Cannabis Edibles vs. Smoking: Which is Better for You?

Written: editor | June 8, 2023

One of the key differences between smoking cannabis and consuming edibles lies in the speed of onset. When smoking, the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream quickly through the lungs, resulting in a rapid onset of effects. This can lead to almost immediate symptom relief, making it a preferred method for those seeking immediate relief from symptoms such as pain or nausea.

On the other hand, when consuming edibles, the cannabinoids need to be metabolized by the liver before entering the bloodstream. This process takes longer, resulting in a slower onset of effects. This gradual onset can be advantageous for those who prefer a more controlled and sustained symptom relief experience.

Furthermore, the duration and longevity of effects also vary between the two methods. Smoking cannabis typically results in a shorter duration of effects, lasting anywhere from one to three hours. In contrast, when consuming edibles, the effects can last much longer, ranging from four to eight hours or even more in some cases. This prolonged duration can be beneficial for individuals seeking extended relief without the need for frequent dosing.

It is important to note that the effects of edibles can be more potent and long-lasting compared to smoking due to the way the liver metabolizes THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) into a more potent form known as 11-hydroxy THC. This conversion can result in a stronger and longer-lasting high, which may be desirable for some individuals but could also increase the risk of overconsumption if not properly managed.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that edibles come in various forms, including liquid options. These liquid edibles, such as cannabis-infused beverages, offer an alternative way of consumption for those who may have concerns about inhaling smoke or who simply prefer a more discreet option.

In conclusion, the choice between cannabis edibles and smoking ultimately depends on individual preferences and desired effects. While smoking offers quicker relief and shorter-lasting effects, consuming edibles provides a slower onset, prolonged duration, and potentially more potent high. It is important for users to understand these differences and make informed choices based on their unique needs and preferences.

Now, let’s explore some key points about cannabis use:

Historical and Cultural Significance: Cannabis has been used by different cultures throughout history for religious, spiritual, and medical purposes. Its use can be traced back thousands of years, with evidence found in ancient texts and artifacts.

Medicinal Potential: Cannabis has shown promise in treating various medical conditions, such as chronic pain, nausea, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. However, more research is needed to fully understand its therapeutic potential.

Recreational Use: Many people enjoy using cannabis recreationally for its psychoactive effects. When consumed, it can produce feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and increased sociability.

Different Strains and Potencies: Cannabis comes in a variety of strains, each with its own unique combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds contribute to the different effects and flavors of each strain.

Methods of Consumption: Cannabis can be consumed in various ways, including smoking, vaping, topical application, and eating edibles. Each method has its own advantages and considerations.

Legalization and Regulation: In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards the legalization and regulation of cannabis in many countries and states. This has allowed for more research, improved product quality, and safer access for consumers.

Remember, if you’re considering using cannabis, it’s essential to educate yourself and make informed decisions. Consulting

Benefits of Eating Edibles vs Smoking

When it comes to consuming cannabis, there are various methods to choose from. While smoking cannabis is the most traditional and well-known method, many people are turning to eating cannabis-infused edibles for a different experience. In fact, there are several benefits to choosing edibles over smoking. Let’s take a closer look at why edibles are gaining popularity:

1. No Harmful Smoke

One of the biggest advantages of eating edibles is that you don’t have to inhale any smoke. Smoking cannabis can irritate the lungs and throat, leading to respiratory issues over time. By opting for edibles, you can avoid these potential risks and still enjoy the effects of cannabis.

2. Longer-lasting Effects

Compared to smoking, the effects of cannabis edibles tend to last longer. When you smoke cannabis, the THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, leading to a rapid onset of effects but a shorter duration. On the other hand, when you consume edibles, the THC is metabolized in the liver, resulting in a slower onset but a longer-lasting high.

3. Discreet and Convenient

Eating cannabis edibles offers a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis. Unlike smoking, there’s no need for a lighter or rolling papers. Edibles are available in a wide range of forms, including gummies, chocolates, and baked goods, making them easy to consume on-the-go without drawing attention.

