The price of cannabis continues to creep up across the country, despite the downward pull on prices that crowded legal markets often inspire. According to market watch group Cannabis Benchmarks, cannabis prices nationwide have steadily increased from $1,734 on December 4 to over $2,000 a pound by December 18.
While conserving marijuana is always a high priority for dedicated tokers, now more than ever, cannabis users must find ways to make that expensive eighth stretch as far as it can. From smoking to storing to recycling, here are 10 tips to make the most of your marijuana.
1. Vape instead of smoking joints or blunts
Vaping will allow you to get just as high as a joint or a blunt with less than half of the weed, as vaporizers deliver your high in a much more efficient manner. A study by California NORML and MAPS found that the Volcano vaporizer converts 46 percent of available THC into vapor, while the average joint only converts less than 25 percent of THC.
With joints and blunts, most of the THC is lost into “sidestream smoke” up in the air, rather than being trapped in a device for your handy consumption. However, if you want to indulge in the act of smoking, you can still save weed by rolling a thinner joint or blunt. Besides, a recent study found that vaping may be safer for your lungs than smoking.
2. Corner the bowl
Smoking from bongs and bubblers fall second behind vaping in terms of efficiency. Hitting a bong can be even more efficient in conserving your weed if you try and light only a small portion of the bowl at a time, through the technique known as “cornering.” With less of the bowl lit at a given time, less of the weed’s THC will burn up with no one to inhale it.
3. Don’t rush the smoking process
Remember what your mother told you at the dinner table: If you rush through your food, you’ll eat more than you should and you’ll be uncomfortably full! Applying the same logic to smoking will help you save your weed. Take it slow and smoke one small bowl. Enjoy your high for 30 minutes or so before you decide whether or not you want more. You just might find you’re as high as you want to be.
4. Eat foods such as mangoes and dark chocolate to intensify the high
If you follow up your toke with a specific snack or two, the effects of the cannabinoids can be deepened to get you higher without needing to smoke more. Over-ripe mangoes, lemongrass and verbena possess large levels of myrcene, a terpene that is believed to help THC to cross the blood-brain barrier more efficiently. Dark chocolate will also extend your high by causing anandamide, the chemical the brain releases known as the “bliss molecule,” to take longer to break down. Tumeric, specifically its active ingredient curcumin, can also help intensify cannabis highs.
5. Use a grinder, collect your kief
Investing in a quality grinder will allow you to grind your bud into efficient little nugs, and will also help you collect the kief that falls off in the process. You can sprinkle the kief on top of your next bowl, but to be even more efficient, use your kief to make edibles. Try making cookies, spring rolls or candied ginger with the kief you save.
6. Handle your buds as little as possible
The more you touch your weed, either in admiration or during transportation, the more you knock off the trichomes dangling delicately on the outside of your nug. Avoid losing these precious resin morsels by handling the stem of a nug only.
7. Store in an airtight dark glass jar, not a plastic baggy
Heat, light and moisture are the biggest factors in causing your stash to deteriorate, and plastic bags do little to help. In fact, the plastic can stick to the trichomes and pull them off your stash. Instead, try to keep your buds in a dark glass jar in a cool, dry and dark place like a cabinet, basement or refrigerator.
8. Make edibles with your already vaped bud (AVB)
Another way vaporizers help conserve your stash is that they give it a second life. You can use the bud you have already vaped and make edibles with it. Try Cannabis Now’s recipes for AVB chocolate firecrackers or AVB pesto.
9. Save your trim
If you’re a home grower and you’ve harvested, don’t throw away the trimmings. Leaves and unformed nugs hold THC and terpenes that can be extracted. There are a multitude of ways to effectively extract THC from your trim, from butane systems to ice water extraction. Read more here: THC Extraction: How to Turn Trim to Profits.
10. Take a tolerance break
This is probably the hardest step to follow, but might provide you with the largest payoff in the end. First, a tolerance break will allow you to save money for a few weeks while you withhold from smoking. When you are finished with your tolerance break, you will be able to smoke less to achieve the same high — and you won’t need to burn through your stash as fast as you used to.
How do you conserve your weed? Tell us in the comments below.