Written by Amy Patterson
Petrol prices have soared. Inflation is through the roof. Interest rates have gone up and a block of butter is fast approaching R100.
The cost of living is high… and hopefully with all this bad news, so are you.
But with expenses abounding, is there a way to make that high a little more economical? Have that bankie stay fuller for longer? Get that joint to burn a bit slower?
We’re so glad you asked, because the answer is YES - there are many ways to make sure you’re keeping things thrifty and always getting the most out of your supply.
Take this as a humble education in becoming optimal in your weed efficiency.
THE DEVICE IS RIGHT
While many of us may live and die by the good old fashioned joint, the reality is that taking hits rather than tokes really does make a big difference when it comes to making your stash go further.
There are a few options to try here.
Vaping is known to be a really economical way of getting high. In fact, a 2014 study found that weed vapers reported using less cannabis but simultaneously experiencing more pronounced effects - which makes sense, as THC has a higher rate of bioavailability as a vapor than as smoke. Feeling more and using less? Sign us up for a PAX, pronto.
And of course, there’s always the ol’ bong. While a blunt continues to burn and the wafting smoke gets wasted in between inhales, a bong traps all of the smoke and allows you to breathe in every last bit of fuzzy feeling your weed has to offer.Pipes and one-hitters are also always a win - because while you may well go in for more than that, they help you to take things more slowly and use less bud along the way. It’s kind of like the mentality of putting smaller food portions on your plate - that amount will usually be more than enough to do the job without moving into excess and, ultimately, wastage.
TURNING DOWN THE TOLERANCE
But if you’re still dead set on the more tactile and ritualistic art of rolling (we hear you! we feel you!), there are some hacks to make sure you’re getting the most out of your joint.
And the first step is to start pulling some mind tricks on yourself - because fundamentally decreasing your tolerance over time is one of the smartest solutions to saving on weed.
In the same way that using a one hitter keeps you from consuming more weed than you actually need, rolling “pinners”, i.e. smaller, thinner joints, can be a great way of keeping your intake in check (with the added bonus of feeling so much more fancy between your fingers).
It may sound extreme to some but you should be aiming to get the circumference down to about that of pipe cleaner (remember those?), and the length to only a bit more than that of a tobacco rollie. If you’re struggling to adjust your rolling style for this, try making a significantly longer, thinner roach to take up more space and set you up with a good width.
While pinners may not be sufficient for social smoking, honing the art of rolling them can make for a truly great option when you’re flying solo.
ROLL IT REAL GOOD
The next step is to be sure to roll and pack that punch tightly.
While too-tightly might struggle to smoke, a loosely rolled joint will burn way more quickly (and probably unevenly too). After licking and sticking, you can use something like a pen or a chopstick through the open end to nudge the bud closer together, and then lightly tap the tip on a hard surface.
When you’re ready to smoke, make sure you light the end evenly by rotating the joint as you hold the lighter up to it. If that doesn’t work, wet your finger and carefully run it around the burning paper to help it fix itself.
And finally, while smoking be sure to take longer and lighter hits. Pulling in heavy puffs will make it disappear much faster.
KEEP IT KIEF
Another fun thing that people do to make sure their blunts burn through less budget is to load them with even more weed.
Huh? That may sound counterintuitive, but not if you’re smart about it.
Now, simply coating the outside surface of your joint with honey is thought to make for a slower burn, but you might consider taking this a step further by sprinkling some kief on top. And if you don’t already know what kief is, here is a really invaluable lesson in being your most prudent cannabis consumer self…
Kief is the highly potent trichome powder that rubs off on your fingers from touching bud, and you will very often find grinders that have ‘kief catchers’ at the bottom to make sure this gold dust doesn’t go to waste. It may not seem like a lot after grinding up your first bit of flower, but over time it really adds up and can be used to easily elevate your smoking experience.
Once you have accumulated enough you can sprinkle it on a honey blunt as suggested, or simply use it as seasoning on a smaller joint to make it much, much stronger.
JUST EAT IT
We know edibles ain’t for everyone, but that doesn’t change the fact that they truly extend your high time like nothing else.
While the effects of smoking last one or two hours, the effects of edibles can last up to a whopping twelve hours after entering your body. So if you’re in a situation where you’re looking for a good time to last a long time - this may be the answer.
The weed butter or oil you create as the base for your edibles lasts for ages, making it a truly thrifty way to stay high.
And even though if you’re making them yourself then you will need a lot more weed at the outset in order to make the cannabis oil or butter, the quality of the weed itself does not need to be top shelf. Unlike the weed you put into a joint, the quality of weed used in edibles is imperceptible, and really only may differ in flavour due to the different terpenes they contain.
Which, if you want to go full culinary tilt and start cooking top notch Edibles, can be used to enhance your dishes. Find strains high in limonene for those citrus shortbread squares and alpha-phellandrene for chocolate mint tarts, or rosemary-esque pinene and peppery-tasting sabinene strains for your savoury dishes.
But here’s the disclaimer - ingesting weed can produce a very different feeling to that of inhaling it. So please be sure to consult our Field Guide To Edibles before going this route, to make sure you’re prepared for the experience.
GROW YOUR OWN
One final way to save on those monthly weed monies is to simply start growing your own stash.
‘Haha!’ we hear you say. We sense those eyeballs rolling. We feel that attention drifting. Easier said than done, right?
Wrong. If you’re really serious about saving on weed and making your supply sustainable, self sufficiency is something to consider - and a greenhouse or grow lights are not a necessity.
September and October mark the start of the growing season here in South Africa, so stay tuned for next month’s article for advice on how to Grow Your Own.