How to Get High Without Smoking: 8 Ways to Consume Cannabis

How to Get High Without Smoking: 8 Ways to Consume Cannabis

Smoking cannabis will not provide any of the many advantages that it provides. In reality, mounting data indicates that smoking as a mode of consumption poses several significant health hazards. These might include adverse effects on the heart, lungs, airways, and tar or free radical inhalation. Additionally, smoking cannabis has a stench that some people find repulsive, which may attract unwanted attention or irritate others. Thankfully, there are a variety of cannabis consumption methods that eliminate smoke.

Is Smoking Cannabis Bad for You?

Humans have smoked cannabis plants for thousands of years, and the practice is still popular today. Adults in the US today use it the most frequently for ingestion. And besides, smoking is inexpensive, enjoyable in social situations, and has immediate effects. Sadly, it’s not the best thing for your health.

Smoking marijuana is still dangerous, even though it “doesn’t damage lung function as profoundly as smoking tobacco does,” as per the Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy. The bulk of cannabis smoking dangers are caused by burning the plant, also referred to as combustion, rather than by the plant itself. Martin Booth penned the following in his book “Cannabis: A History”:

It explains that cannabis smoking is riskier than ingesting it orally in food or beverages because, like tobacco smoke, the smoke on its own can harm the lungs but also exacerbate or worsen respiratory conditions. Many of the toxic chemical components of tobacco, such as tar, cyanide, as well as carbon monoxide, are present in cannabis smoke.

The effects of cannabis smoke on the lungs are in line with those of tobacco smoke, aggravating the respiratory tract and causing hyperinflation and coughing, according to a chapter from Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Smoking cannabis flower has additionally been moderately associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) onset in heavy cannabis users and chronic bronchitis. Furthermore, even though no clear correlations between cannabis use and lung cancer have been found, even in extensive epidemiologic research, there is still insufficient solid data to rule this option out completely.

Additionally, you should be concerned regarding your oral health. Cannabis has been identified as an independent danger factor for poor periodontal health in a survey of almost 19,000 persons. “Some of the compounds in cannabis smoke can affect the oral environment as well as potentially put cannabis users at elevated danger of dry mouth, periodontal disease, dental caries, poor oral hygiene, soft tissue disease, as well as oral cancer,” according to a 2019 analysis of 47 pertinent studies. Experts from both studies urged cannabis users to be open with their dentists despite the need for more research in this region.

Alternatives to Smoking Cannabis for Recreation

Smoking has numerous healthy alternatives, and each has benefits and downsides of its own. Because they don’t irritate the airways or produce free radicals, non-inhalational techniques are typically the best alternatives. Here are various ways to profit from cannabis without having to light up, if you’re shunning the act of smoking owing to a pre-existing condition, the distinctive scent, or worry about your future health.

Use a Vape Pen

Vape pens provide the discretion and portability that many non-smokers seek, and are perhaps one of the simplest methods to consume tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) when desired. They are ideal for people looking for the simplest way to inhale because they operate with just a button press. These small, battery-operated devices could be disposable or refillable and carry oil concentration.

Cannabis beginners should be aware that the high THC content of this form may quickly raise your tolerance and may be excessively potent. Vape pens are likewise not the best option for medicinal users because they frequently lack terpenes and contain significantly less CBD and other cannabinoids, which have additional advantages, counteract the effects of THC, and work together synergistically through the encouraging effect.

If you choose to do this, be sure to only purchase your vape pens and cartridges from authorized, regulated businesses and dispensaries that carefully test their products before letting them come into contact with your hands (more coming here). Unsafe ingredients such as vitamin E acetate, which has been connected to serious lung diseases, can be found in illicit vaping oils.


  • Simple to transport and utilize
  • somewhat discrete/not too pungent
  • Effects begin nearly instantly.
  • According to preliminary studies, it is less harmful to the lungs than smoking.


  • Compared to smoking, it can still cause respiratory tract irritation.
  • Typically, the high doesn’t stay long (30 minutes to an hour)
  • Pens are less useful for medical purposes because they lack terpenes and other cannabinoids.
  • When you regularly consume cannabis concentrates, their high THC level can quickly raise your tolerance.
  • The usually most expensive mode of consumption.

Vape Flower using a Dry Herb Vaporizer

Cannabis flowers can also be vaped! To do this, you’ll need a dry herb vaporizer, which works like a moderate oven for your marijuana by gently heating it to a temperature that causes the vapor to be produced instead of smoke. These gadgets are compact, transportable, and battery-powered/chargeable, much like vape pens. Nevertheless, because they retain plant material instead of oil, dry herb vaporizers are bulkier than vape pens and can become hotter to the touch, particularly during extended sessions. This is probably the greatest inhalational technique for balancing medicinal and airway benefits.


