Smoke is harmful to your lungs, whether it is from a burning fire, tobacco, or cannabis. When you light up your standard lighter it can reach up to 3,590 degrees Fahrenheit (1,977 degrees Celsius). That intense (very intense) heat is directly applied to your bud and then you inhale the hot, ashy particles into your lungs. That hot and unfiltered smoke is what causes you to cough and causes tar build-up. As much as we like a smoking bud, it is just not the safest way to consume cannabis.

So, how can you safely consume marijuana? There is a multitude of ways to choose from to best suit your needs.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that edibles are becoming increasingly popular with many more options than your regular old “space cake.” Of course, no offense to space cake as we all can agree that cannabis and chocolatey sweet goodness go good together. Nowadays you can get your buzz from pretty much any candy you prefer like gummies, chocolate bars, fruit bars, or savory crackers; you name it and you can get it. It doesn't just stop with edibles, now there are drinkables too. Cannabis-infused wine, beer, tea, juice, are all in the market ready for you to try. The good thing about edibles is that the amount of cannabis you are consuming can be measured so it takes the guesswork out of the equation.

The next obvious choice to consider is vaping instead of smoking cannabis. The chemical compounds of marijuana vaporize at a much lower and less harmful temperature than lighting it on fire to smoke it. When you use a vaporizer you are reducing your smoke intake by about 95% compared to smoking. This allows for a lot less resin buildup on your teeth and in your lungs. With a vaporizer, you have more control, because you can adjust the temperature to what you want.

Tinctures are infused liquids

If you want relief without the high of consuming cannabis then tinctures might be for you. Tinctures are infused liquids that extract the compounds of cannabis by using an alcohol soak. No essential cannabinoids are lost so they are extremely efficient. Tinctures enter your bloodstream almost immediately, so, unlike edibles, they give you fast-acting results. One of the most efficient and fast-acting ways to use tinctures is under your tongue. However, if you don't like the taste of it you can also put it in your favorite drink or even on your skin.

Another way to use cannabis if you want relief but you don't necessarily want a buzz is to use topicals. Topicals are a great introduction to the cannabis world for any newbie as there are zero risks for potential psychoactive reactions like buzzing or paranoia. They only work on your skin and muscles and not your head. Topicals include lotions, salves, and creams. Dr. Meliha Karsak, a molecular biologist, says that cannabinoids are easily accepted by the natural CB2 receptors in our bodies when they are processed in these forms so you are more likely to absorb nourishment from topicals than smoking it. Topicals can speed up healing time for sore muscles, sunburns, insect bites, and small cuts. Therefore, I think no medicine cabinet is complete without cannabis topicals.

Ingestible oils capsules

The final recommended way to consume cannabis is by ingestible oils capsules. They are similar like edibles in that they may take a while to kick in but when they do they pack a powerful punch. For this reason, you should be cautious when consuming them. You will feel the buzz just like as if you smoked. Also similar to edibles, they can be regulated more easily than smoking so you know how much to take to get the desired effect.

There are so many options now, and surely many more to come, of ways to consume cannabis. Smoking is harmful to your health and is contradictive to the many health benefits that marijuana has. Venture out and find your new favorite way to consume cannabis.