How To Consume Marijuana? – Your Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Written by Gaanja Heal
Fact Checked by Doctor Name


Marijuana has captivated the attention of millions worldwide.

Whether you’re curious about its therapeutic potential or simply interested in exploring new experiences, understanding how to consume marijuana responsibly and safely is essential.

Let’s gather valuable insights, tips, and techniques for consuming marijuana effectively and responsibly.

From the different methods of ingestion to dosage recommendations and safety precautions, we have it all covered.

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a fascinating plant that encompasses the dried flowers, leaves, stems & seeds of the Cannabis plant.

Within its vibrant green foliage lies a treasure trove of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The most extensively researched cannabinoids are –

  • THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol): Delivers the intoxicating effects often related to cannabis/marijuana. THC can provide various therapeutic benefits such as pain relief, relaxation & appetite stimulation.
  • CBD (Cannabidiol): Offers potential therapeutic properties without altering one’s state of mind. CBD is often sought after for its potential to provide relaxation and relieve certain conditions without the intoxicating effects of THC.

Benefits & Risks Of Consuming Marijuana

Benefits Risks
Relieves chronic pain related to conditions like arthritis or migraines. Excessive use can impair cognitive function & short-term memory.
May help manage symptoms of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological disorders. Smoking marijuana may pose risks to respiratory health, similar to tobacco.
Shows promise in reducing nausea and stimulating appetite during chemotherapy. Increases the risk of mental health issues, particularly among heavy or prolonged users.
Potential therapeutic effects on mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Potential for addiction or dependence, though less common than alcohol or opioids.

Different Methods Of Consuming Marijuana

Smoking Marijuana

Smoking marijuana is a classic and widely recognized method of consuming cannabis. It involves the combustion of dried cannabis flowers and inhaling the resulting smoke.

Within the realm of smoking, several sub-methods offer unique experiences.

  • Joints and Blunts – Joints are cannabis-filled rolls typically made with thin rolling papers. Rolling a joint requires a bit of skill, as it involves evenly distributing ground cannabis, sealing the roll, and ensuring a smooth burn. Blunts, on the other hand, involve rolling cannabis in cigar wraps made from tobacco leaves.
  • Pipes and Bongs – Pipes are small & handheld devices typically made of glass, metal, wood, or other materials. Bongs, or water pipes, are larger and often more elaborate smoking devices. They feature a chamber filled with water that cools & filters the smoke before inhalation.
  • Vaporizers – Dry herb vaporizers are designed for vaporizing cannabis flowers. They heat the material without combustion, producing less harmful inhalation than smoking. Vape pens, or cartridges, are portable and discreet devices that use pre-filled cannabis oil cartridges. They typically have a battery & a heating element that vaporizes the oil.
Pros Cons
Desired effects within minutes. Exposes lungs to harmful compounds.
More control over their dosage. Produces a distinct odor.
Access to a wide range of strains. Require practice (especially for novice users).
  • Enjoyment Levels: Smoking marijuana offers a quick & potent way to experience the effects of cannabis, which can enhance relaxation, creativity, and social interactions.
  • Cost: The cost of smoking marijuana can vary depending on various factors like the quality of the cannabis flower, the region & the legal status in a particular area. At an average price of $229 per ounce, a joint typically contains about 0.5 grams (or 0.018 ounces) of marijuana/cannabis. It means that a joint costs approximately $4 or $5. Generally, smoking marijuana can be more cost-effective compared to other methods.

Ingesting Marijuana

Ingesting marijuana involves consuming cannabis orally, where the cannabinoids are absorbed through the digestive system.

This method offers an alternative to smoking and provides unique experiences.

  • Edibles – Edibles come in a wide array of forms of food products infused with cannabis extracts or cannabis-infused butter or oil, like baked goods, candies, chocolates, beverages & more. This variety allows users to choose the edible that suits their taste preferences.
  • Tinctures and Oils – They are placed under the tongue and absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the sublingual glands. This method offers faster onset than edibles since the cannabinoids bypass the digestive system.
  • Capsules – Capsules provide consistent dosing, making it easier for users to track their intake and maintain a desired level of cannabis consumption. They resemble traditional medication, allowing for discreet consumption.
Pros Cons
Longer-lasting effects. Takes longer to produce effects.
Offers an easy way to consume marijuana. Challenging to determine the potency accurately.
Allows choosing as per preferences. Effects vary between individuals (metabolism, individual body chemistry, etc.).
  • Enjoyment Levels: Some individuals appreciate the prolonged effects and sensitive nature of ingesting cannabis, while others may prefer the faster onset and ritualistic experience associated with smoking.
  • Cost: The price range for cannabis-infused drinks typically falls between $4 and $10 per drink. And the pricing for cannabis-infused chocolates, brownies, and other baked goods usually varies between $4 per piece and $30 per bag. Generally, commercially available edibles, tinctures, and capsules may be more expensive than smoking methods.