  • According to a preliminary study, vaping cannabis flower is preferable to smoking it (it is a lot more tolerable upon the airways)
  • Less flower may be required for the same/similar impacts without significantly increasing tolerance because of more effective THC delivery and significantly less tar.
  • Additional cannabinoids and terpenes are provided by whole plant material for the entourage impact.
  • Like smoking, the effects begin rapidly and linger for roughly an hour.
  • Less offensive than smoking (but a lot more smell as compared to using a vape pen)
  • Reasonably affordable


  • Vaporizers with dry herbs require routine cleaning.
  • Sometimes, dry herb vaporizers use much more finely ground flowers as compared to smoking apparatuses (e.g., bongs, pipes)
  • It can be challenging or untidy to load and reload dry herb vaporizers.

Dab for a Higher Dose of THC

You’re looking for a consumption style that rivals smoking’s potent and immediate effects without causing as much respiratory discomfort. Due to the infamously potent high it creates, dabbing, or vaping wax concentrate using only a dab rig or dab pen, has become more common among seasoned users in the past 10 years. While flowers have between 15% and 30% THC, concentrates frequently have up to 70% THC. The ins and outs regarding dabbing are covered in this piece.

Users must take care well with the dabbing device’s temperature, though. Dabbing might burn concentrate at a greater temperature than smoking flowers and yet still create toxic byproducts of combustion when the temperature becomes too high, which could worsen the discomfort. Using a traditional blow torch and nail, which has additional safety risks, is inferior to utilizing an e-rig or another electronic measuring instrument.

The outcomes of these studies demonstrate that dabbing, though considered a kind of vaporization, may deliver considerable levels of hazardous breakdown products, based on a 2017 Portland State University study assessing dangerous toxicants from dabbing. Users risk being exposed to benzene and methacrolein since they have trouble managing the nail temperature.


  • Strong effects start to manifest almost instantly and frequently last longer than smoking.
  • Even though additional research is required, it is believed that if you dab at a low temperature, well-controlled, it will be less uncomfortable on your airways.
  • Odor-free compared to smoking.


  • High-temperature dabbing could give significant amounts of the widely referred carcinogens benzene and methacrolein.
  • Even at higher temperatures, it can still irritate the respiratory tract.
  • For consumers without experience, it could be overly demanding and complicated.
  • Requiring specialized (and occasionally expensive) equipment and learning it can be scary.
  • Concentrates’ high THC content might raise your tolerance when you use them frequently.

Bake THC Into Edibles

Edibles are a fantastic alternative if you have respiratory issues and can’t vape or dab. Formerly known as “pot brownies,” a range of foods, including pizza, cookies, and lollipops, are now frequently infused with THC. The dispensary sells pre-made edibles like candy, chocolate, and other items. For a detailed comparison of edibles and smoking, see this post.

If you choose edibles, pay close attention to the dosage. It’s simple to grow impatient and consume more since it may take some time to take effect, just to be hit in the face with all of the THC at once. Use the KIF doctors edible dosage calculator whether you’re preparing edibles at home. Begin with 5–10 mg of THC when you’re prepared to get high and increase your dose once you notice the effects.


Respiratory system unaffected

  • Effects are typically stronger and persist longer when compared to other eating techniques.
  • Edibles are perfect for micro-dosing because it is much simpler to regulate THC consumption than inhalation.
  • If made from flowers, consumables may have entourage effects.


  • Effects take a while to manifest, frequently requiring 1-2 hours or longer, and might greatly vary from individual to individual.
  • It’s simple to overindulge while waiting for the effects to kick in.
  • Creating your edibles takes a lot of time, is difficult, messy, as well as cannabis flower (however, store-bought edibles are likewise a choice)
  • This can lead to calorie and diet problems.
  • Due to variances in metabolism, some persons are said to be “ediblocked,” or do not experience the benefits of edibles.

Sip a THC-Infused Drink

No solid food is required to be edible. Several dispensaries now sell pre-made THC drinks and beverages. THC-infused drinks have the same effects on the body as regular edibles; however, as an extra benefit, they typically start working more rapidly because the body digests liquids more quickly than solids. Cannabinoids are also more easily absorbed from liquids via the mouth and intestines. A few drops of cannabis oil or tincture can be added to whatever you’re drinking, or you can try preparing your cannabis-infused hot cocoa or latte at home.


