Smoking vs. Edibles: What’s Right for You?

Smoking vs. Edibles: What’s Right for You?

Smoking vs. Edibles Whats Right for You

Not all cannabis is created equal. The cannabinoid content, terpene profile, and potency can all impact your high. So, how do you choose what’s best for you? 

One of the most important facets to look at is the consumption method. There are many ways to get your daily dose, including smoking, edibles, topicals, and tinctures. Each of these methods will create different experiences. In this guide, we’ll be examining the two most tried and true ways to consume cannabis: smoking vs. edibles.  

Smoking Marijuana (Inhaling) 

Smoking vs. Edibles Smoking Marijuana

The most popular way to enjoy cannabis is by smoking it. It is also one of the oldest consumption methods dating back to 500 BCE in western China.  Cannabis users love this method for its rapid on-set and instantaneous relief. When you inhale marijuana smoke into your lungs, the cannabinoids are almost immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, they quickly make their way to the brain, which is where they connect with receptors that create bodily sensations. When you smoke, you’ll feel the effects right away. Typically, a high will last for about 1-2 hours, depending on how much is consumed.

Over the years, smoking has become more intricate with tools, gadgets, and accessories. Even in the smoking category, there are many alternate ways to consume your products. For example, there are joints, blunts, pipes, bongs, and cartridges. If all the jargon gets confusing, don’t worry, we got you covered with our Cannabis Terminology Guide.  

Glassware in itself has become a popular sector of the cannabis industry. Some experienced users even invest in accessories to cool, filter, and purify the smoke from their bongs. The craftsmanship and creativity of cannabis enthusiasts have created solutions for getting the cleanest and highest-quality smoke sessions. 

To summarize:

  • On-set: Instant
  • Lasts: About 1-2 hours depending on how much is consumed 
  • Pros: Rapid relief, easy to dose, complete terpene profile when smoking flower
  • Cons: Accessories needed (or you could purchase a pre-roll, in that case, you only need a lighter.) Not always the most discreet. 

Edibles (Digesting Cannabis)

Smoking vs. Edibles Digesting Marijuana

Edibles are great for medical patients or those not interested in smoking. It’s become a fan favorite for its convenience, discreetness, and long-lasting effects. When you eat an edible, it passes through the digestive system, where the stomach absorbs it. The cannabinoids are then metabolized by the liver, where THC is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC. This compound is more potent and produces longer-lasting effects than THC.

Because the liver absorbs it, it takes longer for the THC to get to your brain. Compared to smoking, edibles have a much longer on-set. It typically takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to hit. Factors like eating or fasting beforehand can affect the absorption process. Once it hits, you can expect the high to last about 4 to 5 hours, depending on the dosage.  

The Golden rule for edible is: “Start Low, Go Slow.” A common mistake from beginners is not waiting an adequate time for the effects to kick in, consuming more, and then experiencing adverse effects from ingesting too much. Want to know how much to dose? Read our Edible Dosage Guide. 

Edibles, like smoking, come in different forms. Consumers can enjoy chocolates, cookies, gummies, even sodas. There are also liquid formulations (also known as tinctures) for those wanting to avoid sugar that can be taken orally or sublingually (under the tongue). It’s important to note, taking it sublingually will have different effects than edibles. 

Lastly, edibles are popular because they are odorless and require no equipment. The only downfall is that dosing can be hard to determine if you choose to make edibles at home. 

To summarize:

  • On-set: 45 mins – 2 hours
  • Lasts: About 4-5 hours depending on how much is consumed 
  • Pros: Vivid, long-lasting high. Good for people with respiratory problems. Discreet. 
  • Cons: Harder to dose if making at home. Takes a longer time to kick in. 

Ingest vs. Inhale? 

In the end, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to consuming cannabis. Each method will offer different experiences. The best option for you depends on what you’re seeking. Think about the pros and cons of each method and see which fits your lifestyle and needs best. 

Need help finding a product? Check out our full menu online. We’d also be happy to pair you with a budtender in-store to answer any further questions.