One of the best things about cannabis is the wonderful variety of ways you can consume it. With options like flower, vaporizers, tinctures, and edibles, you can easily switch up your consumption method and mix up your cannabis routine. However, when you consume different types of cannabis, it’s always important to remember that these different consumption methods are, well, different. You’ll get a different experience when you use various types of cannabis because your body absorbs and processes them differently. Case in point: smoking vs. eating an edible.
Eating edibles vs smoking flower are two of the most popular ways to consume cannabis. These consumption methods can both offer a great experience– but they offer very different experiences. So, why is understanding these differences important? Below, we’re going over everything you need to know about eating edibles vs. smoking weed. We’ll cover the important differences between these two methods of consumption, as well as the benefits of each method.
The Differences Between Cannabis Edibles and Smoking Cannabis
Absorption and Onset of Effects
One of the biggest differences between eating and smoking cannabis is onset time. Your body absorbs inhaled marijuana through the lungs, and it does this very quickly. After smoking cannabis, you’ll start feeling its effects within a few minutes. On the other hand, when you eat a cannabis edible, your body absorbs it through your digestive system, which can take quite a while. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel the effects of a cannabis edible.
Understanding the difference in onset time between smoking vs. eating cannabis is extremely important for your user experience. You’ll feel the effects of smoking almost immediately, so it’s harder to accidentally overdo it when you smoke. But it’s extremely easy– and common– to accidentally consume too much edible cannabis. People often take an edible, wait a bit, think they haven’t had enough of the edible to feel any effects, then eat another dose. Then, a couple of hours later, they experience the unpleasant, overwhelming effects of a double dose– because when they took that second edible, they just hadn’t waited long enough to feel the effects of the first edible.
If you’re new to edible cannabis, it’s always best to go low and slow. Start with a smaller dose than you think you need and be patient when waiting for its effects. This is especially important if you’re used to smoking or vaping, which both provide quick results. Remember that taking an edible does not work the same way smoking or vaping does and just be patient so you can avoid overwhelming your system.
Effects and Strength
Cannabis users often say that the effects they get from consuming an edible are much stronger than the effects they get from smoking. This is tied to how the body absorbs edible cannabis. When you smoke cannabis, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in that cannabis travels directly to your brain. When you consume a cannabis edible, your body metabolizes the THC in that edible within your liver, turning it into 11-hydroxy-THC. This more active form of THC is excellent at crossing the blood-brain barrier, which generally results in you having more intense effects.
The more intense effects you may get after ingesting a cannabis edible are another reason to be cautious when consuming edibles, especially if it’s your first time. You may find that you prefer how you feel when you take a smaller amount of a marijuana edible, so it’s a good idea to start out your edible journey with lower doses.
In addition to having different onset times and different effects, you’ll have a different duration of effects when you smoke versus when you eat an edible. Because of the way your body absorbs a cannabis edible, it takes longer to feel its effects. But for this same reason, the effects of an edible are usually long-lasting. Once the effects of a cannabis edible kick in, they can last for several hours. On the other hand, because of the way your body absorbs inhaled cannabis, you’ll feel the effects of smoking cannabis quickly, but these effects won’t last as long as the effects of an edible. The effects of smoking cannabis tend to fade after around 30 to 60 minutes.
Whether you like having a longer or shorter duration of effects really comes down to personal preference. But whatever you prefer, it is important to understand that these consumption methods will last for different amounts of time. It’s always wise to understand how long the effects of a cannabis product may last so that you can plan accordingly.
The Health Factor
When you smoke cannabis, there’s no getting around that you’re smoking something. And if you’re concerned about the health effects of smoking your cannabis, you may feel more at ease with a consumption method that doesn’t involve smoking, like eating an edible.
