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3 Alternatives to Smoking Weed (and 2 reasons to put down the bong)

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I’m going to start this out by saying that I have nothing philosophically against smoking cannabis every now and again.

I still use my hitter box and smoke the occasional beautifully blended joint from Sacred Smoke.

And I used to smoke a lot more. I mean a LOT more.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I had a bong, and that bong had a name.

That bong’s name was Edna.

I smoked a ton of weed out of that bong.

When I got my first one-hitter, I realized that small amounts worked better for my chronic pain than big old Edna did.

Plus, weed was very expensive back then and smoking a one hitter saved me money (as much as 80% of my money actually… see reason #2 below).

Over the course of many years, I eventually learned about edibles and tinctures, CBD and CBG, microdosing and topicals.

I started crafting oils and infusing alcohol and became a kitchen witch.

Now I make remedies for my friends and family and I do experiments and teach people what I know for a living.

I still smoke a little weed now and again, but I said goodbye to the bong.

Other methods are more fun and interesting to me and they feel much better.

I think it’s a pretty good story, but I realize it’s not what everyone’s going for.

Your story may sound like this.

I smoked weed forever. It was good. The end.

And that’s awesome!

I say, if you find something that works for you, do your thing.

But lately, I’ve heard from so many people who want to quit smoking altogether or cut back as much as possible.

And I’m also going to say that the journey to exploring cannabis for health and wellness is really fulfilling.

The more you understand about how magical this plant is and how it interacts with the human body, the more fun it gets.

Plus, it’s the type of learning that could have a real impact on your life.

If you could figure out how to use cannabis in a way that consistently makes you feel better and better (and better), wouldn’t that be great?

If you could use it in a way that not only expanded your consciousness, but also made your body more relaxed and less prone to pain, without giving you the munchies or ALWAYS making you forget where your keys are, wouldn’t that be awesome?

If you could adapt it to different situations and issues when they come up and use this one plant medicine for whatever comes your way in this life, wouldn’t that be dope?

I’m not saying that smoking is bad… mm’kay.

I’m just saying that there are other, really interesting things you can do with this plant.

There are ways to use it that could take you beyond what you thought was possible for yourself.

That’s why today, I want to share 3 different options to explore outside of the pipe.

alternatives to smoking weed


1. Topicals

When I talk to complete strangers about cannabis, topicals usually cause the most confusion.

They’ve heard of smoking and maybe edibles, but topicals?

What are those?

And do they really work or is someone just trying to make a buck on the cannabis boom?

A topical is just an infused oil, salve or lotion applied to the skin.

sprayable weed lube in bottles

Simple, right?

The simplest of all cannabis ingestion methods, topicals are non-intoxicating (even when they are jam packed with THC) and it’s impossible to have an overdose experience… unless you go licking your arm.

While we have limited research (welcome to cannabis!), people have been using cannabis topically for years with great success.

So the reason I like topicals – and this is the big one – they work for so many people for so many things.

They’re non-intoxicating, versatile (from arthritis relieving pain salve to the mind-blowing experience of Weed Lube), and they’re easy to make.

You can find out more about topicals here.


2. Tinctures

Tinctures are typically made with alcohol, but you can also use oil based infusions (like MCT oil “tincture”) under the tongue to get similar effects. 

So why would you?

Outside of smoking, tinctures are the easiest to dose.

weed freezer tincture looks like

The effects come on quickly and don’t last as long as edibles but last longer than smoking, so it’s easy to find a dose that works for you. Great for beginners or for anyone wanting to explore more controlled dosing.

This is especially helpful when using THC dominant tinctures.

With non-intoxicating cannabinoids like CBD and CBG effects are less noticeable, but I’ve found that taking smaller doses of those cannabinoids in tincture form throughout the day seems to work better than taking a lot all at once.

You can read more about the benefits of cannabis tinctures here.


3. Edibles

Now, obviously I’m biased, but even though I don’t use that much THC anymore, I still infuse a lot of my food with cannabis.

Just yesterday, a student at the Cannabis Coaching Institute said in our mentorship call, “If my food doesn’t taste like it has some CBD in it now, I don’t trust it.”

cannabis infused caramel sauce

Obviously she was kidding, but edibles have come so far and are also excellent delivery method for all of the cannabinoids.

We’ve gone beyond the brownie and the space cake and are entering a new era where we cook with this powerful plant medicine in a variety of ways.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of edibles, you can check out that post here.


4. Reason #1 – Get Healthier Than Ever

Like I said before, smoking cannabis occasionally isn’t bad mm’kay. I’m a moderate in every sense of the word.

But it all really depends on your health goals and where you’re at on your journey.

When I started using other ingestion methods and other cannabinoids, a whole new world opened up to me. My life and my health continues to improve. I’ve seen it with clients and students again and again.

corinne tobias cannabis coach

It’s not just about quitting smoking, it’s about starting a new exploration and journey with health and cannabis.

And it’s worth it.

5. Reason #2 – The big one: Save Money

They don’t say things go “up in smoke” by accident. That’s literally what happens to your cash when you light your cannabis on fire.

Researchers have found that when you smoke a joint, as little as 20% of the cannabinoids make their way into your bloodstream. 

40-50% are lost in side stream smoke and the other 30% are completely destroyed by the heat.

So for every $200 ounce you buy, you really might as well set $160 on fire.

Smoking small amounts out of a one-hitter can help with the smoke loss, but the real way to save is by infusing those cannabinoids into something else.

I know that making the transition from smoking as your main ingestion method can be a challenge, but I want to invite you to see it as an opportunity.

An opportunity to save money, get healthier than ever and to truly learn how incredible this plant medicine can be.

If you’re ready to take the journey, you can grab my ecookbook Dazed + Infused and I’ll guide you through the process and teach you a ton of cool stuff along the way.

Questions, comments? Fire em away below.

While we can’t answer every question individually, we put them on the docket for future blog posts and publish them so other community members can help.







P.S. This post was part of our series on ingestion methods. You can also explore the benefits of edibles, topicals, and other alternatives to smoking cannabis.


Corinne Tobias

My name is Corinne Tobias and I’m the creator of this site that is all about cannabis and health (and having a good time combining those things!). Since 2013, I’ve helped millions of people on their cannabis journey and have been featured in publications like High Times, Merry Jane, Jezelbel, Westword, and Vice.

5 thoughts on “3 Alternatives to Smoking Weed (and 2 reasons to put down the bong)”

  1. What about vaping flower? You don’t seem to mention that as a healthier and more economical alternative to smoking. Thanks.

    1. Good eye Chezz! I was waiting to test two new vaporizers before including it on this page. I still haven’t found
      “the one” and they’re a much more hefty investment than the other alternatives, so they don’t quite fit with my “save money” argument unless I can find one that’s more consistent. So far I like the DaVinci line, but am testing their new device asap and will report back.

  2. Just saw your “This Changed Everything” email from this morning, and had to quibble with one thing you wrote: I have yet to read any joke here that I would consider “cringe-worthy.” Not sure what that says about my own sense of humor, but there it is.

  3. Thanks for this. I just found out I have COPD and I’ve been using a bong for at least 40 years. I never really got the relief from edibles, but now I will explore other options, such as tincture. Thanks again.

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