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The Feels Ep. 06: Cannabis Consumption Methods and Tools

 February 12, 2022  Written by Feel State
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Dr. Bex and Jeff talk through all the different cannabis consumption methods (AKA ways to use cannabis) at Feel State Florissant, recorded live on 12/6/21.

0:00 Tools for Consuming Flower
0:20 Origin of the Sherlock Pipe
0:55 How to Smoke out of a Pipe
1:55 Our Keith Haring One-Hitters
2:14 Feel State's New Flower
2:48 Smoking vs Vaporizing
3:27 About Vape Cartridges
4:00 Benefits of Vaping
4:50 What's dabbing?
6:00 New Concentrates at Feel State
6:56 Ingestible Cannabis Methods
7:38 How Edibles Work in your Body
8:13 When to Eat Edibles
8:55 Drug tests don't test for THC!
9:17 Introducing Tinctures
9:44 Cannabis Capsules + Tablets
10:45 Mucosal Delivery Methods
11:42 Suppositories
12:15 Transdermal Patches
12:38 Topicals for Targeted Relief
13:06 How to Make a Cannabis Poultice
13:57 What are some other kinds of pipes?
15:00 Vaporizing with the Volcano
15:30 Pipes we DON'T Recommend
16:08 Can other edibles be taken mucosally?
16:44 Can I put concentrate in a joint?
17:33 What other kinds of topicals are there?

Prefer to read this conversation about cannabis consumption methods? Check out the transcript below!

JEFF: Good evening everyone and welcome to Episode Six of The Feels. I’m Jeff and with me as always is Dr. Bex. Every Monday round this time, we will discuss, live on the air, a different cannabis topic. On today’s episode we will be discussing cannabis consumption methods and the tools you will need.

BEX: It seems like a new method of consumption pops up every day, but in reality, they all boil down to four categories: inhalation, mucosal delivery, ingestion, and topical application. Each category of consumption has different sub-categories; the most common of which are flower, edibles, tinctures and lotions. What do you say we tackle these categories one at a time, Jeff?

JEFF: Sounds good, Doc. Let’s begin with the most common form of consumption: inhalation. Now, when I hear inhalation, my mind automatically goes to flower. I’m an old school consumer, so for me, my day begins with a cup of chai tea and an uplifting chemovar. My preferred tool for consuming flower is a bowl. Now, I’m not talking about a cereal bowl, but a small glass pipe. These days, a bowl is called a spoon for the exact reason that, on the whole, a bowl resembles a spoon.

BEX: There are other types of pipes out there. For example, here at Feel State we sell a pipe called a Sherlock. For those unfamiliar with Scottish author Arthur Conan Doyle, but very familiar with American actor Robert Downey Junior, Sherlock Holmes was a famous, fictional, British detective that smoked a very particular pipe. Before Robert Downey Jr., the role was played by actor Basil Rathbone. In the forties, Basil made twelve movies as Sherlock Holmes, and the pipe he smoked in every one was famously shaped like an upside down question mark.

JEFF: Now, whether your pipe is a spoon or a sherlock, they function the same way. Put a pinch of cannabis in the bowl, put your mouth on the opposite end and your finger on the carburetor. The carburetor, or carb, is a small hole that is found on the side of the bowl. When you light the bowl, inhale for one to two seconds, then, without dropping the bowl, remove your finger from the carb. The smoke will make a beeline for your esophagus, then take the A-train to your lungs. This is where you have to be careful, though. You are taking smoke very quickly into your lungs. The larger the inhalation, or hit, the greater the chances you could cough your brains out. So, like we always preach at Feel State; Start Low and Go Slow! Hold your hit for a 1-2-3 count and gently exhale.

BEX: We can’t forget to mention we have some of the coolest one-hitters in St. Louis. From the collection of Keith Haring, these glass tasters are just that, a device for consuming a tiny pinch of flavorful flower. (PAUSE) This is also an excellent opportunity to talk about some of the new flower we have in stock. From Flora we see the return of Biscotti, Cobalt Fire and Bubba Fett. Biscotti pairs well with a cup of herbal tea. Cobalt Fire, to our noses, is a wonderful after dinner digestive. Bubba Fett, well, what can we say about Bubba Fett….fire straight from Mustafar. Whatever that means. Hey, I didn’t write this.

JEFF: Speaking of fictional volcanic planets from the Star Wars universe, when you smoke flower, you are combusting, or lighting the flower on fire, then inhaling the smoke and all the accompanying plant material. For some of our patients here at Feel State, combustion isn’t an option. But there is another inhalation category we need to talk about: vaping. Vaping involves heating an infused oil to temperature and inhaling the vapor. When you vape, you do not combust but convect. Not unlike using your Emril power air fryer to cook a chicken with only hot air.

