Can't seem to keep the bud in your joint? Tired of depending on friends or rolling machines when you want to light one up? HIGH TIMES Senior Cultivation Editor Danny Danko is back to help you get your technique on point so you can be proud of every joint you smoke.
HIGH TIMES senior editor Bobby Black explains the dabbing process from start to finish in the latest HT How To video. Learn everything from seasoning your nail to cleaning your wand in this step-by-step instructional video. For more dab-related content, including how to choose a nail and the difference between wax and shatter, stay tuned to hightimes.com.
HIGH TIMES Associate Publisher Rick Cusick separates the myths from the methods behind passing a drug test. From dilutions and substitutions to adulterants and detoxifiers, Cusick breaks down the best products on the market today as well as home remedies no stoner facing a drug test can afford to miss.
In part two of our vape pen series, HIGH TIMES managing editor Jen Bernstein explains how to load a vape pen with wax or pot and introduces some useful vape attachments available from Cloud Penz.
In this episode of HIGH TIMES' educational 'How To' series, we teach you the basics of cleaning pipes and bongs - with a few tips and tricks you may find useful. And remember, the best thing about cleaning your bong is getting it dirty all over again.
HIGH TIMES Senior Cultivation Editor Danny Danko explains the basics of marijuana storage. Follow these guidelines and your pot will stay fresher longer.
“Concentrate” is becoming an ambiguous word in the cannabis industry. It could refer to the wax you vaporize, the tincture under your tongue, or the orally administered THC-free cannabis oil that’s changing attitudes toward cannabis everywhere. The future of cannabis is steering toward these potent concentrated forms, especially as the therapeutic potential of non-smoking methods is realized by the public.
Under the umbrella of cannabis concentrates falls any product procured through an extraction process. Solvents (e.g., butane, CO2, ethanol) strip compounds from the cannabis plant, leaving behind a product with cannabinoids packed in every drop. Some types of extracts test as high as 80% in THC, while others rich in non-psychoactive compounds like CBD deliver an altogether “high-less” experience.
Up until its prohibition in 1937, tinctures were the most common form of cannabis medicine in the United States. A tincture is a liquid concentrate procured through alcohol extraction, which pulls out many of the plant’s beneficial cannabinoids. A few drops under the tongue may be a sufficient dose, but patients can safely apply more as needed. Tinctures, which are now available in a variety of flavors, are a great way for patients to medicate without having to smoke.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
In 2003 a man named Rick Simpson treated his skin cancer using a homemade remedy made from hemp. By soaking the hemp in pure naphtha or isopropyl alcohol, the therapeutic compounds are drawn out of the plant, leaving behind a tar-like liquid after the solvent fully evaporates. Also known as Phoenix Tears, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) can be orally administered or applied directly to the skin. Many other business now sell their own renditions of the Rick Simpson Oil, some of which are high in THC while others contain only non-psychoactive compounds like CBD
Hot on the market is CO2 oil, a concentrate made possible by expensive botanical extractors that use pressure and carbon dioxide to separate plant material. This method, called supercritical fluid extraction, is one of the most effective ways of reducing cannabis to its essential compounds. The amber oil it produces can be vaporized in a variety of ways, one of the most popular being portable vaporizer pens. Among the industry’s best sellers are disposable cartridges containing CO2 oil and a medical grade solvent called polypropylene glycol which gives the oil its liquid consistency.
Butane Hash Oil (BHO)
BHO, or butane hash oil, is an extremely potent concentrate popularly consumed for dabbing and other vaporization methods. Cannabinoids are drawn out of the plant through butane extraction, which leaves behind a wax that will either maintain its sticky consistency or harden up, resulting in a crumbly “honeycomb” or a glasslike “shatter.” Because its THC content stretches up to 80%, BHO is a popular remedy for chronic pain and other intractable symptoms. Always be sure that your oil is lab tested for purity, as improperly purged BHO may contain traces of butane.
One of the oldest players in the cannabis game is hash, a concentrate made by compression of the plant’s resin. The powdery kief that coats your cannabis flowers can be collected and pressed together to form hash, or solvents like ice water or ethanol may be used to more effectively strip the plant of their cannabinoid-loaded crystals. Though not as potent as BHO and other cannabis concentrates, hash remains a staple of cannabis culture around the world.
