Smoking is the first method people think of when they hear a word ‘marijuana.’ For the last decades, smoking has become a popular way to consume cannabis and ‘get high.’ Nowadays, smoking marijuana itself raises health concerns, so it gets gradually replaced by ‘safer’ methods.
Smoking is the inhalation of smoke that produced by combustion or heating the cannabis’ flowers, leaves, or extracts. The heat releases THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that is the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana. It gets absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs, and come right into the brain. Smoking became so popular because of fast and predictable effects it delivers.
To become psychoactive, THC needs to undergo a process known as decarboxylation. In the raw marijuana, THC is present in the form of THCA, an acid with the attached carboxylic group. Only when this group is removed, THC becomes active. Smoking induces the release of THC while the hot air is drawn through the joint or pipe to the unburned material.
The amount of THC that comes to the body through smoking can differ. Some researchers estimate that 20-37% of THC directly consumed in a joint. Pyrolitic destruction takes 23-30% of THC, and 40-50% goes to a sidestream smoke. This research does not take in account CBD and terpenes.
The short and frequent puffs are more efficient than longer and deeper draws. They deliver more cannabinoids to the body and make you high much faster. It happens because short inhalations ensure that joint is burning, and decarboxylation keeps going with THC regularly releasing.
The most efficient way to smoke marijuana is vaporizing. We covered it in the separate article, but here are the facts: it is healthier (you do not get tar), it delivers more cannabinoids to your body, and it may last longer than usual joint. Bongs are less efficient, and there is a question if they deliver all the cannabinoids a consumer may desire.
Some studies show that self-titration plays a role in consuming marijuana. Titration means dosing, and self-titration refers to the adaptation of smoking behavior for getting desired levels of THC through a chosen delivery method. It is proven for nicotine intake and, as well, fair regarding marijuana consumption.
There are many ways of smoking cannabis. Each of them has its benefits and risks. Let’s see how you can roll.