannabis concentrate is heated on the tip of a titanium nail using a blowtorch (it’s not as intimidating as it sounds)—causing the concentrate to combust for inhalation. A dab can contain up to 80% THC making the effects more mentally and physically intense than other consumption methods, comparable in many instances to the impact of consuming a potent edible. Consumers experience immediate onset, and the effects can last anywhere from 1-3 hours (or longer) depending on dosage (similar to other inhalation methods, i.e., smoking and vaping).

Why choose to dab?

Rapid onset

More intense effects

Medium duration

Consumers receive a hefty and immediate dose of cannabinoids

Heightened flavors and taste profile compared to other consumption methods

View our Rec ConcentratesView our Med ConcentratesLearn more about concentrates

Smoking

The classics never go out of style. Everyone understands the pure joy of lighting a joint, smoking a bowl, or taking rips from the bong. One of the oldest and most common methods of cannabis consumption (and still a favorite among both seasoned enthusiasts and newbies), smoking flower provides quick onset, peaking within thirty minutes of use, and gives consumers a mellow release within 1-3 hours.

Why choose to smoke?

Rapid onset with a medium duration of effects

Full cannabinoid/terpene profile

A time-honored and traditional way to consume

Easy to share (puff, puff, pass)

View our Flower

Tinctures

Tinctures aren’t always specific to cannabis and have a history dating back thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians were known to have soaked herbs in alcohol to create tinctures and cordials—this is old technology. Tinctures, today, are in the midst of a renaissance, due in large part to the legalization of Cannabis in Colorado. They are a smoke-free, easily dosed, discreet, and fast-acting method of consumption. Consumers typically place one to two drops of cannabis-enriched tincture beneath the tongue (sublingually), allowing cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream directly.

The onset of a tincture is rapid—faster than edibles—but not as quick as inhalation methods like smoking, vaping, or dabs. Full effects are typically felt within 20-30 minutes and can last anywhere from an hour or two to several hours for infrequent cannabis consumers. Tinctures are an excellent solution for rapid relaxation and general tension/pain relief.

Why choose tinctures?

Rapid onset

Easily dosed

Discreet

Smoke-free

Full cannabinoid/terpene profile

View our Rec TincturesView our Med TincturesLearn more about tinctures

Topicals & Transdermals

Cannabis topicals have a lengthy global history dating back thousands of years. Ayurvedic practitioners today hold tightly to this tradition of making and consuming cannabis-enriched balms, salves, lotions, and similar preparations. Modern American cannabis enthusiasts have also discovered the benefits of implementing cannabis topicals into a regular regimen of self-care. Topicals are applied directly to the skin allowing for the rapid absorption of cannabinoids and have no-psychoactive effects making them an attractive solution for a wide range of consumers. Onset is quick, typically in the area of 5 minutes and effects can last up to 12 hours.

Why choose topicals and transdermals?

Great for localized pain relief and inflammation

Regional and full-body effect

Little to no psychoactive effects

Very discreet

Long-lasting

View our Rec Topicals & TransdermalsView our Med Topicals & TransdermalsLearn more about topicals and transdermals

Vaping

Cannabis vapes, while relatively new (at least in comparison to smoking and edibles) represents an increasingly popular category of cannabis products, and for a good reason; cannabis vapes are discreet, simple and easy to dose. The sheer variety of cannabis vape products is another reason for the increasing appeal of this relatively modern consumption method. There’s a vape product ideally suited to every cannabis consumers mood—from strong effects to a mellower buzz—vapes represent an already large and continually growing category.

Vaporizers heat cannabis plant matter, extracts or concentrates (shatter, wax, live resin) forcing trichomes away from the plant creating inhalable vapor. The onset is rapid, much like smoking flower, and, also similar to smoking, effects typically last between 1-3 hours.

Why choose vapes?

Rapid onset with a medium duration of effects

Discreet, easy to dose, and easy to use

Full cannabinoid/terpene profile

Many product varieties

View our Rec VapesView our Med VapesLearn more about vaping

Do you have questions about the cannabis consumption methods discussed above? Our budtenders are always here to help—drop by and we will guide you.

Research and education information courtesy of Holos Health | Dr. Joseph Cohen, D.O.