The cannabis world offers so much more than the classic joint. Some users are introduced to cannabis with a shared joint among teen peers, and most never move onto other options.
The fact is that cannabis comes in many forms all of which offer pleasure and comfort. Some are easier to consume, some more discrete, and some more potent.
There are oils, tinctures, edibles, vape pens, concentrates, and more. So, here’s to understanding cannabis products better.
Cannabis oil is a delivery system. You find it in small bottles with eyedroppers for administration. For those with concerns about smoking, about the complicated administration of dabs, and about the delayed reaction in edibles, and about the needs of pediatric patients, oils present a convenient, tested, and discrete cannabis delivery system.
- Producers use solvents to extract oils from cannabis flowers. Oil is the sticky stuff left after the plant, sticks, and leaves are flushed away.
- Oils contain high concentrations of cannabis’ compounds: THC and/or CBD. Some hold as much as 80% THC. Others are almost pure CBD.
- Users take oil sublingually because the tissues under the tongue transmit the active compounds quickly to the blood system.
- Oils can be used in recipes or manufactured at edibles.
- Patients with asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis report symptom relief when using cannabis oil. And, most states permit use for recalcitrant epilepsy in children.
- Users can prepare their own oils at home or purchase online or in dispensaries where legal. But, buyers should confirm information on labels.
The potency in cannabis oils can be a benefit or a problem, so you should watch the quality and quantity.
Home growers will create cannabis tinctures using a high-proof ethanol as a solvent to dissolve the plant material. Vinegar and glycerol also create tinctures but not as effectively. The solvent absorbs the chemicals: cannabinoids, oils, terpenes, and trichomes.
Where oils are left after the solvent is washed away, the tincture is a liquid in which the cannabis effects are suspended. Like cannabis oils, the tincture may be THC dominant, CBD dominant, or balanced.
Like oils, tinctures are administered under the tongue. The convenience benefits those may be too young, old, or sick to consume cannabis in other ways. You can add the tincture to recipes and drinks. Frequent recreational users like the immediate and potent effects.
Edibles come in different forms: brownies, candies, cookies, and drinks. Processed commercially, edibles have a prominent display in recreational and medical dispensaries. But, thousands of recipes flood the internet for those who like to prepare their own.
Edibles are delicious, discrete, and convenient ways to consume cannabis throughout the day to maintain recreational or medical benefits.
Edibles do present a “problem.” Because they are tasty, they tempt users to consume more than they should in terms of quantity and frequency. And, because they require digestion, they are slower to show effects. Both issues can lead to overdosing.
Given that warning, users and patients find edibles their cannabis of choice.
Vaping is an increasingly popular form of cannabis consumption. It requires a handheld device that heats a cartridge containing flavored and aromatic liquids or nicotine and cannabis properties. The devices resemble pens you could slip into your pocket.
Consumers vape to wean themselves from smoking cigarettes. Others vape for the pleasure of it and/or for the medical benefits.
Vaping provides a convenient way to inhale without the “mess” of preparing joints: however, it is not discrete because of the large volume of smoke-like vapor exhaled.
People use “concentrates” casually to cover a lot of cannabis by-products because of the ways concentrates are extracted. Like oils and tinctures, it is the result of processes that consume the cannabis plant. But, concentrates are solid or semi-solid and consumed in a variety of ways.
- PHO (Propane Hash Oil) is a budder consistency produced by using propane under pressure to destroy the plant material.
- Dry Sift has a powdery consistency produced by a complex sifting process. Processed without solvent, it produces high quality at a high price.
- Ice water Hash is also a powder produced with ice and water. The ice breaks down plant material and once the water is extracted the product is strained through a series of sieves.
- SHO (Solventless Hash Oil) is easy to produce on your own. And, the preparation presents less risk of chemical reactions and toxic residue. The process manipulates heat and pressure to produce unadulterated, terpene-rich extracts with a brittle shatter result.
Cannabis by-products are known by many names. The street changes the names at will, so sometimes we are talking about extracts that belong in more than one category. We could go on analyzing waxes, hash, shatters and so on.
But, Rick Simpson’s Oil (RSO) stands out. Created by Canadian activist Rick Simpson, RSO is something you can make at home to relieve your medical symptoms. And, Simpson uses his own medical experience as a cancer survivor to recommend cannabis as an anti-cancer therapy.
So, whether you want a euphoric high or a serious medical condition, you can find a cannabis delivery system that works well for you.