Send This To Your Mom is a series of short, informational posts on weed and weed culture for people who have absolutely no idea about weed and weed culture. Finally, here’s your chance to email your mom a million links to articles about weed she never asked for. To start, let’s explain the basic differences between blunts and joints.
We get it! New experiences are scary, and things that seem simple can suddenly feel totally alien when faced with a new setting. So, enter our JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE as we parse through the various ways to inhale weed.
The following may seem obvious, but try passing a three-foot, double-percolator bong to your mother and see how she handles the hit. Similarly, try passing her a vape pen for the first time. Do you want to witness a coughing fit that overwhelms the bejeezus out of her? Likely not, so have her peep these tips about holding in that sweet THC first.
On Smoking Weed...
So, let’s talk about smoking weed. When you smoke weed, you’re burning cannabis to inhale the smoke, which crosses the blood-air barrier in your lungs to deliver the cannabinoids to your body by way of the bloodstream.
Obviously, smoke can be harsh on lungs, so when inhaling you’ll want to keep that in mind. Think of smoking weed like when you would suck in a little helium from a balloon to change your voice: breathe a little in, hold it in your body, then let it out. The duration of the hold and how deep you draw the smoke in depends entirely on your comfort and experience level.
Take shallow sips of the smoke at first, until you know your limits. NOTE: Unlike cigar smoke — which no one told me you are only supposed to hold in your mouth — you’ll want to actually breathe in marijuana smoke, not just roll it around your tongue.
There are harsher and less harsh ways of imbibing: blunts and spliffs have tobacco in them, which can make the smoke rougher on your lungs; pipes and joints only contain weed, but hitting them can still be more intense than, say, a bubbler or a bong, which pulls the smoke through water to lessen particulate matter. If you have sensitive lungs, you’ll want to invest in just such a water pipe/bubbler/bong, so that less physical material is hitting your lungs and irritating them with each inhalation.
On Vaping Weed…
When you vaporize weed, what you’re inhaling is sort of like chemical-laden steam. Instead of smoke, oil is heated to a degree below combustion, so that it becomes a vapor. Some people find oil vapes to be less harsh physically, but vaporizers will intensify the effects of whatever high you’re trying to achieve. And while you may find you’re a pro when it comes to holding in smoke, vapes can feel harsher on the lungs if held in for a long time. Plus, they can make you sneeze, too. This is because while it’s not smoke, hot air can still irritate the lungs. To alleviate this feeling, try keeping your vape pen set between 350-375 F.
You should take shallower hits from your vaporizer, and hold them in for less time than a hit of smoke. This is because the chemicals are waaaay more concentrated. As a result, what would get you high over a slow hour of smoking might get you high in only a few minutes when steadily vaporizing. And a dry throat is just as common with vapes as it is with smoking, so always keep some water or tea on hand when the dry mouth hits.
However you’re inhaling weed: START SLOW! If anyone makes fun of you for taking your time, or coughing up a lung during the first few hits, just ask them about the first time they ever tried pot. No one is born a Ganja Lord, but must be made into such. Happy smoking and/or vaping!
Follow Shelby Fero on Twitter