Forms and Methods of Cannabis Use

Cannabis comes in different forms, which will determine how the substance is used.

Cannabis can come in the form of dried or powdered plant parts. The substance can be processed and come in a form called cannabis extracts. Dried cannabis and cannabis extracts can be incorporated into foods, beverages, creams or lotions and then come in the form of edible products or topical products.

This list of forms of cannabis is not exhaustive and may be updated, since the forms are continually evolving, as are the methods of use.

Dried cannabis

The flowers, leaves and stems of the cannabis plant can be dried or powdered. The flowers are the part that is mainly used to produce dried cannabis. The flower is also the main part that is of interest to producers and users alike.

Dried cannabis can be rolled and smoked like a cigarette, called a joint, or smoked using a pipe or a bong. Powdered cannabis can be put into a desktop or portable vaporizer to be heated and inhaled in the form of a vapour. Dried cannabis is most often inhaled as smoke or aerosol.

Dried cannabis can also be used as an ingredient in a recipe. So, some people will cook it or extract the components they want and use it in other ways.

Cannabis extracts

Extracts are a form of cannabis that are often called “concentrates”. However, while a cannabis concentrate is always an extract, not all extracts are concentrates.

Cannabis extracts are obtained by subjecting the substance to an extraction process with a solvent (chemical extraction with butane, propane, etc.) or without a solvent (physical extraction by pressure, heat, etc.). The solid or liquid appearance of the extract will depend on the extraction technique used.

Cannabis extracts are products that are generally inhaled or ingested.

Examples of cannabis extracts that are inhaled include:

  • kief;
  • hashish;
  • bubble hash;
  • shatter;
  • BHO (butane hash oil);
  • rosin;
  • budder, badder;
  • crumble;
  • distillate.

Examples of cannabis extracts that are ingested include:

  • oils;
  • tinctures;
  • patches.

Cannabis extracts can be inhaled or ingested directly in their pure form or be diluted using oils (e.g., olive oil, coconut oil) or diluents (e.g., glycerine). Solid cannabis extracts can be mixed with the dried flower or added to food.

Liquid cannabis extracts can be added to a food product too. They can also be swallowed in the form of capsules, be absorbed by the mucous membranes when placed under the tongue (sublingual use) or absorbed orally, in the form of drops (using a spray or a dropper).

Both the solid and liquid forms of extracts can be taken by dabbing or by vaporizing the pure product. The term “vaping” is sometimes used to encompass both dabbing and vaporizing. But vaping refers to a liquid extract of cannabinoids to which a diluent agent has been added, such as glycerol, propylene glycol or plant glycerine. This liquid is then vaped using a disposable vape pen or a cartridge inserted into a portable battery.

Edible cannabis products

Cannabis edibles are solid or liquid foods that contain cannabis. They are ingested.

Examples of solid foods that may contain cannabis include:

  • jujubes;
  • brownies;
  • muffins;
  • chocolates.

Examples of liquid foods that may contain cannabis include:

  • sparkling water;
  • infused water;
  • malt drinks;
  • teas.

Topical cannabis products

Cannabis topicals are normally applied to the skin, nails or hair for a generally local effect. Topicals must not be ingested.

Examples of cannabis topicals include:

  • lotion;
  • cream;
  • balm;
  • bath salts;
  • patch.

Last update: March 30, 2023 11:12 AM