8 Alternatives to Smoking Cannabis: Other Ways to Get High
Most people who consume cannabis smoke it. But there are other ways of using it, such as vaporizing, edibles, juicing raw cannabis, cold drinks, ointments, hotboxing, hot knife and rectal administration. Not only are many of these methods just as effective as smoking, they often are healthier too.
In addition to smoking joints, there are also other methods of enjoying the plant which is still illegal in our country. Some of those methods, such as vaporizing, are not as well known, but are gaining in popularity. Others are simply too unusual, too wasteful, or for various reasons not always widely practical to attract a lot of supporters. But they do work too.
Vaporizing is generally much healthier than burning weed and not as unusual as it once was. It tastes better than smoking and is much more economical. Vaporizing is not a problem if you have a good piece of equipment, but what should you do if there’s no vaporizer available?
Jamaica was familiar with the steam pipe, long before the time of Volcano, etc. At the end of the 1980s, you could learn, in the mountains of the Caribbean islands, how to vaporize ganja instead of burning it, using a few pieces of fresh bamboo, a little charcoal, a small tin and red-hot charcoal. Reports about steam pipes and instructions on how to build your own vaporizer can now also be found online.
In addition to the right temperature, the degree of coarseness of the buds is very important when vaporizing. The finer they are crushed, the more effectively the active components can be dissolved.
2. Baking/cooking with edibles
This is definitely the most popular method after smoking. Almost everyone has tried hash cake or space cake. No hazardous substances are created when eating or drinking, although the quantity is much more difficult to measure than when smoking or vaporizing. When used for medicinal purposes in particular, it is often the only alternative, because many patients are unwilling or unable to inhale either smoke or vapour.
Overdoses may occur among inexperienced users in particular, because the effect cannot be felt immediately at the time of consumption due to the delayed effect. You can put out a joint that is too strong after only smoking half of it, but you can’t do that with a cake that contains too much cannabis.
Even experienced users often have a more intense response to food products containing THC than to the same quantity of inhaled cannabis, but for others, the exact opposite is true.
If in doubt: consume slowly and always know exactly how much weed or hashish a cookie, cake or hot chocolate contains. When unsure, it is better to keep checking with whoever baked or cooked the treat, rather than simply gobbling it without concern.
Smoking Vs. Vaporizing: New Ways to Inhale
3. Juicing raw cannabis
There is another interesting alternative, however: “Juicing”, which is of particular interest to patients who are taking high doses of medication, involves squeezing the fresh plant. When consuming fresh buds, the positive effects of the cannabinoids are felt without getting stoned.
Cannabinoids mainly occur in the fresh plant in the form of acid (THCA, CBDA etc.). Because THC doesn’t have a psychoactive effect in acid form, large quantities of these juices can be consumed without any relevant side effects. This is an ideal alternative for cannabis patients who require high doses but are unable to tolerate its psychological side effects.
4. In cold drinks – blending with lecithin
Until quite recently, you would often hear that cannabis needs heat and fat, or at least alcohol to dissolve it for baking or cooking purposes. A few years ago, Hulabalooza presented a product that makes it possible to make weed or hashish soluble in water. It can therefore be tipped directly into a cold drink or stirred into muesli without much effort.
Whereas when it was presented a few years ago the ingredients were still a big secret, it is now clear that the main ingredient is simple lecithin. But be careful: If dried weed is not heated before mixing it with a lecithin product, the THC acid will not be converted into THC and the drink or the yoghurt will not have the desired effect (this doesn’t apply to hashish or weed that has been stored for a long time). The process where THC-A is converted into THC is known as decarboxylation. Only then will the pharmacological effects of cannabis unfold.
5. As an ointment
Ointments enriched with cannabis are not at all psychoactive, even if they have a high THC content, but they still have the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis.
The famous Czech hemp activist Bushka Bryndova took her inspiration from old stories about the use of hemp in folk medicine and the research results of Professor Kabelik at the University of Olomouc from the 1950s, and developed her own cannabis ointment. This enabled her to save her own finger from near amputation.