When it comes to cannabis consumption, the second-most important consideration, after the flower itself, is the delivery method. This point is often overlooked, as evidenced by the prevalence of consumers who have limited their experimentation to only one or two methods. If you find yourself within this category but aspire to become a comprehensive cannabis aficionado, let this be your checklist. Gaining the mental and physical benefits of cannabis is largely dependent upon how it's consumed, with each method providing a unique experience and host of effects. Who knows -- you could find a new favorite. Let the exploration begin!
There are three basic delivery methods: inhalation, oral, and topical. Under these umbrella methods are various techniques that serve unique functions, each appropriate for different occasions.
Inhalation Delivery Methods
When cannabis is inhaled, the gases enter the lungs before absorbing into the bloodstream. There are currently two prevalent types of inhalation methods: smoking and vaporization.
This ancient custom is the method most commonly associated with cannabis. However, advances in vaporization technology has offered smokers an alternative method with fewer health concerns. The effects associated with smoking are widely debated, but health professionals are in agreement that smoke-free methods pose less risk and are medically preferred.
Cannabis smokers have a wide array of devices at their disposal, including hand pipes, water pipes, rolling papers, hookahs, and homemade one-time use devices. Each of these provide different experiences and influence the grade of smoke inhaled.
These are probably the most common smoking device in circulation today and generally favored for their convenience: they are small, portable, and simple to use. The device has grown into an artistic expression and are available in countless creative forms and styles, both for decoration and functionality (such as disguise pipes that imitate everyday objects). Hand pipes operate by trapping the smoke produced from burning cannabis, which is then inhaled by the user.
Water pipes come in slightly different variations, including but not limited to bongs and bubblers. Like hand pipes, these come in a variety of styles and designs but increase in sophistication by incorporating water. The health benefits associated with the addition of water are up for debate: water cools the smoke, but it's uncertain whether it acts as an effective filter for harmful constituents.
Generally, these are used to smoke joints or blunts. Joints are cannabis rolled in a paper, the composition of which varies across an assortment of plants including but not limited to hemp, bamboo, and rice. Blunts are cannabis rolled in cigar paper made from the tobacco plant and contain nicotine. Blunt consumers often prefer the flavor and combined effects of the nicotine and cannabis; however, the medical risks linked to nicotine deter most health-conscious cannabis consumers.
This is one of the less common methods of smoking cannabis and is generally associated with smoking shisha, the American term for wet tobacco. Cannabis is seldomly smoked alone in a hookah because its low water content causes the plant to burn faster than it can be inhaled, producing an acrid taste and wasting the herb. For economically-conscious smokers, this is likely the prominent concern as large quantities of cannabis are needed to yield the same results as other smoking methods. To resolve this, cannabis is sandwiched between tobacco, introducing the same health concerns associated with blunts. However, the hookah does allow multiple people to smoke at the same time, significantly changing the smoking experience.
Homemade One-Time Use Devices
This method may allow for the greatest creativity and includes all cannabis smoking devices that are disposable. The most common homemade device is a pipe due to its simplicity, but skilled crafters have taken on waterpipe designs as well. Health effects associated with this method are equally variable depending on the material and method used for assembly.
Vaporizers are the logical choice for moderate to experienced and/or health-conscious cannabis consumers. A vaporizer steadily heats herbs to a temperature that is high enough to extract THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids but too low for the potentially harmful toxins that are released during combustion; essentially, vaporization eliminates the health risks associated with smoking. This improvement comes with an equally significant reduction in odor, which is generally the first acknowledgement of first-time vaporizer users. There is a diverse landscape of vaporizer models and the market is only expanding as the technology improves.
There are multiple elements that distinguish vaporizer designs, markedly portability and product. As the market grows, so does the efficiency and quality of portable models, which generally fall short to fixed models (requiring an outlet power source) in durability and robustness. The form of cannabis product is the other primary component: many vaporizers take cannabis concentrates which come in a variety of forms including oil and wax. These can be added manually or using cartridges, depending on the design. The prevalence of concentrate vapes is due to mechanical simplicity; fewer vaporizers take flower, which require a heating element to accomplish vaporization, and thus a more sophisticated design.
A younger delivery method that is a point of contention amongst the cannabis community and attentive policy makers is dabbing. Dabbing is a form of vaporization in which potent cannabis concentrates are dropped on a heated nail, creating vapor that is trapped in a glass globe and inhaled. Although there are obvious health benefits associated with clean concentrates over combustible flower, concerns arise from dabbing's image and the intense effects of high-THC extracts.
