In the age before the internet, kids used to play outside.
True story! There was no Google. If you wanted to learn something specific you needed to find a book or a specialty magazine. This lack of immediate access to information created an interesting side effect. If we wanted to do something but didn’t know exactly how to go about it… We just made it up as we went along. What else was could we do? We had to get clever with our methods.
Now add weed to the mix, and what do you get? A bunch of “crazy” ideas fueled by a sense of self-entitled immortally. I mean, that’s one of the charms of being a teenager, right? Boy did we do stupid shit… To start, we used tobacco in our joints and drank alcohol at the same time. We didn’t know any better! Ok, we did, but we didn’t. Not really. It was illegal, so our brains had already crossed the borders of mischief. What was left was a sort of existential stress relief.
I remember one time a bunch of us got together to get baked. We were crazy excited because we had gotten ourselves some primo weed that was just ooooh – heavenly dank! There was just one problem. We couldn’t skin up because we all forgot to bring our Raw Rolling Papers that we are spoiled on. Classic face palm moment. We had taken a bus a few miles out of town to enjoy the great outdoors and had no clue where to buy them, and way too embarrassed to even ask to buy some.
So, creative as we were in our methods,
…we devised a plan to sneak into a convenience store and covertly buy a soda. With the prowess of a pickpocketer’s sleight of hand, stealthily grab a handful of paper napkins and proceed to run out of there like if we had just robbed the national bank. Because everyone “just knew” why we would ever need paper napkins, our paranoid minds thought. You can imagine what happened next. What a waste of some amazing chronic.
Situations like these were common, especially when we realized there were more efficient methods to getting very high. When we discovered what a bong was, it blew our minds wide open! The possibilities were endless! We dedicated a good chunk of our time devising the craziest methods to smoke more weed. We made huge lists of possible materials and surrounding objects to use, and ten trillion unique ways to combine them. Objective? Get high as hell!
Little did we know we were not alone in this mission, and that it would eventually become a multi-billion dollar industry. If I only knew back then how many paychecks I would blow in the future at online headshops like Dank Geek.
Some ideas had some merit, but for the most part, they were just plain silly and usually ended with a bunch of us rolling on the floor laughing, in an era where ROFL hadn’t even been invented yet. Like the bucket bong, which consists of a bucket of water and half a plastic bottle. We didn’t invent it but made our best to improve upon the design. As if the original wasn’t nuclear enough to send anyone into coughing hell or succumb to a whitey.
Our opus magnum improved design…
…was the pool-bucket-bong method. You see, we used a pool as a bucket, and a bucket as a bottle. After the smoke had been extracted into the bucket, you had to dive into the pool and stick your head into the bucket to access the smoke. You would proceed to inhale as much you could while your buddies outside tried to drown you by pushing down the bucket. Pure genius.
We co-invented the apple bong along with the rest of humanity. There was success with the banana bong and the watermelon bong. We mastered the art of destroying cannabis by attempting to make edibles – they were all just called “space cakes” back then by the way, no matter what ingredients used or recipes applied.
Ah… yes. The hotbox. Brilliant, brilliant idea. I don’t know what got us more wasted, the pot or the oxygen deprivation. A bunch of us girls in an airtight enclosure – usually a car or a tent – that proceeded to burn hash and weed into the atmosphere so as to only be able to breathe smoke, and secondhand smoke.
Anyone remember hot knives?
The precursor to today’s dabbing method. What could ever go wrong when stoned kids attempt to smoke hash by placing it between two red-hot knives as a heating element? They say necessity is the mother of invention, and no truer words have ever been said. I once became stranded with no lighter or pipe and just left with a modest chip of great hash. I really wanted to smoke it! By then I already had established that eating so little hash without pre-baking it would do nothing. Back then light bulbs were of the incandescent type that could burn your skin if you touched it. So I thought of placing the hash on the table lamp to see if it would work. It did! Just like hot knives. Except I forgot to get ready, and half the hash, quite literally, instantly went up in smoke.
