If you’re new to the world of psychoactive cannabinoids, you’ll probably gravitate towards the easy stuff. Tasty treats like gummies and baked goods immediately make your mouth water and set you tummy a’rumblin’. It’s true, edible products are great for beginners due to their sweet flavor and ease of use. But what happens when you’re short on time or don’t want to stay high for hours at a time? Edibles fall short when it comes to both of these factors. The effects of edibles are typically delayed by an hour, meaning you’ll have to calculate when you want to get high and hope that the high doesn’t keep you from falling asleep. Inhalables, on the other hand, start in a matter of minutes and the effects are usually short-lived. If you’re curious to learn about the different types of inhalables on the market, you’ve come to the right place!
The Learning Curve Of Using Inhalables
There’s several reasons why inhalables might intimidate newbies and inexperienced users, but the biggest one is that they really don’t know where to start. If you’ve never vaped or smoked before, trying to blindly figure out the unknown is quite a hurdle to overcome. In this article, I’ll be outlining the different types of inhalables, how to use them, and some of the various equipment necessary to use them. It’s true that inhalables are best used by those with prior knowledge of vaping or smoking, but with practice, even the most inexperienced user can enjoy and even prefer inhalables to edibles.
Inhalables are the ideal choice for those who want to quickly relax after a long day but can also be enjoyed during the day. The effects tend to start after about five minutes, but some can take up to 15 minutes to fully kick in. Depending on the amount inhaled, the high can last for several minutes up to an hour or two. It’s difficult to pinpoint the perfect dosage with inhalables, but manufacturers will typically suggest that you start with 1-3 puffs. Be sure to wait a few minutes before taking additional hits; as you feel the effects start to wane, taking additional hits can keep the high going. Remember, you can always increase your dosage over time, but once you’ve taken several hits, there’s no going back! You’ll be at the mercy of the high until it fades after about an hour or so. Now that you have a basic understanding of how inhalables work, it’s time to discuss some of the most common forms of inhalables!
Disposables: The Simplest Inhalable
As the name suggests, disposables are ready to use right out of the box and should be properly disposed of once their useful life is complete. A disposable device comes in two options: pre-charged or rechargeable. Pre-charged disposables are charged before they’re sold and don’t usually have an extensive battery life. While this is an easier option for users who don’t want to invest in hardware or waste time charging their device, pre-charged disposables can prematurely expire before the liquid within the chamber has been completely exhausted.
Rechargeable disposables, on the other hand, have a charging port that can be charged with a microUSB or type-C charging cable. You might get lucky and snag a disposable that comes with a charging cable, but most manufacturers assume you have some type of charging cable already and won’t need an additional one included. The decision to not include charging cables also helps keep the price low. If you’re on a budget, a pre-charged disposable might be the cheaper option. If you’re trying to get as much use as you can in a single device, rechargeable disposables are for you.
Most disposables are draw-activated, meaning you simply take a breath and the device will activate. I’ve come across a few that have firing buttons that must be pressed while you’re inhaling in order to activate the device. Some will have a bright LED light on the bottom that will let you know the device is firing. Some will have little windows or clear chambers that will allow you to see how much liquid remains. While disposables are indeed the simplest inhalable device to use, they’re also one of the most varied devices on the market.
Vape Cartridges: The Next Level
Vape cartridges, often shortened to just “cartridges” or “carts,” are one step higher than disposable devices. With rechargeable disposables, the only equipment you’ll need is a charging cable. But vape cartridges will need a specialized device before you can use them. This device is called a “battery” but it can also be called a vape pen or a pen-style vaporizer. You can find vape battery pens for as little as $10 while some can cost $50 and more. Some will have OLED screens that display battery life, ohm readings, wattage and volt information, and so forth.
Once you’ve selected a vape battery that you’re comfortable with, you’re ready to choose a vape cartridge. Vape cartridges are fairly standard in their design: a 510-screw connection, a metal base, an atomizer to transform the thick oil into vapor, a plastic mouthpiece with a small hole, and rubber stoppers on the mouthpiece and base of the cartridge. The cartridges will indicate a specificid cannabinoid content, a sativa, indica or hybrid strain, and flavor listed on the product packaging. Most cartridges won’t have any information listed on the actual vape cartridge, so you should have some form of categorization if you plan on having more than one vape cartridge in your possession.
Pre-rolls: The Lazy Smoker’s Savior
Pre-rolls are exactly what they sound like: pre-rolled joints that are ready to use right out of the box. They consist of finely ground CBD flower that’s been infused with a specific cannabinoid: Delta-8, Delta-9, Delta-10, HHC, THC-O, and sometimes combinations of several cannabinoids. The finely ground flower is wrapped up in a rolling paper and a filter and is usually topped off with sprinkled kief around the fat edge of the blunt. The only equipment you’ll need to use pre-rolls is a lighter (and maybe an ashtray if you’re smoking indoors).
