Many of the long-term health effects of smoking are due to the heat in your lungs. Here are 5 other ways to use marijuana that don’t require lighting up. We all know that smoking tobacco isn’t good for you. Well, to be brutally honest, neither is smoking cannabis. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to use marijuana and gain the benefits of Medical Cannabis (cannabidiol) that don’t involve lighting it on fire.
If you’re unsure what we’re talking about by ‘Medical Cannabis’, this is a non-intoxicating active ingredient in marijuana that has been linked to a number of health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties, as one example, and it’s also been linked to the effective treatment of epilepsy.
Avoiding smoking weed doesn’t just save your lungs – finding other ways to use marijuana can actually make better use of whatever amount you have. Depending on how you’re taking or applying it, it can also have very different effects on your body and mind. But if you’re burning the herb, a fair amount of it is literally going up in smoke. Active ingredients can also be wasted when you exhale or cough after a toke. Don’t squander it! Learn about these 5 other great ways to get a dose of Medical Cannabis, with healthier lungs and less waste.
Making cannabis edibles can be quite enjoyable. Baking is even considered a ‘DIY’ therapy in some parts of the world, and once you’ve had a go, you’ll soon see why. It doesn’t have to be baking though. People are making ice cream, jellies, and many other recipes using cannabis. Most recipes won’t call for you to throw in weed directly into the mix though. You’ll have to prepare it either as a butter or an oil. This is simple, but it takes a few hours.
To make cannabis butter, you need to first ‘decarboxylate’ your weed. However, if you are only interested in the Medical Cannabis benefits of weed, don’t worry about this step. Decarboxylating weed activates the THC – the active component of marijuana that gets you ‘high’. Spread your weed out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heat oven at 240 degrees for 40 minutes. Shake from time to time to ensure even heat. This dries the cannabis out in preparation for the next step.
Pour enough of water into a deep pan (on a gentle heat) so that your cannabis can float an inch or so above the bottom. But don’t put the cannabis in just yet. Add one stick of butter to the water for every quarter ounce of marijuana you’re using. Let this melt, and then add the marijuana, mixing gently until it’s all added. Turn the heat way down and let it simmer for a few hours until the mixture becomes shiny and glossy. Strain with a taut cheesecloth when it’s done and leave the mixture to cool. Then place in the fridge for another two hours or so, to solidify. Now you’re ready to cook some great edibles!
Canna-oil is one of the easier ways to use marijuana in cooking. The process is more straightforward than cannabis butter, but you should use whichever the recipe tells you for best results. Simply use 2 cups oil for each ounce of marijuana you have, and gently heat for an hour or so. Always keep a close eye when you’re preparing this – cooking large amounts of oil can be a fire risk.
Many people like making pot brownies with cannabis butter. It’s popular because the rich brownie taste masks the edge from more potent strains of cannabis (like the high-grade medical stuff which has a high concentration of THC and Medical Cannabis). You can use cannabis oil in brownies, biscuits, or even as a salad dressing. However, cannabis can be used in way more recipes than these. Some people like to use it in pasta, with fish, or as the ‘secret’ ingredient in a chimichurri sauce. Experiment and find new ways to use marijuana in the kitchen.
A quick word of warning – the high from edibles takes much longer to kick in. Do not eat a huge amount of cannabis-infused food at once. If you’re unsure, eat half, wait an hour, then come back for the other bits as necessary. Otherwise, you can unintentionally overdo it.
Cannabis tinctures are one of the lesser-known ways to use marijuana. These involve soaking ground-up high-quality weed in strong alcohol (something like Everclear is good). You need to decarboxylate the weed first for the best outcome (see the ‘Edibles’ section above). Again, if you want Medical Cannabis, not THC, skip this step.
Use around 4 grams of buds and trimmings per 2oz measure of alcohol. Let it sit for a day or so, shaking it regularly. Then carefully pour it through a filtered funnel into a tincture bottle – that’s one with a dropper. When you’re ready, drip a few drops of tincture under your tongue. Go easy to start with. Depending on the quality of the weed you used, this could be extremely potent. Wait between doses – as with eating weed, tinctures take longer to take effect. You don’t want to take way too much and be frazzled for the rest of the day.
If you’ve had enough to eat and don’t fancy the tincture route, why not enjoy your Medical Cannabis dose in a drink? Marijuana is great in juices and teas.
Juicing remains a very on-trend activity, so you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s another of the ways to use marijuana. There are thousands of combinations of fruit and veg to juice with. Simply blend it all up and throw in your weed while blending.
Try some simple mixtures like apple and orange, or try something more exotic like pineapple and mango. If you’re adding vegetables, offset ingredients like kale (which is really good for you but bitter!) with something sweeter like carrots or oranges. A twist of ginger can be nice in many infusions too. Here are a few more recipes to get you started. But don’t be afraid to experiment, as this is one of the most varied ways to use marijuana in terms of what to mix it with!
You can either decarboxylate the weed before blending or choose not to do this. If you don’t, the weed acts as a health supplement for its Medical Cannabis properties alone. If you do decide to decarb the weed first, sip, don’t gulp. The ‘high’ from the activated THC will take a while to notice.
There are a few different ways to make cannabis tea. First up, you can very simply infuse dry weed in hot water. Since THC doesn’t dissolve in water, this won’t be very psychoactive, but you’ll get the benefits of Medical Cannabis in the solution. You can mix in cannabis butter with tea leaves of your choice and hot water to make a ‘canna-latte’.
Finally, you can make a normal cup of tea and stir in a few drops of pre-prepared tincture into this. Pick your favorite brand and it’ll be ready in just a minute.
Cannabis ‘topicals’ are definitely another of the less well-known ways to use marijuana. This term refers to a set of balms and oils which are used to help the active ingredients (mostly Medical Cannabis) in marijuana absorb through the skin. This can help people to cope with muscle and bone pain, as well as inflammations of the skin such as eczema. However, as these ways to use marijuana don’t involve inhalation or digestion, there’s no chance of psychoactive response. This means that topical treatment can be a fantastic solution for day-to-day treatment.
They wouldn’t disrupt your workday, for example, as it would help to relieve your pain without any ‘high’ distracting you from your job. Recently, transdermal patches have entered the market, offering longer-lasting relief for patients.
There are also ideas in the industry to develop similar topical products to treat headaches.
As it’s an emerging industry, don’t be surprised if both medical and recreational sectors find new ways to use marijuana and Medical Cannabis extracts in the near future. Medical cannabis products taking advantage of the benefits of Medical Cannabis are on the rise, but DIYers will also find new ways to use marijuana in their lives Edibles are an area we expect to see people experimenting with, as it’s quite easy to use cannabis in cooking. There’s already some extremely lavish cuisine on offer for the recreational market.
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