  • Respiratory system unaffected
  • Sustained, longer-lasting effects
  • Really tactful
  • A little bit quicker to take effect than food containing THC.
  • Water easily dissolves acidic cannabinoids, including CBDA, THCA, and CBGA.


  • Effect onset that is delayed (even though faster as compared to solid edibles)
  • It’s simple to overindulge while waiting for the effects to kick in.
  • Often include a lot of sugar
  • Typically lacking in terpenes and beneficial cannabis compounds besides THC

Take THC Capsules

Perhaps you want to avoid sweets, allergies, or messy food infusions. These make capsules a fantastic substitute for edibles! The consumer can get all the advantages of edibles—most edibles are high in fat and/or sugar—in a capsule without the negatives. Find out more information about THC capsules here, including how to build your own. Inquire if THC pills or capsules are also available at the dispensary from your budtender.


  • Respiratory system unaffected
  • There are no harmful or allergic substances.
  • Sustained, longer-lasting effects
  • Extremely discrete and simple to dose
  • Easily prepared at home


  • Effects sometimes take 1-2 hours to begin to manifest themselves.
  • It’s simple to overindulge while waiting for the effects to kick in.
  • Less common and pricier as compared to edibles in dispensaries
  • Frequently lack the entourage effect advantages of terpenes and other cannabinoids and thus are pure or isolated THC.

Utilize Tinctures to Apply THC Under the Tongue

Tinctures are the way to go if you want a fast-acting, food-free consuming technique! Tinctures are simple cannabis extracts produced using alcohol, glycerin, or oil. This technique is distinct since tinctures must be held below the tongue for 30 to 60 secs before being ingested. As a result, the THC can be absorbed by the mucous membranes of the mouth and felt within 15 to 30 minutes. The digestive system breaks down any leftover THC and generally feels 1-2 hours later.

Look out for this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to make cannabis tinctures of your own from a flower. Many dispensaries also sell tincture bottles if you prefer to keep things incredibly simple.


  • Respiratory system unaffected
  • Sustained longer-lasting effects
  • When administered properly, effects occur significantly more quickly than with edibles.
  • Extremely discrete and simple to dose
  • Full-spectrum, comprising additional terpenes as well as cannabinoids for increased therapeutic benefits
  • Olives, coconuts avocados, can all be used to make healthier oils.
  • More acidic cannabinoids may be present in cold-pressed oils, increasing their potential effects.


  • Before consuming, the tincture must be carefully held beneath the tongue.
  • Messier than capsules and edibles for those who dislike the earthy flavor of tinctures
  • For health concerns, tinctures with alcohol must be avoided.
  • Some oils could sneak calories into your diet.

Apply THC skin patches and topicals

When THC is applied topically as a cream, salve, or transdermal patch, it is absorbed via the skin. Due to several important factors, this technique is not very popular among casual users: A euphoric high is infrequently produced via transdermal and topical administration, although other negative effects, such as increased hunger, can happen. Patches and topicals could be worn throughout the day to control pain and other chronic symptoms without having to take anything orally because they are primarily intended for medical use. They are helpful for patients with limited symptoms or those who experience severe vomiting and nausea and cannot take anything orally.

Since the THC is delivered into the body gradually over a longer time with transdermal application relative to other consumption methods, it is also excellent for symptom relief. THC is absorbed consistently over time using patches, whereas it peaks within the blood at specific times with other treatments.


  • No effects on the gut or respiratory systems
  • Tactful (no visible consumption)
  • Patches may be removed whenever desired.
  • Sustained, longer-lasting effects
  • Better medicinal use for those unable to consume or breathe in medication.


  • Minimal to no psychoactive effects (becoming “high”)
  • Based on where they are located, patches could be apparent to others and might even result in a skin reaction.
  • Expensive and occasionally more challenging to locate.

Final Takeaway

Despite being incredibly effective, cannabis smoking has drawbacks. It attracts attention, hurts your mouth and lungs, and has short-lived effects. For ganja enthusiasts and patients seeking medical marijuana, there are now several alternative cannabis products thanks to growing research and innovation. Offer concentrates, tinctures, capsules, edibles, or patches a try if smoking is not an option. Those who love marijuana may also choose to vape it rather than smoke it.

Are you considering utilizing cannabis to treat a health issue? Make an appointment with a state-licensed MMJ physician to determine whether you qualify and to go over the optimal consumption strategies for your requirements and way of life. Schedule a session with just a cannabis coach for a customized deep dive into your cannabis use.

Before deciding how to treat a medical issue, always seek medical advice.

Note: The data on this website is provided merely for general knowledge and is not meant to be taken as professional medical advice. Based on the information supplied, do not try to self-diagnose or suggest a course of therapy.

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