But you know what? In the end, nothing bad happened to us. At worse, we would end up binge snacking. We carried on with our lives and even managed to become adults. Some of us went onto making the world a better place by doing things right and in a safe way.
Today, all these crazy experiments have been filtered by science and technology. Be it for medical or recreational reasons, consuming small or large quantities of cannabis is pretty easy, and does not require you to have a pool. Plus, you can medicate without actually getting high. Or you can really high without having to pretend it is medicine. Your choice.
Marijuana Method – Vaporizers
Vaporizers, or vapes, are cool little gadgets.
They don’t burn your weed, so there are no carbonized agents going into your body as toxins. This is technically the safest way in the world to smoke the herb.
What happens is hot air passes through the marijuana and the resin glands containing all the goodies – THC, terpenes, flavonoids, CBD, CBN and so on – sublimates into vapor.
There are two types of vapes, desktop, and portable. Portables like industry favorite, Pax 3 are great because you can carry them around and take them on trips. Home units are usually of higher quality build and have a bigger feature set. They allow you to do something really cool. You can set the working temperature so you can decarboxylate the cannabinoids at a precise and targeted temperature. This way you can get different types of highs using the same batch of weed. How cool is that? Each cannabinoid has its particular temperature at which is decarbs. You can find different tastes and an overall different sensorial experience. I’m sure you have heard or seen the They’re not cheap but I promise, they are worth every penny so do yourself and your lungs a favor and save up for one of these bad boys! There is a reason that these things are considered the cream of the crop. I suggest going in together with a few of your smoking buddies and split the price up. Again, well worth it.
For instance vaping at 170ºC (338ºF) you will get THC, CBD, zero CBN and only half the flavonoids and half the terpenes. That is not bad at all, it’s just different. You will get an uplifting creative and euphoric high.
Vaping at 225ºC (437ºF) will be great for pain control, induce sleep and hunger. If you like the couch-lock style feeling, this is where it is at.
You can vape low in the morning to stay productive, and blast at night to kick back and relax.
I’ve got an entire article coming up later on vape temperatures.
Marijuana Methods – Bongs
Apparently, golden bongs used for smoking cannabis date back at least 2400 years. One such specimen was discovered in Russia during an excavation. The Scythian tribal chiefs were hitting bongs made out of pure solid gold. Doesn’t get more bling-bling than that! (Source)
A bong is a pipe that forces the smoke to go through water. It is a very ingenious device, as it does two things exceptionally well. It filters and prevents any solid material from going into your lungs – like tiny ash particles. The other is instantly cools the smoke. This allows you, if you so wish, to consume absurdly large amounts of cannabis in the littlest time possible.
Not to be confused with a hookah. While the principle of operation is the same, on a hookah, you smoke wet-tobacco. People often make the mistake of adding hash or cannabis to the mix – it just doesn’t work. The wet-tobacco is consumed very slowly while the weed or hash quickly burns to black, and from there, it just tastes awful.
You will often see brave cannabis warriors inhale vast volumes of smoke from bizarrely oversized bongs. That does require some practice, but small bongs do exists and is a great alternative to smoking joints. Elaborate glassware can get pricey and bongs are known for being dropped and breaking. If you’re still experimenting with what you like and don’t like, I recommend picking something basic just to see how you like it. If you end up being a fan and find yourself wanting to upgrade, I personally think Grav Labs has some of the best technology for smoothest hits. Maybe look into their round base water pipe.
Marijuana Methods – Hand pipes
These are the king of the ultra portable smoking apparatus methods. Some are small enough to conceal in a closed fist, or live inconspicuously in your trouser pocket. Hand pipes are really handy for a quick toke while you are out and about.
They are very small, so they don’t possess much of a cooling power. Beware of the high temperatures as they can burn your lips. If you want to try one and not drop a ton of cash, I suggest something When you’re upgrading that one and thinking, “I wonder what Mary Jane uses?”…you can look into the Purr Glass Pocket Hammer Bubbler. I love all of my pieces like they are my children but this one is certainly the one which I use the most frequently because of how damn convenient it is!
