Eating vs. Inhaling Cannabis - The Differences

Eating vs. Inhaling Cannabis - The Differences

You have quite some adventuring to do when it comes to marijuana delivery. So many ways to consume weed exist that making a choice can feel difficult. Buds are popular, always will be, but more folks are trying other forms of marijuana, with edibles a clear bestseller. From pizza to candies, muffins, salads, any dish really, even drinks, edibles are variable. You can even make them yourself at home.

As you submerge yourself ever deeper into cannabis culture, you will certainly come across edibles. What should you expect from them? How do they differ from smokable buds? Perhaps you enjoy them already and are wondering why their effects are so intense, long lasting, even borderline psychedelic. There are big differences between smoking and eating cannabis, and you should know them: 

  • Bioavailability

The body absorbs tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in different ways when you smoke weed and when you eat it. Edibles are typically more potent than buds or vaporizers. This is because the liver metabolizes THC from edibles, after it passes through the digestive system, and converts it into the notorious 11-hydoxy-THC, an active metabolite that crosses the blood-brain barrier easily to intensify the “high.” 

On the other hand, when you inhale THC, it goes through an entirely different metabolic process. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, smokables have higher bioavailability than edibles. It is easier and quicker for the body to absorb THC when inhaled, since it passes from the lungs directly to the bloodstream, as opposed to going the digestive route. Inhaled, effects hit faster and end quicker. 

  • Effect and Duration

The most important rule of edibles is to be patient. Start small. Start slowly. Wait for effects to hit before consuming ore. Because the liver metabolizes edibles, effects can take as long as two hours to feel, and they can last several blissful hours. This varies between edibles, but mostly, folks experience strong physical effects and a near psychedelic head buzz, especially in large doses, hence the “go slow.” 

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Edibles might be potent, but when compared to smokables, they actually send fewer cannabinoids to the bloodstream, maybe 30 percent of THC at most in blood plasma. When inhaled, cannabinoids in blood plasma are much higher, more around 60 percent. This is why the effects of inhaled cannabis peak very quickly and dissipate very rapidly too. Simply put, edibles feel stronger and last longer. 

  • Dosing

Dosing is incredibly important when it comes to edibles, thanks to their potency of high and long lasting effects. However, accurate dosing of edibles is incredibly difficult, certainly more challenging than smoking buds. Determining how much THC is in a batch of edibles is challenging, even companies struggle with all the right technology, and despite the dose advertised on their products. 

Because effects can take long to feel, consumers often devour more edibles than they should, and too much THC can be unpleasant, even if it does not kill you. Smokables, with their immediate effects, enable consumers to dose gradually as required, as they feel they need it. This is impossible with edibles, however, so companies are now improving dosage accuracy in their products. 

A single serving of edibles contains a standard 10-milligram dose of edibles. This is in legal markets, of course, and does not refer to the whole product. For example, a chocolate containing 100 milligrams of THC is insanely potent, far too much for any one person. It should come broken into 10 doses, or blocks, of 10 milligrams each. Too much THC is not harmful, but it will turn a good experience bad very quickly. 

  • Labeling Discrepancies

Sometimes, you will find edibles advertising potency that does not match the label. This happens more in unregulated markets, those that do not undergo meticulous testing. Remember too that each batch will be different from the last, so do not expect the same potency as you had last time. It may be stronger. Perhaps weaker. This is normal, provided the label actually reflects an accurate dose. 

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In the legal market, this is less of an issue. Regulations mandate companies test all of their products and adhere to THC limits before sale, so you know exactly what is in the products you buy. If you live in a non-legal state, or still buy from the black market, then know that the THC content may not be what you think it is. Once again, until laws settle, be patient and go slowly. Do not overeat, no matter how tasty. 

  • Health

Edibles are healthier than joints, pipes, bongs, vaporizers, and other smokables. Undoubtedly. In fact, edibles are a major attraction for the health conscious, those who would prefer not to inhale smoke, vapors, and all of the chemicals that come with it. What is more, edibles last longer, ideal for medical patients, and are more effective than inhaling smokables. 

Marijuana Delivery in California

Edibles are available for marijuana delivery. Just type “weed delivery near me” into your favorite search engine to find companies servicing your area. You can buy brownies, gummies, chocolates, or any of the stereotypical edibles, or you can make your own cannabis-infused meals at home. All you need is a quality cannabutter and a few good tried and tested recipes. 

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Comments (3)

  1. Avatar for Nicole Nicole October 27, 2019 / 8:54 am / Reply

    I guess there are some major differences and the two are almost separate experiences all-together

  2. Avatar for Zokan Zokan October 28, 2019 / 11:18 pm / Reply

    I’m a smoker myself. Never enjoyed the high from edibles

  3. Avatar for Denise Denise October 30, 2019 / 2:40 am / Reply

    Reading about the differences in highs was eye opening! Im a smoker for sure!

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