Pre-rolls can be bought in quantities or as a single joint. Their size and price usually depends on the manufacturer and total cannabinoid strength. Pre-rolls are beloved by lazy smokers, but are still considered a rarity on the market. As more users discover their usefulness, you’ll start to see more companies offer them. If you’re not a smoker or aren’t quite sure how to use them properly, you might be tempted to write them off as a more advanced-user item. But make no mistake, this particular form of an inhalable is wildly popular once you get the hang of it.
Smokeable Flower: Where It All Starts
Smokeable flower is the absolute beginning when it comes to the evolution of inhalables. All of the previously mentioned forms of inhalables originate from hemp, specifically CBD flower. You should steer clear of any brand that advertises raw or organic Delta-8 THC, HHC, or THC-O flower, as it simply does not exist in nature but is actually infused (or sprayed) with the psychoactive compound.
Out of all the cannabinoids, CBD is the most abundantly-found cannabinoid in the hemp plant. All of the other cannabinoids are found in extremely small quantities and will require some chemical processing before they are viable. This is also why CBD is more readily available in products and doesn’t face the same intense scrutiny as other cannabinoids on the market. You with me so far? Great! Let’s keep going.
In order to use smokeable flower properly, you’ll need to invest in several pieces of hardware. First and foremost, you’ll need a grinder. While it’s true that you can sit there and manually remove the seeds and stalks from the flower, this process is much less time-consuming with a grinder. Once you have a sizable pile of ground up flower, you’ll have a few options when it comes to smoking: you can load the grounds into an empty cigarette cartridge, roll your own joint, or use a specialized herbalizer.
- An empty cigarette cartridge is a simple way to smoke your flower since cigarettes are readily available in convenience stores, gas stations, etc. You’ll need to shake out the tightly packed tobacco until you’re left with an empty paper and filter. You can use your fingers or a dampening tool to tightly pack in the ground up flower and you have your very own homemade pre-roll. This method requires the least amount of effort and is probably the least expensive, not to mention one of the simplest to use.
- Rolling your own joint will take time and practice to perfect. I’ll be tackling this subject specifically in an upcoming article for those who seek to create the perfect joint, but it’s fairly similar to the empty cigarette cartridge method. You’ll have a lot more creativity when it comes to rolling your own joint, as you can choose to make the joint as fat or small as you want. In addition to a grinder, you’ll need an ashtray and rolling papers to create your homemade joint.
- If you’re not keen on doing either of the two, you can opt for using a specialized herbalizer. Specialized herbalizers have a small chamber that you can load the ground flower into and a tip where you can take hits as you please. However, herbalizers are often expensive and must be charged prior to use. If you’ve never used one, I strongly encourage you to spend some time reading the instruction manual and getting familiar with the device before you cram freshly ground flower into a random compartment and hope for the best.
Dabs: The Honorable Mentions
Dabs are considered add-ons and aren’t as widely popular as some of the other forms mentioned. As the name suggests, dabs are designed to be “dabbed” onto a pre-roll or joint in order to intensify the high. You can also dab a small amount onto your finger and swallow it like a tincture. Dabs often come in small plastic syringes that must be warmed before the thick oil will be liquidy enough to ooze out. The term “syringe” is only in reference to the shape of the packaging and cannot actually be used as a true needle-like syringe.
The only reason I mention dabs at all is if you wish to enhance your current smoking experience with a small amount of cannabinoid-infused oil. The oil in these syringes is the same oil found in vape cartridges and disposables, just in a different packaging. Dabs require several pieces of equipment to use properly and can be frustrating for new and inexperienced users, which is why I only mention it to bring awareness. I will be doing a more in-depth article on dabs and syringes in the future, but right now I simply include it as it can be used as an add-on to your pre-rolls and joints.
Whew! You made it! In the amusing voice of roller-coaster operators, “How was your ride?” The world of inhalables is a fascinating one and hopefully I’ve helped shed some light on this intimidating category of cannabinoid-infused products. Whether you already have experience with smoking or vaping or simply wish to broaden your horizon in terms of all that the market has to offer, inhalables can offer a fast-acting high that is short-lived. Inhalables are ideal for both day- and nighttime use and can help deliver you to a dreamy euphoria in a matter of minutes. Here at Erth Hemp, we offer HHC disposables (Melon Gum or Golden Goat), a THC-O disposable called Apple Jack, and five unique Delta-8 THC disposables (Wedding Cake, Bomb Pop, Sugar Punch, Grand Daddy Purple, and Green Crack). If you’re ready to dip your toe into the inhalable whirlpool, I highly encourage you to check out all the inhalable options we have to offer. Be sure to share your experiences with the rest of us in the comments below! We look forward to seeing you again soon!