People have been able to smoke, eat, and vaporize cannabis for a long time, but with legalization on the rise and a demand for new and exciting ways to consume, you can get high from pills, tablets, sodas, beers, balms – even suppositories. The normalization of cannabis has lead to a Pandora's box of possibilities and applications that threaten to drown out the best of choices available to the consumer. It makes us ask the question, how many people are still smoking their weed? Are these alternate methods of ingesting pot new? Nope. However, they are just becoming more widely available.
Take a look at edibles for instance. Pot brownies have been a staple of the weed experience ever since people got electricity in their dorms. The dosage – and quality of the chef – was always questionable with such homemade wares, but it took the knowledge to infuse a fat (oil/butter) with cannabis, or to decarboxylate (toast) the herb before mixing it in to achieve the desired effect. With the vast array of treats available – from gummies and chocolates to more savory snacks like pretzels; no one is in a place where eating to get high and achieving a consistent result each time is out of reach.
Another imbibing trend recently exploding is the growing variety of cannabis drinks. Bhang and tinctures have been around forever and have traveled in practice across the globe as people and cultures have migrated and shared their knowledge. Now there are several flavors of weed soda, and high-end bars are even whipping up cannabis cocktails. But once again, this is not a new practice, only an increasingly accessible option, as enjoying cannabis in liquid form has been a thing for centuries.
A previously rare type of applying cannabis to the body is through the use of salves and topicals. One of the first methods of delivering medicine was through the use of balms using marijuana and other herbs. But thanks to modern-day engineering and the abundant desire for self-care, there are more efficient mixes of ingredients that can provide a higher concentration of THC/CBD to one’s system, and the collection of topicals on dispensary shelves has exploded. People can now experience a topical high in many forms, from medicated bath bombs to personal lubrication.
Smoking anything is a downwardly trending habit. An increasing number of people are no longer imbibing by inhaling and are switching to other means of cannabis consumption. To that effect, tobacco use has been on the decline for years, and while vaping nicotine has been on the rise, it's not an equivalent scale. How did we skyrocket from toking joints and the occasional brownie to the multitude of ways we have to use cannabis now? Was it technology, normalization, and legalization? Well, in part, all of those are true.
Mostly, though, it's marketing and availability. The cannabis industry is now following the same practices that the food industry has utilized for decades by turning corn into a million different types of cereal. It's an illusion of choice, and most of them aren't a healthy or wise option. Some of these products are amazing and should be celebrated for their ingenuity for use with medical patients or for those who may have an allergy toward combusted materials, while others fall short of the mark of being anything else but the same weed brownie in a fancy package.
Some might say the same about those who own a large pipe collection; sure, they're all appropriated for the same purpose, but each one tells a story about a specific time in a person's life. We're not sure the same goes for that pack of gummies or that vape cartridge. You won't remember that suppository you once took for the heck of it because you thought it would be fun to try. On second thought, you probably will. But to us, it feels as though some of these options are just a pain in the ass for the old-school cannabis community.