7 Ways To Use Cannabis Without Smoking It
6 min

7 Ways to Use Cannabis Without Smoking

6 min

While it is an easy way to get your cannabis fix, smoking also has a fair amount of drawbacks. With that in mind, we've put together a list of some alternative ways you can ingest cannabis. While the process won’t always be as potent or iconic as smoking, there are many benefits to each method. Join us as we discuss the pros and cons of each one!

While it’s still a go-to for many cannabis users, there are many other ways to use cannabis without smoking it. Especially now, thanks to modern technology, the modern-day stoner has more options than ever when it comes to consuming cannabis.

Fed up with rolling those joints? Bored with smoking? Then stick around and discover a whole new world of options.

Smoking Marijuana Isn't the Only Option

Smoking marijuana has been a part of global cultures for a long time, but that doesn’t make it a perfect process. The health risks linked with smoking tobacco are well documented, but what many don’t know is that those drawbacks largely stem from the act of smoking itself.

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Whether it’s tobacco, marijuana, or any other smokable product, the act of heating up plant matter and inhaling the smoke can have damaging effects on our lungs. So, if you want to forego any of those potential health issues, we suggest you take a look at these alternatives.

1. Eating Raw Cannabis

Eating Raw Cannabis

While edibles are commonplace in cannabis consumption, people don’t often consider eating raw cannabis. But the humble fan leaf is commonly referred to as a superfood by many, and for good reason. Raw cannabis is super easy to add to dishes or smoothies, and it’s a great way to get your daily greens. Filled with antioxidants, as well as anthocyanins that promote heart health, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.

Pros of Eating Raw Cannabis

  • Vitamins: Raw cannabis is packed full of vitamins, such as vitamin C and K, and is rich in iron and calcium. All of these are great, serving to promote a healthy immune system.

  • Versatile: Raw cannabis has many culinary uses! It enhances salads, complements entreés, and blends into smoothies with ease.

  • No waste: Oftentimes, growers will harvest the buds from their cannabis plants and throw the leaves away. However, if you’re a resourceful grower, you can use the leaves to maximise the potential of your plants.

Cons of Eating Raw Cannabis

  • No high: Eating raw cannabis will, unfortunately, not provide you with the same buzz you’d get from smoking the buds. As the plant hasn’t been through decarboxylation, you can’t unlock that THC goodness. All that exists at this point is the precursor cannabinoid acid THCA.

  • Raw: Its main appeal may be what drives you away. Those who don’t enjoy their greens may find this is not for them.

2. Cannabis-Infused Edibles

Cannabis-Infused Edibles

Anyone that’s ever been to a dispensary or cannabis coffeeshop will be familiar with edibles. Whether you’re buying them or making your own, you’re sure to have a good time if you play your cards right. Everyone’s seen pot brownies, but you may not know there are many more ways to craft edibles. From cannabis candy to THC-spiked ice cream, the only limit is your imagination!

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Pros of Cannabis-Infused Edibles

  • Effectiveness: Although it takes a little longer to set in, there’s no denying the strong and long-lasting high edibles provide. Specifically, it’ll take an hour to hit, and will last for around 8–12 hours on average.

  • Dosing: If you have a plan and the appropriate measuring equipment, you can judge exactly how much cannabis you’ll be putting into your body. Pre-made edibles take away the guesswork, providing specific dosing information on the packaging.

  • Discretion: Since edibles look like regular food, only you’ll know what’s in them. That being said, maybe don’t take them into work to share with everyone.

  • Experimentation: Have fun and experiment with your edibles! Make whatever you can think of, and take it as an opportunity to test your baking and cooking limits.

Cons of Cannabis-Infused Edibles

  • Risk of overindulging: Since it takes a little while for edibles to kick in, many make the mistake of misjudging how much they’ve had. This leads to overindulging, which then leads to getting way higher than you wanted to be.

  • Timing: Although the high lasts longer, you'll have to wait up to two hours for it to kick in.

  • Dosing inconsistency: If you buy your edibles, or if you know the cannabinoid content of your weed, you can break down your edibles into accurate doses. But, if you don’t have access to these figures, it can be difficult to know exactly how much THC each edible contains.

3. Cannabis-Infused Drinks

Cannabis-Infused Drinks

As mentioned before, cannabis smoothies are a definite possibility, but have you ever had a cannabis milkshake? Turns out, you can make some pretty indulgent and rich cannabis drinks with your favourite strain.

Just whip up a batch of cannabutter or oil, and you’ll be able to add cannabis to almost any beverage. Maybe start your day off with a cup of cannabis coffee! If you want something a little more refreshing, you can make your own weed-infused sodas and juices, too!

Pros of Cannabis-Infused Drinks

  • Refreshing: What better way to enjoy your cannabis than in an ice-cold drink?

  • Easy to make: Cook up some cannabutter, or get yourself some cannabis concentrate. Either way, you’re only a few drops away from cannabis infusion!

  • Dose: With cannabutter or oil as your THC source, you can control how much cannabis is in your drink.