BEX: To heat the oil requires power, so vape cartridges, or carts, are traditionally threaded onto a battery. Five ten thread to be specific. Once the cart is attached to the battery you can begin to vape. Traditionally, batteries are partially charged, but to get the full benefits it's best to charge the battery all the way. Rechargeable batteries will come with a threadable USB attachment. If you’ve purchased a disposable battery, the cart is permanently attached.

JEFF: There are many benefits to vaping. First, you are not inhaling smoke, only vapor. Second, you are consuming far fewer chemicals. Cannabis flower contains almost five hundred chemicals. More than sixty of them are cannabinoids. About one hundred and forty of them are terpenes. That leaves around three hundred chemicals that we have yet to learn about. Vapor contains only cannabinoids and terpenes. Additional Benefits to vaping include discretion in public and a less odorous experience than smoking. Also, many patients find that vapor is easier on their lungs compared to smoking. I know Willie Nelson famously switched to vaping to preserve his singing voice.

BEX: I’d like to sing the praises of the last inhalation category: dabbing. Dabbing is the process of heating cannabis concentrate to temperature. A temperature that is difficult to obtain with a lighter. That’s because concentrates are just that; incredibly concentrated forms of cannabinoids and terpenes. So concentrated, it usually takes a special glass rig and a butane torch to consume. That’s why we carry the YoCan dabbing pen. This USB chargeable device allows you to place a small amount of concentrate directly on the coils in the pen. 

JEFF: We also carry The Peak Plus. This device functions just like a bong, a combustion device that allows the user to inhale a greater amount of smoke. But instead of smoke, the patient is inhaling concentrated vapor. We also have the PAX 3. You can use this device to consume concentrate and flower, making it a convenient tool for your toolbox. Well, Doc. I think that covers the inhalation method of consuming cannabis. Before we move on to ingestion, why don’t we go over some of the phenomenal concentrates we have at Feel State right now.

BEX: You bet, Jeff. We just got a huge drop from the guys at Head Change. We have so much live sugar that we’re going to have to leave ant traps all over the joint. Check out this list: Lemon Tree Punch, Gelato, Clementine, Mandarin Cookies, and Scooby Snacks. We’ve also got Trop Fetti and Fresh Produce Live Badder. And for dessert, Runtz Diamonds and Sauce. Mmmmm. Dessert. Puts me in the mood to talk about ingestibles.

JEFF: I thought you were going to say Diamonds, Doc. We can talk about ingestibles, though. Ingestibles are anything that can be consumed by absorption or by swallowing. So let's talk about the latter. Cannabis can be consumed by swallowing an edible. Edibles are digested and metabolized by your body at a slow rate to provide deep and long-lasting relief. Edibles come in multiple forms. Here at Feel State we have gummies, chocolates, beverages, lollipops and lozenges. Despite the fact that all are very delicious, it can be hard to be patient while waiting for an edible to kick in. That’s why we always say, “Start Low, and Go Slow.”

BEX: You always want to wait sixty to ninety minutes after consuming an edible. That’s because it takes time for your stomach to digest what we put in it. In the case of THC, once it makes its way through the stomach, it has to first make a pass through the liver before entering our bloodstream. That’s where THC is converted into eleven-hydroxy-THC, a more potent and psychoactive version of the cannabinoid. That's when you can expect to start feeling the benefits. Now, something to keep in mind: THC is fat soluble, so if you eat an edible before or after a bunch of french fries, a fried chicken dinner, or an ice cream sundae, you might have a stronger experience.

JEFF: Something else to keep in mind is that stomach acid can destroy cannabinoids and terpenes. So if you consume an edible on a full stomach, there’s a better chance of preserving them. But the effects will take longer to kick in because you're digesting a full stomach. If you eat an edible on an empty stomach, you will feel the effects faster, but there is a greater chance of terps and noids being destroyed as they are being digested. Hey Doc, did you know that drug tests don’t test for THC? They test for eleven-nor-delta-nine-tetra-hydro-cannabinol-nine-car-boxa-lic acid. That’s what eleven hydroxy THC is metabolized into. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

BEX: Thanks, Jeff. You’re full of useful information. We should probably tell our viewers that edibles aren’t the only way to ingest cannabis. There are also tinctures, which are alcohol or coconut oil based, that are infused with cannabinoids. Put a few drops under your tongue and leave them there for sixty to ninety seconds. The tincture will co mingle with your saliva, eventually making its way to your stomach. Hey, Jeff. Did you know that edibles can also be taken in capsule or tablet form?

