The SmokeSmith Gear Guide to Cannabis Smoking Alternatives

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Let's face it; the days of combustion being the dominating force in legal cannabis are on their way out. In the face of widespread legalization, the industry is rapidly expanding and morphing into something new and exciting. With this new landscape of the legal cannabis industry, the methods that smokers use to enjoy dry herb are changing, pushing out the old to make way for the new.

The normalization of the cannabis industry is leading to a plethora of innovative ideas for smokers to enjoy all the benefits of legal cannabis, a proverbial Pandora's Box of possibilities if you will. From pills and sodas to oils and balms, you are no longer relegated to only smoking cannabis. This raises the question, though, of what the best new way to enjoy legal cannabis is? There is no simple answer here, as each method of consumption comes with its own pros and cons, but here is a comprehensive guide covering all the major options to help you navigate this constantly changing industry and hopefully make your choice a little easier.

The Parents of Legal Cannabis

Traditional Combustion through Water BongFor as long as cannabis has been used recreationally and medicinally, the main way to enjoy it has always been smoking. However, with the rise of electronic cigarettes, vaping has begun to permeate the legal cannabis industry. Companies like Pax and Storz & Bickel have been around for a long time, gearing up for this mainstream push for cannabis vaporization. Hell, the Volcano Desktop Herbal Vaporizer has been in production since 1998, positioning it as the longest-running and most widely known vaporizer for use with dry herb. 

Because of how long vaporizer companies have been pushing into the legal Pax 3 Herbal Vaporizercannabis playing field, it is unfair to lump them in with the more modern methods of consumption. Due to their longevity, it is almost like vaping is a parental figure for legal cannabis; traditional combustion is the father while vaping is seen as the mother in this convoluted analogy.

Both vaping and traditional combustion are the go-to methods for legal cannabis consumption, but they have spawned a slew of different options. Not everyone is able to smoke or vape, so manufacturers had to find some way to allow those users to enjoy everything legal cannabis has to offer.

Edible Cannabis is on the Rise

Examples of Edible CannabisEdible cannabis has been around for a long time, but has not garnered nearly as much attention as vaping and smoking over the years. However, with the recent onset of legalization, dispensaries all over are shifting their focus from just glass pipes and herbal vapes to encompass edibles. Most retailers that provide access to legal dry herb now have edible versions of your favorite cannabis strains in a large assortment of foods. Nowadays, you can pick up an infused chocolate bar, rice krispy treat, cookie, brownie, or any number of other delectable creations. Many manufacturers are even crafting THC-infused drinks. 

Concentrated Craze

Girl taking Dab off RigAnother major method for legal cannabis consumption is through concentrated THC, whether that be in the form of oils, topical ointments, or pills. Cannabis oil has been around for a while, and it has grown increasingly in popularity recently thanks to the shift from glass companies to focus on pumping out awesome electronic and portable dab rigs. However, other forms of concentrated THC have still not garnered nearly as much attention.

Salves, or topical ointments that are infused with THC, have not picked up nearlyCannabis Infused Topical Cream as much speed as traditional oil or shatter. Part of the reason for them not being as popular is that, though they use concentrated THC, they are not incredibly potent. However, where salves really shine is in the medicinal CBD market. These topical creams might not get you high, but they help with a wide range of ailments and are available all over, even in states that prohibit the sale of cannabis. CBD salves are flying off the shelves of headshops everywhere, almost as quickly as the tinctures that most smokers and non-smokers have become familiar.

Pills and suppositories are the last major form of concentrated cannabis that many smokers have become enamored with. They are incredibly easy to use, and they tend to be an effective method for low-key consumption of legal cannabis. By using pills, you no longer have to lug around all your smoking gear and find a spot to light up. Now, you can just pop a small pill with a predetermined dosage of concentrated THC and carry on your merry way.

Final Thoughts on Cannabis Options 

Though smoking out of glass water bongs, hand pipes, and bubblers is still the primary way that many people enjoy legal cannabis, there are a slew of options available with new ones continuously making their way onto the market. Whether you would prefer to smoke, vape, eat, or topically apply your cannabis, there is an option out there that will work perfectly for you.

There will probably never be a day that smoking is completely overshadowed by other methods of consumption, but having alternatives is always a plus. Nobody wants to feel excluded, especially when it comes to partaking and enjoying all the benefits that legal cannabis offers. Essentially, the best way to consume cannabis is up to personal preference. Give them all a shot and see which one will work best for your lifestyle. There is no right or wrong when it comes to cannabis.

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