In a world where people are becoming increasingly conscious of their health, smoking weed just isn’t the most appealing choice anymore. There are still some of us who love to blaze up on the weekend with friends. But for those of us who are using cannabis every day, there are sensitive lungs to think about. While the healthiest ways to use weed don’t always involve getting high, they are much gentler on the more delicate parts of the body.
Thanks to the creativity of marijuana users around the world, there are now a myriad of ways to use weed that don’t involve smoking. There’s really no excuse to sabotage your health to get the maximum benefit of weed.
Why minimize smoking?
While smoking cannabis isn’t nearly as dangerous as smoking tobacco (we’ll discuss why in a minute), there are still health risks associated with constant inhaling of burning plant material. Chemically, tobacco and marijuana are extremely different. Burning nicotine and inhaling is different to burning up the cannabinoids and terpenoids in cannabis. Having said all of that, burning any plant material releases carcinogenic material, which is then inhaled in the act of smoking.
The British Lung Foundation released some findings that burning marijuana actually releases 20 times more carcinogenic material than tobacco. But hold on a minute – they also concluded that it’s 20 times more likely to give you lung cancer. Which is a completely ridiculous analysis of their findings. While there is more carcinogenic material released from cannabis, there are also lung-cancer fighting properties in marijuana – which tobacco lacks. It also boils down to numbers. Tobacco smokers are often smoking 20-25 cigarettes a day, whereas marijuana users are very rarely smoking 20 joints a day.
Whichever plant you’re smoking, the combustion of it necessarily means inhaling carcinogens, which isn’t good for the lungs. There’s no scientific evidence to support that cannabis gives you lung cancer, but we do know that there are much healthier ways to ingest weed, which, over time, will not damage the body at all. So if you’re using marijuana medically or very regularly, it’s a good idea to consider some alternative methods of use.
When it comes to the healthiest ways to use weed, eating weed is a great substitute for smoking it. That’s not just because it doesn’t involve inhaling anything, but because edibles give the user what is arguably a more psychedelic experience, too. No compromises here! However, the problem with a lot of cannabis edibles on the market these days is that they are loaded with all kinds of other things that are bad for our bodies – the most noteworthy culprit is sugar!
So, if you want the healthiest ways to use weed and an alternative to smoking, do not choose the sugar loaded brownie. Search a little harder for something that is made consciously to be a health product. Take, for example, Colorado’s Julie Dooley, who has pioneered cannabis health edibles. Because she’s a celiac, they’re all gluten-free. And of course, she knuckles down on making sure there isn’t a high sugar content in her canna-snacks.
Make your own canna-oil or cannabutter
The other option to buying your edibles is to make your own cannabutter at home. If you want to be even healthier, you can use coconut oil instead of butter. Now you’re free to make up your own edibles at home and know exactly what goes into them. If you’re using marijuana medically, this is a great option because you can include foods that also contribute to healing your health issue.
You can do all kinds of things with cannabutter or canna-oil, such as adding it to your tea, using it to cook your vegetables in or adding it to the batter of cakes and bread. Simply replace your regular butter or oil with your cannabis infusion. The sky is the limit!
Fresh cannabis juice is probably one of the healthiest ways to use weed. Now, this means having a lot of raw plant material on hand – freshly picked and still very moist. This is a great option for all those who are growing their own at home. When you ingest marijuana raw, it is essentially a superfood.
For all those who love to get stoned, this option might not be for you. Before cannabis is dried, cured and finally burned or decarboxylated, there is no such thing as THC in there. THC is what happens after the material is heated, and before that, the compound remains as THC-A. There’s nothing wrong with this if you don’t mind missing out on the stoned effect. In fact, THC-A is much better for the human body for a number of different reasons.
Firstly, when the compound is converted to THC, the body can’t tolerate as high a dose – it just doesn’t get processed. This means a lot of it gets wasted. Secondly, THC-A is a far better conductor of two way cellular communication, which is what gives cannabis its powerful anti-inflammatory effect. If you’re looking for a health kick and can do away with being stoned, juicing is a great alternative!
Another alternative way to use weed is in the form of a tincture. This method is probably one of the least invasive ways of getting marijuana into your body. There’s also no compromise on getting stoned with cannabis tincture if you purchase a strong one or make it the right way. A tincture is an infusion of cannabis in alcohol, and cannabinoids really love to bind to alcohol.
If you’re making your own at home, make sure you decarboxylate your buds before steeping them to convert the THC-A to THC. Use a clear alcohol such as vodka for the infusion and the general rule is that the longer you let it steep, the stronger it will be.
With most tinctures, you only need to take a few drops to get the full effect. It means very little alcohol is consumed and in fact, a lot of cannabinoids can enter the body. Be aware that oils are also a form of tincture, but rather the cannabinoids have been infused into oil rather than into alcohol. These are also powerhouses for ingesting. If you want, add a drop or two of tincture to your glass of water to take it down or you can simply just put it under the tongue.
Ah, topicals – an ancient way to use weed. Topicals are, as the name suggests, a way of applying marijuana topically to a place on the body. This bypasses any form of stoned-ness but is extremely effective at treating localized parts of the body. This is one of the healthiest ways to use weed that has been around for centuries.
For example, if you have some inflammation in your wrist, applying a cannabis topical to the location is a great way to send cannabinoids directly to the source of the problem. If you’re having menstruation cramps, a topical can be applied right over the lower belly. Cannabinoids can absolutely be absorbed through the skin, making topical application extremely effective.
Topical treatments are usually creams or lotions that have some sort of cannabinoid infusion in them. If you love DIY creations, you can make your own canna-cream at home using simple ingredients such as coconut oil, beeswax and cocoa butter – and cannabis of course!
Enjoy exploring the healthiest ways to use weed that don’t involve smoking. Just because smoking is the most popular way to consume cannabis, that doesn’t make it the healthiest. And there are too many options available these days to stick to just one form of ingestion!