More Than A Toke: Alternative Cannabis Ingestion

 by Brenden Leigh

by Brenden Leigh


The cannabis community is growing and with it the methods of which you can partake of our favorite plant.  While many love to simply roll one up or pack a bowl, there are new methods of medicating on the market and we decided to go over some of our new age favorites.  

The most common forms1 are:

- Vaping

- Edibles

- Tinctures

- Topicals

While there are a few more options that currently exist (or are in the process of being created) these are the most common alternative methods.  Let's dive in!



The first alternative method of cannabis consumption is vaping.  This method works by heating the plant or oil via an electric battery to a point just below burning.  Edibles are a popular choice for their "one-and-done" approach.  Cannabis is cooked down into a butter, oil or concentrate, then cooked into a baked good, a piece of candy or even added to beverages!  Tinctures are not as popular but are one of the most effective forms of ingesting cannabis.4  This power-packed option is made by extracting THC or CBD via alcohol.  Topicals are usually lotions or salves that are infused with CBD, THC and other healing ingredients.  As the name would suggest, these salves, lotions, or transdermal patches, are used topically. 



Each method listed above processes cannabis differently, and because of that, you can expect different effects.  Vaping (being the only inhalation method) will leave you with effects similar to smoking and is currently being touted as the healthiest method- even more than smoking the actual plant!  While there may be some truth to that statement, most pre-packaged vape juices contain CO2, solvents, and pesticides.  The healthiest way to vape would be to vape the plant, not the liquid.  Vaping would be ideal for those looking for discretion and convenience.2  

Edibles are slightly different: most users will not experience effects until 30 minutes after ingestion, minimum.  While the effects can take time to activate, the edible can leave behind a potent, powerful high that is all-encompassing.  Edibles are best used by those looking for long lasting medication.3  

Tinctures also provide a long-lasting high, but it may be not as aggressive as edibles.  Many tinctures have a larger amount of CBD than any other cannabinoid option on this list, making them the primary option for patients with medical issues, chronic pain, or even neurological disorders as it can calm the mind and body without aggressive drowsiness.4 

Topicals present themselves in the forms of salves, lotions, and even patches, offering spot treatment for patients who have physical injuries or neuromuscular pain.  This method is best used by those who have sports injuries, skin problems, or even scars.5



There are so many products on the cannabis market.  With legalization, more methods may become available in the near future.  Allow us to leave you with a few tips:

- Do Research

Learn a little about the product before you take anything.  Ask your tender and do research at home to ensure you are educated before trying a new product.

- Don't Mix 

Taking an edible then hitting your bong may produce some unpredictable (or undesirable) effects.  One method at a time until you learn your tolerance and how you react to various products.

- Know Your Body

If you have a medical condition, certain methods can help or hinder.  If you are unsure, speak with a doctor!

- Know Your Tolerance

If you have a high tolerance when it comes to edibles, that does not translate over to vaping, tinctures, or even smoking!  Remember that every method is separate from the others!  Cannabis breaks down differently when taken in inhalable form versus an edible form.

 If you begin to feel overwhelmed with information or product, remember that a Universal Patient Consultant is here to answer all your questions and point you in the direction of a product that would work the best for you!


1.  "6 Ways to Enjoy Cannabis Without Having to Smoke It"  16 Jan 2018,

2.  "Vaping Marijuana"  16 January 2018,

3.  "Infused Edibles"  16 Jan 2018,

4.  "Marijuana Tinctures: Your Complete Guide"  16 Jan 2018,

5.  "Cannabis Topicals"  16 Jan 2018,