4. Precise Dosing

When you smoke cannabis, it can be challenging to control the dosage accurately. However, with edibles, you can easily determine the amount of THC you’re consuming since each edible is labeled with the cannabinoid content. This allows for more precise dosing, making it easier to find your optimal experience.

5. Versatile Options

Edibles offer a diverse range of options to suit different tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer sweet or savory, there’s an edible for everyone. From infused candies to infused olive oils, the possibilities are endless. You can even find edibles with specific flavor profiles or dietary preferences, such as vegan or gluten-free options.

Different Types of Cannabis Edibles

When it comes to cannabis edibles, there are a wide variety of options available to suit different preferences and needs. Whether you’re new to edibles or a seasoned consumer, here are some popular types of cannabis edibles that you might encounter:

Brownies and Baked Goods

One of the most iconic and well-known types of cannabis edibles are brownies. These delicious treats are infused with cannabis oil or butter, giving them a potent and long-lasting effect. In addition to brownies, you can also find other baked goods like cookies, muffins, and cakes that have been infused with cannabis.

Gummies and Candies

If you prefer something sweet and chewy, gummies and candies infused with cannabis are a great option. These bite-sized treats come in a variety of flavors and shapes, making them a fun and convenient way to consume cannabis. Just be sure to start with a low dosage, as the effects can take a while to kick in.

Chocolates and Truffles

For those with a love for chocolate, cannabis-infused chocolates and truffles are a popular choice. These delectable treats are available in various flavors and strengths, allowing you to find the perfect balance of sweetness and cannabis potency. Remember to store them in a cool, dry place to maintain their quality.


If you’d rather sip on your cannabis, there are a variety of infused drinks available. From cannabis-infused teas and coffees to sparkling beverages and fruit juices, you can find a drink to satisfy your cravings. These beverages offer a discreet and refreshing way to consume cannabis, perfect for those who want to avoid the smell and taste of traditional methods.

Tinctures and Oils

Tinctures and oils are highly concentrated cannabis extracts that can be added to food and beverages or consumed sublingually. They come in small bottles with droppers, allowing for precise dosage control. Tinctures and oils are a versatile option, as they can be easily incorporated into your favorite recipes or used on their own.

Capsules and Pills

For those who prefer a more pharmaceutical approach, cannabis capsules and pills are available. These

Risks and Potential Side Effects of Edible Cannabis

When it comes to consuming cannabis, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects, especially when eating edibles. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

1. Delayed Onset

Unlike smoking, the effects of edible cannabis can take much longer to kick in.

It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for you to start feeling the effects.

This delayed onset can lead to the common mistake of consuming more than intended, thinking the edible isn’t working.

2. Dosing Difficulties

It can be challenging to determine the appropriate dosage when it comes to edibles.

The potency of edible cannabis can vary greatly, making it difficult to gauge the right amount to consume.

Start with a low dose and wait for the effects before considering consuming more.

3. Overconsumption

Eating too much cannabis can lead to an unpleasant experience, commonly known as “greening out”.

Symptoms of overconsumption may include anxiety, paranoia, rapid heart rate, nausea, and dizziness.

If you feel uncomfortable or experience any negative effects, try to stay calm and remind yourself that it will pass.

4. Longer Duration

The effects of edible cannabis tend to last longer than smoking.

You can expect the high to last around 4 to 6 hours, sometimes even longer.

Plan accordingly and ensure you have a safe and comfortable environment to enjoy the experience.

5. Intensified Effects

Eating cannabis can result in a more potent and intense high compared to smoking.

The liver converts delta-9-THC (the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis) into a more potent form called 11-hydroxy-THC.

It’s important to keep this in mind

Effectiveness of Edible Cannabis vs Smoking

When it comes to consuming cannabis, there are a few different methods to choose from. One popular option is smoking, but another increasingly popular option is eating cannabis-infused edibles. But how do these two methods compare in terms of effectiveness? Let’s take a closer look.

