Page: Preparations for Human Consumption
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Cannabis is prepared for human consumption in several forms:
* Marijuana or ganja: the leaves and flowering tops of female plants,1960’s: 1-3% THC; 1990’s: up to 8-10%
* Hashish or charas: a concentrated resin composed of glandular trichomes and vegetative debris that has been physically extracted, usually by rubbing, sifting, or with ice
* Kief or kif: 1) the chopped flowering tops of female cannabis plants, often mixed with tobacco; 2) Moroccan hashish produced in the Rif mountains; 3) sifted cannabis trichomes consisting of only the glandular "heads" (often incorrectly referred to as "crystals" or "pollen")
* Bhang: a beverage prepared by grinding cannabis leaves in milk and boiling with spices and other ingredients
* Hash oil: an oily mixture resulting from chemical extraction or distillation of the THC-rich parts of the plant, THC usually ~ 10-20%?up to 70%
* Budder: hash oil whipped to incorporate air, making it more like butter
These forms are not exclusive, and mixtures of two or more different forms of cannabis are frequently consumed. Between the many different strains of cannabis and the various ways that it is prepared, there are innumerable variations similar to the wide variety of mixed alcoholic beverages that are consumed.
There are a wide variety of methods and apparatus for smoking cannabis. The most popular include the joint, the blunt, the bong, the pipe (more commonly called a "bowl" or "piece"), the shotgun, the chillum, the deffy and the one-hitter or "bat." Cannabis is sometimes smoked within a small enclosed area (such as a car) to trap the smoke, so that it is inhaled with every breath. This is often referred to as "hotboxing," "fishbowling," "baking," "jeaning," "clam-baking," "green-housing," creating a "potmosphere," or (in Australia), a "compression session." One can also smoke marijuana in a steam-filled environment (bathroom, sauna), with the added humidity intended to produce a greater high, called a "Jamaican shower."
To create a joint, herbal cannabis is rolled into a cigarette using rolling paper, when available. As a last resort, brown paper, newsprint, and other assorted paper products are sometimes used to roll a "spliff." Cannabis cigars, or blunts can also be created by using the wrapper of an ordinary cigar. "Phillies Blunts" and "Swisher Sweets" which were the original popular blunt wraps have slowly been exceeded by "Game Blunts."
The classic bong is a tube with a small bowl (at the end of a thinner tube) inserted through the side, near the base. The bong is partially filled with water for the smoke to bubble through. The herb is placed in the bowl and ignited. After filling the tube with smoke, it is "cleared" by removing one's finger from a hole in the side called a choke, or by pulling the bowl up and out which is called a slide. Homemade bongs are sometimes made with plastic soda bottles. Smoking marijuana through a bong concentrates the smoke, and it is often followed by fits of coughing and laughter. Variants include the gravity bong (also known as a bucket bong), which consists of a cone atop a perforated or cut water bottle. This method of cannabis smoking is one of the most efficient, as the presence of a chamber and "carburetor" hole reduce smoke waste. With a bong, one can consume greater amounts of cannabis in one "hit" than with an ordinary pipe. Another similar smoking device is known as a "waterfall bong". This is usually made by poking a hole in the bottom of a plastic water bottle and either sticking a bowl through a hole in the cap, or resting the bowl over the top. The hole in the bottom is covered with a finger, and the bottle filled with water. The bowl is placed on top of the bottle and lit by holding a flame over it and moving the finger covering the hole. As the water drains out, a vacuum is created, pulling smoke into the bottle. When the water has all drained out, the bowl is removed and the smoke is sucked out of the bottle, often very quickly. The effects of this type of bong are usually felt almost immediately, and often very intensely. Pipes are usually made of blown glass, wood, or non-reactive metals. Metal pipes are often made of interchangeable pieces. Glass pipes often have a "carburetor" hole, colloquially referred to as a carb, rush, choke, shotgun, or shooter (British use) that is covered for suction and then released to draw a mixture of smoke and air into the lungs. Some users prefer vertically held pipes (chillums), or improvised pipes (e.g., "tinnies" or "foilies") made from aluminium foil, small plumbing fittings, soda cans, crisp fruits or vegetables, or the cardboard tubes from bathroom-tissue or aluminium foil rolls.
