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6 ways to enjoy cannabis without having to smoke it

March 23, 2015

Think back to the first time you smoked cannabis. You probably recall the burning throat, the uncoordinated attempts to use a carb, the inability to gauge how long to pull the smoke… Ah yes, those were the days. But the memories of yesteryear for you veterans are very alive and real for those just now jumping on the cannabis bandwagon.

Not everyone likes to smoke, and those with compromised lung health may not even have the option. The stigmatized image of smoking might be the only thing stopping some people from trying cannabis, even if they live in a state with legal marijuana (maybe you can see your mom taking a bong rip, but I sure can’t).

Even though there are a number of different ways you can consume cannabis that have evolved over the years, you may be looking for a more health-conscious option. Here are some suggestions for a smoke-free cannabis experience.

1. Vaporizing

How to "smoke" weed without smoking it: vaporizing

You don’t need to torch your cannabis with a lighter to reap its benefits; actually, its chemical compounds vaporize at a much lower, less harmful temperature. The taste of vaporized cannabis is often preferred to that of combusted flower, and the vapor is much easier on the lungs. Larger table-top vaporizers can offer high-quality vapor with advanced temperature settings, while small hand-held devices let you enjoy cannabis flower or oils wherever you go. These days there are many affordable vaporizers to choose from if you’re interested in trying out this smokeless form of cannabis consumption.


Which Type of Vaporizer Best Suits You?

2. Edibles

How to "smoke" weed without smoking it: edibles

One of the more obvious alternatives to smoking is cannabis-infused food and drink. The diversity of marijuana edibles is quickly and vastly expanding, so much so that you can infuse virtually anything that calls for butter or oil. You can make your own cannabutter at home (it’s surprisingly easy, but be cautious with dosing), but dispensaries and retail shops often have a staggering number of options, from infused lemonade to roasted garlic crackers. You’ve probably heard it already, but it must be said: start with a low dose and be patient. Because of the digestive process, edibles take much longer to kick in and can have intensely psychoactive effects.

3. Ingestible Oils

How to "smoke" weed without smoking it: ingestible oils

Ingestible oils are basically any cannabis concentrate that is taken orally. These most commonly come in capsules or plastic applicators, either of which can be consumed directly or added to food or drink. Like edibles, ingestible oils can induce powerful effects that take a while to kick in, so be mindful of your dose!


Explore the Diverse World of Cannabis Oil and Concentrates

4. Tinctures

How to "smoke" weed without smoking it: tinctures

Tinctures are infused liquids that extract cannabis compounds using an alcohol soak and are applied directly under the tongue. Unlike ingestible oils and infused foods, tinctures enter the bloodstream immediately, allowing for fast-acting effects and better dose control. A variety of flavors, potencies, and cannabinoid profiles are often available, catering to your specific preferences or medical needs.


Cannabis tinctures 101: What are they, how to make them, and how to use them

5. Topicals

How to "smoke" weed without smoking it: topicals

Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions and balms that are applied directly to the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. One unique property of cannabis topicals is their ability to treat symptoms without psychoactive effects, so if you need to be clear-headed and bypass that euphoric high altogether, topicals are the way to go.

6. Dabbing

How to "smoke" weed without smoking it: dabbing

Dabbing is a method of flash-vaporization in which cannabis concentrates are dropped on a heated water-pipe attachment and inhaled for intensely potent effects. The attachment is a glass or metallic nail that’s heated up using a butane torch – and if that sounds sketchy to you, the public eye wouldn’t disagree. But dabbing enthusiasts typically elect this method because (a) properly refined concentrates offer a clean experience free of plant material, and (b) dabbing produces a vapor as opposed to smoke. It may not be the option you suggest to a first-time cannabis consumer, but it’s certainly an option for graduates.

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with all the options out there, use our location finder to pick up the materials you need to try the smoke-free consumption method of your choice!

  • Shawn M

    Vaporization is by far the best, most efficient, healthiest and overall most satisfying way to consume your medical weed. I used to bake with it and I still occasionally do for a few of my friends but nothing beats a good vape! It’s important to use a good one though, some vaporizers really suck… Found a pretty good line up of the better models here:

    • Wizard6x9

      I disagree completely, Smoking/Vaping has a 15% absorption rate, and lasts about 1 to 2 hours, tops, ingestion has a 40 to 45% absolution rate and lasts 6 to 8 hours, and suppositories are a 90% absorption rate. Its all about what you need and what strain is best for you.

      • Lis Cooley


      • spudnation

        Those three ways are all unique though as cannabinoid suppositories are usually used for pain while smoking or vaporizing is more to get “high”. Using edibles is the space in between the other two, as it creates more of a relaxed state throughout the body, where smoking gives you more of a head high. Personally I prefer smoking as it is considerably more fun.

  • Sylvain

    I find this so complicated!

    Just use a cooking pot, on the stove put the fire at low, and put the herb, and pot cover.

    Wait 2 to 3 minutes close the fire and inhale the vapors.

    That’s this simple.

    You will only take the vapors from the plant.

    Another simple trick is to create theses vapors in a tent with a heat plate and the weed.


  • Lawrence

    Isnt both #1 and #6 ingested by smoking it? Which would be a contradiction to the article

  • Ilmira Abdullina

    I personally think cannabis-infused food option is the best. If you can cook, then you can easily find plenty of great edibles tips all over internet. But if not you still do have options:

  • Roy Wilson

    I used to smoke cigarettes (heavy smoker 2+ packs a day) would like to use another method looking for sugestions

    • Stefan Ryznyk

      The obvious answer for someone with your history is the infamous E cig., flavoured to your likes. While ur at that, also get some CBD which u can purchase in crystals at most dispensaries, and add to your vape juice mixture. Nicotine vape juice is also preferred with smokers as u inhale vapour instead of smoke from combustion.

      • Roy Wilson


  • Christy Mahmood

    All of these ways are enjoyable. Just remember the risk. Take it moderately.

    • Stefan Ryznyk

      Does anyone know what the risk is that is inferred to in this post?

      • Lol, no shit. The only risk there has ever been with weed is getting thrown in jail.

        • AndrusskenN

          Unless its synthetic, and then the risk shoots sky high. Hate that stuff.

          • Respectfully,….The term “Synthetic” is a media buzz word. Herbal incense has literally thousands of different chemical makeups. Some dangerous, some wonderful. Depends on who makes it.

  • Um, Leafly…..Why are you regurgitating three year old articles? Surely you guys aren’t this lazy. If you need writers, ask. We’re not as expensive as you might think.

  • David Mishkin

    is vaping bad for the kidneys or lungs?

  • Alucard_the_last

    I only vape and eat and am really trying to find THC syrup when I go to San Francisco next month. Vaping is nice and clean however, expensive. I vaped everywhere including in the bathroom at that movie theater damn well knowing that I would get away with it because you cannot smell the pot at all. Careful about eating though. If you new, stick you something around 50mg. I prefer the 100 to 150 mg zone. Once I ate too much and went to the gym and was REALLY REALLY! High! It would have been great if I was in a better place like a concert. I really cannot stand smoking regular pot anymore and I have a lot of it.

  • Alucard_the_last

    Careful with edibles. Some are very delicious and it can be easy to eat too much. I did already and it was like LSD but not fun.

  • Coleen M Mac Isaac

    For me I ingest, almost a Tablespoon of Decarbed. cannabis a day, I do smoke a few in the evening & night before bed. I also use Distill ant, this helps keep me lifted, pain free, gives me my appetite back, & really helps with my nausea. It really has helped me mentally as well.

    • William Clements

      Agreed , I have the same routine