If you’re new to cannabis, there’s a good chance you might be feeling overwhelmed with all the products that are available to you. Some of your friends might swear by edibles, while others avoid them like the plague. So what gives? At Cannacopia, we’re here to answer your questions, so we’ve complied a comprehensive list of various consumption methods for you to analyze to make an informed decision for a confident high.
There are many ways to consume cannabis, but generally the methods fall into 6 different categories: flower (aka bud), edibles, concentrates (dabs), vape, tinctures, and topicals. Today, we are going to focus on flower.
Flower is the oldest and most popular (until recently) form of consumption of cannabis. You’d be hard pressed to find a cannabis consumer who has never had actual flower before, it’s the OG. The basic idea behind it is that the cannabis flower, or bud, is the plant component that has the highest concentration of THC, or the chemical that gets you high. To extract the high, heat is needed. Flower consumption almost always requires a flame to be effective, this, of course, explains why flower consumption is referred to as “smoking weed.” To smoke flower, you will always need a few additional tools, which we’ll dive into in a moment. However, regardless of how you smoke your flower, you’ll have to complete the basic step: grinding.
Grinding Your Cannabis
Grinding is the process of breaking up your flower into smaller pieces. This is done to create a finer material that allows air to pass through it, creating smoke-ability. Additionally, it creates efficiency that allows your stash to last longer.
Effectively, grinding is the process of going from a full nugg (left) to finer pieces of flower.
To achieve these results, most people use a grinder but you can also use your fingers to tear small pieces off of full bud until only the stems remain. Stems are not usually consumed. The biggest downside to using your fingers is that as they come in contact with the bud, they will extract a small amount of sticky resin from it. Resin is THC oil that exists in cannabis, the main contributor to your high. If you want to get your maximum THC, use a grinder.
After grinding your flower, you are ready to begin loading your flower into your smoking vessel.
There are two basic ways to smoke flower: with a pipe or in a joint.
Pipes are easier to get the hang of than joints. This makes them a great choice for beginners. Various forms of pipes exist: bubblers, bongs, one-hitters, and even fruits can be pipes. The most common and easiest choice is a hand pipe, which is usually made of glass or metal. To load your pipe, simply put your grounded flower into the pipes well and use a thumb to push the flower down just enough for it to burn nicely, but not so tight as to clog it. It should look like this when your done:
Joints are hand rolled cigarettes. They contain anywhere from .7 grams to 1.2 grams of flower inside. The hard thing about joints is that they take some practice to understand how to roll on properly. Some skill needs to be developed to be able to roll joints quickly and effectively.
There are a lot of ways to roll a joint, but you want to start with mastering the basic form before anything else. The infographic below will help you get started. A more detailed, step-by-step tutorial can be found here.
When you’ve decided on a smoking method, for beginners that’s probably a pipe, you are ready to smoke! Things you’ll need before you light up will be:
1. A relaxed place, preferably with some open air, like outside or near a window.
2. A lighter. Any regular one will do.
3. Something to put your ashes in, like a tray or a can.
Once you’ve got these three things, you’re ready to light up!
To smoke, you will apply flame to your flower while inhaling at the same time. It may take a little practice to get the hang of inhaling the right amount. Inhaling is the most important part. It can be tricky at first to properly inhale. To do it right, you want to make sure you’re getting a full breath into your lungs and not just your mouth. Not sure you’re doing it right? A quick test is to open your mouth after you’ve hit your piece making sure not to exhale. If most of the smoke comes out, you didn’t properly inhale. If you need some practice, do some slow inhaling and exhaling without smoke to get a feel for it Remember to fill your breath starting at your stomach and not your chest.
Once you figure out how to properly inhale, you may need to play with it a little to figure out the right amount of smoke you want from your hit. You don’t want to inhale too much to where you’ll end up coughing, but you also don’t want to get too little that you won’t feel anything.
When you’ve inhaled, hold it for a few seconds and then exhale. Let the feeling wash over you, and enjoy it, you’ve just successfully smoked marijuana flower!