​What's the difference between smoking and eating cannabis


What's the difference between smoking and eating cannabis

 What's the difference between smoking and eating cannabis

If you're familiar with marijuana, you'll know that the consumption method can significantly change the type of high you experience. Although both edibles and dry herb contains THC, they produce a different kind of high. So, what are the main differences between smoking and eating cannabis products?

While some people enjoy mixing herbs with gummies, most people have a preference and generally stick to it. Data suggests that 30% of adults and 47% of 18 to 34-year-old marijuana users have consumed edibles. The use of edibles is more prevalent among the younger generation. Older consumers prefer more traditional methods of cannabis consumption. 


It's all about THC

The high from smoking marijuana is like strolling through a vivid park. While taking an edible is like a kaleidoscopic glitter bomb, 

There is a scientific explanation behind this metaphor. When cannabis is taken as an edible, the THC is metabolized by the liver and converted to 11-hydroxy-THC. 

This is a partial agonist at the CB1 cannabinoid receptors with a significantly higher binding affinity than delta-9 THC, and it is exponentially more potent than delta-9 THC. 

This can potentially create much more intense psychoactive effects, and this compound crosses the blood-brain barrier four times faster than normal THC. For these reasons, cannabis edibles are associated with intense, vivid, and hallucinatory experiences.


The two approaches require different doses

The two approaches require different doses

Edibles require more experienced users because their dosing can be very complex. If you've ever prepared your own batch of magic brownies or cannabutter and tried to figure out the potency, you know what I mean. 

In the legal market, 5 to 15mg is the standard edible dose and usually produces a mild to moderate effect. 

It is also essential to take into account your tolerance and experience.

Prerolled joints are typically rolled with 0.5 to 1 gram of cannabis, and self-rolled joints are usually closer to 0.3 grams. 

A typically average stain with 18% THC would mean a 0.3-gram joint would have about 55mg of THC. However, not all of that would be consumed as some will be burnt off. Taking into account bioavailability, you'd typically consume 12mg or so from a 0.3 gram 18% THC joint. Read more about How Much THC is in a Joint?

Smoking cannabis has a faster effect

Smoking cannabis has a faster effect

Smoking cannabis takes 10 to 20 minutes until you feel the effects, and those will last an hour or so before they begin to wear off. 

Edibles can take up to two hours to take effect, and those effects can last for several hours. This is why dose and experience are so important when taking edibles. If you get it wrong, you'll feel uncomfortable for a long time.


Edibles are harder to dose

Edibles are harder to dose

As we mentioned earlier, cannabis edibles are challenging to dose and can take a while to kick in. 

This opens the door to a lot of waiting and second-guessing if the drugs have kicked in. It is common for people to take edibles and then eat more, thinking that the first dose didn't take effect. Please don't do it. Remember that edibles can take a while to work through your system and for you to start to feel the effects. A more patient approach is needed to avoid overdosing. Read more about edible dosage


They produce different effects

Overdosing on edibles is different from overconsuming dry herb. While the latter may force you to nap for half an hour to relax and eliminate your paranoia, consuming large amounts of edibles can lead to a very unpleasant time.


They are absorbed differently by the body

Smoked cannabis is absorbed through the blood, which is why it works quickly. THC in food is absorbed through the stomach wall and then processed by the liver, taking over an hour for the more prolonged effects to be felt. 


Which is best?

While smoking cannabis is easier to manage and control, you must always consider the adverse effects of smoking, especially if you are a regular consumer. This is why vaping is often preferred.

On the other hand, while edibles are more difficult to manage, they are also discreet and do not negatively affect your health. In fact, you can even stay away from sugary foods. Nowadays, there are many delicious and healthy edibles and drinks.