1. Onset of Effects:
– Smoking: When you smoke cannabis, the effects are almost immediate. You’ll typically start feeling the effects within a few minutes, with the peak occurring after about 30 minutes.
– Edibles: With edibles, the onset of effects is much slower. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for you to start feeling the effects. This is because the THC in edibles needs to be metabolized by the liver before it can enter your bloodstream.

2. Duration of Effects:
– Smoking: The effects of smoking cannabis typically last for a shorter duration, usually around two to four hours.
– Edibles: On the other hand, the effects of edibles can last much longer. You can expect to feel the effects for about four to six hours, sometimes even longer depending on the dosage.

3. Intensity of Effects:
– Smoking: When you smoke cannabis, the effects can be felt more intensely and quickly. This is because the THC is inhaled directly into the lungs, allowing it to be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.
– Edibles: Edibles, on the other hand, can produce a more intense and long-lasting high. This is because the THC in edibles is metabolized by the liver into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC, which is more potent than THC itself.

4. Consistency of Dosage:
– Smoking: It can be more challenging to control the dosage when smoking cannabis. The potency of the strain, the size of the inhale, and other factors can all affect the dosage you receive.
– Edibles: With edibles, the dosage is much more consistent. Each edible is typically infused with a specific amount of THC, allowing you to have a better idea of how much you’re consuming. However, it’s still important to start with a low dosage and gradually increase as needed to avoid any unwanted effects.

5. Health Risks:
– Smoking: Smoking cannabis, like any other substance, comes with potential health risks.

Buyer’s Guide for Cannabis Edibles

So, you’ve decided to explore the world of cannabis edibles. Congratulations! With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right products. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make an informed decision and have a fantastic experience with cannabis edibles.

1. Start with Low Doses

When it comes to edibles, it’s important to remember that they can take longer to kick in than smoking cannabis. Start with a low dose, around 5-10 milligrams of THC, and wait for at least two hours before considering taking more. This will help you avoid any unwanted side effects and allow you to gauge the potency of the product.

2. Read the Labels

Always read the labels and packaging of cannabis edibles. Look for information regarding THC and CBD content, recommended dosage, and any potential allergens. This will help you choose the product that suits your preferences and dietary needs.

3. Consider Your Tolerance and Experience

If you are new to cannabis, opt for products with lower THC levels. On the other hand, experienced users might enjoy higher potency edibles. Remember, everyone’s tolerance is different, so choose accordingly to ensure a pleasant experience.

4. Check for Lab Testing

Look for products that have undergone lab testing for quality and safety. This ensures that the edibles are free from harmful contaminants and accurately labeled for potency. Trustworthy brands often provide this information on their websites or packaging.

5. Choose the Right Flavor

One of the great things about cannabis edibles is the variety of flavors available. Whether you prefer sweet, savory, or even spicy, there’s an edible for you. Experiment with different flavors and find the ones that tickle your taste buds.

6. Consider the Onset and Duration

Edibles can have a longer onset time and a more prolonged effect compared to smoking. If you’re looking for immediate relief, opt for fast-acting edibles or sublingual options. If you want a longer-lasting experience, go for

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the differences between cannabis edibles and smoking?

Cannabis edibles and smoking are two different methods of consuming marijuana. Here are some key differences:

1. **How does the onset of effects differ between cannabis edibles and smoking?**

*When smoking, the effects of cannabis are usually felt within minutes, as the THC enters the bloodstream through the lungs. However, with edibles, the onset of effects is delayed and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. This is because the THC must be metabolized by the liver before it can enter the bloodstream.*

2. **What are the differences in duration of effects between cannabis edibles and smoking?**

*When smoking marijuana, the effects typically last for 1-3 hours. On the other hand, the effects of edibles can last much longer, often 4-6 hours or even more, due to the way THC is processed in the body.*

3. **Are there any differences in health risks between cannabis edibles and smoking?**

*While smoking cannabis can cause potential harm to the respiratory system due to the inhalation of smoke, consuming edibles eliminates this risk. However, edibles can have stronger and more unpredictable effects, especially for inexperienced users, and consuming too much can result in unwanted side effects such as anxiety or paranoia.*