People sometimes think of edibles as being inherently unhealthy, since they commonly come in the form of a dessert. For example, cannabis brownies, cannabis gummies, and cannabis chocolates are very common types of cannabis edibles. But not all cannabis edibles contain high amounts of sugar. You’ll find plenty of low and no sugar cannabis edibles, such as cannabis mints, at your local dispensary. You can also always make your own cannabis edibles, which allows you to control exactly what’s in them. You can make cannabis-infused granola, salad dressings, protein bars, or whatever other healthy cannabis-infused food you desire.
When it comes to discretion, smoking cannabis and eating an edible are at opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s very challenging to be discreet when you smoke marijuana, because you’re producing smoke and, generally, a strong and distinctive smell. On the other hand, edibles are one of the most discreet ways to use cannabis. They’re small, they don’t produce any smoke or vapor, and they don’t produce a strong smell. So, if you want or need to be discreet when consuming your recreational or medical marijuana, cannabis edibles are one of your best options.
The Benefits of Eating vs. Smoking Cannabis
Smoking cannabis and eating an edible may provide different effects, but neither of these consumption methods is inherently better than the other. Eating edibles and smoking flower both have their own unique benefits, which can make them a better fit for a specific person– or even just for a specific situation.
The Benefits of Cannabis Edibles
No Smoking Required
If you’re looking for a smoke-free way to use cannabis, cannabis edibles are a great option. Edibles don’t require any smoking or vaping, which many see as a huge benefit.
Variety of Cannabis Edible Options
There’s so much variety within the cannabis edible category. You can find cannabis-infused cookies, brownies, candies, pretzels, chips, nuts, sauces, oils, teas, energy drinks, and much more. You can also make virtually any food into a cannabis edible, so your edible options are practically endless. This excellent variety of options is great for cannabis users who love to switch things up.
Edible Products are Very Discreet
Cannabis edibles are one of the most discreet ways to use cannabis. So, if you want to have a more discreet cannabis experience, cannabis edibles are a great option.
Cannabis edibles have long-lasting effects. That means that if you want to have a longer-lasting cannabis experience, edibles allow you to get that without having to consume more and more cannabis.
The Benefits of Smoking Cannabis
A Quick Onset Time
Many people love the fast results you get from smoking cannabis, since it has such a quick onset time. For example, if you’ve had a long day and you just want to relax by using your favorite strain when you get home, you can get almost instant relaxation from smoking cannabis.
It Can Be Easier to Control Your Dose
Another reason people like to smoke their cannabis is the ease of dosage. It can take a little trial and error to figure out how much you should smoke to get your perfect dose. However, it’s fairly easy to figure out your ideal dose and then gauge that dose when smoking, especially when compared to trickier options like edibles.
A Variety of Flower Strain Options With Different Terpene and Cannabinoid Profiles
A third advantage of smoking cannabis is getting to enjoy a wide range of flower strains, since there are hundreds of unique Indica, Sativa, and hybrid flower strains to choose from. Flower strains can feature different aromas and flavors, which range from bright and citrusy to deep and earthy. Then, they can also feature different terpene profiles and cannabinoid profiles, including many different CBD to THC ratios that can provide distinctly different effects. For example, a particular strain could provide strong psychoactive effects while another could provide little to no psychoactive effects. So, cannabis smokers have many options in terms of the aromatic experiences and the range of effects they can enjoy.
Final Thoughts on Eating vs. Smoking Cannabis
Some people like to smoke their cannabis, while others like to eat their cannabis. Then, some people like to do both, but switch things up depending on the occasion. But however you like to use your cannabis, it’s important to be aware of how the product you’re using works. We hope this guide to the differences and benefits of eating edibles vs. smoking weed has been helpful and educational as you move forward in your cannabis journey!
If you have any questions about cannabis edibles, cannabis flower, or cannabis in general, please feel free to reach out to Essence Dispensary. We’re always happy to answer your questions. You can contact Essence through our website by clicking here. Or, you can speak to a friendly, knowledgeable Essence employee on the phone by calling your local Essence Dispensary location.