How to Use Cannabis: A Beginners Guide

By Shannon Chiarenza

When you’re new to cannabis it can be overwhelming figuring out what product to buy and how much you should take. However once you know the basics of what products are available and how they work, it takes away the confusion and makes shopping for cannabis more fun.

There are three ways to use cannabis: inhale it, ingest it or use it topically. If you don’t want to feel the psychoactive affects, you can buy cannabis products that are CBD only or use topicals.

Inhaling cannabis

With inhalation there’s two methods, smoking or vaporizing.

Most people are familiar with smoking – you grind up the dried flower and put it in a joint, pipe or bong and then light it on fire and inhale the smoke.

With vaporizing you can use a vaporizer with concentrates such as a vape pen, which can be pretty strong for many beginners. The other method is to use a dry herb vaporizer, where you put the ground dried cannabis flower into a device that heats the cannabis below the point of combustion, so you inhale a vapor rather than smoke. Think of it like heating it in an oven rather than using flame.

Dry herb vaporizing is the recommended way to inhale cannabis as it also allows you to turn up or turn down the heat, allowing you to customize your experience. It also has fewer toxins than smoke, making it a healthier choice over smoking.

With all inhalation methods you feel the effects within 15 minutes and it can last up to an hour or longer.

Ingesting cannabis

There are two types of edibles you can buy, standard edibles and fast-acting.

Standard edibles include most of the food items you buy, such as chocolates and chews, or cannabis oils that are sold as tinctures or capsules. Standard edibles have an onset of about one to two hours and the duration can last anywhere from four to eight hours.

Fast-acting edibles are absorbed into the blood stream and not processed through the liver; therefore you experience a faster onset and duration, similar to inhalation methods.

Fast-acting products include beverages and powders such as Ripple by TGOD. There are some gummies on the market that are fast-acting such as Wana Quick, White Rabbit OG, and TGOD also makes a fast-acting gummy.

READ MORE: Cannabis: Nature’s aphrodisiac for women


Topicals are products you use on your skin and that work locally. Wherever you put the product is where you’ll feel the effect. For anyone feeling nervous about using THC, this can be a comfortable entry point as topicals don’t get you high, unless they’re made to do that such as a transdermal patch.

With both ingestion and inhalation methods always start low and go slow, meaning start with a low dose and wait to see how it makes you feel before trying more. I recommend taking CBD with THC, many products come with both included, try out several different products until you find the right one for you.

– Shannon Chiarenza is the founder of