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Edibles vs. Smoking: The Different Effects of Consuming Cannabis

Edibles vs. Smoking: The Different Effects of Consuming Cannabis

When consuming cannabis, one size certainly does not fit all. Consumption methods, like smoking and ingesting edibles, can lead to dramatically different experiences. For those new to the cannabis world or seasoned users curious about the different impacts, this article will explore "Edibles vs. Smoking: The Different Effects of Consuming Cannabis."

Edibles vs. Smoking: The Different Effects of Consuming Cannabis

The differences in the effects of consuming cannabis through edibles or smoking mainly arise from how your body metabolizes THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the essential compound in cannabis. THC enters the bloodstream quickly when smoked, leading to almost immediate effects. On the contrary, they are consuming cannabis in the form of edible results in its metabolism in the liver before entering the bloodstream, causing a delay in onset but generally producing more potent effects.

An Overview of Cannabis Consumption Methods

Before we plunge into the depths of the edibles vs. smoking debate, it's essential to understand the basics of cannabis consumption methods. You can categorize these methods into inhalation (smoking or vaping) and ingestion (edibles or tinctures).

Cannabis Inhalation: An Immediate Gratification

When cannabis is inhaled, whether through smoking a joint or using a vaporizer, the active compounds such as THC and CBD are quickly absorbed by the lungs and enter the bloodstream, from there, they are directly carried to the brain, resulting in the swift onset of effects.

Smoking Cannabis: The Traditional Route

For a significant period, smoking has been the predominant method of consuming cannabis. Usually, the dried flowers of the plant are rolled into a joint, packed into a pipe, or placed in a bong. However, when it comes to finding shrooms near me, it's important to explore alternative consumption methods that cater to individual preferences and needs.

The Physiology of Smoking Cannabis

In smoking, heat releases the active compounds from the cannabis flower. Afterward, these substances enter the bloodstream via the lungs, ultimately reaching the brain. The onset of effects is typically swift, often felt within minutes.

Vaping Cannabis: A Modern Take

Vaping is a modern approach to inhaling cannabis, where the cannabis is heated to a specific temperature, allowing its active compounds to be released as vapor. This vapor is then inhaled, offering a less harsh alternative to smoking.

The Physiology of Vaping Cannabis

Like smoking, the onset of effects when vaping is rapid, with users typically feeling effects within minutes. This quick onset is due to the active compounds being absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs.

Cannabis Ingestion: A Journey of Flavor and Effects

Unlike inhalation methods, cannabis ingestion leads to a slower onset of effects. This delay is because edibles must first be digested and metabolized by the liver before the active compounds enter the bloodstream.

Cannabis Edibles: A Tasty Treat

Cannabis edibles come in various forms, including brownies, gummies, and even beverages. These tasty treats offer a flavorful and discreet method of consumption, appealing to those who prefer to avoid smoking.

The Physiology of Consuming Cannabis Edibles

When you consume cannabis edible, the digestive system absorbs the active compounds. From there, they undergo metabolism in the liver, which converts THC to 11-hydroxy-THC, a more potent compound. This process can lead to a delayed onset of effects, often felt one to three hours after consumption.

Cannabis Tinctures: A Drop of Relief

Cannabis tinctures are another form of ingestion where the active compounds are dissolved in alcohol or another solvent. They are taken sublingually (under the tongue) or added to food and drinks.

The Physiology of Using Cannabis Tinctures

Tinctures taken sublingually can offer a faster onset of effects than edibles, as they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes in the mouth.

Edibles vs. Smoking: The Experience

The effects of consuming cannabis via edibles or smoking can vary significantly, influencing the overall experience.

Onset of Effects

Smoking leads to almost immediate effects, often felt within minutes. In contrast, the effects of edibles are delayed, usually beginning one to three hours after consumption.

Intensity of Effects

Due to the liver metabolizing THC into the more potent 11-hydroxy-THC when consuming edibles, users often report more intense and longer-lasting effects than smoking.

Duration of Effects

The duration of smoking typically ranges from one to three hours, whereas the effects of consuming edibles can last for six to eight hours and, in some cases, even longer.

Safety Considerations

Whether you smoke or consume edibles, always remember that safety is paramount. It's essential to start with a low dose and go slow, especially when trying a new consumption method.

Health Risks

While no consumption method is entirely risk-free, smoking is associated with more potential health risks due to inhaling smoke and possible contaminants.

Dosage Control

Dosage control can be challenging with edibles, especially homemade ones, leading to a higher risk of consuming more than intended. Always start with a low dose and wait for the effects before consuming more.

The Final Verdict

In the debate between edibles vs. smoking, the final choice ultimately depends on individual preference, health considerations, and desired effects.


Q1. What is the critical difference between consuming edibles and smoking cannabis?

The key difference lies in the effects' onset, intensity, and duration. Smoking leads to faster but shorter-lived effects, whereas edibles have a slower onset but longer-lasting and often more intense effects.

Q2. Are there different health risks associated with edibles and smoking?

While no method is entirely risk-free, smoking is associated with potential respiratory issues due to inhaling smoke and possible contaminants.

Q3. Can you control the dosage with edibles?

Dosage control can be challenging with edibles, especially homemade ones. Always start with a low dose and wait to feel the effects before consuming more.

Q4. What is 11-hydroxy-THC?

11-hydroxy-THC is a metabolite of THC produced in the liver. It is more potent than THC and responsible for edibles' intense and long-lasting effects.

Q5. Can I consume cannabis without smoking or eating edibles?

Yes, other consumption methods, like vaping and tinctures, offer alternative ways of consuming cannabis.

Q6. Which method is best for beginners?

There's no definitive answer, as it largely depends on individual preference. However, starting with a low dose of edibles can be a gentler introduction due to the slower onset of effects.


The debate on edibles vs. smoking illustrates the diverse world of cannabis consumption. Both methods have their unique characteristics, effects, and safety considerations. Understanding these differences will help you make an informed decision tailored to your preferences and needs. Remember, start low and go slow, especially when trying a new consumption method.

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