Disclaimer: It's illegal to buy, possess or use cannabis for anything other than authorized medical or research purposes prior to Oct 17, 2018.

As someone who's decided to try cannabis to help manage pain or other illness, there isn't any better time to find a wide variety of products. This is good news for you if you have some health problems and want alternatives to how you consume cannabis.

Not all consumption methods are viable for cannabis users. What methods are available now, though? Since the last time you looked, other choices have probably gone mainstream.

Let's look at six specific types of cannabis consumption methods and their pros and cons.

Smoking Cannabis

Even you may remember doing this if you're old enough to have lived in the 1960s during the Counterculture Movement. Maybe you moved here to Canada from the U.S. to avoid the Vietnam War in those days, leading to a lifelong residency.

Cannabis was big in those days, but it was still illegal. Now with cannabis legalized here in Canada later this year, you have the choice to smoke cannabis freely.

Most studies show smoking cannabis gives you a psychoactive effect within minutes. In this regard, you can say smoking cannabis gives you the fastest results of any current method available. Yet, if your lungs can't hack smoke, it's obviously not the best choice.

Also, you have the problem of smoking around other people who don't want to contend with second-hand smoke in their vicinity.

Smoking products still range from classic joints to blunts.


The vaping method of consuming cannabis has become one of the most popular. While it's a bit similar to smoking, it heats the cannabis rather than burns it. For those with lung sensitivity, this is often considered a better option.

Debates still rage, though, about whether vaping is really a healthier alternative to the smoking method. Vape pens are now very small, allowing you to consume cannabis without creating a large smoke cloud. 


Cannabis tinctures, commonly referred to as green or golden dragon, are alcohol-based cannabis extracts. Arguably the most convenient method available for cannabis is tinctures. It's also the fastest method available for receiving medicinal benefits next to smoking.

It's actually one of the oldest cannabis consumption methods, going back more than 90 years in usage before cannabis prohibition began.

In liquid form, you'll feel results in about 15 minutes. 


A more recent consumption method is dabbing, which gives quite a powerful dose to those taking cannabis for medicinal purposes.

For dabbing, you're heating a small amount of cannabis concentrate, which is known as a "dab." You do this on a hot surface where it creates a strong vapour to inhale.

The method often involves a blowtorch, so it might seem crude. Thanks to an increase potency, it's worth it to those who want a fast pain reliever.


Being able to apply cannabis like a skin cream is becoming a very popular way to consume without smoking or inhaling. If all of the above are perhaps too complicated for you, simply using a topical system will still give you a fast effect.

Best of all, these are used for localized pain relief on your body. You'll be able to find these in lotions and even patches. Just be sure to wash your hands before applying a topical product.

Edibles or Infusion

No doubt you've already heard some about edibles. Cannabis edibles are food products that have been infused with cannabinoids - mostly commonly THC. Nearly any food product can be infused. Popular types of edibles are desserts and snacks, but you're seeing an emergence of regular meals and even beverages being infused. To consume you simply eat/digest a portion of the infused food item. Do keep in mind that the onset of the "high" in edibles is delayed when compared to other consumption methods. 

If you do choose to use edibles please use extreme caution and store them out of reach of children as they do pose a medical threat. 

Remember to always consult your doctor before beginning any type of wellness treatment.


Stay informed. Stay healthy.