Are you new to cannabis? Maybe you used to smoke, back when the only paraphernalia you had to worry about were a pipe, some papers, and a roach clip. If that’s you, then you’re not alone—and walking into a modern recreational Cannabis shop can be a little intimidating. For one, you have no idea what the people behind the counter are talking about. What the hell is a “dab rig?” and “terpenes?” Isn’t that what you clean paint brushes with?
The best place to start with all of this, is with an intro to the most common ways to get high now. It’s not just sparking a bowl anymore—though, that’s still a totally valid (and this writer’s favorite) method. So for this post I’ll give you the run-down on 5 of the most popular ways to consume your weed in this new era of legal recreational cannabis.
Yes, good old smoking is still a great way to get high (a favorite of many budtenders). You’ve got your papers, your pipes, bubblers, and bongs just like back in the day, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. “Bud, herb, nugs, grass, and weed” are all now called “flower.” Don’t ask me why, but the names have been consolidated. Use any of the old-school words in a cannabis shop, and you might as well tattoo the word “newbie” (or “old fart”) on your forehead. (My prediction: like all things nostalgic, these terms will make a come-back.)
2. You can now get “pre-rolls,” which are just what they sound like: pre-rolled joints. Many (called “spliffs”) have a Euro-style “filter” on the end, which is really just a rolled up tube of paper that makes the joint hit like a pipe—they’re awesome.
3. Strains: there are so many choices! With names like “Chernobyl,” “Afghani Bullrider,” and “Durban Poison,” it’s hard to know where to start. I suggest buying a gram at a time until you know what you like. Save the packaging, which will have information like the strain, THC content, and Sativa/Indica ratio printed on it. Keep a journal. If you have a good a high, jot down what strain it was, and what effects it gave you. Do the same for bad highs. After a while you’ll become an expert on yourself—cannabisly speaking.
Eating your greens is definitely still on the table, only it’s no longer just pot butter and ganja brownies. Now you have oils, tinctures, beverages, chocolates, candies, pastries, even salad dressings. There are entire cookbooks devoted to cooking with cannabis. One word of caution for those with little or no experience with edibles: go easy. Clear your calendar for the day and take a low to moderate dose the first time to get your bearings, because the high is different than smoking and can come as quite a surprise. Some things to know going in:
1. It can take up to 2 hours for the high to kick in. Once it does, it can last up to 5, even 6 hours. Don’t make the mistake of going back for seconds (or thirds) just because you don’t feel anything right away.
2. The effects can be very strong. Once, at a friend’s house in New Orleans, I was cooking with pot butter, and decided to take a shot of straight melted green butter. Not the smartest thing I ever did. After about an hour of side-splitting laughs, all I could speak was jibberish. I curled up on the couch and spent the evening as a giggling, mumbling lump. Luckily, I was in good company. Lesson: know your dosage, and you’ll have a blast. Take too much, and it can be overwhelming.
3. It’s true what they say: eating it gives you a “body high.” When done right, it’s supremely relaxing. Your body gets heavy and very comfortable. Life takes on a warm fuzzy glow. Everything slows down a little and makes you smile.
Vaping is similar to smoking, but instead of using a flame, you use a heating element to vaporize your weed. Rather than inhaling smoke, you inhale vapor, which is way easier on the lungs. Many people (myself included) claim that the experience of vaping feels “cleaner” —it’s a cleaner high, it feels cleaner on your lungs, and depending on the strain, the flavor can be cleaner too. There are different types of a vaporizers, from discreet “vapo-pens,” that vaporize cannabis oil, to larger, table-top devices that vaporize the flower itself. No more hot-knifing!
Dabbing is similar to vaping, but instead of vaporizing flower or oil, you vaporize concentrate, using what’s known as a “dab rig.” This is the future of marijuana. Concentrates are it, the new thing, the holy grail of cannabis consumption. You take a little dab of concentrate (we’ll get to the different types in a minute), put it in your dab rig (we’ll get to that in a minute too), and light it up—either with a torch or with an electric heating element. You get pure concentrated THC with all the Cannabinoids you can handle in the form of steamy vapor, right into your lungs. Like vaping flower or oil, It’s a very clean high, and well worth the investment, which includes the following:
1. Concentrates: Concentrates come in two basic forms—“wax” and “shatter”—two consistencies created using different methods. Being concentrates, a tiny bit packs a big punch—and goes a lot farther than flower.
2. Dab Rigs: Dab rigs are similar to bongs, and in fact many bongs can be converted to dab rigs with a few items available at 2020 Solutions. A dab rig has a “nail” on which you heat your tiny bit of concentrate, then you inhale the vapor the rig.
Check out either of our locations for everything you need to try out all of these ways to consume your cannabis!