There are three main ways to ingest cannabis; burning the bud and smoking it, vapourizing the bud and vaping it, and extracting the THC from the bud and cooking with it to make edibles. Here is an overview of the pros and cons of each method.
There are several different tools on the market to smoke cannabis, and they all involve doing the same thing, simply burning the buds and inhaling the smoke. This can be done using a bong, a pipe, or simply rolling a joint and lighting the end. Smoking is one of the most common ways to ingest cannabis, as it is relatively simple and doesn’t require much preparation or tools. The downside of smoking is that it can be quite harsh on your lungs, especially if you smoke over a long period of time.
Vaping is quickly becoming the most preferred way of ingesting cannabis. Vaping differs from smoking as it involves heating the cannabis to a high enough temperature in order to release the THC, but not hot enough to burn the cannabis and create smoke. Vaping is much easier on the lungs and is much smoother to breathe in. However, vaping requires some sort of electronic device in order to vapourize the bud. This can either be a vape pen or a bigger, less portable set up. Vape devices have gotten significantly cheaper over time, and provide a smoother experience with less lung damage.
Another way to ingest cannabis is to consume it by extracting the THC from the bud and cooking with it in some way. Typically this process is time consuming, as it takes time to cook the buds and filter the plant in order to extract the THC. Traditionally, this THC extract is mixed with butter and used to make a variety of edibles, such as brownies and cookies. However, there are several different types of edibles on the market, many come in gummy form, some in chocolate bars, and various types of candy too. Edibles can be quite tricky to consume, as homemade edibles are not standard doses, and it is therefore hard to decipher how much THC you are consuming. Also, eating edibles takes a lot longer to take effect than smoking or vaping, as it takes time for your body to digest. The effects of eating edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to start.
Initially, there were two main types of cannabis plants, known as cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. These two plants have been grown and crossbred over generations and as of today it is quite rare to find a pure indica or pure sativa plant. Therefore, cannabis plants can be classified into one of the following three categories: sativa dominant strains, indica dominant strains, or a hybrid of the two.
Indica plants are usually shorter and wider than sativa plants. Indica buds are typically more dense, and provide more of a “body high” feeling. Indica strains are most commonly known to be more relaxing, and the effects are more subdued and lethargic.
Sativa plants are taller than indica plants, and have longer, thinner leaves. The buds from a sativa plant typically have more of a “head high” and provide the user with a more energizing and creative feel.
A hybrid strain is a plant that has been crossbred between both an indica and sativa. Most cannabis plants are hybrids to some degree, as it is very few strains that are 100% indica or sativa. However, within this category there can be plants that are more indica than sativa, or more sativa than indica. There are also hybrids that are equally both indica and sativa. The effects of hybrids vary widely depending on the type and content.
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Now that dried cannabis has become legal for recreational use since last October, Health Canada has announced that regulations on cannabis edibles and concentrated will come into effect on October 17th 2019. These new regulations will give authorized retailers access to three different types of cannabis products: edibles, extracts, and topicals.
A limited selection of these products are expected to appear slowly starting mid December, as license holders must provide a 60 day notice to Health Canada on their intention to sell these products. Distributors and retailers will also need time to obtain new products and gather inventory for the anticipated high demand.
The regulations are expected to include restrictions on packaging and marketing, as it is prohibited to market any cannabis product that could appeal to youth, as is also the case with tobacco and alcohol. The labeling must have a clear cannabis symbol present, a health warning listing the product’s ingredients of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and is limited to the amount of enticing colours and logos that could appeal to kids as a candy.
The regulations will also state that cannabis-infused tobacco or alcohol products are prohibited, as well is the serving of cannabis-infused food in restaurants.