Cannabis is consumed in many different ways, but the most common method of smoking is vaporization. Cannabis products can also be taken by ingesting edibles and possibly by sublingual or rectal administration. This is executed through transdermal delivery, eye drops or aerosols.

On the other hand, inhalation by smoking or vaporization releases maximal levels of THC (for hemp, CBD) into the bloodstream in under 5 minutes. This effect wears off within 2-3 hours.

Even with a fixed dose of THC in a cannabis joint, THC pharmacokinetics and effects vary depending on the weight of a cannabis cigarette during preparation, the concentration of other cannabinoids, the rate of inhalation, depth and duration of puffs, volume inhaled, extent of breath-holding, vital capacity, escaped smoke and dose titration.

An extensive comparison of smoke generated by igniting cannabis and tobacco cigarettes demonstrated qualitative similarities in specific compounds, but also steep quantitative differences. The presence, in mainstream or sidestream smoke of cannabis cigarettes, of known carcinogens and other chemicals implicated in respiratory diseases must be a consideration when evaluating the safety and risks associated with cannabis smoking. Lower temperature vaporization of cannabis has been postulated as safer than smoking, as it may deliver fewer high molecular weight components than smoked cannabis.

Increasingly, delivery of cannabis to the brain for medical or recreational use is via cannabis vaporization. Heating cannabis at moderate temperatures produces a fine mist of cannabis vapors that are inhaled via electronic cigarettes, a delivery method that elicits a similar response while reducing exposure to pyrolytic byproducts. Vaporization reduces the characteristic odor of cannabis smoke, enabling diminished awareness by others.

However, there are many other ways of consuming cannabis safely besides vaporization. Hashish oil, a solvent-extracted liquid, is consumed by smoking or inhalation vaporization or as a food additive.
Users report more addictive behaviors and withdrawal symptoms with high THC levels, especially with the use of hashish oil.

Oral ingestion from cannabis edibles is a slow absorption process. Interestingly, oral ingestion delays the psychoactive effects to 30-90 minutes, with peaks at 2-3 hours and effects lasting for longer periods of about 4-12 hours. However, again, this depends on THC levels.

Smoking multiple cannabis cigarettes or chronic long-term use leads to higher maximal concentrations, longer duration in blood, and longer biological half-life, compared with smoking a single cigarette or infrequent smoking. Moreover, chronic, frequent cannabis smokers’ exhibit extended detection windows for plasma cannabinoids, reflecting a large cannabinoid body burden. Metabolic elimination of THC from newly smoked cannabis is much slower after years of heavy cannabis use.

When a single 6.8% THC cannabis cigarette was administered to frequent and to occasional users, plasma THC concentrations were significantly higher in frequent smokers than in occasional smokers at most time points from 0.5 to 30 h. However, the median time of the last detection was 3.5 hours in frequent cannabis smokers and 1 hour in occasional, casual cannabis smokers. In chronic cannabis users who smoke almost daily, THC can be detected in the blood during a full month of sustained abstinence of cannabis.

Knowing the different methods of consuming cannabis, but as well as how THC can affect you in relation to your THC tolerance is critical.

Author's Bio: 

Cannabis consumption refers to the variety of ways cannabis is consumed, among which inhalation (smoking and vaporizing) and ingestion are most common.