Up In Smoke: Consumption Methods of Cannabis in a Legal Market (Pt.2)

Earlier this week I looked at making a list of ways to consume cannabis, a variety we can perhaps only achieve realistically in a market where marijuana is legal. While some methods in part one did not require any kind of inhalation whatsoever, part 2 of 2 will look at methods that still involve inhalation, albeit in a much healthier way. These will cater to a clientele that still want their stone to hit them hard and the onset to be quick, so without further ado stoners, weed enthusiasts, or those just generally interested in the prospects of what a legal market will have to offer, here they are:



Volcano-brand vaporizer in action. Source: Flickr Creative Commons

While it may sound like something out of a 1960’s science fiction film, vaporization has become a common form of consuming cannabis as the technology has progressed. How it works is through a machine which heats the cannabis buds (or oils in some vaporizers) to a temperature (between 185-210 degrees, generally) that is enough to extract the THC but just under the temperature of combustion that a traditionally smoking device would use. The vaporized gas is then consumed through a tube or a balloon that the machine has pumped into it. There are many different types of vaporizes on the market, but this is the basic premise of how they work.

Pros: Clean as a whistle! Due to vaporizes avoiding combustion levels of heat, the toxins (carbon monoxide and other carcinogens) and generally left out of the equation. This means a much healthier method of inhalation, that users report is actually a stronger high than through a bong or pipe, but comes on equally as quick. Volcano brand vaporizers, the top of the line in the market, have been reported to extract 95% THC with no toxins – a pure, smooth high. In addition, vaporizers use less cannabis chop, allowing multiple (up to 20-25) hits from one average-sized bud. So while vaporizers may be an expensive route to take, that money will be saved through your actual product

Cons: As mentioned, these things are expensive.  Mid range machines that will vaporize effectively run around the $250 mark, and the top-pf-the-line Volcano brand vaporizers can sell for close to $800. While they may be built to last and considered an investment, dropping this kind of money to enjoy your bud will not be realistic for everyone, however in a legal market where demand is higher, cheaper vaporizers that still retain good craftsmanship and effectively do their job will most likely emerge. Like any machine, maintenance is required, which is always a bummer, however this is generally no more difficult that scrubbing your bong with your mums old toothbrush.



A jar of butane hash oil harderned in its ‘honey’ form. Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Another quirky-sounding consumption method that was popularised in the 1970’s but is starting to surface in the legal market is dabbing. Dabbing is a concentrated form of consuming butane hash oil (pure THC extract), and is described quite well by Philly 420 columnist Chris Goldstein:

“The term derives from the most common method used today: a piece of metal resembling a large nail is held at the end of a curved glass pipe then heated until glowing with a lighter or kitchen torch; a small ‘dab’ of the thick hash oil (greasy and thicker than cold honey) is placed on the end of a thin glass rod and then touched to the hot nail. The smoker inhales the instantly vaporized concentrate through the glass pipe — and gets seriously stoned.”

If this still has you confused, Vice has a great 10 minute introduction to butane hash oil. Very informative and succinct.

Pros: Dabbing is a strong, intense high that comes on about as fast as it gets. The waxy, honey-like substance is reported to have THC levels of around 70-90%, about 3 times as strong as premium weed strains, and 5-6 times as strong as the average Australia strains available in the blackmarket. Inhaling the oils is not thought by medical experts to be dangerous for the health, either, but rather similar to vaporizing cannabis herb.

Cons: As mentioned, consumption of these oils is a strong, intense high. If one dabbed one too many times in a single session, things may get uncomfortable – with reported anxiousness, paranoia and vomiting around inhaling too much of the stuff. Buying the extract is also expensive, as the extraction process takes time and money and drives up the cost. Many methods of consuming the oil can also be very dangerous. Butane, as you will probably already know, is extremely flammable and can leak unnoticed, potentially causing explosions if a single spark was to come into contact with it. Cannabis Culture did an article on accidents such a these.  Safer ways to consume BHO will surely arise, however, especially within a legal market that will push the demand for a stronger and purer high.

So that’s a wrap. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the many differing ways to consume marijuana and the many different buzzes you get from it. If you’d like to discuss anything with us or just simply voice your opinion, please comment below. Stay tuned for our next blog post.


2 thoughts on “Up In Smoke: Consumption Methods of Cannabis in a Legal Market (Pt.2)

  1. Fascinating stuff, really enjoyed reading that.
    What do you think is the safest way to consume?

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