Healthy alternatives to tobacco that are the perfect mix with cannabis
6. Rectal administration
For the sake of completeness, we should include the most effective way of consuming cannabis, even if it’s not necessarily what the average recreational user has been waiting for. But users who opt for this medical administration method despite their general reservations will be rewarded.
In suppository form, the cannabinoid is diverted around the gastrointestinal tract and therefore not initially digested in the stomach. The active molecules (THC, CBD and other cannabinoids) can therefore find their way into the blood in a much higher concentration.
The molecules take between 30 minutes and two hours to kick in and the effect lasts up to eight hours. The peak of the effect is not as distinct as when eating, because in the case of rectal administration, no 11-OH-Δ9THC is formed in the liver. The only alternative for many cannabis patients with gastrointestinal diagnoses so far, this administration reportedly promises recreational users unrivalled effectiveness too.
Hotboxing actually involves a communal pure smoking or vaporization experience that is more like a party. Cheech and Chong once led the way in what many older connoisseurs, who once did something similar, now refer to as youthful transgressions.
With hotboxing, several consumers inhale the smoke or vapour from weed, hashish or BHO in an enclosed, small space, including cars, giant motorbike helmets, storerooms, telephone boxes, tents or cupboards. Hotboxing is effective and is above all social in nature.
From a health perspective, it is not necessarily recommended. It can soon result in a lack of oxygen, because you inhale smoke or vapour with every breath. Hotboxing and similar radical methods such as “bucket smoking” are mainly widespread among younger consumers. But hand on heart: shouldn’t cannabis be enjoyed, rather than demolished as quickly as possible?
3 Healthier Ways to Use Medicinal Cannabis
8. Hot knife/pot needle
With the hot knife method, a small piece of weed, hashish or BHO is placed on a red-hot knife tip and the smoke is inhaled straight away. With the pin method, a pin is poked through a piece of cardboard, so that it can stand up vertically. A small piece of weed or hashish is then placed on the needle, lit and blown out. Whilst it is lit, you capture the smoke in a glass and inhale it as soon as the glass is full of smoke.
These and similar “MacGyver solutions” (such as a pen, potato, cola can or disposable bottle) are not infrequently used by victims of prohibition, who are behind bars because of cannabis, so that they don’t leave any traces behind. Effective and economical.
In addition to the methods described here, there are of course a few other less usual ways of consuming cannabis. Very unusual methods such as injections are rarely considered, although it would be worthwhile studying them more closely for medicinal purposes.
12 thoughts on “8 Alternatives to Smoking Cannabis: Other Ways to Get High”
Can you get high from drinking it in a tea form?
You can get a psychoactive effect from cannabis in tea as long as there is fat for the cannabinoids to bond with – they are not water-soluble, so putting cannabis in hot water alone will not work. You can find a recipe for a psychoactive drink called Bhang Ki Thandai here, and this article has information about how to make cannabutter, which you can then add to drinks if you would like to. Do bear in mind that consuming it like this is the same as eating it in that it will take quite a long time to start working, so take it easy to begin with!
I hope this is helpful, and that you continue to enjoy the blog.
With best wishes,
Really enjoyed this discussion and blog.
I posted the same question in another blog, but would like to reprise it here for any added perspectives from the gallery…
So… would there be any medicinal or psychoactive effect seen to using cannabis sublingually in raw form? That is, placing a small amount of fresh, raw bud beneath the tongue and holding it there until it becomes fully absorbed and integrated via the saliva into your system?
Alternatively, would this be any different than simply eating the herb in raw form (i.e. mastication)?
Or are both methods just a waste of time, and herb?
Thank you in advance for all shared insights!
Thanks for your kind words, it’s always lovely to have positive feedback 🙂
The answers to your questions are quite detailed, and can be found in this post about juicing raw cannabis leaves. I hope this gives you enough information, and that you continue to enjoy the blog.
With best wishes,
I made tea today.
I crushed freshly harvested. Infused with boiling water.and heated for 1 minute microwave
I made roster chicken with the leaves. You crush the leaves, I did with chicken breasts.
It can be done in casseroles or pression cooker too.
