Welcome to the Cannabis Supply Co. educational series on delivery methods! We’ll be taking an in-depth look at delivery methods for medical and recreational cannabis. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on edibles, topicals, and more!
When we say “delivery methods” we’re talking about the way you’re ingesting your cannabis. We’re going to talk about the two types of legal medical cannabis in Canada: dry flower and concentrated oil. There are three main ways to ingest dry flower or oil and then variations within those three main ways.
Today we’re looking at method #1: the cardiovascular system. This means smoking or vaporizing by inhaling the smoke or vapor through your cardiovascular system. Let’s take a look at how it works and how it affects you!
Method #1: The Cardiovascular System, or, Inhalation
Sub-method #1: Full Combustion, or, Smoking:
The most common way to ingest or “dose” with cannabis is by smoking. This can be done with a rolled joint, a pipe, a bong, or any other way you can think of to light the dry cannabis on fire and then inhale the smoke.
When you ingest the smoke of combusted (burning) cannabis, it goes into your airway and into your lungs just like you do with oxygen in the air. Just like breathing oxygen, the cannabinoids (THC, CBD and more) are absorbed into your bloodstream and transported throughout your body. This happens really quickly because your cardiovascular system works incredibly fast!
The average heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood per day! That’s over 7,500 litres! (American Heart Association)
It’s important to remember that when you are inhaling smoke, you are displacing oxygen from your cardiovascular system and this can cause additional effects of feeling light-headed and “high” immediately after smoking. If you have ever smoked cigarettes, you may recall the same sensation. Especially if you take large deep breaths and hold the smoke, you are starving your cardiovascular system of oxygen. So, be careful and take slow normal breaths if you are dosing by smoking!
Health Canada recommends using a vaporizer or other dosing method to reduce the potential for negative health effects. If you choose to smoke, a great alternative is something with a filter like the Silver Stick One-hitter below:
If you just can’t give up smoking yet, a very popular and health-conscious way of smoking is with the SilverStick one-hitter with a filter:
Sub-method #2: Vaporizing
Vaporizing dry cannabis flower is just like smoking – but better! The cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis do not need to be lit on fire and combusted for you to feel their effects. By simply heating your dry flower to a temperature of 154°C – 188°C, the cannabinoids and terpenes will vaporize and change into their more useful forms.
THCA will turn into THC and CBDA will turn into CBD, along with many other cannabinoids. The “A” stands for “acid”, which is the form most cannabinoids are in before they are heated, or decarboxylated. When a cannabinoid is heated, the acid is removed from its molecular structure and the cannabinoid is now able to interact with the human body through the endocannabinoid system. This is why raw cannabis won’t get you high but dried and heated cannabis will!
When you vaporize dry cannabis flowers, you will get the same effects as smoking, but without the negative health effects of smoking. You will also get wonderful flavour profiles from the terpenes and the highly sought after “entourage effect” of those terpenes! Just like smoking, when you vaporize, the cannabinoids will go through your cardiovascular system and into your bloodstream and throughout your body. With vaporizing you won’t experience the common coughing fits, shortness of breath, and other undesirable effects of inhaling smoke.
A little-known benefit of vaporizing is the ability to save your AVB (already vaped bud) and make oil out of it! Click here to learn how!
A popular vaporizer is the AirVape X:
What’s the difference between smoke and vapor?
Smoke and vapor look nearly identical and can be difficult to tell apart. Imagine smoke from a campfire and clouds in the sky: both are translucent to opaque white clouds of particles being held in the air. The difference is what is in those white clouds.
Smoke comes from combustion and contains mostly water vapor but a lot of other stuff, too. Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, tiny particles and other damaging substances that shouldn’t be inhaled. Vapor on the other hand is also made up of mostly water vapor but because it comes from controlled low heat, it only contains the vaporized cannabinoids without the other harmful substances.
Smoking & Vaping: How long will it last?
With smoking and vaporizing, you will feel the full effects of your medical cannabis in 5-30 minutes and the effects will last one to three hours. Smoking and vaporizing is a preferred method of dosing for people with irregular breakthrough symptoms like pain or anxiety. Because of the effects of THC on cognitive abilities, smoking is a great way to medicate for a short amount of time and regain your ability to perform necessary tasks like driving once you are sober.
Smoking & Vaping: What will it feel like?
With both smoking and vaporizing, you will feel the full effects of the cannabinoids. This means that if you are ingesting THC, you will feel the psychoactive “high”.
Don’t want to feel the psychoactive effects of THC? Try topicals!
Smoking & Vaping: Which one is safer?
Vaporizing is absolutely safer and more healthful than smoking cannabis. If you smoke your cannabis, it is recommended that you switch to vaporizing. If you are a Canadian Veteran or on ODSP, you can apply to have your new vaporizer covered as a medical device. Click here to learn more about the process.
Stay tuned for the rest of Cannabis Supply Co.’s educational series on all things cannabis!
More Educational Posts:
- Cannabis Species: Medical & recreational cannabis species
- Cannabis Species: the four species of cannabis
- Dosing Methods #1: Smoking & Vaporizing
- Dosing Methods #2: Edibles & Oils
- Dosing Methods #3: Topicals & More
- Make cannabis oil with your vape!
- What are cannabinoids?