To Smoke, or Not to Smoke

By Dylan O.
Which Cannabis Products Are Best Suited For You?


As cannabis has been on the rise in terms of mainstream popularity, public curiosity and scientific inquiry, the wonder weed has become widely available in a multitude of forms that go far beyond the traditional smoking method of consumption. Making it not only extremely accessible to everyone, but also considerate of everyone’s recreational and medicinal preferences. 

Not sure which method is for you?

Well, after reading below you will be able to decide for yourself what you prefer and what you don’t. 



The most popular method of cannabis consumption is inhalation of the smoke, produced by burning the flower. However, within this primary approach to ingesting cannabis, there are many different apparatuses and a variety of different smokable forms available for connoisseurs and medical clientele alike to choose from. (Check out 10 Cool Cannabis gadgets for some stylish and useful accessories)


Rolling Papers or_Not_to_Smoke

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Marijuana cigarettes are by far the most the simple and convenient form of consuming cannabis aside from handheld pipes. Not to mention, many dispensaries offer pre-rolled joints so that you can enjoy this method without having to roll it yourself!

For those who enjoy the aesthetic of puffing on a joint, or who are looking to share the experience with a group, rolling papers are an effective way to enjoy the healing and social properties of the green goodness without having to purchase a piece to smoke out of. 


Hand Pipes or_Not_to_Smoke

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Whether it is a glass-blown work of art equipped with colorful swirls and a carb, a hand-carved wooden masterpiece, or a simple corn cob peace pipe, this method is easily the most common and most portable piece to have — making it a godsend for those who like a little toke during their hiking trip or who prefer to gauge the level of their high by ingesting little by little. 


Water Pipes or_Not_to_Smoke

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Water pipes come in a variety of styles including the commonly known: bongs and bubblers. These apparatuses filter the smoke through water-filled percolators that make it less harsh on the throat and lungs, and ultimately easier to consume larger doses with less strain on the respiratory system.

Like hand pipes, these too have become works of art in the cannabis market and can be purchased in a vast array of sizes, shapes, colors and designs that will deliver desirable effects while looking good at the same time! 


Improvisational Pipes or_Not_to_Smoke


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These devices are products of stoner creativity and are typically one-time-use pieces that are disposable. These include but are not limited to: apple pipes, plastic water bottle bubblers, watermelon water pipes (yes, they are real), and gravity bongs



Hookah or_Not_to_Smoke

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Hookah is one of the least common methods of inhaling cannabis, and is done so through combining ganja with shisha (the term for the wet, flavored tobacco that is used) and inhaling the smoke that passes through water in the bottom of the device (much like a water pipe). 

Though hookahs typically require more marijuana to be used for a similar effect as other apparatuses, the fact that hookahs can be shared amongst multiple individuals — due to the multiple hoses connected to the stem — makes them perfect for social settings

Another rule of thumb to remember with hookahs, is that cannabis is best “sandwiched” between the shisha, which allows for slower burning and more smoke to be produced. 


Concentrates or_Not_to_Smoke

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Concentrates are the best way to smoke cannabis without all of the excess plant matter. This includes but is not limited to: dabs, oil, wax, hash and shatter. 

While some of theses concentrates can be smoked out of hand or water pipes, they are typically ingested through means of “dab rigs” — which require one to use a blowtorch to heat the “bowl” of the rig or tip of the hand pipe before applying the concentrate and inhaling the smoke produced from the heated substance. This provides users with potent effects without the combustion of all the unnecessary plant matter. 


Vaporizers or_Not_to_Smoke



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Vaporizers or “vapes” are one of the more popular methods of smoking cannabis nowadays and involve inhaling the smoke or “vapor” produced without any combustion whatsoever. These devices heat up the flower or concentrate to a point where THC can be extracted and consumed without torrents of smoke and unnecessary combustion. 

These apparatuses are also convenient because they produce little-to-no scent that one usually expects from smoking cannabis, and provides the consumer with a cleaner high that could be described as less foggy than more traditional methods. 