JEFF: I sure did, Doc. We have several capsules on our shelves. We have THC/CBN Dream Capsules by Vivid and one to one and one to four CBD dominant capsules from Care by Design. Our newest tablets, from Amend, are one to one microdose tablets. Each tablet has two point five milligrams of THC and two point five milligrams of CBD. We also have Amend’s sleep tablets. Each tablet has six milligrams of CBD, two point seven five milligrams of THC and five milligrams of melatonin. By the way, the only tools you need when consuming edibles are a mouth, saliva and at least one hand.

BEX: We have two more consumption methods to talk about. The first is mucosal delivery. Let's revisit the Amend tincture Jeff just talked about. You’ve placed a couple of drops under your tongue and you’re leaving it there for sixty to ninety seconds. While the tincture is sitting there, it is passing through your mouth’s mucus membranes. This means it is bypassing your digestive system, entering your bloodstream directly, and making the effects feel faster. Tinctures are not the only product you can consume mucosally. You can also take a gummy, cut it into smaller pieces, and leave them under your tongue. As your saliva slowly digests the gummy, the medicine passes though your mucus membranes into your bloodstream.

JEFF: Your mouth isn’t the only place you have mucosal membranes. That’s why there are anal and vaginal suppositories. Now, Missouri doesn’t have any of those products on the market yet. So, the next time you visit a dispensary, and hopefully it’s your local Feel State, let your budtender know that you would like to see suppositories for sale. I’m not ashamed to admit suffering from hemorrhoids for the better part of four decades, and Preparation H doesn’t cut it anymore. So, if any topical manufacturers are watching, there’s a market deserving of your attention.

BEX: For that matter, I would like to see some transdermal patches hit the market. Which is a perfect segue-way to our final consumption method: topicals. Transdermal patches are specifically dosed, adhesive patches you can apply to your skin. The medicine in the patch is absorbed by the skin then enters the bloodstream directly. Just like mucosal delivery. While we wait for patches to be in stock, we have two different types of topical cream here at Feel State that are perfect for applying directly to the affected area. So whether you are suffering from arthritis, sore muscles or cramps, topical creams are an excellent method of taking your medicine.

JEFF: There are other products that are considered topical as well: salves, balms and poultices, which is a soft, moist mass of plant material kept in place with a cloth. To  make a poultice choose a dry chemovar and use a mortar and pestle to grind the cannabis into a powder. Add enough warm water to turn it into a paste. Clean the affected area, apply the paste and wrap with gauze. This method also allows you to add whatever additional herbs and spices you feel may benefit you. Like lavender, black pepper, garlic, tumeric or ginger.

BEX: Well, that about covers it. The four methods of consumption; inhalation, ingestion, mucosal and topical application. Let’s see if we have any questions from the audience.

Questions from the Audience

1) What are some other kinds of pipes?

  • Hookah
  • Chillums
  • A steamroller
  • Multi-chambered glass pieces
  • Food can be used.
    • An apple
    • Pumpkin or any gourd really except a spaghetti squash
    • corkscrew story 
  • Not recommended - using anything made of aluminum or any kind of plastic; that means acrylic bongs, polyvinyl chloride steamrollers or desperation pipes made from 20 oz soda bottles. Pretty much common sense at this point that plastic and heat are an unhealthy combination. Same with aluminum cans. For a while there I used to have a safety pin on my shoelace in case I ran into a friend in need

2) Can other edibles be taken mucosally?

Yes. The cannabis in edibles is activated–so, as long as you leave the edible in your cheek or under your tongue (known as sublingually), it doesn’t matter what kind of edible it is–the medicine will make its way to your bloodstream. That is, as long as you give it enough time. Now, I suppose if you shoved a cheese cracker up your ass, the cannabis infused in the powder could be absorbed by the mucosal membranes in your colon, but so could any artificial flavors or colors. So be careful what you leave up there, folks.

3) Can I put concentrate in a joint?

Yes. Though it's best to use the crumble variation or some other kind of malleable concentrate that can be rolled into a thin snake the length of the joint you are rolling. Once you have that snake, roll it in some ground flower till it's covered. Use that as the meat of the sandwich in the joint you are rolling. This works best when using loose leaf paper and not a cone.

4) What other kinds of topicals are there? 

This takes me back to my pharmaceutics lab days in pharmacy school. In this particular laboratory course I learned about every topical there is and how to compound them. There are ointments which have a higher concentration of oils and less water than a lotion does. There are balms which are water free and made from oils and beeswax. And there are salves which are similar to balms but with less oil and beeswax. That makes them easier to apply and absorb. As far as ease of absorption, it goes from fastest to slowest: lotion, ointment, salves, balms.

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