I use a pirex dish covered with aluminium foil. 1 hours and after 30 minutes for every 500 grams.
It doesn’t need any other seasoning.
You can use a bit of the flower mixed with stuffing.
My cats adored they bully me every time I make chicken.
I infuse a handful of fresh with 1/4 bottles spirits or alcoholic beverages.
Vodka, gin, sambuka , whisky.. Cachaça
It s better dark bottles . close the lid and leave in warm water.
Change the water when gets cold.
Or leave in the radiator. Three days later ..
You can make cocktails. Drink with coke, lemon juice, lemonades…
I bought isopropanol I am going to make oil using fresh.
Vodka is the best. . …. You can take with you anywhere. It doesn’t call attention.
And is very relaxing
Don’t ever use the word “overdosed” or any variation of it when talking about Marijuana. One can take too much then needed and that would be an overload of THC. But don’t ever say overdosed. Because people put that with dieing. And you can never physically die from smoking Marijuana or taking it in any form. You would pass out way before.
Ive been smoking for 25 years,spent a lot of time in holland,smoking in coffee
shops,why are english people prepared to smoke such low quality herb? Prob coz they can sell it for 10 quid a gram whatever the level of thc and people i have heard complain it is too strong,well i want to complain about weak herb,i feel im being weaned off of thc,and i dont like it,and im just not good enuff to grow high grade,altho of course im still trying
FYI. Lecithin was brought to the cannabis community for bioavailability and creating water soluble solutions by Kat Smiles of BadKat’s CannaPharm, something like 20 years ago. This is widely known and accepted, they have openly educated caregivers and dispensaries about its use for many years. Kat co headlined the Canna World Summit with Rick Simpson and has been recognized by HIGHTIMES several times for this work. Cannabis history is important.
l am always reminded of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers , & all the advice they gave , . . . . . . . example: pot will git you through times of no money , way better then money will git you through times of no pot Also remember !! only Users lose drugs
Hot knife and needle? Are you in middle school trying to get high at your parents house lol.
The article makes it plain that cannabis is a culinary herb without ever mentioning the word herb.
May I encourage everyone who cares to elevate the status of cannabis to use the word herb rather than the diminishing word weed which has always been used to hide the herbs true place in our culture.
Weeds are unwanted, pulled out, plowed, poisoned, burnt, despised.
Herbs are sought, gathered, medicinal, culinary, loved, cultivated, nurtured, consumed, selected, improved with each generation.
The cannabis we consume is a Herb.
You forgot one very important way of using cannabis – eating it fresh/fresh-frozen, as in harvesting off the plant and immediately eating it or immediately freezing it in fresh, non-decarboxylated form.
Using cannabis flowers fresh/fresh-frozen (typically in a smoothie) does not get you high, but instead energizes with a long, sustained sort of balanced energy (regular THC varieties), and if you include a portion of high CBD flowers (we use Harlequin with 8% CBD and 4% THC tested dry) for a few days to a week – it has almost completely cured arthritis in those who had it. Human cartilage has CB-receptors from what I’ve recently read – which likely explains this effect.
Not only will fresh cannabis help/cure arthritis (specifically high CBD varieties), but along with sustained energy, high THC flowers do a serious number on depression. In fact it has virtually cured me of depression – I still get sad but it doesn’t debilitate me at all any more, and this problem has run in my family for decades.
Eating fresh cannabis is probably how our ancestors used it. I always wondered about ancient people and cannabis – if much of their time was used in pursuit of food to survive, how likely is it they had any time to “chill” with decarboxylated weed? Eating fresh flowers – especially mature, seed-laden flowers with the added protein and EFAs and fiber the seeds contribute, along with the energy fresh THC gives (try it!) and the healing qualities of CBD (which had not been bred out of the plant in ancient times) would help our ancestors survive at a most basic level and enhance their ability to hunt.
Try including 5-7gm of fresh or fresh-frozen flowers in a smoothie – you folks at Sensi are in the perfect place to do it – then write an article on the effects you feel. Fresh flower smoothies focus, energize, heal and basically hit you exactly the opposite of dry weed and could be the silver bullet cannabis needs to get accepted for the life giving plant it truly is.