A "one-hitter" is a device that enables a small amount of cannabis to be burned and inhaled in a single breath. The cannabis is loaded into one end of a small screenless tube (usually brass), and the entire amount is smoked at once. This is repeated for each hit. This method is useful for carefully titrating the desired dose. One-hitters are often disguised to fool people into believing that one is smoking an authentic cigarette. This deception is more effective (but less healthy) if the cannabis is mixed with a little tobacco. The "apple Bowl" is yet another way of smoking cannabis. An apple is poked from the top and side creating a tube.Marijuana is then placed in the top opening and lit.The user then inhales the smoke from the other opening.
Effects of smoking marijuana: Some physical effects are dry mouth, dry eyes, increased heart rate, bloodshot eyes, and puffy eyelids. The psychological effects are relaxation, euphoria, altered time perception, and alteration of visual, auditory, and olfactory senses. There are also some negative effects of marijuana use but there seem to be no real chronic effects. Short-term effects of marijuana use are; short-term memory loss, anxiety, irritation, . Once the person quits smoking or ingesting THC, the side effects soon disappear.
A vaporizer heats herbal cannabis to 365–410 °F (185–210 °C), which turns the active ingredients into gas without burning the plant material (the boiling point of THC is 200°C at 0.02 mm Hg pressure, and somewhat higher at standard atmospheric pressure). Toxic chemicals are released at much lower levels than by smoking, although this may vary depending on the design of the vaporizer and the temperature at which it is set. A study by MAPS/NORML, using a Volcanotm vaporizer reported 95% THC and no toxins delivered in the vapor. However, an older study using less sophisticated vaporizers found more toxins. The effects from a vaporizer are noticeably different to that of smoking cannabis. Users have reported a more euphoric hallucinogen type high which is due to the more pure amount of THC being taken in.
As an alternative to smoking, cannabis may be consumed orally. Although hashish is sometimes eaten raw or mixed with water, THC and other cannabinoids are more efficiently absorbed into the bloodstream when dissolved in ethanol, or combined with butter or other lipids. The effects of cannabis administered this way take longer to begin, but last longer. They are sometimes perceived as more physical than mental, although there are many claims to the contrary. An oral dose of cannabis is often considered to give a more intense experience than the equivalent dose of smoked cannabis. Some people report unpleasant experiences after ingesting cannabis, because they experience a more intense effect than they are comfortable with.
Smoking cannabis results in a significant loss of THC and other cannabinoids in the exhaled smoke, by decomposition on burning, and in smoke that is not inhaled. In contrast, all of the active constituents enter the body when cannabis is ingested. It has been shown that the primary active component of cannabis, ?9-THC, is converted to the more psychoactive 11-hydroxy-THC by the liver. Titration to the desired effect by ingestion is much more difficult than through inhalation.
A common method of preparation involves blending cannabis material with butter to create "cannabutter", which is used in preparing foods such as brownies, fudge, cookies, "ganja goo balls," and "space cakes". Before blending with melted butter, the plant material is often finely ground, almost to a powder. A more refined form of cannabutter is prepared by heating cannabis material with butter and water for an extended period of time, without bringing to a complete boil. The vegetative material is then removed by filtering through a strainer or cheese cloth, and the water and butter are allowed to separate, leaving clarified cannabutter to be used in various recipes. However, some recipes do not contain butter and fall into a slightly different category; these delicacies include the "Leary biscuit," which require less work to prepare than more "conventional" recipes. Cannabis infusions (known as Bhang) containing milk, spices, and other ingredients are commonly consumed in India and elsewhere, especially on festive occasions.
In 2006, hollowed-out gumballs filled with cannabis material and labeled as "Greenades" were distributed by high school students in the United States.
As with other drugs taken orally, it is sometimes customary to fast before eating cannabis to increase the effect, possibly because an empty stomach will enable the THC to enter the bloodstream more quickly. However, some people eat ordinary food before consuming the drug, because eating it on an empty stomach can cause nausea. The time to onset of effects is usually about an hour and may continue for a considerable length of time, whereas the effects of smoking herbal cannabis are almost immediate.
Cannabis material can be leached in high-proof spirits (often grain alcohol) to create "Green Dragon." This process is often employed to make use of low-potency stems and leaves.
Cannabis can also be consumed as a tea. Although THC is lipophilic and only slightly water soluble (with a solubility of 2.8 grams per litre), enough THC can be dissolved to make a mildly psychoactive tea. However, water-based infusions are generally considered to be an inefficient use of the herb.
Cannabis "seeds" (technically called achenes), which are not psychoactive, are high in protein and essential fatty acids, and are readily consumed by many species of birds. They are also consumed by humans, and are a key ingredient in certain traditional recipes in Europe, and elsewhere. In many countries, including the United States and Canada, possession of viable cannabis seeds is illegal.
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