Does the way we consume THC change the effects it has on our body and mind? It’s a valid question and one that often comes up when talking about smoking vs. edibles. Even the most experienced pot smoker may find themselves way too stoned when they eat edibles, and there is a reason why that happens. Take a look at the differences in physical effects, including how long it takes for smoking and edibles to kick in, and how long the high lasts.
Smoking vs Edibles
The increase in delicious THC-infused snack foods brings a new appeal to cannabis use. Many people prefer a smokeless option for consuming weed, and edibles are the perfect solution. Even folks who enjoy smoking a joint or bowl from time to time can still appreciate the variety that edibles offer.
Neither one is better than the other, it’s simply a matter of personal preference. If you are on the fence about smoking vs edibles, here’s what you need about how these delivery methods are tied to your overall experience.
The Smoking High
Smoking weed produces its effects pretty quickly. As soon as you inhale the smoke into your lungs, the THC and other active cannabinoids rapidly make their way into your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the THC circulates throughout the body, interacting with the body’s soft tissues and brain. The cannabinoids lock into a network of receptors located within the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Here, the effects of cannabis begin to take hold.
When smoking weed, the effects kick in almost instantaneously and reach full effect within 30 minutes. The amount of THC in different strains of weed relates to how long the high will last, and how strong the effects will be. Likewise, taking one hit as opposed to taking five or six hits will influence how stoned you get.
Generally speaking, you can expect the high to last up to six hours with the potential for some lingering after-effects like drowsiness, or a “fuzzy” feeling. Taking only a couple of hits will reduce the overall time you are high, so keep that in mind if you would like a shorter experience. Start with one hit, and wait five to ten minutes to see how you feel.
As the high comes on, you might feel a slight pressure behind the eyes, and an overall relief in muscular tension or stress. When fully peaking, smoking weed usually leads to mild feelings of euphoria, happiness, and a more relaxed state of mind.
The Edibles High
The biggest difference between smoking vs. edibles is how long it takes for edibles to kick in. Unlike smoking, edibles must first make their way through the digestive system to become activated. Once you consume the edible cannabis, the stomach digests and passes along the active components to the liver. During this part of digestion, the liver converts the THC into a more highly potent form called 11-hydroxy-THC.
Then, once the THC has been metabolized by the liver, it begins to circulate throughout the bloodstream, traveling to the brain and other soft tissues. During its journey through the body, the cannabinoids lock into the receptors in the ECS, producing its effects.
Because of the digestion process, it can take at least 30 minutes before you even notice that the edibles are kicking in. This is why it’s so important to wait at least 90 minutes before increasing your dose. Too often has someone decided to take more, thinking it “wasn’t working,” only to feel the first dose hit after they’ve taken a second dose.
Full effects can take up to two hours, with the entire experience fully peaking around four hours. Depending on the dose, the high can last as long as 12 hours to feel totally sober. An edible high is often more intense than a smoking high, which is primarily because edibles are infused with concentrated cannabis oils that contain higher percentages of THC than raw cannabis. Not to mention the added boost in potency from the digestive process in the liver. The edible high tends to feel a bit more amplified and lasts for quite a lot longer.
Take a Hit or Take a Bite?
The good news is that you don’t have to choose one or the other. You can enjoy smoking weed and eating edibles at different times or for different occasions. Just keep in mind the biggest key points for each option.
- Rapid onset of effects
- Shorter-lived high
- Less potent in small doses
- Easy-to-measure, exact dosage
- Long-lasting effects
- Zero impact on the lungs
If you want to try cannabis edibles, but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Grab some Hint of Lime or Salsa Verde tortilla rounds for taco night, or try out our Fiery Hot cheese crunchers and take a stroll through flavor-town.
With five savory snacks to choose from and two sizes of perfectly dosed chips to enjoy, whether you’re munching solo (10mg) or with friends (100mg), we know you’ll love our crunchy treats. Shop online for delivery straight to your door throughout California.