Topical Application

The topical application involves applying cannabis-infused products directly onto the skin. This method allows for localized relief and can be beneficial for certain conditions.

  • Lotions and Creams – Topical lotions & creams are often used to target specific areas of discomfort or inflammation. They can relieve conditions like muscle soreness, joint pain & skin irritations.
  • Patches – Cannabis patches are designed to deliver a slow & consistent release of cannabinoids into the bloodstream over a designated period which allows for long-lasting effects without the need for frequent reapplication.
  • Balms and Salves – They provide a protective layer on the skin, offering relief from dryness, itchiness & other minor skin irritations. They can be applied to various body parts, including joints, muscles & even the temples, for tension headaches.
Pros Cons
Provides targeted relief. Not effective for addressing internal conditions.
Doesn’t produce intoxicating effects. People seeking psychoactive effects may find it less satisfying.
Provides flexibility in the application. Prone to causing skin sensitivities and allergies.
  • Enjoyment Levels: While the experience may not be psychoactive, users often appreciate the localized relief & soothing effects provided by cannabis-infused topicals. The enjoyment level can be influenced by factors like texture, scent, etc.
  • Cost: Cannabis topicals have a higher price point than flowers, but they can provide longer-lasting effects depending on usage. The price range for cannabis topicals falls between approximately $35 and $80. And transdermal patches are considered a higher-priced option for cannabis consumption, as single-use patches can cost more than $20.

Understanding Dosage and Potency

Factors Determining The Right Dosage

  • Go slow: Begin with a low dosage and slowly increase until you find the desired effects. It definitely helps minimize the risk of overconsumption & allows you to gauge your tolerance.
  • Consider product potency: Understanding the potency of the product you’re using is crucial for accurate dosing. Pay attention to labels and consult with budtenders or professionals who can provide guidance.
  • Individual factors: Various individual factors can influence your response to marijuana, such as body weight, metabolism, and previous experience. These factors can impact how quickly and intensely you feel the effects.
  • Desired effects: The desired effects also play a crucial role in dosage determination. For example, individuals seeking mild relaxation may require a lower dosage than those seeking strong pain relief or sleep aid.

Factors Affecting Potency

  • Strain: Different strains of marijuana can have different levels of THC & CBD. Sativa strains are related to uplifting & energizing effects, while Indica strains tend to promote relaxation & sedation.
  • Growing conditions: The growing conditions of marijuana plants, including light exposure, nutrients, and cultivation techniques, can impact the overall potency of the product.
  • Harvesting and curing process: Proper harvesting and curing methods are essential to preserve the potency and quality of marijuana. Careful timing and optimal drying conditions contribute to the final potency of the product.
  • Extraction and processing: For products such as concentrates or edibles, the extraction and processing methods used can affect the potency. Different extraction techniques and post-processing steps can concentrate or modify the levels of THC and CBD in the final product.

Tips For Safe & Responsible Marijuana Consumption

Know Your Limits

Consider factors such as your tolerance, experience level, and individual sensitivity to the effects of THC and CBD.

Please recognize that marijuana affects people differently & what works for one individual may not be suitable for another.

You can consider a weed measurement guide to measure the correct quantity of marijuana.

Start Low & Go Slow

When trying a new marijuana/cannabis product or adjusting your dosage, start with a low dose & slowly increase as needed.

This approach, known as “start low and go slow,” allows you to gauge the response of your body & find the perfect dosage for your desired effects.

Be Mindful Of Strain Types

Understanding the differences between strains can help you select the one that fits your desired effects & preferences.

Sativa strains are typically associated with uplifting & energizing effects, while Indica strains are related to relaxing & sedating properties.

Consider The Setting & Environment

Creating a positive and stress-free environment can enhance overall enjoyment and minimize the risk of anxiety or discomfort.

If you’re trying marijuana for the first time or adjusting your dosage, have a trusted friend or companion present.

Potential Side Effects And Mitigation

Short-Term Side Effects

  • Dry mouth: Also known as “cottonmouth,” this is a common side effect caused by the temporary reduction of saliva production. Staying hydrated and having water or non-alcoholic beverages nearby can help alleviate this discomfort.
  • Increased heart rate: Cannabis causes an increase in heart rate, which may further lead to palpitations or temporary feelings of anxiety. If you experience this side effect, finding a calm and relaxing environment can help manage the symptoms.
  • Red eyes: Marijuana/Cannabis causes blood vessels in the eyes to expand, resulting in redness & bloodshot eyes. Eye drops specifically designed to relieve redness can provide temporary relief.
  • Impaired coordination & cognitive function: Marijuana can affect coordination, reaction time, and cognitive function, leading to temporary impairment. Avoid activities that require high levels of focus or coordination while under the influence.

