So far in this series I have introduced you to many different ways to go about being an informed, courteous, and discreet consumer. But aside from giving you the tools and opening up your options, we haven't taken an in depth look into the many ways cannabis can be ingested. This chapter is going to be devoted to looking at your three primary ways of ingestion (inhalation, oral, and topical), along with their many sub categories. We'll also explore the many benefits and drawbacks of each, so you can figure out what works best for you.
Now I know most of my prior posts have been focusing on smoking and vaporizing, with a heavy emphasis on vaporizing using concentrates. So what am I talking about when I say concentrates? While there are many forms we can look at, all of them generally fall under the umbrella referred to as dabbing. Popularized in the last 10 years, dabs are strong extracts of the cannabis plant by way of butane (shatter), C02 (wax), or ice water (hash). What would usually take you 3-4 hits when smoking or vaporizing flowers is essentially turned into inhaling one big superhit. This is not for the faint of heart or mind, and unlike the flower it's not the prettiest thing to look at.
The biggest risk when it comes to dabbing boils down to two things. First off, if you don't know what you're doing and you try to make a concentrate in the form of an oil or wax, there is a fair chance that you may blow up either your house or yourself. Secondly, if you aren't using a safe method of lighting and inhaling the concentrate (such as using a vaporizer), again you run the risk of lighting something on fire that shouldn't be inflamed. Your best bet is to purchase your concentrate pre-made, which may cost more but is worth it in the long run.
Since we're on the subject of prepping and inhalation, I wanted to take a minute out to introduce you to some really pretty grinders. Grinders do most of the dirty work for us when it comes to buds, cutting down the plant into friendly evenly burning amounts and keeping potency at an optimal level. As with your storage, it's best advised you stay away from cheap plastics which are easily breakable and can cause potency ruining static reactions. Instead, consider going with a really nice wooden grinder ($42.08), or something that stands out as a conversation piece like this glass grinder ($17).
Let's talk about edibles and my aversion to writing about them. First off many of you readers know that if there's anything else I can go on forever about, it is food. Food is a huge passion in my life. I spend hours reading about it, watching things about it, making really beautiful delicious things on my own time, and generally loving any and everything about the culinary arts. So when it comes to discussing two things I really love as one, it's a tricky topic. I've never liked the taste of cannabutter in baked goods, and frankly I have no idea why we are sticking with this old method of using this very herbal butter to make sweets. Instead, lets take a look at our friends in the traditional culinary world and work with the flavors instead of against them.
Cannabutter generally has strong grassy notes, which pairs up nicely with dill or basil. So consider cutting a bit of your pure cannabutter into some regular butter and rolling it in dill to make a delicious compound butter, perfect for putting on meat, seafood, or roasted vegetables. The problem with cannabutter is that you'd have to experiment to see what would be enough without feeling like too strong a combination for you. So I'd suggest going with 1/4 part cannabutter to 3/4 regular butter to begin with and working up or down from there in future recipes.
A favorite use of compound butter is a simple crostini, like this basil and garlic compound butter on a tomato crostini. Add in the cannabutter and you have yourself a really elegant appetizer the next time you want to take your cooking to the next level or are sharing with friends.
Despite my personal distaste for using cannabutter in sweets, I should note that there are some sweet flavors strong enough to mask the earthiness of cannabutter, such as strawberries. Strawberries, those wonderful little fruits, also carry a bit of earthy flavor to them which marries well without fighting the cannabutter. And straying away from your standard brownie and cookie recipes, here is a recipe for strawberry weed muffins that makes for a nice balance if you really want to focus on baked goods.
Now moving away from the topic of food (which reminds me I haven't eaten because I've been writing this entire time), let's talk about tinctures. Tinctures are a way to get the compounds in cannabis into your system without inhaling, and works much faster than edibles. Tinctures can usually be found at dispensaries where it is dosed out in dropper bottles and absorbed under the tongue. The tincture liquid is typically an alcohol base, and in lesser instances can also be made using vinegar or oil. Honestly, it sounds like the ideal method if you are looking for something quick and discreet. Since alcohol is my mortal enemy, please tell me your tincture experiences.
Now to the last of the trifecta of delivery methods is the one I have the least experience with, which is cannabis in a topical form. This includes everything from lotions ($36), to massage oil ($29.50) to lip balm ($8). The thing to remember about this method of use is that is it almost entirely purely medicinal and will not get you high. These are excellent ways to soothe and relax muscle aches and pains in concentrated areas, as cannabis is a natural anti inflammatory and analgesic. Anyone with chronic joint and muscle pains can attest that sometimes popping an aspirin or getting a massage is simply not enough. This is also likely one of the most ancient uses of the cannabis plant, but study on use as a topical agent is still pretty new in current culture, so there just isn't enough info on this method of use.
Now to change gears a little bit, I wanted to touch on a couple of new things. First off, remember the cute little apple pipe from my first post? Well the amazing people at Lost Dog Glass stumbled upon my post and are now offering my readers a special little deal! If you're in the U.S. and use the special code SMOKELIKEAGROWNUP, you'll get free shipping through October 29th. And if you use the offer code 15TO420SMILE you get 15% off of your order, and that code doesn't expire. I really love their whimsical glass work, it's really unique and definitely worth checking out.
The second thing I wanted to touch on is that I'm considering moving these posts off of kinja and onto their own blog. I'd love to expand beyond product recommendations and suggestions and branch out into interviewing women who are a part of this booming industry. I'd also like to go a little more in depth with looking at incorporating cannabis into a more subtle adult lifestyle, and really tearing down the dated stereotypes which surround us. The primary problem I am running into is trying to decide on a name. And while Lou Bega might be good at naming my baby, he's not very helpful when it comes to naming a blog. So any suggestions, friends? I'm open to anything, so long as it remains tasteful (so yes, 420danknugz.com is out).
These posts are 100% not sponsored by anyone and I am getting paid a grand total of $0 to endorse anything. It tickles me greatly that any of you think I'm making any money off of this. Top image via American Anonymous.