All about smokeless cannabis products
Cannabis has historically been associated with the act of smoking, but there are other consumption methods available for those who would prefer to avoid inhaling smoke that may irritate or harm the lungs.
When trying cannabis for the first time or trying a new consumption method, be patient and start low, go slow for a safer experience.
Different cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis are released at different boiling points, the temperature at which liquids are transformed to vapour. Vaporizers are intended to allow you to access these compounds without combustion.
Vaporizing or ‘vaping’, cannabis does involve heat and inhalation and may also come with its own set of risks. Vaping can increase your exposure to chemicals that could harm your health (e.g. cause lung damage). However, vaping uses temperatures that are much lower than the temperature required to achieve the combustion associated with smoking. Instead of burning plant matter and releasing potentially harmful smoke, vaporizers heat the air around cannabis to release cannabinoids and terpenes
Oils and capsules
For those who prefer to avoid inhalation completely, there are oil-based products such as oils and capsules. Cannabis oil has already been activated (or decarboxylated), so there is no need to heat it. It may have a slight earthy, nutty taste and carry the aroma of terpenes. Cannabis oils and capsules are available in a wide variety of potencies and types.
Using oil sublingually (under the tongue) generally speeds up the onset of effects as it is directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the thin membrane in the mouth. Ingesting cannabis oil in the form of gel capsules, or swallowing cannabis oil rather than taking it sublingually, slows the onset of effects as your body needs to digest and process the compounds, such as CDB and THC, before they reach the bloodstream.
Formulated in the same way as oils intended for sublingual and oral use, intimate sprays contain cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and a carrier oil such as coconut-derived MCT oil.
When used topically, these products do not provide a “high”, however they may bring increased sensation to whichever area of the body to which they are applied. Oil-based intimate sprays are not compatible with latex, so may impact the effectiveness of certain contraceptive devices. Be sure to check the label on your cannabis product before use.
Edibles, extracts, and topicals
Edible products (food and beverages) are limited to 10mg of THC per package. Cannabis topicals (intended for external use on the skin, hair, and nails) are limited to 1,000mg/THC per package, as are cannabis extracts (including inhalable vape cartridges, and ingestible oils and capsules), with each unit capped at 10mg of THC.
Remember, what works for others may not work for you. Educating yourself and cautious experimentation will help you find your way.