How to Use Cannabis… Without Smoking It

We look at the best ways to use marijuana without smoking.

The health dangers of smoking have been widely publicized. This has led to more and more people seeking alternative ways of using marijuana, especially those who need daily relief from medical conditions such as chronic pain.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to use cannabis without smoking it, and more novel methods are being dreamt up all the time. This means that now it is easier than ever to enjoy the benefits of weed without damaging your health. In this article, we will discuss some of the most popular options for using marijuana without smoking.

Is Smoking Marijuana Dangerous?

The majority of people are now aware that smoking tobacco is associated with numerous health risks. These range from mildly inconvenient to potentially fatal conditions such as lung cancer. Some of the biggest problems associated with smoking include:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancer
  • Head, neck, and other cancers
  • Increased risk of heart disease and strokes
  • Premature aging
  • Gum disease
  • Erectile dysfunction

Although smoking cannabis is not as dangerous as smoking cigarettes, it still carries some health risks of its own. Like tobacco, marijuana contains certain chemicals which are known to cause cancer. However, these are thought to be offset by other compounds in the plant, thus decreasing the risk to some degree.

Additionally, smoking anything can cause throat and lung irritation, and for people with respiratory diseases such as asthma, it simply may not be an option. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to get your marijuana fix, whether you are using it for recreational or medicinal purposes.

So, how do you use marijuana without smoking? Let’s take a look.

How to Use Marijuana Without Smoking It

There are a wide variety of different ways to use marijuana without smoking, and the best one for you depends on several factors. Whether you are using recreationally or medicinally will have some influence over your decision, as will whether you want to get high or not.

So, without further ado, let’s get stuck in. Here are our favorite ways to use weed without smoking:

Using a Vaporizer

Vaporizers have become more popular in recent years and are considered a healthier alternative to smoking. When you smoke cannabis, it is combusted at high temperatures, releasing potentially harmful chemicals and smoke. Vaporizers heat weed far more gently, allowing beneficial cannabinoids such as THC and CBD to escape but leaving the more dangerous chemicals behind.

Using a vaporizer is also thought to improve the flavor of cannabis as it leaves terpenes intact. Terpenes are the compounds which give marijuana its distinctive smell and taste but are also believed to have a range of health benefits. By adjusting your vape to the right temperature, you may even be able to customize your high by choosing which terpenes and cannabinoids you want to inhale.

Another significant advantage of vaping is that it works fast. This can be especially useful if you are stressed and need to calm down quickly or require immediate relief from pain.

There are many different types of vaporizer on the market. Some use dry herb, while others require specialized vape juice. You will also need to choose whether you want:

  • A handheld or desktop vape
  • Disposable vape pens or refillable cartridges
  • A conduction or convection vape

Check out our related article to read about some of the best vapes on the market today.


Dabbing is similar to vaping in that it produces vapor rather than smoke. However, there are also a couple of key differences.

Firstly, dabbing requires a dab rig rather than a vaporizer. A dab rig consists of a ‘nail’ which is usually made of metal or glass. This is heated with a butane lighter to a high temperature, allowing your marijuana to be vaporized when you drop it on.

Secondly, dabbing is a method used to smoke cannabis concentrates. There are many different types of concentrates, including:

  • Resin
  • Shatter
  • Wax
  • Budder

These concentrates are incredibly potent, sometimes containing as much as 90% THC! This means that they are great for recreational users with a high tolerance or those needing relief from chronic health issues. However, it also means that it is easy to overdo it and anyone who has never dabbed before should approach this method with caution.

When dabs are correctly produced, they provide an extremely pure and clean way to consume your weed. This fact, combined with their awesome potency, makes dabs one of the most popular methods of cannabis consumption today.

Marijuana Edibles

If vaping or dabbing is still too much like smoking for your taste, you could always try marijuana edibles instead. Edibles are a versatile and tasty way to enjoy weed, and it is great fun to experiment with different recipes.

If you want to make your own cannabis-infused treats, you will need to decarboxylate your cannabis first. Decarboxylation is the process of heating weed to convert THCA and CBDA into THC and CBD. THCA and CBDA are found in raw weed, and although they may still have some health benefits, they are not as active as their decarboxylated forms and will definitely not get you high.

Check out our complete guide to decarboxylation to find out more.

Edibles can take a while to kick in, possibly up to two hours or more. Many marijuana rookies have made the mistake of getting impatient and taking another dose too soon, then very quickly regretting it. Edibles are great fun, but they are strong and deserve to be treated with respect!

One of the major advantages of edibles is that although they take longer to work, the effects also last much longer. This makes them an excellent solution for anyone needing to medicate as you could get several hours of relief from a single dose.

If you plan on making a lot of edibles, it may be worth your while to whip up a batch of cannabutter or infused coconut oil. Although there are some recipes which call for fresh herb, cannabutter and oil are staple ingredients if you want to bake brownies or cookies, for example.

Cannabis Oils and Tinctures

Oils and tinctures are another great way to take marijuana by mouth. Oils are potent concentrates which can be taken as they are or added to food and drinks. Some people like to put them into capsule casings to make them more portable and easier to dose.

Like edibles, cannabis oil can take a while to start working, so be patient. It is also extremely strong, and inexperienced users should exercise caution.

Tinctures are a little different from oils in that they use alcohol as a solvent to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material. They are taken by placing a dose under the tongue and allowing it to dissolve. This allows the active compounds to bypass the digestive system and enter the bloodstream directly, making them much faster working than oils.

Oils and tinctures are a popular choice for people who want to benefit from cannabis without getting high as it is easy to get hold of products containing only CBD, the non-intoxicating part of the plant. This also means that certain CBD oils and tinctures are legal, even in states where marijuana is not.

Topical Cannabis Creams

Another way to use marijuana without smoking it is with topical creams and ointments. These are not a good solution for recreational users as they will provide very little in the way of a buzz.

However, they are ideal for people suffering from pain or skin conditions as they can be applied directly to the area where they are needed most. Many topical products also contain other ingredients to complement cannabis’ soothing effects, and the act of massaging the skin can be very healing in itself.

Marijuana Patches

Our final suggestion for how to use marijuana without smoking is transdermal patches. These are a fairly new invention, but they have several advantages over other methods of consuming cannabis.

Firstly, transdermal patches allow cannabinoids to be delivered straight into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system completely. They are also long-lasting, with the potential to offer several hours of relief. Simply apply a patch to unbroken, clean, dry skin and go about your day.

Another great thing about patches is that they are discreet. You can wear them in public without worrying about smelling of weed, and they can easily be hidden under your clothes. Choose a CBD only patch if you would prefer to benefit without the high.

Since they are so new, marijuana patches are not as widely available as some other products, but some companies specialize in them such as Mary’s Medicinals. Click the link to read our full review.

How to Use Marijuana Without Smoking It: Final Thoughts

Cannabis has long been associated with smoking, but there is no doubt that things are starting to change. With people becoming more aware of the dangers of smoking, it is easy to see why there are now so many alternatives available and more being created all the time.

Whether you are looking for the fast relief provided by vaping and dabbing or the longer-lasting effects of edibles or oils, there are a great variety of products from which to choose. There has never been a better time to reap the benefits of marijuana without damaging your health.

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