With the cost of cannabis being so high these days, many people are finding that they’re struggling to afford enough to meet their needs; especially those who are medical users, in need of large quantities. In order to help reduce this cost I’ve put together a few tips which I’ve discovered over the years, on how the get the most out of your cannabis. Now, some of these things may seem rather simple, but I’ve included them for completeness, as it’s so very easy to overlook things once you’ve become accustomed to a routine.
Please take a read of some of the following sections, and see if you can identify any improvements you could make. Be really critical of yourself during each step of your typical usage strategy, and ask whether you’re doing it our of habit or because it’s genuinely the best practice. These are just my suggestions, and there may be further improvements on these things, and even things I’ve completely missed. Please add your own tips in the comments section and I’ll update this if there are any particular gems amongst them.
Smoking cannabis is very wasteful, compared to the modern methods we have at our disposal. Using tobacco provides a higher absorption of the cannabis than smoking pure (it acts as a buffer to pseudo-vaporise the weed), but with that comes increased use due to the nicotine craving, so any thoughts of saving money by padding-out spliffs are thrown by the wayside. For certain medical users, the best way to get (non-psychoactive) relief is by juicing the raw leaves and buds. The levels of THC and CBD acid can be over 50x that which you’d get in the form of THC/CBD when smoking.
For recreational users, and those who want the psychoactive effects, the best strategy is to get yourself a good vaporiser. I’ve written a comprehensive guide here, which should explain everything. To summarise the article, I estimate that I need to use between 1/3 – 1/5 of the amount used in smoking, thanks to using either the Volcano or the Arizer Solo. It makes a staggering difference, and any initial cost is easily offset by massive savings in both the near and distant future.
Timebox Your Consumption
A typical problem for users is that tolerance goes up the more frequently cannabis is consumed, meaning they have to use an increased amount to get the same high. This need not be the case; with a little planning you can condense your sessions down to a short window, and give yourself more of a break between use, even if you’re still using every day. I find that setting myself the goal of not consuming within the first 10 hours of being awake is pretty reasonable, considering I’d be at work for most of that period. Then, at night I’ll estimate when I’m likely to sleep, and not have anything within the last couple of hours of the day. This might not give you a constant stone, but you’ll get far more out of it for having increased the gaps between getting high. Obviously medical patients have to dose whenever it’s needed, but for recreational users this can be a really useful strategy to employ.
Get Just High Enough
Consume on the lower-end of what’s needed to get you high. I find that cannabis can get you to a required level of enjoyment at relatively low doses. Of course we can use 10x that amount, but we wouldn’t get 10x the quality of experience. The gains diminish beyond a certain point. We might feel twice or three times as high as normal, but it’s not worth it. It would be far more economical to realise that you’re 90% of the way there, and accept that level. You’ll benefit from maintaining this as low as possible, as you won’t require as much in your next sitting. It helps if you are using a device which doesn’t require huge hits at once, but allows you to creep up slowly to where you want to be. Do remember that it can take beyond 15 minutes to gauge how high you are, so be patient.
Weigh Your Doses
This might seem really pedantic, but if you’re using something with a large chamber/scope for overfilling, make sure you weigh out your bud. It’s really easy to mistake 0.5g for 0.3g, especially when you’ve got different strains on the go, so take a couple of seconds to chuck the candidate nugget on a cheap pair of electronic scales. Part of this improvement is evaluating what size of hit works best for you. If you’ve been using 0.5g, bring it down to 0.2g and see how that goes. There are no prizes for being wasteful or making monster blunts, so be calculated in your actions. It’s also worth weighing everything you buy, to ensure you aren’t being ripped-off.
Grow Your Own
The best way to save money and have as much weed as you like, is to grow your own. It’s a really easy process, with the main problem being the legality. You’ll get a much better quality of product than you’d find on the black market, and you can grow whichever strains you like. If you aim for the more potent varieties, you’ll find that you need to use less of the product to get the desired effect.
Cannabis degrades if improperly stored, which is clearly a problem if you’re seeking to maximise your stash. A standard mason jar is more than appropriate for this task. Don’t get caught in the trap of leaving your stuff in plastic bags – even if it’s a small quantity you should immediately transfer it to a sealed jar, and keep this away from light and heat.
Switch Strains Often
If you use the same strain for weeks on end, the effect can greatly diminish. A good approach to keep things fresh is to have multiple strains which you rotate depending on tolerance level. It can be more effective if you choose strains which produce quite different effects; perhaps taking a sativa to compliment an indica, for instance. At a minimum, try to avoid buying many ounces of the same strain at once, or try to grow a few different varieties.
Make Use Of ‘Waste’ Product
If you grow your own then you’ll have lots of seemingly waste product which can actually be used to get really high. The leaves from immature cannabis plants (which most users will remove to some extent as they go along) can be used to make cannabutter, as can the leftover product from vaporising. The great part about immature plant leaves is that they contain more THCV, which is quite a trippy/psychedelic component of the plant, that disappears as it matures. It’s not something present in large amounts by the time you’ll harvest buds, so take advantage of this really potent and interesting side to cannabis.
If you use a bag-based vaporiser, such as the Volcano or Arizer Extreme-Q, you can actually take a used bag and make a really wonderful hot chocolate potion, rather than just throw it away.
Supplement With Other Things
This might be the most controversial suggestion, but I’ve included it as it can genuinely help elongate the experience. I’ve recently tried the idea of having a mango smoothie an hour before getting high, and it definitely made the high stronger and more intense. However, mangos can be quite expensive, so this is perhaps a trick best used if you were going to eat them anyway, rather than buying them specifically for this task. It’d be cheaper (and more effective) to just buy extra weed, for most of us.
Things like coffee can add a rushy feeling to your high, but they can also counteract the relaxation effects, depending on what you’re looking for. Even things like mint/green tea can help add an extra something to the experience. Psychologically, you’re aware that you’re entering ‘phase 2’ of consuming something, so it makes it easier to extend your high, rather than immediately seeking more. Alcohol can also help to maintain whatever your festive mood, but there are plenty of downsides to that too, so don’t use this as a regular method of amplification.