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Cannabis Consumption Guide

definitions, effects, delivery methods

Medical cannabis is a hot topic around the world since it being rediscovered as a healthy, non-toxic alternative to traditional medicines.  Since medical marijuana has made a comeback, there have been many technological developments in cannabis administration methods.

Both recreational and medical cannabis users have hundreds of ways of delivering cannabis to their bodies, from smoking, oral and topical treatments to name a few. Doctors have always had a concern about the smoking administration of cannabis, even though for now it seems to be one the fastest and absorbed methods of cannabis consumption.

Cannabis has been used for thousands of years by many people as a nutritional, medical and recreational supplement. Only recently have scientists and researchers been able to study the cannabis plant in enough detail to try and understand the compounds of cannabis and their benefits to the human body and mind. It was first documented by the Chinese in 3000BC in their book of pharmacopoeia that cannabis has medical benefits, such as for gout and rheumatism and associated pain. Since then it has been legally administered as topical oils, tinctures and treatments for many other diseases and conditions.

Since the early 20th century there was a huge effort by many governments to ban and outlaw cannabis. “The War on Drugs”, has been a long war fought with military might and propaganda fought around the world, especially aimed at cannabis, once known as the “most evil drug in the world”. The war was financially and ideologically supported and funded by the United States of America and billions have been wasted around the world on a fighting against a plant that has many industrial and medical benefits.

Bring on the 21st century, and the world has seemed to spin around and people are once again embracing the benefits of cannabis. It was traditionally used as an industrial crop but since the late 70’s has been used recreationally by millions of people.  Since the start of this century, public support and opinion have swayed local government officials to relax the laws surrounding cannabis and allow researchers and scientists to start investigating this potential medicine.

Today, many people once again have access to medical marijuana through local medical marijuana dispensaries, pot shops, pharmacies and in Europe “coffee bars”. Stoners throughout the ages have used their resourcefulness to create and develop many ways of administering cannabis, through bongs, pipes, rolled joints, hot-knifing and even underground earth bongs. Luckily many more ways have been developed since then and technology advancements have also allowed cleaner, healthier ways of administering cannabis.

Smoking Cannabis

Probably the oldest method of using cannabis, it was usually used for recreational and spiritual purposes by many people. Smoking is also considered a superior medical way of administering cannabis as its easily and quickly absorbed. However, due to the hot fumes created from burning plant matter, a lot of people are skeptical of its benefits.

Eating Cannabis

Cannabis is very nutritious and the cannabis seed was once considered the staple diet of the Chinese in historic times. Due to the unique taste cannabis is making quite a comeback in the kitchen and is also a healthy alternative to delivering medicine. Usually, cannabis is infused with butter to make cannabutter, a type of ghee, from there used to make all kinds of baked, grilled and healthy foods. Depending on your source material of cannabis, foods made from cannabis can be either psychoactive or non-psychoactive and used for either nutritional or medicinal requirements. Cannabis is rich in cannabinoids as well as good fatty-acids, vitamins, protein and fibre and definitely a great spice that can go a long way to make hundreds of different foods.

Vaporizing

Vaporizing is a fairly new technology that has become a very popular way of consuming cannabis. The reasons are because the “vapor” is not potentially carcinogenic and also entering your body at a high temperature. Vaporizing cannabis is a preferred method for many health-conscious adults and medical patients as another benefit is that most of the cannabinoids are extracted into the vapour with little or no residues. Vaporizers come in many different designs, from bulky desktop units through to minute portable vaporizers that can fit in your top pocket.

Tinctures

Cannabis tinctures have been used for hundreds of years for both its medical and recreational benefits. A fairly common tincture that can be easily made at home is known as “green dragon” and is used for topical and oral consumption. Green dragon is made by infusing cannabis plant matter in a bottle of high percentage alcohol. The alcohol extracts the cannabinoids out of the plant matter which is left over as waste matter. Many other tinctures are available commercially and dispensed as a medical treatment for patients.

Topicals, balms and salves

Cannabinoids are easily extracted from the cannabis plant using many other oil-based substances such as olive oil, coconut oil, butter and even beeswax. These mediums are combined with cannabis to make a potent topical oil treatment used to treat skin conditions, joint pain and other diseases.