This method is also great for those who do not prefer smoking, because the vapor is much lighter on the airway and lungs. 



Many individuals who are using cannabis for medicinal purposes prefer to gain the effects without having to smoke the flower. Perhaps you enjoy the relaxing effects distributed throughout your body without the residual inflammatory consequences of the smoke, or maybe you don’t like the inflated-balloon feeling you get in your brain after taking too large of a hit. 

Whatever it may be, there are options available to you to experience the medicinal and/or recreational properties of cannabis without having to smoke the flower. 


Edibles or_Not_to_Smoke



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For a long while people have been infusing butter and oil with cannabis to mix in with baked goods. This provides the user with a longer-lasting effect that primarily targets the body as opposed to the “head high” that one can expect to experience if they inhale the smoke produced by burning the bud. 

If you are struggling with insomnia, muscle/joint pain, or nausea, this style of consumption will provide you with the relaxing, pain-relieving properties of the cannabis without the consequential throat inflammation or anxiety that may come with smoking the herb. 

However, the doses within edibles are typically quite strong, and more often than not the recommended dose is 10 mg considering their long-lasting effects. Be sure to consume your edibles slowly and have patience. (Pssst... Check out our Edibles 101 Guide for more about edibles)


Tinctures or_Not_to_Smoke



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Tinctures are concentrated cannabis in liquid form. These allow for the consumer to ingest marijuana with more control over the dosage without having to smoke it or worry about eating too much of the tasty brownie and falling into a weed-coma. 

Typically, the cannabis is fermented in alcohol to strip it of its chemical compounds — creating a potent extract that contains all of the desirable properties of the cannabis. A few drops of the extract are then ingested sublingually. It is recommended that the user wait an hour or so before increasing the dosage, however, this may vary from person to person. 


Ingestible Oils or_Not_to_Smoke


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These oils fall in between concentrates and edibles in that, the compounds within cannabis are extracted with alcohol. From here, the solvent is evaporated, leaving a tar-like substance that can either be eaten directly or put in capsules. It is similar to tincture in terms of the process of its preparation, however, it is ingested orally through the stomach instead of sublingually which takes a little bit longer for the desired effects considering the longer processing time.

Much like edibles, it is important to be patient and wait for the effects to begin to take hold before increasing the dosage. 


Beverages or_Not_to_Smoke


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Cannabis-infused beverages have recently become more popular in the market with dispensaries providing a vast array of products available for cannabis consumption. 

So, if you aren’t into smoking or eating your cannabis — now you can drink it! 

Be sure to read the labels and ask the individual at the dispensary (such as a budtender) for recommendations on dosages. 



Topical Creams and Ointments or_Not_to_Smoke



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These methods of ingestion involve decarboxylation of the cannabis to activate the cannabinoids, this means that once these cannabinoids are activated they can be easily absorbed through the skin through lotions, creams, ointments and more. 

These products don’t give you the feeling of being “high” — meaning that they are great for users who are looking to gain the localized medicinal effects of cannabis while maintaining a clear head. They are great for those who are experiencing muscle soreness, joint stiffness and other aches and pains. 


What Best Suits Your Needs?

With the cannabis market on the rise, the products only continue to grow in number. 

The wide variety of methods, devices and consumption available are making the highly sought after properties of this wonderful medicine more readily accessible to consumers cut from all cloths, and are rapidly debunking all the myths associated with this magical plant. 

So, whether you enjoy the aesthetic of smoking or prefer something else, there is a vast arsenal of methods available to you so that you can enjoy cannabis in a way that is most suitable to your needs and preferences. 


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About the author: Dylan O.

Dylan O. is a freelance writer, musician, speaker, and spiritual healer. He has ample experience in the cannabis industry and is an advocate for the many healing properties of cannabis. He strives to educate others about cannabis and to assist in diminishing the stigmas that surround it with his sophisticated writing style and personal approach.