With so much advancement in the industry, there are many mechanisms to ensure the desired amount of cannabinoids is entering your bloodstream, but the two major methods of delivering these precious compounds to your body are either by smoking or eating marijuana.
You can smoke the herb through many different ways; a pipe, spliff, joint, blunt, bong — you name it.
But, you may very well eat the herb, and there are plenty of ways to ingest it as well. You can “eat weed” in marijuana-infused brownies, cakes, pasta, ice cream, sweets, sandwiches, smoothies, and more.
With all these tempting options, the choice is almost overwhelming, especially for beginners. Both smoking and eating marijuana have their pros and cons, and it’s actually pointless to compare them in terms of which method is better.
However, it doesn’t mean smoking and eating weed will give you the same kind of experience.
It won’t — and this article explains all substantial differences between smoking vs eating marijuana.
In this section, we discuss the major differences between smoking vs eating marijuana. Of course, the main difference lies in the type of high provided by each of these methods, but there are also some seemingly minor differences that may prove decisive for choosing your go-to way to consume weed.
Let’s shed some light on these aspects.
Anybody who’s experienced both smoking marijuana and eating a herb-infused edible will be well aware of the difference in the high. Edibles take longer to take effect, but once they do, the high feels much stronger and more “spacey.”
If you’re wondering why a handful of medicated gummies got you couch-locked more than a series of bong rips, the answer is simple — because cannabinoids are absorbed differently by the body.
When you smoke or vape marijuana, THC takes a more direct pathway to the brain; once it enters your lungs, it gets absorbed right into the bloodstream, hence the almost immediate effects and their shorter duration.
When ingested orally, the THC in weed has to be metabolized by the liver, where it is transformed into 11-hydroxy-THC. This metabolite has a more efficient way of crossing the blood-brain barrier and thus may result in a more intense high.
As mentioned, marijuana edibles require more processing due to the fact that they need to be metabolized by the liver. Given this, before you start to feel any effects, it can take anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours for the THC to show its psychoactive properties.
As opposed to edibles, smoking or vaping your weed can deliver the effects almost immediately after a hit. The onset time of smoked marijuana also depends on the strain and how much you just smoked, but it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes until you can tell you’re high.
Well, edibles may have a slightly delayed onset time, but once they exhibit their effects — this might be one of the most unique feelings you’ll ever experience. The effects will start to show up gradually and last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, although some individuals have reported a 12-hour-long high after eating too much of the weed goodies. The high is usually heavier and more spacey, so don’t be afraid if a humble weed brownie will get you elevated for hours or stoned to the ground — it happens.
As for the smoked marijuana, the high is more delicate as long as you keep your intake of weed in moderation. Anything consumed excessively can cause you to experience adverse reactions and weed is no exception. However, any unpleasant effects resulting from going overboard with your stash should wear off within the next 15-20 minutes. Ultimately, the high will disappear within the next hour or so.
Smoking marijuana is much easier to dose than edibles. When you smoke a joint, you can easily tell when you’re all lit and happy given the fast onset time of effects.
With edibles, it’s a completely different story. Determining the THC content of a homemade batch of edibles is a difficult feat, and even professional manufacturers have difficulties meeting the advertised dose in their weed-infused goods. Consumers sometimes report that the same product hits them harder the second time they tried it.
In legal markets, 10 milligrams of THC is taken as a “standard” single dose. For example, a 100mg chocolate bar should have 10 squares with 10 mg of THC per square. Consuming a whole bar can get you way too high.
This brings another problem to the table. Because of the delayed onset of effects, consumers sometimes overestimate their capabilities, ending up eating more THC than they can handle.
Keep in mind that everyone is different and some people need to wait a bit more until THC is metabolized by the liver and delivered to their bloodstream. Many factors come into play: the body mass of the user, their metabolism, and whether they consume edibles on an empty stomach. On the whole, it’s better if you wait a bit longer than eat one cookie too many and experience a green out.
The growing interest in edibles results from the increasing health awareness of cannabis consumers. Many people don’t enjoy the harsh experience of smoking; others are worried about the long-term impact associated with it.
Vaporization is another health-friendly alternative commonly recommended, but it involves higher upfront costs and some units have a difficult learning curve. Besides, edibles can often provide longer lasting relief from chronic conditions like anxiety, pain, or inflammation, making them a preferred choice for medical marijuana users.
Long story short, edibles are healthier than smoked marijuana due to the lack of combustion and potentially hazardous byproducts. Health-conscious consumers often lean toward cannabis-infused foods and are ready to sacrifice the onset time provided by the classic joint for the sake of their well-being.
Choosing between smoking vs eating marijuana boils down to several basic differences. Each of them may be decisive for your final decision, so it’s worth to stay for a while and whey the pros and cons.
Smoking vs eating marijuana differs in terms of the absorption of cannabinoids, the onset of effects, the type of high you will experience, its potency, as well as dosing requirements.
Smoked weed will show its effects faster than edibles. You can control the dosage simply by passing the joint when you think you’ve had enough, or by rolling one that will be tailored to your tolerance to THC. The downside of smoking marijuana is the obvious risk associated with combusting the plant material and much shorter duration of effects compared to edibles.
THC-infused food, on the other hand, needs some time to exhibit the effects, but once they set in, the high and medical benefits will last much longer than after a generous bong rip. The risky part about edibles is the dosage. It’s difficult to measure the perfect dose of edible products — this applies to both homemade and commercial goods, so this type of weed products should always be approached with caution.
Do you prefer smoking or eating marijuana? Do you have any favorite recipes for weed-infused edibles? We can’t wait to read your stories!
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