Cannabis Consumption Methods: An Overview

Sep 9, 2022 | News

It can be easy to lose count of the many ways you can consume cannabis.

States like Colorado, which have legalized the recreational consumption of cannabis, have seen recreational dispensaries offer hundreds of products. You can get cannabis edibles, oils, tinctures, capsules, flowers, vapes, concentrates, and topicals.

Depending on your lifestyle and your health goals, you can choose the consumption method that best matches your needs. Do you want a discreet way to take your cannabis every morning? Think of capsules and oils. Do you like unwinding at the end of a difficult day? Then choose a cannabis vape or concentrate to help you relax.

Here at Mountain Annie’s, we have a large selection of marijuana products to fit your preferences. Take the time to browse our cannabis eshop and preorder your favorite products, or come in person and let our budtenders guide you to the best selection.

What Are the Different Types of Consumption?

Consumption methods can be classified according to how they reach the bloodstream. Marijuana can be:

  • Ingested
  • Inhaled
  • Applied topically to the skin
  • Placed under the tongue sublingually.

These are the four main ways you can enjoy your marijuana.

The method of consumption matters because each method has a direct impact on how fast cannabis reaches your system and how much of it enters the bloodstream. This is called bioavailability and, besides referring to the amount of a substance that ends up in your blood, also shows how much of it has an actual effect on you.


When you inhale cannabis, its various compounds enter your lung capillaries and go directly to your lungs. From there, it enters the bloodstream. This makes inhalation one of the most effective and almost instantaneous ways to benefit from cannabis. The THC starts taking effect within minutes and almost 50% of the cannabis consumed reaches your bloodstream.


Unlike inhalation, ingestion takes cannabis through the stomach. Once it is broken down there, it reaches the liver, where it is metabolized. From there, it will finally enter the bloodstream.

As a result of this long journey, edibles such as gummies, pills, capsules, and oils take longer to have an effect. Also, a smaller percentage of the initial THC will ultimately reach the bloodstream because many cannabis compounds will be lost during the metabolizing process.

Ingested cannabis takes longer to take effect, usually around 2 hours, but lasts longer than inhaled THC.


Creams, lotions, and other topical products can be applied locally to the skin for localized well-being. The effect takes longer to manifest because the skin is a great barrier to anything trying to enter the body. Also, the effect is localized to where you have applied the topical. Topicals are great to take the edge off painful joints, occasional skin issues, and sore muscles.


You have probably heard of tinctures. The way tinctures work is by placing a drop under your tongue and waiting for a minute for the tongue capillaries to absorb the cannabis. By bypassing the digestive system, the THC reaches the bloodstream fast—in as little as 15 minutes—and offers high bioavailability.

Besides the method of consumption, another factor that can influence your choice of cannabis products is the various categories you can find.

What Are Some Different Types of Cannabis Products?

Cannabis Flowers

The most common way to get cannabis into your system is by smoking cannabis flowers. These are typically harvested and dried so you can then roll them in a joint and smoke them.

Many cannabis dispensaries, including Mountain Annie’s, offer pre-rolls to save you the trouble of rolling your joint. Pre-rolls come in a variety of cannabis strains so you can choose your strength and flavor according to your needs: do you want something relaxing, something to boost your creativity, or something to energize your day?


Marijuana concentrates have the most THC content, often beyond 90%—which makes them one of the most potent marijuana products. To consume cannabis concentrates, you need a dab rig or a special water pipe where you will heat a nail and then apply a small quantity of your concentrate. As it burns, you inhale the vapor.

Pills and Capsules

Pills and capsules contain a specific percentage of THC, thus making it easy to calculate how much THC you are getting in a day.

Pills and capsules can be taken with food or on their own. They are usually made with cannabis oil and a carrier oil that carries the marijuana into the body.

Because it can take a while for THC to reach the bloodstream, you should wait 2-3 hours before taking another dose.


Chocolates, gummies, candies, and cupcakes qualify as edibles. Since they are easily ingested, you can include them in your daily diet. If you keep track of how many you have eaten, you can effortlessly calculate how much THC enters your system.

Remember that edible THC is metabolized through the liver, so only a small percentage actually reaches your bloodstream.

Vape Pen

If you like the immediate effect of inhaling, you can opt for a cannabis vape pen. This is a portable device that works with a battery. You insert a cannabis cartridge, which is heated thanks to the vape pen. You then inhale the vapor it produces.

Although it can be harder to measure the amount of THC you are inhaling, you can still calculate it because every draw can be measured. The effect is almost immediate and lasts for 2-3 hours.


Gels, lotions, creams, and other topical applications qualify as cannabis topicals. You can apply them to your skin for skin, joint, or muscle relief. You can also find cannabis patches, which adhere to the skin and let THC slowly seep in until it reaches the bloodstream.

Cannabis patches are more effective than the rest of the topicals because they manage to pierce the skin and reach the bloodstream. Other topicals have a more localized and superficial effect. In addition, it can be hard to evaluate how much THC you are getting, as different people will apply a cream in different ways.

Trust Mountain Annie’s for the Best Marijuana Products in Colorado

We are constantly improving our range of marijuana products from vetted cannabis producers. Our budtenders will help you make an informed choice about which cannabis strains and methods of consumption best work for you.

We suggest you get small quantities of different marijuana products and try them at home, at your own pace. Once you have evaluated which one works for you, you can converge on specific strains and products that match your needs. Find out more about Mountain Annie’s cultivation process or visit one of our four locations in Ridgeway, Durango, Silverton, and Cortez, open Monday to Sunday, 8:00 am-8:00 pm, to let our budtenders guide you to the perfect product for you.

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