Difference Between Edibles and Smoking 

Some people prefer a spliff between their fingers while others wouldn’t be caught dead attempting to roll one up. Those folks would likely opt for an alternate, tastier mode of consumption like edibles. So, what’s the difference between edibles and smoking? What types of edibles are out there? Well, we have some answers, and if you’re trying to decide which method is best for you, we can help you out with that too.

Types of Edibles

Edibles are typically food items made with cannabis or cannabis oils and are often used as an alternative to smoking marijuana. With today’s fantastic technology, pretty much anything can be transformed into an edible, which is perhaps half the fun of it! They come in many shapes and sizes and various liquid and solid forms, such as:

  • Brownies
  • Cookies
  • Hard Candies 
  • Gummies
  • Chocolates
  • Soft Drinks
  • Juices
  • Popcorn

Eating vs. Smoking Weed

There are many pros and cons of edibles and smoking, and while the effects of both methods are not polar opposites, they do vary. Although many experienced users will know the difference, it’s important for consumers at all stages to keep this one general point in mind: eating weed will always produce a much stronger, more intense high, whereas smoking provides a much more predictable and manageable experience. Why is this? Royal Queen Seeds laid it out perfectly:

  • Absorption:
    Eating: Although edibles take a while to kick in and produce any effects, once that happens, they make their presence known. This is because upon ingesting cannabis, the liver begins to metabolize the THC within it, turning it into a metabolite called 11-hydroxy-THC. This is more potent and has a much longer half-life, making the experience more intense overall. 
    Smoking: When you smoke cannabis, the THC travels straight to the brain almost instantly through the alveoli within the lungs, causing you to feel the effects within minutes after inhaling. 
  • Onset:
    Eating: Because edibles take so long to kick in, it gives you the illusion that you don’t feel anything, making you feel inclined to eat some more and reducing the amount of control you have over the entire experience. 
    Smoking: With smoking, you can better gauge how much THC you’re consuming, given the instant effects that you feel upon that first inhale. Thus, you also know when to give it a rest, giving you more control over the situation overall. 
  • Duration:
    Eating: Once the edibles hit, prepare for a long journey as the effects can linger anywhere from four to eight hours or longer.
    Smoking: Instant hit means shorter flight. After the first hit, you’ll feel relaxed for about an hour or so before the effects begin to fade. At this point, if you’re looking to prolong the buzz, you can indulge in a few more hits and head back to the sky.

Perhaps the most significant difference between edibles and smoking is potency. Eating cannabis will provide a much stronger experience than smoking due to how the body processes THC. The previously mentioned metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC has a higher affinity for the brain’s CB1 receptors, making that edible hit a lot stronger overall. Additionally, tolerance plays a large role. Seasoned consumers may feel fine after indulging in a brownie, while others may describe a more psychedelic experience rather than just a regular high. The pros and cons of edibles are simple and really just depend on who you ask:

Pros: Edibles last longer, are more intense.

Cons: Edibles last longer, are more intense. 

Choose your own adventure and enjoy!