Cons of Cannabis-Infused Drinks

  • Dose: Misjudging the amount you want to put into a drink might leave you higher than you anticipated.

  • Potency of store-bought: While legal cannabis shops sell infused drinks, they can often be comparatively weak.

4. Vaping


One of the more obvious alternatives to smoking is, of course, vaping. Arguably one of the most accessible ways to ingest cannabis, vaping has enjoyed popularity as a relatively healthier method. With so many devices available in nearly every price range, you’re sure to find a vaporizer that suits your needs.

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Pros of Vaping

  • Taste: With no smoke coming between you and your herb, you’ll get the smoothest and most flavourful hits possible.

  • Product diversity: There is a massive variety of vaporizers available today. Whether you’re looking for a portable device or one that sits on your desk, you’ll find it. Not only that, but you’ll find products that can take both herb and concentrates, so you can enjoy whatever form of cannabis you like.

  • User-friendly: Using a vaporizer could not be simpler. Load your herb, pick your temperature (if it’s a nicer one), and you’re good to go! You can even get apps that allow you to easily configure your settings for the ultimate experience.

Cons of Vaping

  • Charging: Vapes don’t stay charged for long, so making sure you’ve charged your vape battery is essential to avoid hassle.

  • Maintenance: Vapes need some cleaning and maintenance from time to time (approx. once every couple of weeks) to ensure full functionality.

  • Experience: Vaping is sometimes reported to be a less fulfilling experience than smoking, which involves a more ritualistic and iconic approach.

  • Price: Vaporizers can be expensive outright.

5. Cannabis Tinctures

Cannabis Tinctures

At one point, tinctures were one of the most common ways to ingest cannabis. They fell by the wayside over the decades, especially when smoking, edibles, and eventually top-tier concentrates came to the forefront. However, you may have noticed cannabis tinctures are making a major comeback. These simple concentrates are an easy way to get your cannabis fix throughout the day.

Pros of Cannabis Tinctures

  • Easy to use: Tinctures can be taken using a dropper. Simply place a few droplets under your tongue, and you’re good to go. Otherwise, you can add the concoction to food and drink.

  • Dose: The dropper bottle allows you to administer even doses.

  • No calories: While edibles and drinks are delicious forms of cannabis, you have to account for caloric intake. That, however, is not an issue with cannabis tinctures.

  • Long-lasting: Storing your tincture in a cool, dark place will give it a lengthy shelf life.

Cons of Cannabis Tinctures

  • No ritual: Sticking with tinctures, of course, eliminates the ritual that comes with grinding and rolling flowers. This can make tinctures feel more “clinical”, but not everyone feels that way.

  • Making your tincture: It’s relatively easy and straightforward, but some are off-put by the idea of working with alcohol. Thankfully, there are many pre-made options out there. There are also cannabis oils to consider.

6. Cannabis Topicals

Cannabis Topicals

Cannabis-infused topical creams, balms, and oils have been hugely popular for some time. They may not get you high, but they contain a variety of cannabis compounds capable of interfacing with the endocannabinoid system of the skin. In turn, cannabis skin care products have become highly sought-after.

Pros of Cannabis Topicals

  • All-natural: You can feel good about purchasing an entirely natural product! This way, you’re getting the best from the plant without any harsh chemicals or byproducts.

  • Great for skin: There’s a reason cannabis-based skin care products are popular. After using these products, many users report their skin feeling much more smooth and hydrated.

  • Don’t get you high: Those looking to benefit from the cannabis plant without getting high can do so with topicals.

Cons of Cannabis Topicals

  • No high: This is a benefit to some, and a major problem for others. Like ingesting raw cannabis, skin care products won’t induce any psychoactive effects.

7. Cannabis Suppositories

Cannabis Suppositories

OK, bear with us on this one. This may sound archaic and old-fashioned, but taking suppositories is a tried and tested way to administer drugs, including cannabis.

Making your own cannabis suppositories could not be simpler. Get capsules roughly one inch long, fill them with cannabis-infused coconut oil, then let them set. That’s basically it! Once that’s done, they’re ready to go.

Pros of Cannabis Suppositories

  • Efficiency: Suppositories are believed to have around twice the bioavailability of orally consumed THC.

  • No high: Since they don’t get you high, the use of suppositories is more holistic than recreational. As a result, those looking to reap the benefits of cannabis without the high will often opt for this method. While it will almost immediately enter the bloodstream, it won’t reach the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Thus, it won’t cause any psychoactive effect.

Cons of Cannabis Suppositories

  • Old-fashioned: As mentioned, the use of suppositories is not as commonplace as it once was. Due to the invasive procedure involved, this method may put some cannabis users off.
  • No high: Some users will simply have no interest in this method since it does not induce a high.

7 Alternatives to Smoking Cannabis: Final Thoughts

How many of these alternatives to smoking cannabis are you familiar with? How many have you tried yourself? Be sure to let us know! Remember: Whether you’re smoking, vaping, or chowing down on some edibles, there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy cannabis. No matter how you do it, just have fun and enjoy responsibly!

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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