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Weed Wise: Non-Smokables to Keep Those Lungs Healthy

Let’s face it: Even in the best of times, it’s a good idea to give your lungs a break from time to time. And though we hate to say it, it’s doubly true in the midst of the COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic. You don’t want to give a respiratory virus any excuse to settle into tired and harshed-out lungs.

Fortunately, there are tons of ways to get high without smoking, from flavorful extracts to potent tinctures to all kinds of yummy edibles. So next time you come by the dispensary—we’re offering easy curbside pickup to help maintain those important social-distancing regulations—why don’t you try something new? You just may be blown away by all the ways to get high without smoking!

Get High Without Smoking: Tinctures

Like extracts, these infusions offer a potent dose of cannabis in a discreet, easy-to-use format. Suspended in either neutral alcohol or a glycerine base, tinctures can either be added to your favorite foods or drinks, or just dropped under the tongue for a faster action (typically 15 to 45 minutes). They’re great for making fun cannabis-infused cocktails, fruit smoothies, desserts, or literally any other kind of food you can imagine! Here are a couple of our current favorites.

Stay Lifted Tincture, Yummi Karma

A unique and fun confection, this tincture combines a lot of things we love: Potent THC, guarana and green tea for a natural uplift, a splash of bright orange cream for flavor, and vitamin B-12 for a metabolic boost. It’s a great way to gently supercharge your day with creativity and inspiration.

THC Rich Tincture, Proof

Formulated for strong psychoactivity, this tincture delivers the goods with a soft, smooth and delicious intake. You should feel a well-balanced, euphoric high underscored with a relaxing body buzz. If you can’t tell, we’re big fans!

Get High Without Smoking: Edibles

These cannabis-infused treats probably don’t need any introduction. From gummies to mints to coffees to cookies and more, one thing is clear: The only limit to what you can infuse with cannabis is your imagination! As with extracts, the effects typically take up to 2 hours to come on. Here are some of our favorites.

Brown Butter Sage Marshmallow, Mellows

Combining the nutty toastiness of brown butter with a surprising touch of sage, these marshmallows are a unique and unforgettable treat. Crafted for flavor over potency, they deliver a very manageable 5mg of THC extracted from Red Congolese hash. They’re so good that the only real problem is restricting yourself to just one (or possibly two!).

Red Velvet Cookies, Dr. Norms

Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, these vibrant red treats deliver a healthy 10mg of THC per cookie. The white chocolate chips don’t hurt, either! Another winner from one of our favorite “elevated” bakeshops.

Get High Without Smoking: Extracts

These flavorful and potent cannabis concentrates are similar to those you’d find in a vape pen. But they’re just as good—or better—when they’re swallowed! They take longer to come on (be forewarned, sometimes it’s as long as 2 hours) but because the extracts are metabolized through the stomach and liver, the effect is more powerful and longer lasting, sometimes up to six hours! Pro tip: Put a drop under your tongue for a faster high. Here’s one of our favorites.

Mango Brulee, Sessions Supply Co.

This powerful indica-dominant hybrid is great for relaxing the heck out. And the creamy and sweet mango flavor lingers on, and on, and on….

You can find these products and more at our Sherman Oaks dispensary. Browse our online menu now to place your order.

Especially with a respiratory virus on the loose, it’s smart to let give your lungs a break now and again. Here are some ways to get high without smoking!

4 Ways People Consume Marijuana Without Smoking

Now legal in 33 states, more and more Americans are familiar with medical marijuana, which can offer relief to people struggling with everything from multiple sclerosis to inflammatory bowel disease. Research on the endocannabinoid system — a system of receptors present throughout the body which plays a key role in the central nervous system and other bodily processes, helping the body maintain homeostasis — has helped scientists and medical professionals develop a whole new array of ways to utilize cannabis; a trip to a dispensary today would give you access not just to medical marijuana to be smoked, but topical cannabis solutions, edibles, and other new methods designed specifically with medical users in mind.

Because of all this, more people are looking to medical marijuana to treat their ailments. But how do you choose the best way for you to consume medical cannabis?