Marijuana Methods – Dabs
When I first saw someone dab, I thought it looked just horrible. Even though I myself took (and still take) hits from a bong, dabs were alien to me and I suffered immensely of xenophobia – fear of the unknown.
What can I say? It kind of looked to me like people were smoking crack or meth. I totally admit it. I imagine it is exactly what it looks like to someone who doesn’t smoke weed, and sees me fire up a bong.
But I think the truth is that dabbing is probably the best and healthiest way to get high. It is kind of like vaping, but it hits you a million times harder. Dabbing is for the hardcore health conscious super-stoner.
Dabbing is vaporizing a cannabis concentrate. If this concentrate is of excellent quality, dabbing is much healthier than smoking from a bong. Just like vaping, nothing gets burnt. The concentrate enters contact with a very hot element and instantly sublimates into a vapor. This vapor is then passed through water to cool down, producing the most potent cannabis smoke possible.
Concentrates require a method of extraction. You will use either a solvent or a solventless method. There are dozens of techniques, like Rosin, Carbon Dioxide, dry ice, Butane Hash Oil, isopropyl, to name a few. Each will have its pros and cons.
The thing to remember is that when using solvents, they need to be purged so as not to leave a residue in the cannabis oil. This means using very high-quality laboratory grade chemicals, as well as a proper lab to do it right. Otherwise, you will also be dabbing either butane, propane, isopropyl, ethanol, naphtha, and who knows what else.
If you’re looking for a beginner’s dabbing rig and don’t want to spend hundreds (they can get up there in price!), I would check out Taking it the next level? I’ve certainly heard good things about the Black Sheep Donut Rig. Though admittedly, I can’t personally attest to it since I’ve only read about them but never taken a hit from one. I should really consider going commando the rest of my life so I can afford more things like this! Hehe.
So please, don’t go buying BHO or shatter in a dark alley!
Buy from a certified company.
You can do it at home, but it is very dangerous. If this operation is performed by a professional in a proper lab, then the marijuana concentrate is guaranteed to be virtually free of these offensive characters. You will have 99.99% pure cannabis resin oil.
When extracted from top strain bud, and depending on the method applied, cannabis concentrates can have a THC concentration from 65% to a whopping 95%.
On the light side, even dubious quality concentrates will beat adding tobacco to a joint. Again, dabbing is one of the cleanest and less harmful ways to smoke cannabis.
So think twice before passing judgment as I did.
Marijuana Methods – Edibles
To this day there has not been a single death attributed to cannabis overdose. In fact, to test a drug’s potential to kill, investigators determine a metric called the LD-50, which stands for the Lethal Dose at which 50% of test subjects die of an overdose. According to a 1988 United States Administrative Law hearing for the DEA, point 14, this number is impossible to determine.
“14. By contrast, marijuana’s therapeutic ratio, like its LD-50, is impossible to quantify because it is so high.” (Source)
That means that they actually tried to kill animals with weed and failed. The American government tried to murder mice with cannabis… and failed. Think about that for a minute.
What is the point I am trying to make? If you ever had the feeling you were about to die from cannabis, it is very likely it was from ingesting marijuana infused edibles.
When you eat regular cannabis, you don’t get high. Though it still holds therapeutic value, it is just a matter of not having any psychoactive properties. The THC on the plant is in the acidic form which the liver can metabolize. It is only when the THC-A goes through the decarboxylation process, and it breaks down to just THC, that the molecule gains psychoactive capabilities. To decarb weed, you just need to apply some heat for some period of time.
This process is entirely taken care of for you when you buy edibles. Most snacks, sweets, and drinks will have been either baked or the weed previously decarb’ed.
Great! So what?
The “problem,” so to speak, is that you get high in a slightly different manner with edible methods. To begin with, when you eat THC, it will take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours before you start feeling anything. The effect also lasts longer, four to six hours.
