Cannabis Consumption Methods

Finding the Right Consumption Method

The first and most important thing to remember about cannabis is that cannabis has different effects on different people. Factors like age, weight, gender, physical/mental health and tolerance should always be taken into account when deciding to use cannabis in any form.




You can choose to take more later, but you can’t take less once it is in your system


Methods Of Consumption


There are three main categories into which different cannabis consumption methods fall.




Topical Application




Ingesting cannabis can be done in a number of ways including: eating edible products, juicing cannabis flowers, taking pills, capsules or lozenges and using oils or tinctures which are administered orally.

These products generally offer a more physical effect on users, rather than the cerebral effect usually associated with inhalation methods. Ingesting cannabis forces the active compounds in the product to be absorbed through our digestive system. This means it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to take effect, and the effects can last up to 8 hours, which is substantially longer than through inhalation.

The greatest challenge facing users who are choosing to ingest their cannabis products is finding the perfect dosage. This is due to the inconsistency in certain edible products, the lengthy time it takes for some ingestible products to take effect and a lack of understanding by consumers about controlling their dosages.

It is recommended that anyone trying an ingestible cannabis product for the first time start with a dosage they believe is less than they would actually want and wait a full one to two hours until the effects take hold before consuming more. This will prevent users from over-indulging.




These methods involve either burning or vaporizing cannabis flowers, but it can also refer to less common inhalation products like cannabis oil, hash, shatter or ‘dabs’. Additionally, though not commonplace yet, there are some nasal sprays which are administered like a sinus medication. They are inhaled but the active ingredients are absorbed directly into the blood stream rather than through the lungs first.

Typically, it takes between 5 and 15 minutes for the effects of the cannabis to take hold when using an inhalation method, and the duration of the effects last between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the strength of the cannabis product.


Smoking via combustion or burning does post a long-term risk to users’ lungs, and the cannabinoids and terpenes in the products are heated to very high levels. This can cause a decrease in their effects.

Vaporization on the other hand allows for the active compounds in the cannabis to be released without actually burning the plant matter. Though it is considered potentially safer and less physically detrimental to burning cannabis, it may still have long-term effect on respiratory health.

It is recommended that if a user is concerned about the strength of the cannabis product being inhaled that they inhale only a small amount, wait 15 minutes for the effects to take hold and then gauge whether or not to consume more.




Topical cannabis products are lotions or oils which are applied onto the skin of the area to be affected.

These products tend to be high in CBD with little to no THC, so they are not intoxicating. Regardless, it’s important to still use small amounts at a time to be safe. Research on these products is limited at this time, adding to the point that it is better to air on the side of caution when using these products for the first time.

It is unclear at this time how long these products take for the effects to begin, and exactly how long their effects will last.