Cannabis consumption

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Among the variety of ways cannabis is consumed, forms of smoking or oral consumption are most common. Cannabis is a unique drug due to its capacity to deliver psychoactive effects that can include or be any combination of hallucinogenic, stimulant and depressant qualities.[citation needed] Each method leads to subtly different psychoactive effects due to the THC and other chemicals being activated, and then consumed through different administration routes. It is generally considered that smoking, which includes combustion toxins, produces a somewhat more relaxing ("stoned") effect, while eating delays the onset of effect but the duration of effect is typically longer.[1] A 2007 report from San Francisco, US researchers stated that the use of a vaporizer provides the user with the usual biological effect, but without the toxins.[2]

Sebsi, a Moroccan long-drawtube one-hitter

Smoking[edit]

Main article: Cannabis smoking


Cannabis can be vaporized or smoked with implements such as bongs and pipes —if needed, a makeshift pipe can be created out of an apple (or any other suitable fruit or vegetable) or soda can— or by rolling a cigarette-like joint or cigar-like blunt.

Local methods have differed by the preparation of the cannabis plant before use, the parts of the cannabis plant which are used, and the treatment of the smoke before inhalation. In early times, as in some parts of Africa today, a pile of cannabis was simply laid on a fire and the smoke inhaled.[3]

There have been many studies and reports conducted that suggest there are much more risks (such as cancer or respiratory diseases) that are associated with smoking more than other methods of consumption.

Vaporization[edit]

Main article: Vaporizer (cannabis)
A Volcano forced-air Vaporizer
A vaporization pipe with flame filter.
28. Insert cannabis, other herbs or essential oils here
36. Flame filter prevents flame from igniting herb which instead is heated to vaporization temperature.

A vaporizer heats herbal cannabis to 185–210 °C (365–410 °F), which causes the active ingredients to evaporate into a gas without burning any plant material (the boiling point of THC is 157 °C (315 °F).[4][5] A lower proportion of carbon monoxide and other toxic chemicals is released than by smoking, although this may vary depending on the design of the vaporizer and the temperature at which it is set. A MAPS-NORML study using a Volcano vaporizer reported 95% THC and no toxins delivered in the vapor.[6] An older study using less sophisticated vaporizers found some toxins.[7]

A pocket-sized form of vaporizer is available as of September 2013—one particular model uses a rechargeable battery, is constructed from wood, and features a removable cover.[8] Typically, portable vaporizers can only be used for liquids, feature pre-soaked wicks, and require the user to operate a cartridge. As of September 2013, a design is available that is electronic, does not require a cartridge, and can be used to vaporize any form of cannabis.[9]

Oral consumption[edit]

Hash cakes
Main article: Cannabis foods

As an alternative to smoking, cannabis may be consumed orally. However, herbal cannabis must be sufficiently heated or dehydrated to cause decarboxylation of its most abundant cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, into psychoactive THC.[10]

Food[edit]

Various types of cannabis foods on display in a shop window in Amsterdam

Although hashish is sometimes eaten raw or mixed with water, THC and other cannabinoids are more efficiently absorbed into the bloodstream when combined with butter and other lipids or, less so, dissolved in ethanol.[citation needed] The time to onset of effects depends strongly on stomach content, but is usually 1 to 2 hours, and may continue for a considerable length of time, whereas the effects of smoking or vaporizing cannabis are almost immediate, lasting a shorter length of time.[11]

Smoking cannabis results in a significant loss of THC and other cannabinoids through exhaled or non-inhaled smoke. In contrast, all of the active constituents enter the body when cannabis is consumed orally. It has been shown that the primary active component of cannabis, Δ9-THC, is converted to the more psychoactive 11-hydroxy-THC by the liver.[12] Titration to the desired effect by ingestion is more difficult than through inhalation, due to the long onset time for the effects.(citation needed)

Drink[edit]

Cannabis material can be leached in high-proof spirits (often grain alcohol) to create a “Green Dragon”. This process is often employed to make use of low-potency stems and leaves.[citation needed]

Cannabis can also be consumed as a cannabis tea. Although THC is lipophilic and only slightly water soluble (with a solubility of 2.8 mg per liter),[13] enough THC can be dissolved to make a mildly psychoactive tea. However, water-based infusions are generally considered to be an inefficient use of the herb.[14] However, bhang, a decoction of cannabis and spices in milk, averts the issue, as milk contains the fat in which the THC is soluble.

Fungi[edit]

To kill potentially dangerous aspergillus, and other microorganisms, researchers Levitz and Diamond (1991) suggested baking marijuana in home ovens at 150 °C (302 °F) for five minutes before smoking. Oven treatment killed conidia of A. fumigatus, A. flavus, but did not degrade the THC." However, neither this, nor other suggested sterilization methods, degrade microbial antigens or decompose the microbial toxins. Note that many cannabinoids evaporate below 150 °C (302 °F); in particular, the more volatile aromatic oils and terpenes, which give cannabis its distinctive flavors and odors.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wellness Center - Marijuana". American University. American University. 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Marijuana Vaporizer Provides Same Level Of THC, Fewer Toxins, Study Shows". ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily®. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cannabis Vault : Spiritual Use #2". erowid.org. 
  4. ^ "Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts: Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts?". haworthpress.com. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  5. ^ 1989. The Merck Index, 11th ed., Merck & Co., Rahway, New Jersey
  6. ^ Gieringer, Dale H.; Joseph St. Laurent; Scott Goodrich (2004). "Cannabis Vaporizer Combines Efficient Delivery of THC with Effective Suppression of Pyrolytic Compounds" (PDF). Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics 4 (1): 7–27. doi:10.1300/J175v04n01_02. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  7. ^ Gieringer, Dale. "Marijuana Water Pipe and Vaporizer Study". Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  8. ^ Jeff Winkler (13 September 2013). "Stealth stoner". Aeon Magazine. Aeon Magazine Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Trippy FAQs". The Official Trippy Stix. Tumblr. 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Does marijuana have to be heated to become psychoactive?". Cannabisculture.com. 2003-01-02. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  11. ^ "Erowid Cannabis (Marijuana) Vault : Effects". Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Paulo Borini; Romeu Cardoso Guimarães; Sabrina Bicalho Borini (May 2004). "Possible hepatotoxicity of chronic marijuana usage". Sao Paulo Medical Journal 122 (3): 120–3. doi:10.1590/S1516-31802004000300007. PMID 15448809. Retrieved 2006-05-02. 
  13. ^ Cannabis consumption in the ChemIDplus database
  14. ^ Leslie Iversen (2003-04-08). "Cannabis and the brain. Invited review Brain". Brain (Brain – Oxford Journals) 126 (6): 1252–1270. doi:10.1093/brain/awg143. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  15. ^ "Microbiological contaminants of marijuana". hempfood.com. Retrieved 2008-06-22.