The bio-availability of THC when smoked peaks at 50%. But when THC reaches the liver, something interesting happens. Studies suggest virtually 100% of the THC molecule is transformed into 11-hydroxy-THC. In this form, the smaller molecule 11-hydroxy-THC is able to pass the blood-brain barrier. Not only that, but this metabolized form of the molecule is up to 5x stronger hitting than inhaled THC.
So to conclude… Because it sometimes can take so long for the high to kick in, people tend to presume they haven’t had enough and dose up by eating more. Rookie mistake!
The lucky ones get so high they quickly drop to sleep, skipping the munchies phase entirely. The unlucky folk will have the rides of their lives. You can get so high it becomes psychedelic tripping balls high.
If you eat way too much, the experience can be quite unpleasant and overwhelming. You will likely feel increased heart-rate, dry mouth (cotton mouth), a nagging feeling of paranoia, excess anxiety and even vomiting. Very similar to a full blown panic attack.
This can all be avoided by taking it very slow and learning how your physiology interacts with edibles. With just a few tries, you will soon get the hang of it and learn your limits. Much like learning how to drink.
On the flip side, when you find your sweet spot, you will be floating around in cloud nine.
Marijuana Methods – Capsules
Capsules, or caps as it is sometimes referred to, are filled with infused oil and taken orally. This is an excellent choice for those who want to take things to the next level – objective dosing.
With edibles, you can never be entirely certain of how much cannabis you are actually ingesting. Concentrations vary, how much you eat varies.
With caps, you know each unit will hold the same amount of oil. This is particularly beneficial if you take cannabis medicinally as you can medicate with more rigor.
Nothing more to say, really. Same rules apply as with edibles. Ingesting marijuana is quite different from inhaling, so take it slow to start off with, and find your sweet spot.
Marijuana Methods – Tinctures (a.k.a Green Dragon)
Green Dragon is a name probably your grandparents, or even great-grandparents will recognize. It precedes the 1937 marijuana ban. Cannabis tinctures were found in almost every doctor’s bag of medicinal tricks.
A cannabis tincture is the infusion of weed in high-grade ethyl alcohol. The only issue with this method is that it also extracts some of the chlorophyll in the plants. This isn’t a bad thing, it just makes it taste and look green.
Tinctures work particularly well when dropping sublingually. The onset is much quicker than orally, as it enters the blood stream directly.
Tinctures are a great option to use in drinks and teas, as well as for general cooking. It works quite well for gelatin and even as a salad dressing. Some people put in yogurt or make ice cream with it. The only limit is your imagination.
Wrapping it up
I’m probably going to get beaten up for saying this… but maybe prohibition wasn’t such a bad thing after all?
Hold on, I take that back. Of course it was! One of the biggest setbacks in human history… anyone with multiple sclerosis or epileptic seizures will tell you.
What I was reasoning was, because of prohibition, weed lovers around the globe were united by a common sense of revolution and uprising. We had a common cause to fight for. And as with all prohibitions and social censorship attempts, it sparked creativity and fueled entrepreneurship.
Were it not for prohibition, underground breeders would not have existed. Weed would probably be produced as boringly as all the others plant species. Huge monopolies would have been formed. How many varieties of tomatoes or apple can you name off the top of your head? What about cannabis strains? See?
Cannabis products would probably be like anything else over the counter. Big pharma would be exploiting us without us even knowing about it. Tokers would probably buy packs made by big tobacco companies. Household snack brands would probably never make infused chocolate cookies, but then again no one else probably would either.
Because the forbidden fruit is the sweetest, the cannabis counter culture spawned majestically. We created all these wonderful ways of consuming cannabis. This wonderful gift from nature has the potential to cure lives and even save the planet. No joke, look it up. It can save the rainforest devastation, feed us, cloth us, and even make batteries more efficient than graphene. Read about it here.
So in a strange or twisted way, thank you 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. You may have inadvertently saved the planet.
Props, 1937 politicians. I thank you (kinda),
Overwhelmed by all the info out there? Check out this article for an intro to marijuana.
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I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this or any conditions you have or may believe you have. The information in this article is provided as an information resource only. These are just my own personal opinions and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever.
Last update on 2019-08-18 / I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.” / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API