6 Healthy Ways To Consume Cannabis
Looking for smoking alternatives? Try these options instead.
Published on December 7, 2015

Marijuana enthusiasts are some of the most creative people on the planet. It’s only right that some of that creative energy gets invested back into the field that inspired it—namely, cannabis consumption. Particularly in recent years, these practices have been developing rapidly to keep up with health trends that fitness-forward cannabis users are looking for.

While studies on the subject are still few and far between, marijuana’s medicinal and natural components are proven to have major health benefits. Consumers are now looking for practices that maximize these health benefits and minimize the potential dangers of cannabis use or side effects from smoking the herb.

Here are some proposed healthier ways to consume marijuana that may allow you to enjoy more responsibly and without the risks involved with other practices of cannabis consumption.


Marijuana tea is perfect for when you come home from work and simply want to sit down, watch TV and relax without encountering the negative effects of smoke inhalation. Extraction methods can be quite complicated, however, so we suggest you follow the easiest method available to make yourself a cup. If you're looking for a quicker option, consider dissolving cannabutter into your tea or even coffee. You can make this butter/marijuana combo yourself by heating the herbal cannabis or resin along with butter on your stovetop, ensuring that no other chemicals are added to your concoction.

Of course, if you're not looking to have a full high and just want a warm cup, you can also steep your herbs in hot water as you would normal tea leaves. This method ensures that no THC leaves the herb and you’re left with a drink that has little to no psychoactive effects.


An alternative to smoking or vaporizing, consuming cannabis-infused foods is an increasingly popular trend among marijuana enthusiasts. For chronic pain sufferers, edibles can also provide longer lasting relief, making them a good option for patients. 

Sometimes, though, you'll want a break from high-calorie, marijuana-infused cookies. For health-conscious snackers, try purchasing marijuana-infused granola mixes made with dried fruits and kosher salts. Sprinkle this on your morning yogurt, bake some homemade granola bars or mix it into a salad for a healthy boost. You can also look for edibles company's that value healthy choices, like Julie’s Natural Edibles. With legalization on the rise, there are more options to select from as a consumer, meaning you're not stuck with boring brownies.

If you're feeling brave, you can try whipping up your own edibles. This gives you the opportunity to select the ingredients you feel most comfortable with. Start with a recipe you love and substitute the fat (usually butter) with cannabutter. This way, you'll know exactly what's in your next snack and can also cater to any dietary restrictions you may have.


Topicals are cannabis-infused balms or creams used primarily for localized pain relief and skin care. Unlike other methods of cannabis use, topicals don't produce a high in their users. Instead, patients receive the therapeutic benefits of marijuana directly through their skin without worrying about damaging their lungs or consuming too high of a dose. The chemical compounds found in cannabis can affect CB1 and CB2 receptors located in hair follicles, sweat glands and nerve fiber bundles, giving topicals direct access without affecting the bloodstream or brain.

Some current treatment uses for topicals include burn treatment, skin elasticity improvement and even cancer treatment. Beyond more clinical uses, these THC-rich rubs are also being used to treat muscle soreness and inflammation in athletes, widening the spectrum of users of cannabis products.


A recently revived method of cannabis consumption involves the extraction of cannabis' goodness using alcohol and whole cannabis plants (usually the flowers and trim leaves). The extracted liquid, called tincture, is ingested orally, usually with several drops of the liquid placed under the tongue. In this way, it’s rapidly absorbed into the arterial system and its effects are felt quickly. Tinctures can alternatively be mixed into teas or other beverages, but the absorption is slowed as it occurs in the GI tract. 

If you're not into the taste, you may be interested in trying a cannabis-infused honey tincture in your morning coffee or tea. Alternatively, you can dilute the potent liquid in water or juice. Because of how these tinctures are prepared, they often have limited psychoactive effects while delivering therapeutic results, making it a good way to start your day.


For the health-conscious cannabis consumer, the recent trend of juicing presents a completely new way to enjoy the benefits of marijuana without having to deal with some potentially undesirable side effects. By blending up raw, fresh cannabis leaves with vegetable or fruit juice, individuals can enjoy a healthy, tasty treat on-the-go without worrying about the smoke associated with vaporizing or smoking a joint. Plus, juicing your cannabis means avoiding the THC released when marijuana is heated, allowing you to enjoy the flavor of the flower without getting high.


Although the technology is still relatively new compared to traditional smoking methods, vaporizers appeal to the health-conscious consumer by allowing them to choose the temperature in which they essentially “cook” their marijuana. These temperatures allow you to enjoy specific components of the herb while avoiding toxins that are released if you burn it. 100% calorie and sugar-free, vaporizing cannabis is also said to eliminate up to 95 percent of smoke produced during combustion, protecting the lungs from the irritation that can lead to respiratory issues.

These devices can vaporize either concentrated cannabis wax, oil or dry herbs, but each has its own particular benefits. Waxes and oils are extremely potent, containing up to 60% more THC than marijuana buds, but there might still be residual fats, lipids and butane in wax if it is improperly purged. Instead, try oils, which are some of the most natural and safest concentrates available to use in your vaporizer.

These methods are great not only because they eliminate smoke, but they also allow you to have a variety of choices while controlling your dose. Added bonus? They can help nix any cigarette-related habits that smoking cannabis might be related to. Explore these methods to find the one—or two or three—that works best for you.

MERRY JANE is based in Los Angeles, California and is dedicated to elevating the discussion around cannabis culture.
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