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Cannabis Edibles vs Smoking: What You Need to Know

Nothing beats taking the day off, relaxing, and having a nice pot brownie or other form of edible marijuana. Yet, eating too much cannabis can result in an overdose and a less than spectacular experience.

Oral cannabis is notorious for it’s ability to produce long lasting heavy highs. The high produced from consuming cannabis is different from the typical smoking high.

Aside, from a difference in duration, the effects of oral cannabis are different.

Continue reading to find out the difference between edibles and smoking cannabis.

Edibles vs. Smoking: How Cannabis Affects Your Body

One of the most obvious ways in which smoked and oral cannabis differ is the rate which the effects come on. The difference is due to how the body processes the THC from each method of delivery.

When you smoke cannabis the THC vaporizes when you apply the heat of the flame.

The vaporized THC travels into your lungs. Here the THC comes into direct contact with blood vessels inside of the lung’s alveoli.

These blood vessels absorb and transport the THC throughout the body. The rapid absorption causes the effects of cannabis manifest within a few minutes. The stomach breaks down and converts oral cannabis.

The process takes much longer resulting in a longer come up time for effects.

A Different High Between Smoking & Edibles

The main difference between the effects of smoking and ingesting marijuana is scientific. When you ingest cannabis your body processes it into a different chemical than when you smoke it.

THC occurs in the plant as THCA before converted to THC by heating. When you ingest cannabis the THCA converts into 11-hydroxy-THC. This chemical is a more potent version of THC and crosses the blood brain barrier and a much quicker rate.

11-hydroxy-THC causes the intense effects that users feel when they ingest cannabis. Since, 11-hydroxy-THC is a different chemical it has different effects than THCA.

Many users confirm that 11-hydroxy-THC has a much more psychedelic feel than THCA. It is unclear whether this is due to 11-hydroxy-THC’s greater ability to cross the blood brain barrier, or if it is due to the way it affects the brain.

Body vs Head High

The high from cannabis edibles is more focused in the body. Compared to the edibles, smoked marijuana tends to center its high more in the head. This is due to the body producing 11-hydroxy-THC when it breaks down THC.

The effects produced from this metabolite of THC are more analgesic than the effects produced by THCA. Eating preparations of marijuana is a great natural safety alternative to pain pills for pain management.

When choosing whether you want cannabis edibles or smoked cannabis it comes down to preference. Oral cannabis is capable of producing a much stronger high than vaporized or smoked cannabis.

Benefits of Cannabis Edibles

Oral cannabis has less harmful physical side effects than smoking cannabis. Inhaling any kind of smoke into your lungs is bad and cannabis is no exception.

Though it is less harmful than inhaling tobacco smoke, the smoke created by cannabis does still irritate the lining of the lungs.

Vaporizers are better for your lungs than smoking. Though often the vapor is still hot which can irritate lung tissue.

Edibles are without a doubt the healthiest way to consume marijuana. Consuming oral cannabis also prevents psychological addiction due to having to dose less often.

4 Things All Potheads That Made Weed Edibles Can Relate To!

Making edibles is not just for stoners who want to smuggle cannabis into an outdoor rave, or for grannies making tea at home to alleviate the pain in their backs. Bakers, chocolatiers, chefs, and investors have hopped on the bandwagon and are turning the edibles market into a multi-million dollar industry.

The popularity of edibles/medibles has grown so rapidly that there are probably more locations starting to supply the demand for these, and we may soon be experiencing the kind of market flood that fast food joints currently enjoy.

1. It’s Easy to Make “Space Cakes”!

If you have spent time in the kitchen making edibles, you know that making good quality cannabis food products is a labor of love. While it is easy enough to throw your shake in a pan and blend it up with the muffin mix, it really does take trial and error to make a delicious cannabis-infused dish – whether this is a dessert, a starter, or any one of the thousands of other delicious stoner delights possible.

2. What Was That Laced With?

Yes, sometimes that batch of cookies can feel like an LSD trip straight out of the 70’s -one has to be careful of edibles, and, if you are not a seasoned medible maker, take caution when cooking up your first batch.

One must also realize that ingesting cannabis will have it take longer to be absorbed than smoking it would do, so don’t be too hasty with going back for seconds. Give yourself at least an hour before eating another cookie. This will allow you to gauge the effects it has had on your body and mind.

3. Dude, Did You Decarb?

Have you ever eaten a green space cake gifted to you from a friend and nothing happens? Well, weed needs to be decarboxylated.

Cannabis in its raw form is not psychoactive, and the flower matter needs go through a chemical process called “decarboxylation”. This process converts THCa to THC, giving it a variable potency, and, effectively, making you high. If you do not decarb your bud, however, don’t despair – all is not lost. You will simply be upping your intake of fibre and enjoying all the other goodness found in cannabis. You just won’t be getting high.

4. You Can (…Almost) Overdose on Cannabis Edibles.

Eating too many edibles has never been proven to cause a fatal overdose, but it can make you pass out, feel dizzy, or cause a loss of co-ordination. It cannot cause permanent damage, but the high can last up to four hours or more. Overdoing anything in life is not a good idea however -so eat your edibles, but just do so consciously and cautiously.

These are all the things that stoners that ever made cannabis edibles before can relate to. Let us know in the comments below if you know any other things that potheads that made edibles before can relate to.

Join in discussing the difference between oral and smoked cannabis and share your experiences with us.


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