There was a time when just hearing the word cannabis evoked fear. Over the years, however, and as cannabis slowly became legal, the fear has been replaced with interest and the need to know more about it. There are still a lot of misconceptions, but more and more people have come to accept that cannabis isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. It also helps that there are numerous sources (and experts) that continually provide information on the safest way to consume cannabis.
While cannabis has been approved for medical use in many states and is considered safer than certain drugs, it still contains ingredients that can lead to adverse effects. You wouldn’t want to spend the entire day intoxicated just because you consumed too much cannabis, would you? Fret not, though, because cannabis wouldn’t be medically legal if it doesn’t have benefits. The secret is in how you use it – and there are many different ways to consume cannabis safely, correctly, and responsibly.
Before going through the many ways to consume cannabis, it is important to first understand what it is used for.
Reasons why people consume cannabis
Cannabis use started becoming increasingly popular in the 1960s. It is one of the most popular drugs in the US. A 2017 poll proved that almost 50% of Americans have used cannabis at least once in their lifetime. The 15% of Americans that consumed the drug in 2017 (according to a 2018 study) have various reasons for doing so.
Several studies have been made to understand the many reasons people consume cannabis, including the one published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence in September 2021. That particular study, conducted nationwide, used data gathered from the 2017 to 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and included information from various US states.
Listed as the main reasons adults consume cannabis were:
- For recreational purposes
- For medical purposes
- For recreational and medical purposes
As for the younger population (college students), these are their reasons for using cannabis:
- Peer pressure
- For fun and enjoyment
- To experiment or give in to their curiosity
- As a form of stress relief
- To socialize
- To relieve boredom
Some studies also indicated that people use cannabis to help them cope with varying moods and emotions.
In structured interviews conducted among long-time cannabis users in Canada, the number one reason for consumption was “for relaxation.” Other reasons were:
- For inspiration
- To forget problems and worries
- To manage anxiety and depression
- To feel good
- To manage boredom
- To sleep better
- To enjoy activities, such as music and movies
- To be able to see things from a new perspective
- For medical reasons
Medical use cannabis is used to treat the following conditions (and this holds for most states):
- Cancer (to reduce pain, vomiting, and nausea; also believed to fight off cancer cells)
- AIDS (to improve appetite and reduce pain, vomiting, and nausea)
- Multiple Sclerosis (to reduce bowel dysfunction, tremors, pain, and muscle spasms)
- Glaucoma (to slow disease progression and reduce pressure)
- Epilepsy (helps in controlling seizures)
- Bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and anorexia
Regardless of what their reason is, the best way for anyone to enjoy the benefits is to know the safest ways to consume cannabis.
It’s also important to determine which of the so-called facts about cannabis use are true and which ones are just myths.
Cannabis consumption facts and myths
- Consuming cannabis will affect your memory and reduce your mental ability
This is a MYTH.
The fact is that there is no scientific proof that using cannabis will cause permanent or long-term memory and mental ability loss. You may experience memory loss once you’re back to being sober but it’s only short-term.
Although you can experience side effects like fright, paranoia, or panic, these are not permanent and will easily pass. Some people never even go through these.
Over the years, there has not been any scientific evidence that has proven that casual cannabis use has dangerous impacts on your health. But when you consume too much, toxic psychosis can set in. Then again, this situation also holds for other drugs, not just for cannabis.
- Consuming cannabis can lead to an inability to perform or feeling unmotivated
This is another MYTH.
Several studies have already been conducted and they involved subjects who consumed high doses of cannabis for several days or weeks. Results did not indicate any inability to perform or apathy.
The inability to function is an effect of long-term substance abuse and applies to any drug, not just cannabis.
- Cannabis users are criminals
This is a MYTH.
Since many countries around the world consider cannabis illegal, anyone who uses it—regardless of purpose, is technically considered a criminal. This does not apply to the United States, though since adult recreational cannabis consumption has been legalized in 21 states while medical cannabis use is now legal in different degrees in most states.