All this is from a 60+ year old person and those of my friends who’ve tried it. Could be as we age our ability to make endocannabinoids and related substances declines, and eating fresh-frozen flowers could well replenish them.It doesn’t always have to be a joint! Even if smoking cannabis continues to be the most popular method of consumption, there are many alternatives.
There’s A ‘Legal High’ You Can Buy Online, And It Isn’t Cannabis
A recent study by a group of scientists in Bern, Switzerland examining a cannabinoid extracted from a rare moss-like plant–a member of the liverwort family–growing only in Japan, New Zealand, and Costa Rica has revealed potentially useful properties that may be valuable for people suffering with inflammation and chronic pain.
Liverwort (Radula perrottetii)
University of Bern/Stefan Fischer
What’s even more interesting is that this moss is distantly related to a plant we are quite familiar with–Cannabis Sativa —which has more recently emerged as a potential approach for treating seizures, multiple sclerosis, inflammation, and many chronic medical conditions.
Thus far, the researchers do not understand why this specific liverwort–which has a different way of living and reproducing compared with Cannabis—would harbor a compound so similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component found in marijuana. (It was previously believed that the only plant that produces THC was Cannabis Sativa.)
What they do realize is that the cannabinoid isolated from this liverwort, and THC found in Cannabis are chemically similar , but also produce quite similar effects in the brains of mammals.
The study was recently published in the Journal, Science Advances.
PET was first described in 1994 by the Japanese phytochemist, Yoshinori Asakawa. But it wasn’t until Jürg Gertsch from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bern, evaluated the similarity of this compound in structure and activity to THC in the brains of mammals that the significance became more relevant.
Several years ago, Gertsch noticed that liverworts were being promoted online as “legal highs”, used by recreational and medicinal users in Switzerland, New Zealand, as well as other areas of the world. But no research had been done to evaluate the pharmacological properties of the cannabinoids contained in the plant. Gertsch joined forces with his colleague, Erick Carreira, from the Department of Chemistry at the ETH Zürich, and proceeded to compare THC and PET.
Using an animal model (mice), the team demonstrated that PET reaches the brain relatively easily, but activates cannabinoid receptors– CB1 and CB2 receptors–to a much weaker degree compared with THC. As a result, a key difference between the two compounds is that PET is much less psychoactive compared with THC, making it more attractive for medicinal as opposed to recreational purposes. But PET’s more potent anti-inflammatory effects, compared with THC, based on initial studies, certainly became a point of further interest.
Gertsch believes that PET’s more robust anti-inflammatory effect in the brain compared with THC, makes it noteworthy, especially if you consider its potential medical applications.
“It’s astonishing that only two species of plants, separated by 300 million years of evolution, produce psychoactive cannabinoids,” said Gertsch in a press release.
And it turns out that the Maori people, indigenous to New Zealand, have utilized the liverwort plant for centuries as a traditional medicine for treating abnormalities of the liver or digestive issues.
“The work of Jürg Gertsch and colleagues is a prominent advance in understanding the role of plants beyond cannabis on the endocannabinoid system,” said Ethan Russo M.D., a neurologist, and Director of Research and Development for International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI). “Perrottetinene from the liverwort, Radula marginata, has proven to stimulate weakly the CB1 receptor where THC and the endocannabinoids, anandamide (ANA) and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) also bind.
“Although this activity was proven via positive effects on the mouse tetrad of hypothermia (lowered temperature), catalepsy (frozen behavior), hypolocomotion (decreased movement) and analgesia (pain reduction), and was demonstrated to enter the brain, it is unlikely to become a major target of recreation users because of its relatively low potency and especially since liverworts are very slow growing and difficult to cultivate.” added Russo.
Russo also explained that “perrottetinene differs from THC in a key way that makes it potentially useful medically, in that it reduces levels of prostaglandins D2 and E2 in the brain without producing COX inhibition, and thus may provide an effective anti-inflammatory and pain killer with a low risk of intoxication, formation of ulcers, or production of heart attacks or strokes.
