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Top 4 Ways of consuming cannabis

Updated: May 10, 2023

Recently, I was wondering what's the best way to consume Vijaya, a medicine of herbal origin, commonly known as "Bhanga" in Hindi, and "Cannabis" in English. Today, there are various types of products available in the market, and deciding the best is a matter of test and try.

Before diving into the way of consuming cannabis, let's just have a quick overview of the plant.

  • Vijaya comprises in itself over 400 chemical substances of which more than 60 of them are cannabinoid compounds.

  • THC and CBD are two of the commonly recognized chemical compounds for their psychoactive properties found in the cannabis plant.

  • Vijaya has been used throughout history by medicine practitioners, for the management of various diseases & conditions.

  • Native to Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, the cannabis plant has been used as a medicine for both recreational and entheogenic purposes including in various traditional medicines like Ayurveda, Siddha, etc since prehistoric times.

  • Increased scientific interest and acceptance of the cannabis plant have led to its's growth in all possible domains. One of those domains is the use of cannabis for recreation purposes.

Top 4 Ways of consuming cannabis

There is a variety of ways through which cannabis can be consumed. All consumption methods involve heating the plant's THCA to decarboxylate it into THC, either at the time of consumption or during preparation. To better understand their effects, we need to understand the difference between the ways of consuming them. There are four methods of cannabis consumption that are generally used - Inhalation, Ingestion, Sublingual, and Tropical.


Cannabis smoke or vapor delivers THC, the chemical that gets you high, into your lungs where it passes directly into your bloodstream and then your brain. Cannabis can be smoked with instruments such as joints, blunts, bongs, pipes, vapes, etc.

  • You will feel the effects within seconds to a few minutes of inhaling.

  • Full effects can peak within 30 minutes

  • Effects can last up to 6 hours after use. Some residual effects can last up to 24 hours.


Edible cannabis travels first to your stomach then to your liver before getting into your bloodstream and brain. The liver converts THC into a stronger form and this combined with that THC from the original product adds to the intensity of the high. Chocolates, brownies, space cakes, and Bhang Lassi are common methods of ingestion - which are usually described as edibles.

  • You will feel the effects within 30 minutes to 2 hours of ingestion

  • Full effects can peak within 4 hours

  • Effects can last up to 12 hours after use. Some residual effects can last up to 24 hours.


Cannabis can also enter the bloodstream when placed under the tongue and held in the mouth. There are a large number of blood vessels that can absorb cannabinoids within the mouth. Common examples of these types of products include dissolvable strips, sublingual sprays, or medicated lozenges or tinctures.

  • When dosing a tincture sublingually, expect to feel the effects in 15-45 minutes and reach your peak high at about 90 minutes.

  • If you directly drink the dose, expect a slower onset that more closely resembles traditional edibles.


Another way is consuming cannabis is through topical applications. These come in the form of lotions, salves, bath salts, and oils for the skin. The relatively complex absorption process of the skin is based on a chemical’s ability to dissolve in H20.

  • The cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin and work to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • This method of consuming cannabis is very popular with older consumers because it works well on localized pain (like caused by arthritis).

  • While not widely studied, the topical application of marijuana does not allow a significant amount of cannabinoids to reach the brain and therefore is unlikely to cause any intoxication.


Here are the Top 4 Ways of consuming cannabis. If we sum the usage considering a population by approximate percentage, 59% use inhalation method, 17.5% use Ingestion method, 16.5% use capsules, 5.5 % use Tinctures(Sublingual method), and 1.5% use tropicals. Cannabis usage and consumption is rapidly growing all around the world, we can only spread awareness and hope it will be made legal for recreational purposes in most parts of India soon. I, personally, would prefer the Ingestion methods more than any other. Also, I would like to know which one you like the most, let us know in the comments section below.

Image Source:

Smoking is the most common way people use marijuana. People smoke joints (homemade marijuana cigarettes), blunts (hollowed-out cigars filled with marijuana), and pipes. Source:

People can mix marijuana in food (edibles), such as brownies, cookies, or candy, or brew it as a tea. A newly popular method of use is smoking concentrated extracts from the marijuana plant, a practice known as "dabbing." Source: NIH

Health and safety risks exist for each of the different ways of consuming marijuana, and scientists do not have enough evidence to say that consuming marijuana is safer than smoking tobacco. Source: CDC

How do people use marijuana? Rolling it up and smoking it like a cigarette or cigar, smoking it in a pipe, or mixing it in food and eating it. Source: Medlineplus

Marijuana use comes with real risks that can impact a person's health and life. Source: SAMHSA

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