Available in a variety of forms like gummies, candies, pretzels, cookies, brownies, waffles or tinctures, marijuana edibles have become extremely popular among the users in the last few years. According to the latest market research analysis, by 2022 the global marijuana edibles market will grow to $4.1 billion. However, this increasing obsession with marijuana edibles does not mean that good old weed smoking has gone completely out of fashion nowadays.
Smoking marijuana is still very popular among the users of all age groups and, in comparison to the products meant for smoking, edibles are still a small fraction of the total cannabis market. Which method of consuming cannabis is more effective? Inhaling or ingesting? Smoking vs edibles – there is a strong debate among marijuana users. The effects vary according to how you are consuming your cannabis and how the cannabinoids present in your weed is getting into your bloodstream. Keep reading this post to understand the difference between smoking and ingesting marijuana and decide which method is better for you.
Smoking vs edibles – how cannabinoids work differently on the body
While you smoke a joint, THC enters the lungs first and the lungs send it directly to the bloodstream. In the case of edibles, the route to the bloodstream is a bit longer. When you eat any marijuana edibles, THC has to travel through the digestive system in our body and undergo a metabolic pass in the liver before entering into the blood.
Smoking vs edibles – the difference in effects
Due to this longer route, it takes a longer time for the edibles to produce the effects. While smoking, the effects tend to peak within ten minutes. For edibles, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in. However, the effects of the edibles last much longer than smoked cannabis. It can last for 4 to 10 hours depending on your unique biological constitution and health. Effects of smoked cannabis last only for an hour or so.
Smoking vs edibles – which one is better for you?
Both methods have their unique benefits as well as side-effects. Let’s compare them so that you can choose which one is better suited for your needs and condition.
Benefits of smoking
• Faster effects
When you smoke a joint or a bong, the effects of the cannabinoids kick in much faster than the edibles.
• Stronger high
When you smoke a particular strain, your blood is able to absorb at least 50-60% of THC and other cannabinoids present in your pot. However, only 10-20% of them are absorbed in the case of the edibles. That means, usually smoked cannabis gives you a stronger high than the edibles.
• Easy to dose
It is relatively easier to dose when you are smoking cannabis. As the effects start to hit you almost instantly, there is a lower chance of overdosing yourself.
• Enjoy the terpene profile
If you want to enjoy the aroma and flavor of the terpenes present in a particular strain, smoking is undoubtedly the best method.
Cons of smoking:
• Bad for lungs
Smoking can be harsh for your lungs and produce long-term health issues. Edibles are undoubtedly a healthier alternative to smoking cannabis.
• Short-lived effects
Effects of smoked marijuana last for an hour or so. Therefore, if you are looking for a longer high or a sustained pain-relief, smoking is probably not a very good choice.
• Messy and cumbersome consumption method
Rolling a joint or preparing a bong is an elaborate process that requires some skills and experience. Compared to that, eating edibles is an absolutely hassle-free method of consuming marijuana.
Benefits of edibles
• Healthier method
Ingesting the edibles ensures that the cannabinoids are absorbed through your digestive system, and not through your lungs. This makes it a healthier option in comparison to smoking a joint.
• Long-lasting effects
The effects produced by the edibles last for hours, which means a prolonged symptom relief. For those who use marijuana for therapeutic purposes, edibles can, therefore, be more effective than the smoked varieties. Edibles are undoubtedly a better option when it comes to treating chronic pain and muscle spasticity.
• Delicious tastes
Available in a huge variety of confections and liquids, the edibles come in different flavors and tastes. Unlike the skunky taste produced by smoking a pot, they ensure absolutely yummy treats for your taste buds.
• No foul aroma
Some strains have a distinct skunky and herbal smell that can irritate people. If you don’t want your neighbors to know about your smoking habits, use the edibles which produce zero smell while consuming.
• The easiest way to consume marijuana
Edibles provide you the easiest and most convenient way to consume cannabis. You don’t need any extra equipment and paraphernalia, or skills for it. Just buy some edibles and pop them into your mouth.
Cons of edibles
• Slower to kick in
Compared to the smoked and vaped varieties, cannabis edibles are slow to produce effects. Depending on your health as well as the type of the product, the cannabinoids in the edibles can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to get absorbed in your bloodstream and produce their effects.
• Difficult to dose
Due to the delay between the time of consumption and the effects to kick in, it can be confusing to fix the correct dosage of the edibles. The different edible products available in the market often have inconsistent dosing. Very often, their labels do not reflect the actual cannabinoid contents. In many cases, they contain very irregular amounts of THC and other cannabinoids in them, making the edibles hard to dose.
• Lack of terpenes
If you want to experience the terpene profile of a particular strain to its fullest extent, edibles are not a good option. To enjoy the aroma of marijuana, smoking is still the best method.
If you can regulate the dosage, edible marijuana can be extremely effective to treat your needs and is a much healthier option than smoking weed. However, as we have noted above, smoking a joint can have some very important benefits as well. First, decide what type of high you expect from cannabis. Only then you can choose between smoking a strain and ingesting edibles. There is no absolute winner in the smoking vs edibles fight. As our post suggests, it is your unique needs and health condition that should determine the most suited method for you.