Also, cannabis use results in reduced aggression.
Even with these myths debunked, it is still important to be mindful of the safest and best ways to consume cannabis.
The healthiest, safest ways to consume cannabis
People have had various options for consuming cannabis through the years. Some prefer to take oral solutions while others prefer to drink teas or eat edibles such as baked goods. The most popular one, however, is smoking or vaping.
What follows is a list of ways to consume cannabis in the healthiest and safest way possible.
- Buy cannabis from legal stores, not from illicit markets.
Cannabis sold by legal sellers is lab tested to ensure that it is safe and free from pesticides and other toxins. The 2019 lung injuries outbreak connected with vaporized cannabis oil and vaping was the result of the presence of vitamin E acetate present in dispensary vapes that did not undergo lab testing.
It’s also easier to choose cannabis with a good CBD and THC balance when buying from the legal market.
- Ensure that your health condition/s and medication allow you to use cannabis
There are medical conditions and meds that do not mix well with CBD or THC. Ask your doctor about this (if it is legal in your state) before consuming cannabis.
- Know the signs that say you need to stop
While no one has ever had a fatal cannabis overdose, too much consumption may lead to a visit to the doctor or hospital. The warning signs include fast heart rate, increased blood pressure, extreme confusion, nausea and vomiting, and hallucinations or delusions. Like any medication, too much cannabis can be bad.
- Read labels and instructions before consuming cannabis
You need to know how much THC or CBD an edible or topical contains. This may be a bit difficult to do when smoking, so it’s important to take note of how your body responds. Always start with a small amount first.
- Avoid mixing cannabis with other substances
Do not overdo and complicate things. If you want to consume cannabis, stick with cannabis only. Do not mix cannabis with alcohol, cider, and other substances.
Aside from the above-mentioned, choosing the safest way to consume cannabis also means knowing which method to use:
- Oral solutions such as capsules, tinctures, beverages, dissolvable tablets, and edibles
Capsules, tinctures, beverages, and dissolvable tablets are called sublinguals. They are not swallowed but positioned under your tongue. The effect is fast because they are absorbed by the mucus membranes of the mouth.
The effects of edibles may take time to kick in, but they also last longer. Edibles are swallowed or ingested. Popular examples include brownies and gummies.
- CBD-infused suppositories
This may sound painful, irritating, or uncomfortable but most of those who insert CBD-infused suppositories into the vagina or butt do so to relieve nausea or pain. There are brands, though, that contain higher levels of THC.
According to a study conducted in 2006, using actual cannabis for vapes is less harmful than using vaping concentrates. It is safer than smoking and does not harm your respiratory system as much. However, cannabis vaporizer users previously reported that regardless of THC levels, the effect is stronger.
Vaporizers are considered one of the safest options for anyone who wishes to enjoy cannabis.
Some cannabis users list bongs as one of their favorite ways to consume cannabis because these are efficient and quick. The smoke is also smoother, especially when compared to joints and blunts. This is because bongs have a water filtration process that filters the smoke.
The amplified experience when consuming cannabis using a bong is due to its cool smoke, as well as its bong rips, which produce better smoke volume.
There is an endless variety of bongs in the market, but if you want the safest way to consume cannabis, choose one that allows you to enjoy full control of the settings, such as electric bongs.
Electric bongs are almost weightless and portable, so you can bring them anywhere, even when you’re out and socializing. Likewise, they are easy to operate. You’ll want to show off your electric bong because of its sleek design.
You’re also allowed to customize every experience according to your preferences.
These qualities are good but what makes electric bongs the safest way to consume cannabis is the assurance that you’ll get enhanced, smooth hits, good taste, and overall quality while also cooling and cleaning/filtering smoke. The hits are less harsh, too.
Isn’t it obvious now which one is the safest way to consume cannabis?