Cannabis oil

Cannabis oil is a generic term used to describe a concentrated oil extracted from the cannabis plant. Cannabis oil comes in many forms, including shatter, wax, hash, butane oil, CO2 oil, bubble hash, sugar and honey oil. These terms are used to differentiate the extraction process and ways that extractors process the cannabis and agitate the cannabinoids extracted. The names also usually describe the final product, such as wax has a waxy character to the resin whereas shatter is a more solid concentrate. Cannabis oils are by far the more popular method of using cannabis as they have higher concentrations of cannabinoids and easier to administer to patients in specific doses.

There are many others ways of using cannabis for your medical or recreational needs. Depending on your requirements, budget and location, there is always one way you can use cannabis safely. A good start would be to use a couple methods described above and see which works best for you.

What’s the Difference Between Shatter, Budder, Crumble and More

Concentrates are the future of dispensing cannabis medicine. The reason we say that is because you can precisely gauge your cannabinoid profiles in a concentrate, and usually without any contaminants or residues. Names on the market like bubble, ice wax, rosin, kief, crumble, wax are just some of the names you will come across in the medical marijuana market.

1. Concentrates come in the generally accepted varieties of budder, shatter, crumble, ISO, sugar wax, CO2, Live resin and more. Concentrates are usually made using solvents like Butane (BHO) CO2, Isopropyl alcohol (ISO) or ethanol (RSO). Concentrates are usually defined by the extraction process and the purging method or your cannabis extract, resulting in wither wax, shatter or budder.

These popular cannabis extraction methods are the most popular delivery mechanism for medical marijuana patients. With the cannabinoid profile reaching into the 90% when testing concentrates, patients have access to a stronger, non-toxic, alternative medicine.

A. BHO – Butane is the solvent used for making Butane Hash Oil (BHO) and also other varieties of concentrates such as budder, wax or shatter.

B. Budder is a wax concentrate variety, typically made using butane or CO2. The solvent is blasted through the cannabis in a closed-loop system and purged using heat and pressure to remove the residue of the solvent. During the extraction process, the cannabinoids are agitated, causing them to crystallize and usually done at higher temperatures. The final product resembles a butter consistency.

C. Shatter can be made using the solvents such as butane or CO2 and the same extraction process used when making other types of waxes.

D. ISO is the commerical name for cannabis concentrate made using isopropyl alcohol.

E. Wax is typically made using butane hash oil.

F. Live Resin is the process of extracting more potent cannabinoid and terpene profiles. The plants are frozen early after harvest and therefore have less degraded

G. Crumble usually takes longer to make at lower heats. Pre-purged oils must contain more moisture, and use the same process to make budder and shatter. After the purging, the wax has a crumbling consistency and cheesy body feel to it.

H. RSO is the Rick Simpson Oil method of making a highly concentrated potent medicine, usually black in colour and the consistency of marmite.

2. Hash, on the other hand, is more of an old-school, solventless way of smoking cannabis and usually comes in concentrated resin block of a few grams up to kilograms and even tonnes. Hash is made through a couple ways such as dry-sift, bubble hash, or through the collection of cannabis resin off one’s hands known as charas. Hash is made throughout the world but traditional imported from countries in the middle to the far east and north Africa. Hash comes in many different colours but usually from a yellow-brown ( Lebanese ) to a dark-brown right through to black ( Indian charas).

A. Bubble Hash is made using ice water extraction through a set of bubble bags with mesh screens. Bubble hash is still a popular bootlegging way to make hash with no volatile solvents used while extracting resin.

B. Kief – the yellow pollen extracted using sieve or mesh screens from dry cannabis plants and flowers. One of the oldest traditional methods usually used in North Africa, Morocco.

C. Dry-Sift – uses the same method of kief making and a resin is extracted through a sieve or a mesh screen. The result is usually pressed into 1-kilo bricks.

D. Charas – is a method of collected resin from the hands after rolling the cannabis plant between the palms. The hash made is usually brown to dark black in colour.

E. Rosin is a solventless process of simply using heat and pressure to extract the trichomes and cannabinoids from the cannabis flower using parchment paper.

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