Oral Delivery Methods
Oral delivery includes all techniques that are administered through the mouth, including tinctures, ingestible oils, and infused food/drinks. We most often assume that oral delivery denotes ingestion through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream, but this is not always the case. Tinctures are essentially a topical application that is administered through the mouth, and they are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream unlike edibles or drinks.
Tinctures are a liquid cannabis extract used by consumers looking for dosage control and fast-acting effects without the health risks associated with smoking. Most commonly, alcohol is used as the solvent (any proof greater than 80 can be used effectively), but other fat-soluble liquids can be used as well, such as vinegar or glycerol. Generally, three or four drops of the tincture are placed under the tongue, where it’s absorbed into the body versus swallowed and digested. When ingested, tinctures are immediately absorbed in an empty stomach but require time to process through the liver, reducing dosage control.
Ingestible oils are a happy medium between edibles and concentrates: they are swallowed and digested like an infused product, but often have the consistency of oil. These oils can either be eaten or put in easily-ingested capsules. One popular oil is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), which originated in 2003 when Simpson used hemp to treat his skin cancer. RSO is made by extracting the therapeutic compounds of cannabis with alcohol and then evaporating the solvent, leaving behind a tar-like substance resembling oil.
Eating or drinking cannabis provides significantly different effects from delivery methods that immediately enter the bloodstream, such as smoking or vaping. Edibles can be defined as any food that contains cannabis, whether or not the cannabinoids are bioavailable. These products have longer onsets and tend to cause powerful full-body, psychoactive effects.
Infused food and drinks can be made a variety of ways depending on the dish. Most often, edibles are infused with a staple infused ingredient high in fat -- like butter or olive oil -- that enable extraction of the plant’s therapeutic properties. Adding tinctures to dishes is another great option for dosage control and simplicity. Generally, cooking with cannabis flower can be difficult because of the complication associated with cannabinoid activation (including sensitive heating temperatures and times, and sufficient solvent fat). However, as the prevalence of cannabis grows, so does the presence of flower in the kitchen.
Topical Delivery Methods
Topical cannabis administration utilizes full cannabis extract -- a thick oil that has been decarboxylated to activate cannabinoids. Once cannabinoids are activated, they can be absorbed through your skin.
Topical effects differ from other medicating methods in that they don’t provide the cerebral stimulation that users describe as "being high." Because of this, topicals are appropriate for consumers needing a clear head and localized relief (for example, muscle aches or soreness).
Indica and sativa are the two main types of cannabis. Here’s how to tell them apart.
Cannabis is one of the oldest crops known to mankind, with records of its cultivation dating back thousands of years. Today, it is widely accepted that marijuana has two different species: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Cross-breeding of the two types has led to a wide variety of hybrid strains with unique characteristics.
The differences between indica and sativa remain a subject of much debate, especially among scientists who study the plant. However, most agree that indica and sativa plants are distinct in a number of ways.
The most accepted way of distinguishing indica versus sativa is by appearance, or what scientists refer to as morphology.
ativa plants are tall, loosely branched and have long, narrow leaves. They are usually grown outdoors and can reach heights of up to 20 feet.
Indica plants are short, densely branched and have wider leaves. They are better suited for growing indoors
Besides appearance, indica and sativa plants are commonly believed to have different effects on their user. These effects include:
uplifting and energetic
cerebral, spacey or hallucinogenic
best suited for day use
relaxing and calming
body buzz or ‘couch lock’
best suited for night use
However, no scientific study has confirmed these differences, and there is some doubt about their accuracy. In fact, history suggests a much simpler difference between indica and sativa.
The original classification of Cannabis indica was made by French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1785.
Lamarck observed that certain marijuana plants from India were intoxicating and could be made into hashish. But traditional hemp crops, which were more common in Europe, had no mind-altering effect.
He came up with the name Cannabis indica to distinguish Indian cannabis from European hemp, which was known at the time as Cannabis sativa. Likewise, Cannabis indica was specificallyrecognized as a therapeutic in Western medicine during the 1800s.
Kief (from colloquial Arabic: كيف kēf/kīf pronounced [keːf, ki(ː)f], "pleasure"), sometimes transliterated as keef or kif, refers to the resin glands (or trichomes) of cannabis that may accumulate in containers or be sifted from loose dry cannabis flower with a mesh screen or sieve.
Read more about Kief and it's uses in general https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Kief