Cannabis 101: Consumption Methods For Beginners

Are you completely new to cannabis and overwhelmed with the choices? Or have you used cannabis but only in traditional methods like joints or pipes? The number of cannabis consumption methods have multiplied enough to intimidate anyone.

In fact, some products may be completely unrecognizable: shatter, dust, sprays?

This post will explain the different ways cannabis can be consumed and the pros and cons of each.

Cannabis Consumption Methods: Which is Right For You?

When it comes to cannabis, there are three basic delivery methods: inhalation, oral, and topical.


The most popular way to consume cannabis is as flower— the dried bud of the plant—inhaled with a tool of some kind, such as a rolled joint, a bong, or a pipe. The high comes quickly, but keep in mind, any inhalation of plant matter may have an impact on your lungs in the long term.

cannabis consumption bud in container

  • Joints are cannabis rolled in a paper. They’re small and portable. You can purchase pre-rolls for convenience or make your own with your favorite papers.
  • Blunts are cannabis rolled in tobacco leaves. If you’re a fan of nicotine, you may appreciate the buzz that comes with combining the two.
  • Pipes are probably the most common cannabis smoking device and are generally favored for their simplicity and portability. Pipes can be made from a variety of materials, though many are blown glass. They can also be quite beautiful and thus have become objects of artistry. Smoking from a pipe is as easy as filling the reservoir will your favorite strain and then lighting it.
  • Bongs are similar to pipes but incorporate water to cool and “clean” the smoke. They come in smaller sizes (bubblers) as well as larger and even gargantuan sizes.
  • Vape pens that use cannabis concentrates are extremely popular for their portability and ease of use. No lighter necessary! Simply charge your battery and click your pen the appropriate number of times before inhaling. Disposable vape pens are frequently even easier to use as many are activated by the act of inhaling.
  • Dabbing is the process of touching concentrate onto a heated surface and inhaling the vapor. Concentrates, as the name implies, are strong so you won’t need much, though because this is a more involved process, it’s not advised for beginners.


You can consume cannabis orally by one of two methods: gastrointestinal and sublingual.

cannabis consumption edible cookies and chocolate

  • Gastrointestinal edibles are consumed via the gastrointestinal tract. These products—cookies, pills, and other snacks—take longer to kick in, but the high lasts longer. Start with a low dose and wait to gauge if you need more.
  • Sublinguals are administered under the tongue and have an earlier onset or absorption into the bloodstream. The average person only needs around 0.2 to 0.3 mg to start feeling effects. Examples includes drinks, tinctures, and lozenges.


Topical cannabis comes in oils, lotions, or patches and contain decarboxylated cannabinoids that can be absorbed through your skin. Topicals won’t get you high. Instead, they offer local relief. They work in one of two ways:

cannabis consumption topicals

  • Dermal topicals affect only the application site. They’re great for treating problems like sore muscles or skin ailments.
  • Transdermal topicals are absorbed through the skin and can have healing effects away from the site of application. Transdermals are great for those who are unable to consume orally or through inhalation. They also work fast.

Fit Your Life

When thinking about which cannabis consumption method to use, think about what would fit most easily into your lifestyle. Do you need discretion and portability? Do you worry about your lungs? Do you have dietary restrictions?

Whether you’re new to cannabis or just looking to try something different, the staff at Green Goddess dispensary can help you find the product that is right for you!

Are you over 21 years old?


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