While millennials are pursuing cleaner and healthier cannabis products, Generation X and Baby Boomers continue to prefer smoking. This reflects the demographic breakdowns for smoking tobacco and while vaping is one solution, cannabis companies offer several others for inhaling cannabis. Before investing in cannabis, it’s important to know your spliff from your joint, your bong from your dab rig.
A spliff is a hand rolled cigarette that contains cannabis and loose leaf tobacco. Done for several reasons, the main two are frugality and mitigation. Parcelling the cannabis out into more cigarettes is a common technique for making it last longer. However, some people simply prefer spliff smoking as a way to mediate cannabis effects, especially when bought from an illicit source with unclear origin and potency. Tobacco helps “level out” the cannabis allowing the user better self dosing options.
A joint is a hand rolled cigarette containing solely cannabis. Smoked like a normal hand rolled cigarette, it provides a purer cannabis hit but has the same potential harm as smoking such as carcinogens and other toxic by-products.
A blunt is a cigar that has been hollowed out, leaving the tobacco leaf casing, which is then repacked with cannabis and smoked. In traditional cigar smoking, inhalation is not usually undertaken, the amount of nicotine in a cigar is such that a mouthful of smoke can deliver an adequate dose through the lining of the mouth. With a blunt, though, it occupies the same scale relationship to a joint that a cigar does to a cigarette, inhalation is common.
A bong consists of four parts: the mouthpiece, the reservoir, the downstem and the bowl. The bowl holds the smokable product and sits atop the downstem. The downstem connects to the revoir which has water in it and leads up to the mouthpiece. Fire is applied to cannabis in the bowl as a user draws on the mouthpiece creating a vacuum that pulls smoke through the water, which is then deeply inhaled. The water filters out heavier molecules such as tar and cools the smoke but also filters THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, meaning a greater amount must be smoked compared to joints or blunts.
Similar to a bong is a dab rig which allows inhaling cannabis extracts such as BHO. Shatter and other waxes and oils. The basic operation is like that of a bong, but instead of a bowl of product that is burnt, a dab of the extract is applied to a heated aperture where it vaporizes and is inhaled. Dab rigs often have a water reservoir though this is not essential as dabbing extracts have already been put through a refinement process by the cannabis companies that make them
Much is made of the emerging edibles market and declining desire to smoke in younger demographics; but smoking still accounts for over 50% of all consumed cannabis. Which means smoking methods, and their associated paraphernalia, will still be an option for those investing in cannabis for years to come.