Ultimately, that’s a decision you can only make for yourself (ideally with the help of a respectful medical professional). Shannen Barnett, a nurse and the founder of medical cannabis company Sana Sana Formulas, tells Bustle that everyone’s endocannabinoid system “is individual and everyone has different responses to cannabis, period, regardless of age, sex, weight, or diagnosis” — so it’s tough to make any across-the-board recommendations for how much cannabis a person should use to treat their ailment, or how they should take it.

Potential cannabis users should also stay aware of dosing guidelines or suggested doses on packaging. “When you go to the doctor and you’re getting prescribed a medication, you’re not getting prescribed a. dose that is for you as an individual,” says Barnett. Rather, “this is a dose based off of generalized dosing guidelines for a population.” The same is true in medical cannabis doses — so know that going in.

With this in mind, Barnett suggests that new users might want to experiment with micro-dosing, in order to get a true understanding of their medical cannabis needs, and maintain a journal tracking their results: note the size of the doses you’re taking, what times of day you’re taking them, and how they make you feel. This kind of measured approach, says Barnett, is “the only way to really know how it’s going to work for you. And it allows you to do it without having any negative experience — I call it the ‘I wish I could un-take it moment’ many people have had, when they come to cannabis.”

To get your research started, here is an overview of a few of the medical cannabis methods available.

1. Vaporizers

A 2007 University of California study found that vaporizing marijuana, rather than smoking, minimized the amount of harmful toxins consumed.

While Barnett feels that inhaled cannabis makes more sense as a recreational rather than medicinal option, she notes that you can still micro-dose when using inhaled cannabis — “you can just take smaller hits.”

2. Edibles

Edibles — candies, baked goods, or other foods infused with marijuana. appeal to many new medical marijuana users, as they seem familiar and non-threatening (who doesn’t love a cookie?). But Barnett urges caution: users “need to be careful, because everyone metabolizes it differently. Edibles aren’t going to kick in at the same time for everyone. Some people, they kick in right away, other people, it doesn’t happen until they go to dinner and all of a sudden they’re high.”

Typically, it takes more time for the THC in edibles to hit the bloodstream compared to smoked marijuana, so giving your dose time to be fully metabolized before you try any more is key.

And be aware that even though they contain medical cannabis, edibles also contain food ingredients — so if you have a food allergy, or should not consume sugar or artificial sweeteners, make sure to look out for them while choosing edibles.

3. Topicals

According to some research, topical ointments and creams can potentially help relieve the symptoms of ailments like arthritis and eczema without any of the psychoactive components one might experience with smoking or edibles. In fact, they’re a favorite way to use cannabis to decrease inflammation. “The best way to consume the anti-inflammatories properties of cannabis is not going to be inhaling them,” says Barnett. “It is probably going to be better if it’s ingested or used topically.”

4. Capsules

One of the newest medical cannabis products on the market, cannabis capsules typically contain oils of varying levels of potency. Users can swallow them, or cut them open to apply topically.

The Bottom Line

Barnett’s main advice for beginners has less to do with utilizing any particular method than it does doing your own research to ensure product quality: “A lot of [companies producing medical cannabis products] will boast that their lab testing and the third party tested, [but] just saying it doesn’t make it true.” Rather than just trusting branding, “you want to actually see those results,” and check for more than just potency — Barnett recommends checking for tests to make sure that the batch is not full of pesticides or heavy metals. “You want to actually see that it’s been tested for multiple things and that it has a date and a batch number.”

She also notes that when it comes to medical cannabis, “there’s different strains — that’s like different brand names for medications. And the strain is like its own profile.” She recommends keeping notes on which strains you have used in your journal as well, so that you can keep on top of your specific reactions to them.

And in the end, the best way to find what works for you is with slow, controlled experimentation. “For the general person,” says Barnett, “the best course is to start with one thing, implement it in the smallest dose possible and adjust the frequency of dosing before [you are] adjusting the dose size.” It will allow you to gauge your response, and “be able to continue living [your] life without really any interruption.

This post was originally published on September 21, 2015. It was updated on July 3, 2019.

This article was originally published on Sep. 21, 2015

Now legal in 33 states, more and more Americans are familiar with medical marijuana, which can offer relief to people struggling with everything from multiple sclerosis to inflammatory bowel disease. Research on the endocannabinoid system — a system…