Long-Term Effects

  • Respiratory issues: Regular smoking of marijuana can lead to respiratory issues i.e., chronic bronchitis or lung infections. And using alternative methods of consumption (vaporizers or edibles) can help reduce these risks.
  • Cannabis Use Disorder: While rare individuals may develop a dependence on or addiction to marijuana. It can result in compulsive use despite negative consequences. It’s important to check your consumption patterns & seek professional help if you suspect an issue.
  • Cognitive effects: Heavy or prolonged marijuana use, especially during adolescence, has been associated with potential cognitive impairments, including memory & attention deficits. Moderation and responsible use are key to minimizing potential long-term cognitive effects.

Managing Unwanted Effects

  • Adjust dosage: Experiencing discomfort? Lower your cannabis dosage or try a different strain with a unique THC-to-CBD ratio. Finding the right balance for your body and tolerance is crucial for minimizing unwanted effects.
  • Choose a different consumption method: Different methods of consuming marijuana can produce varying effects. If you’re experiencing negative side effects with one method, try another method to see if it provides a more favorable experience.
  • Create a comfortable environment: Ensure you’re in a safe and relaxing setting when consuming marijuana. It can help minimize potential anxiety or discomfort.
  • Seek support if needed: If you’re consistently experiencing negative effects or are concerned about your marijuana use, reach out to healthcare professionals or addiction specialists.

Legal And Ethical Considerations

Local Laws & Regulations

Before consuming marijuana/cannabis, you must to know the local laws & regulations in your area.

In the US, marijuana laws can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another, so understanding the legal landscape is essential for responsible consumption.

Recreational weed/Marijuana is legalized in most states of the USA, like Alaska, California, Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, etc. But, there are various restrictions to the same.

So, take the time to research & stay informed about the specific laws regarding the possession, cultivation, purchase & use of marijuana in your particular region.

Workplace Policies

Be aware of workplace policies regarding marijuana/cannabis use, especially if you are employed or seeking employment.

Even in places where marijuana is legal, many employers maintain policies that prohibit its use or require employees to avoid marijuana consumption (during working hours).

Understanding and respecting these policies is essential for maintaining professional integrity and avoiding potential disciplinary action or legal consequences.

Responsible Cannabis Use

  • Respect others: Be mindful of others’ boundaries and preferences regarding marijuana consumption. Not everyone may be comfortable with the presence or smell of marijuana in public spaces.
  • Avoid underage use: It is important to adhere to age restrictions for marijuana use. Just as with alcohol, it is illegal and unethical to provide or enable access to marijuana for underage individuals (except for exceptional cases).
  • Educate yourself and others: Stay informed about marijuana, its effects, and responsible consumption practices. Know everything about the potential risks & benefits of marijuana, promoting a culture of responsible use.
  • Consume in private spaces: When consuming marijuana, consider doing so in private spaces where it is legal and appropriate. It helps maintain privacy, reduces potential discomfort for others, and ensures compliance with local laws.
  • Store and dispose of responsibly: If you possess marijuana products, store them securely and out of reach of children and pets. Properly dispose of any packaging or waste in accordance with local regulations and guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is marijuana consumption legal everywhere?

A: No, marijuana consumption is not legal everywhere.

In the USA, while some places have legalized marijuana for both medical & recreational use, others may have decriminalized its possession or have specific regulations.

Presently, 23 states, along with Washington, DC, have legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults aged 21 and older.

Q: Can I drive after consuming marijuana?

A: No, it is not safe to drive after consuming marijuana. Marijuana/cannabis can impair cognitive function, reaction time & coordination, which increases the risk of accidents.

Q: What are the potential health benefits of marijuana?

A: Consuming marijuana provides various potential health benefits – reducing symptoms related to chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea, & some mental health conditions like anxiety & depression.

Q: How long do the effects of marijuana last?

A: The duration of marijuana’s effects can vary depending on several factors like the method of consumption, dosage, strain potency & individual tolerance.

Generally, the effects of smoking or vaporizing are felt within minutes & can last for a few hours, and edibles may take longer to take effect, usually within 30 minutes to 2 hours & can last for several hours.

Q: Can marijuana be addictive?

A: While marijuana can lead to dependence in some individuals, it is less addictive than substances like alcohol or opioids.

The risk of developing a marijuana use disorder varies depending on several factors like frequency & quantity of use, individual susceptibility, and underlying mental health conditions.


Knowing everything about marijuana consumption safely, responsibly, and legally is crucial in today’s evolving landscape.

Just remember that responsible cannabis consumption involves respecting your boundaries and those of others.

If you are unsure about any aspect related to “how to consume marijuana?”, consult or seek guidance from a medical professional.

With knowledge, mindfulness & moderation, you can enjoy the benefits of marijuana while promoting a positive and safe experience for yourself and those around you.

Read more of Gaanja Heal’s guide of Consume
How To Smoke Weed? – A Beginner-Friendly Guide

Welocme to Our Site

We need to verify your age before proceed