The end of the year is nearly upon us and, not only that, it also marks the end of an entire decade. It can be exciting to chart a course for your life and see where the start of the two-thousand twenties will take you. Between all of the ten-year glow-up posts and those oft-abandoned resolutions that you swore to uphold last year, why not set your sights on something achievable for once this year? I’m talking about cannabis and the way you choose to consume.
Here at the CalmCollectiv we talk so much about all of the different methods of cannabis consumption that legalization has paved the way for. Discovery has been an exciting part of that, and exploring new ways to enjoy as cannabis users continues to play a role.
In this sense cannabis stimulates in the same way as coffee; if you’re like me, and you cannot go without a fresh cup in the morning, then there’s a chance your coffee ritual is as consistent as your cannabis one. We’re sharing a quick guide to changing your relationship with cannabis in 2020 based on popular methods to show you that change can be good.
Vaping Or Smoking?
There’s no question: it can be hard to beat the tried & true blunt or joint. It’s one of the quickest ways to achieve the intense and euphoric effects; lighting dry flower quickly releases cannabinoid compounds, like THC, and gets you lifted. Smoking is cheap, accessible, and travels extremely well thanks to it’s low maintenance. It’s a time-honoured social ritual, and arguably one of the most popular ways to partake.
It does have it’s downsides. For one, smoking cannabis is a less efficient way to conserve your stash. You’re liable to burn through your stash, literally, a whole lot quicker than a vaporizer, for example. Burning of course produces a much stronger odour that’ll linger long after that joint or bowl is gone.
Ultimately, smoking is still smoking. When any plant matter is burned it produces tar and other by-products (naphthalene, benzene and tolulene, to name a few). You should know that there’s research on the respiratory impacts of smoking combustion-based cannabis like joints, or water filter bongs. Unfortunately, these are all unavoidable consequences of smoking, so if you’ve been smoking for a while it may be time to consider switching — doing so can save your lungs and throat a lot of grief in the new year and for the years to come which means more sessions to partake in the future.
If smoking dried flower is still your preference, a natural go to would be a handheld dry herb vaporizer. Clean, discreet and arguably safer than lighting up, a vaporizer can also give you maximum control of temperature throughout a session. Adjusting the temperature settings on your device produces a rich, pronounced flavour; vaporizing cannabis can also even help distinguish the unique terpene flavour profile of different strains.
It’s definitely much more efficient than smoking — dry herb vape users know well the virtues of using already vaped cannabis in a dozen or more infusion recipes, like budder or tea. The majority of dry herb vapes are loaded with innovative technology to guarantee no unsafe materials can come in contact with any heating elements during use.
Healthwise, vaping is still a preferable alternative to smoking, but it’s important to continue to stay educated in these matters. Major concerns around the health hazards of vaping have more to do with liquid concentrates made with dangerous additives like vitamin E and MCT oil. Vaporizers designed for actual flower usually only require a grinder.
But if dry herb vapes have one setback it’d be the price. Finding the right make and model for you can be cost-prohibitive for some. Decent, inexpensive vapes can typically run up to a hundred bucks; you can expect to pay several hundred for the famous Volcano table-top models. The price tag can sometimes make smoking a more attractive option. Given the efficient use of cannabis, however, a dry herb vaporizer can definitely be worth switching over to in the long run.
Extracts Or Concentrates?
Extracts and concentrates are some of the fastest growing market segments of recreational cannabis use. Quick note: determining the difference between the two of these is how they’re derived. Concentrates, like hash, are made using mechanical processes to isolate and compress plant trichomes. Extracts, like shatter, are made using solvents to chemically extract THC.
When it comes to creating extracts, the most commonly used solvents are CO2 (used for disposable vape cartridges, wax and shatter), butane (used for BHO or butane hash oil and clear distillates), and ethanol. The end results will each have their own characteristics that differ in appearance and potency depending on which chemical and technique are used to create it.
Hash, on the other hand, is generally made using one of two methods: wet or dry. Hash has been around for centuries. Standard dry methods like sifting can be time-consuming and labour intensive, producing a low but powerful yield that often drives a higher price. With the wet method only water is used in the extraction process, which creates a far cleaner end product than with chemical solvents.
So why make the switch? If you have plenty of dabbing experience, you may have heard people call shatter as cannabis in its ‘purest’ form. While shatter is certainly potent, it is about as far from pure as you might expect given the extraction process. The glass-like shatter most likely contains residual solvents and chemicals involved both in the extraction process and growing the cannabis that gets used for extraction. Inhalation of residual hydrocarbons like those from BHO, for example, isn’t typically dangerous to consume in small amounts but may have protracted health risks with repeat use.
Concentrates, on the other hand, are where it’s at when it comes to true purity. Concentrated cannabis like rosin or bubble hash are free from adulterating chemicals. Hash is malleable, versatile, and is just as potent when using an old-fashioned hookah as it is for hot knives or the old fashioned glass and pin method.
Take A T-Break
What is a T-break? The ‘T stands for tolerance, and a t-break is exactly that: taking a short-term break from cannabis consumption can help to clear the mind and body of THC. More importantly, evidence suggests that a full T-break — total abstention from cannabis use, and not just a reduction in your rate of consumption — can help restore psychoactive effects to much higher potency.
There are plenty of valid reasons to take a T-break in 2020. Besides lowering the high tolerance threshold your body builds up over time to the flower, a T-break can help you make a myriad of other positive changes. Searching for a new job, saving money, traveling abroad in areas not known for their friendliness to cannabis or even just getting ahead on your own personal projects and ambitions are all valid reasons to take a break in the new year.
Lengths of time vary depending on your intake patterns and physiology. Taking 1-2 weeks off is recommended; flushing the body completely can take as long as 3-4 weeks, since cannabinoids can linger in the human body for more than a month. Staying active during a T-break is key: engaging in physical activities will make for an impactful return to the plant, if you decide to.
Plenty More To Choose From
The next wave of legal access cannabis products is is so highly anticipated that it has been dubbed Cannabis 2.0 in the Canadian market: vaporizers, edibles and beverages of every type and more await us in 2020. Change can be good for you, and with the arrival of even more cannabis-based products continuing to parade into the market, there are always opportunities to jump into something new.