Russo explained that this finding should prompt additional biochemical prospecting in other liverwort species in this frequently overlooked group of “primitive” plants.
Jeffrey C. Raber, Ph.D., a chemist with expertise in cannabinoid physiology and CEO of The Werc Shop, an independent testing laboratory in Southern California, also sees the potential upside of perrottetinene from a clinical standpoint as well, but realizes that cultivating and extraction of the compound may be challenging, but could be overcome with creativity and ingenuity.
“The stereochemistry of this compound suggests it may possess interesting clinical potential with minimized psychoactive side effect,” explained Raber. “Obtaining significant quantities of pure compound may be challenging initially, but viable natural based or synthetic routes may both be developed should it prove of interest to do so.”
PET less psychoactive compared with THC
It’s well known that low doses of THC may offer therapeutic potential when it comes to treating various chronic illnesses. But THC is limited from a therapeutic standpoint due to a strong psychoactive effect at higher doses, other than being illegal at this time.
As previously mentioned, in contrast to THC, PET inhibits the production of inflammatory prostaglandins in the brain. As a result, PET likely has an effect on cannabinoid receptors which interact with our endogenous endocannabinoids. Certainly more preclinical studies of various models of chronic and inflammatory pain will be necessary to better understand its role in this setting.
To obtain adequate amounts of PET from the liverwort plant, Gertsch collaborated with his colleague, Erick Carreira, whose team developed a new synthetic way to preserve the 3-D structure of the compound on a molecular level.
“The present study is a prime example of how new synthetic concepts can make a contribution towards enriching our pharmacological knowledge of biologically-active natural substances”, said Michael Schafroth, PhD, who studied and worked under the direction of Dr. Carreira, in a press release.
“Both solid fundamental research in the field of biochemical and pharmacological mechanisms as well as controlled clinical studies are required to carry out cannabinoid research”, added Gertsch.
With recent legalization of Cannabis in Canada helping to support ongoing support for research and patient interest in using combinations of CBD and THC to treat common conditions such as endometriosis, fibromyalgia and IBS, it’s becoming more apparent that the endocannabinoid system and its associated deficiencies may hold the key to relieving pain and alleviating bothersome symptoms that are difficult to treat.
Use of CBD (Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals) to treat intractable seizures associated with Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, along with THC (2.7 mg) and CBD (2.5 mg) per spray (nabiximols, Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals) to treat spasticity associated with MS is supported by published research and has emerged as a viable way to manage these difficult-to-treat conditions when available and standard approaches yield minimal improvement.
Market aspects of cannabinoids
As clinicians seek less harmful modalities than opioids for treating chronic pain, PTSD, gastrointestinal, and autoimmune disorders, liverwort and its derivatives may hold promise as a safer therapy. The road to get there will involve not only refining methods of extraction and purification, but a significant amount of preclinical studies in animal models, before it’s ever tested in humans.
“2018 has seen the phenomenal rise of Cannabis and hemp (CBD) as an alternative therapy to alleviate the symptoms of pain, epilepsy, PTSD, MS, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, GI disorders, and many other chronic conditions,”said Rich Able, a medical device consultant based in Seattle.
“This is a very exciting time as big liquor and big pharma companies have invested billions of dollars into Cannabis ventures and clinical labs throughout the year,” offered Able. “This trend will continue as clinicians potentially investigate safer plant-based alternative therapies such as liverwort.”
“Known plant-based compounds like this one [PET] can be challenging to protect with patents, which is one reason why they may not be prioritized by industry,” said Greg Wesner, Chair of Lane Powell’s Intellectual Property Litigation Team, based in Seattle. “Nevertheless, even if the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) itself is not patentable as a chemical entity, it may be possible to obtain patent protection for a drug candidate that combines the API with an effective, patentable drug delivery technology.”
“Moreover, the API could be the subject of a method of treatment patent if the API is discovered to be a novel treatment for a disease indication,” added Wesner.A recent study revealed that a moss-like plant known as a liverwort harbors a cannabinoid with remarkable chemical similarities to THC found in Cannabis, and also yields quite similar effects in the brains of mammals. ]]>