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Although awareness about marijuana’s great variety of health benefits has seen a rising trend in the recent past, healthier ways of cannabis consumption are still often undervalued or overlooked by cannabis users. But what’s the point of supporting your body with benevolent remedies, on the one hand, while, on the other hand, causing harm through its consumption? Here are the best methods for improving the quality of your cannabis habits.
1. Stop using tobacco
Nowadays it won’t come as a surprise to anyone when it gets pointed out that the consumption of tobacco is bad for your health and may lead to serious medical conditions, such as cancer or chronic bronchitis. Still, it is very common for cannabis users to mix their herbs with the dried tobacco plant in order to consume cannabis through smoking, especially in European countries.
Mixing cannabis and tobacco instead of using pure marijuana may have rational reasoning behind it, such as saving costs or avoiding too intense effects of THC, but there are many tobacco substitutes out there that should be taken into consideration if you want to treat your own body with care. Such substitutes come in the form of herbs like Kanna, lavender, kratom and damiana, amongst others.
While it was supposedly very popular amongst ancient tribes like the Aztecs, smoking these herbs is relatively unpopular today, but it may see a renaissance because of the growing number of tobacco opposers.
Both Kanna’s and lavender’s effect are said to ease stress and nervousness, and Kanna can even boost self-confidence when dosed correctly. Damiana has aphrodisiac effects and is also used to mitigate headaches and chronic pain, the same goes for the South-East Asian plant kratom, which is traditionally used for pain treatment and withdrawal from opioid addiction.
These are just a handful of viable tobacco substitutes that help consumers to avoid the harmful effects of nicotine and other harmful substances. At the same time, these herbs provide you with the opportunity to adjust the effects of THC to your desire while also spicing up your smoking experience.
Many more alternatives, as well as interesting mixtures of different herbs, can be found online.
2. Use activated carbon filter tips
While avoiding tobacco and it’s carcinogenic potential and tar creation is a good thing, smoking itself must be treated with caution if you want to orientate towards healthier living.
Regardless of what plant or herb you smoke, the process of burning physical matter and then inhaling it poses a significant threat to the well being of your body when you are not using adequate filters. Unfortunately, the casual consumption of cannabis in the form of joints often involves a cardboard filter tip, which is not a real filter at all since it doesn’t actually filter the passing air, instead, it only prevents material from falling out of the joint.
Regular cellulose filters, such as those used in cigarettes, are proven to be quite useless in terms of health protection, leaving active charcoal filters as the best alternative. Active charcoal filters are more effective at filtering out burnt material that otherwise gets dragged into the consumer’s lungs and, provided that they’re not made out of cellulose fibres, prevent the filter material from entering the lungs upon inhalation.
Furthermore, they cool down the smoke before it enters the body, which is good since hot smoke is harmful to the bronchia and should, therefore, be avoided altogether. Hot smoke is another very unhealthy aspect of spliffs and smoking pipes.
3. Vaping instead of smoking
If the benefits of using active charcoal filters do not convince you, a different style of “smoking” may be the right answer. After all, vaping has become a tremendously popular and widely adopted way of consuming cannabis, especially amongst people who are looking for a healthier alternative to smoking.
Vaporizers typically use a glass or metal chamber to heat the marijuana buds. The heat is derived from an electrical current that’s passing through the chamber. This way, the temperature can be controlled very easily and the vapor which is created is of very minimal combustion, meaning much less smoke is inhaled.
Vaporizers have become popular with marijuana users not only for their ability to accurately control the heating temperature, allowing just the THC containing vapor to be extracted, but also because the vaped cannabis can oftentimes be reused for another session.
4. Cooking with marijuana
Marijuana edibles probably represent the safest and most healthy way of consumption, provided that the product is kept free of big amounts of sugar and other unhealthy substances like trans fats.
At the same time, edibles leave a lot of room for creativity: From brownies, cookies, butter and dressings to even grilled cheese, the list of ways to turn cannabis into delightful dishes is virtually endless. When making cannabis edibles yourself, take care that the applied temperature is not too high because THC completely degrades at 392 degrees Fahrenheit / 200 degrees Celsius and CBD will begin to evaporate at temperatures higher than 320 to 356 degrees Fahrenheit / 160 – 180 degrees Celsius.
Consumers of cannabis edibles also have to be aware that the desired effects take much longer to unfold since the active components have to enter the bloodstream through the liver. For many people, this will still be the favored method because absolutely no smoke particles will enter the body, making it a much healthier cannabis consumption method.
5. Switch to high-CBD marijuana strains
While smoking is certainly one of the main downsides of cannabis consumption in today’s world, there seems to be a further risk that emerges when consuming marijuana strains in the 21st century. As recent studies suggest, greatly potent cannabis strains, especially those with high amounts of THC, might be linked to mental illnesses and psychoses. Even though many experts believe that less than 0.1 percent of all marijuana users — mainly people who have a latent predisposition for psychoses — might be affected by this, it still bears a considerable risk.
However, there seems to be a component that greatly reduces the strongly psychotic effects of THC and it is called cannabidiol, or CBD. This popular cannabinoid is known to be a natural antagonist of THC due to its anti-psychotic nature. Doctors who are experienced with medical marijuana often refer to the right ratio between THC and CBD, in order to get the best out of both cannabinoids.
Related: CBD Seeds: What You Should Know
There are several ways of how you could use CBD to decrease your risk of developing psychosis. On the one hand, you could simply buy or grow cannabis strains with THC:CBD ratios of at least 2:1. If this is hard to achieve, for example since you live in an illegal country or state, you could potentially buy legal “CBD-only” strains, as they are available in most European countries, and then mix them with your THC-containing marijuana. If pure CBD buds are also prohibited in your region, you could still try to get CBD extracts, oils and other products.