You may have heard the phrase, “start low and go slow” referring to cannabis use. This catchy phrase is around for a reason – it’s good advice! Especially for new consumers or someone trying a new way to consume cannabis. Depending on the consumption method, it can be hard to calculate the exact cannabis dosage to achieve your desired effect, which is why it’s always smart to ease into it.
Each user has different tolerances and experiences, and with so many new products on the market, it’s important to know how each way to consume cannabis will alter your outcome so you can experience the best high possible. In this blog, you’ll learn:
- Your options for consuming cannabis
- How different consumption methods make you feel
- How to find your proper dose of cannabis
Ways to Consume Cannabis
Onset: 1–5 Minutes
Peak Effect: 5–15 Minutes
Duration: 1–4 Hours
This is recommended for first-time cannabis consumers because the effects will onset immediately after exhaling. Smoking or vaporizing cannabis has the fastest onset time compared to other ways to consume cannabis, such as ingestion or sublingual methods. Start by taking one hit from a vaporizer or from a pipe if using combustion. Slowly inhale, taking a somewhat deep breath in, then exhale.
Inhalation can be done using either combustion or vaporization of raw cannabis. Combustion refers to cannabis that is smoked using an open flame to burn the cannabis and activate the THCa by converting it to THC, like smoking from a bowl or glass pipe. Vaporization refers to cannabis that is heated to the necessary temperature to decarboxylate the THCa and convert it to THC, like smoking from a “weed pen” (usually a 510 vape cartridge), PAX device, Puffco Pen, etc.
Each time you inhale, approximately 2–5mg of THC is consumed per inhalation, but this will vary based on the strain, potency, and the device that’s being used to consume which can also make it hard to precisely dose. Start by taking a puff or two and waiting 10-15 minutes before consuming more. Remember – start low and go slow!
Onset: 30-120 Minutes
Peak Effect: 1-5 Hours
Duration: 3-8 Hours
Infused edibles have a longer onset period, usually between 30–120 minutes, because they have to go through your digestive system before kicking in. The effects from edibles also last longer with some lasting up to 8 hours for some consumers.
Infused beverages are reported to have a faster onset period than edibles with a similar duration, as do “nano” edibles which are growing in popularity. These types of edibles use nano-emulsion technology to help your body absorb the THC faster, producing a much quicker onset time and removing a lot of the guesswork for edibles newbies.
Regardless of the type of edible, its effects will vary based on the food or drinks you have consumed prior to ingesting an infused edible or beverage, as well as your individual tolerance, metabolism and body fat content.
If you are using ingestion as a way to consume cannabis, it is recommended that you begin with a low cannabis dosage, consume 2.5 to 5mg and wait for the proper onset time before ingesting more.
Onset: 15-30 Minutes
Peak Effect: 35-50 Minutes
Duration: 2-7 Hours
Tinctures, lozenges, mints, and various infused edibles can be absorbed under the tongue, or sublingually. Sublinguals have a mid-ranged onset period, usually between 15–30 minutes, and often have a similar duration as edibles.
This way of consuming cannabis allows some compounds to enter the bloodstream that might otherwise be broken down by digestive processes, which provides different effects that onset more quickly. The effects will also vary based on your individual tolerance. It is recommended that you begin by consuming 2.5 to 5mg and wait for the proper onset time before ingesting any more cannabis.