A Guide to Cannabis Consumption Methods

A Guide to Cannabis Consumption Methods

If you’re new to cannabis, you’re probably stuck wondering how you’ll consume it. That is, if you’re aware that there’s more than one method of ingesting the drug.

Props to you if you have this info because many people still believe cannabis is smoked, and that’s it. Well, smoking is the most popular way of consuming the drug, but it’s not the only way.

Why Are There Other Methods?

If weed is popularly smoked and everyone (almost) seems to like it that way, what’s the point of other methods?

Good Question.

One: because not everyone is into smoking or even ready to let smoke into their lungs because it’s a risky business.

Two: some people suffer from conditions that make smoking a terrible idea.

Three: some people find the other methods more suitable for their needs.

Let’s take a look at all the cannabis consumption methods out there.

First of all, cannabis ingestion mediums fall into four broad categories:

  • Inhalation
  • Oral administration
  • Topical administration
  • Sublingual administration


Inhalation is the most preferred method of cannabis delivery. It works fast. As soon as you inhale the drug, the cannabinoids quickly enter your bloodstream through the lungs.

People use these two ways to inhale cannabis:


For a long time, smoking has been the best way to consume the drug. The method works by burning the flowering part of the plant and inhaling the smoke, which carries many compounds present in the plant.

People also smoke cannabis using various means like rolling joints, using pipes, and bongs.


Vaping is often taken as the better alternative to smoking as it doesn’t involve actual smoke. The method involves heating cannabis flower or concentrate to produce vapor, which is then inhaled.

There are different ways of vaping as well.

  • Vaporizers are medically approved devices that heat cannabis at high temperatures to release pure vapor.
  • e-Cigarettes or vape pens use heated liquid to deliver flavored vapor.
  • Then there’s dabbing, one of the strongest forms of cannabis delivery, which involves heating concentrates called dabs and inhaling them via a dab rig. You’ll find more info about dabbing and its techniques here.

Oral Administration

Cannabis is also taken orally. This is a slow delivery method compared to the other options, but it has its perks, like lasting longer.

If you intend to try out cannabis for medical purposes, like for pain management, we suggest this mode of delivery for its lasting effects.

Oral administration methods include:

  • Edibles: they are foods that are infused with cannabis in varying degrees of concentration. They can be cookies, gummies, chocolates, beverages, to name a few.
  • Tinctures: these are doses of cannabis concentrates prepared in solvents. They allow you to take high, specific doses in mere drops.
  • Capsules: they are prepared similar to any other medicine and are packaged in specific doses.

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Topical Administration

The use of cannabis in topicals is not new. Unlike other modern methods, infused topicals have been around for as long as cannabis has.

It’s possible that shamans and healers used cannabis balms and ointments in their practices thousands of years ago.

Topicals are applied directly to the skin. While the absorption process is slow, it lasts longer. Some popular topicals people use are creams, balms, soaps, and skin patches.

If you’re suffering from localized pain, this delivery method is the best option for you.

Sublingual Administration

Sublingual means beneath the tongue. The area has lots of blood vessels and is great for fast, almost instant absorption.

Cannabis products prepared for sublingual administration are usually specific dosages in the form of tinctures, sprays, or strips.

There isn’t much difference between oral and sublingual delivery methods except that sublingual is intended to offer fast action.


Let’s recap.

There are four basic ways of consuming cannabis: oral, inhalation, sublingual, and topical.

These methods are all different in aspects like reaction time, duration of effects, and even potency, which means you have to consider your objectives before getting on them.

It’s always advisable to consult a healthcare professional if you want to start using cannabis for medical purposes.

And that wraps up our guide on cannabis consumption methods. Hopefully, you won’t have trouble choosing the best option for your needs.