Newcomers to cannabis frequently ask if there’s a difference between eating edibles, smoking, or vaping or if one is superior to the other. Naturally, you’ll get a variety of responses if you ask stoner buddies–experienced cannabis connoisseurs. The truth is this: none of them is intrinsically “better” than the others. There are, however, key characteristics that may favor one over the others depending on circumstances. To help you decide which method of enjoyment is best for you, this article examines the differences and similarities between edibles, smoking, and vaping.
Edibles come in different forms, shapes, and sizes, with gummies being the most popular. They are called edibles because they can be directly ingested into the body by eating, chewing, and swallowing. Most businesses sell beverages, hard candies, and baked items such as brownies. Some people include cannabinoid-infused coffee drinks, honey, teas, and shots in the edibles category.
The most significant differences between ingestion methods is the intensity of effects at a given dose, atomicity with use, and longevity of effects. Edibles take longer to take effect, but they are also more potent than smoking or vaping disposables, prerolls or cartridges. The key benefit of edibles is that they are discreet and do not pose the same risks as smoking. Vaping and smoking are more immediate, but the euphoric feeling doesn’t last as long as with edibles. They’re better for folks who want immediate results but don’t mind topping up periodically to maintain the effects.
The modes of metabolism for smoking and edibles are quite different. With edibles, the product goes to the stomach, gets digested, and infuses the bloodstream with cannabinoids to produce the high. Smoking, on the other hand, gets the lungs infused with cannabinoids but in a gaseous form, allowing the cannabis to flow into the bloodstream. Looking at these ways that the body metabolizes cannabis, it is clear that while edibles offer an intense and prolonged experience, smoking results in a faster high that wears out faster. Because of the inverse relationship between speed of high and duration, there is a good rule of thumb that applies to ingesting cannabis: the faster the cannabinoid gets into the bloodstream, the faster the high. The slower the cannabinoid gets into the bloodstream, the more intense the high can be.
Cannabinoid users frequently assert that edibles are more potent than smoking. An explanation for this is that the high from edibles lasts two to three times longer than the high from smoking or vaping, creating the appearance of a more robust experience. Another reason why people tend to believe that edibles are stronger is because controlling the dose is more difficult with edibles than with smoking or vaping. It’s easier to ingest more cannabis via edibles because the high from edibles takes a long time to set in, encouraging users to believe that edibles are stronger. Moreover, edibles are cannabinoid-infused sweets: e.g. candies, beverages, brownies, which can encourage users to consume a high amount. The total intensity and effects of eating the same amount of cannabis are unaffected by the mode of consumption. The effects and potency of eating an edible are the same as smoking the same quantity of cannabis, However, the high from edibles lasts longer.
Many people choose to smoke prerolls or vape because the effects are immediate. The effects are felt by the majority of smokers and vapers within minutes, and virtually everyone starts to detect results within 5–10 minutes. The effects of cannabinoids from smoking and vaping usually last 1–2 hours.
Eating edibles is similar to taking a slow-release tablet in that the benefits are delayed but last considerably longer. Most people believe the effects start within 30–60 minutes and stay for 4–6 hours.
Some claim that edibles’ effects can last even longer, though this is difficult to estimate because the length is dependent on various things. Specifically, the user’s body weight, age, and metabolism all influence how quickly and how long a person feels the benefits of cannabis.
According to experts, smoking and vaping are far more harmful than infused consumables. Vaping and smoking are likely to cause diseases such as throat cancer and disorders like chronic bronchitis. Apart from the regular adverse effects of eating cannabis, edibles have no known serious side effects. People who care about their long-term health almost always choose edibles to enjoy, particularly if they use cannabinoids frequently.
Efficiency is one advantage edibles offer over smoking. When exposed to extreme heat, cannabinoids degrade. Smoking causes cannabinoids to break down, reducing their potency. Vaping does not require combustion but does involve high temperatures, making it less harmful than smoking but not as effective at retaining THC content as are edibles. Most edible production methods, even baking, do not involve high enough temperatures to destroy THC. Generally, this means that edibles conserve more cannabis than other methods and that consumables do not lose their quality.
Vaping and smoking are related but not identical. There are more options for smoking than for vaping. Some people use bongs, pipes, bowls, and rolling papers, including joints and blunts, to become high. This provides smokers with several options, each with advantages and disadvantages. Vaping is less affordable than smoking. Most vapers use a vape pen that uses liquid distillate cartridges, which are a highly concentrated form of cannabis. Vape cartridges are handy, portable, and easy to use, but they are also costly. For many people, vaping is a preferred mode of cannabinoid intake over smoking because the fire and smoke that comes with smoking blunts just isn’t for them.
It’s a matter of individual preference when choosing between smoking, vaping, and edibles. Some people prefer the immediate effects of smoking and vaping to edibles’ slower, longer-lasting effects. However, the consumption method will not impact the effect and strength of your experience–assuming you consume the same amount of cannabis for each method.
Given the mounting evidence that smoking raises the risk of lung and other cancers, edibles are the healthier option. On the other hand, edibles aren’t the ideal choice for beginners, and even experienced users must be cautious with edibles to avoid overdoing it. The decision between edibles and smoking boils down to how you intend to use cannabinoids and how comfortable you are with smoking. Smoking and vaping are handy but potentially dangerous, whereas edibles are more efficient but volatile.
There’s no gainsaying that both of these components have advantages and disadvantages. Smoking has so many advantages and disadvantages and, likewise, edibles.
Smoking cannabis offers euphoria, but for a short time. Smokers like the heat that comes with the drag, the scent of the cannabinoid flowers, and even the smoke released into the atmosphere. To the persons interested in it, smoking is very enjoyable.
Another benefit of smoking is that it vastly reduces anxiety. In addition, when cannabis is inhaled via gas, the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that relaxes the body and helps to reduce anxiousness.
Yet another benefit of smoking? Smoking helps with insomnia. For persons who have trouble sleeping, smoking can help to relax the brain and make it easier to sleep.
The inhalation of smoke from cannabis can cause inflammation in the lungs. In addition, the liver shrinks from too much smoke inhalation. Therefore, it is not advisable for patients with underlying diseases such as asthma to engage in smoking.
Edibles are a milder alternative to smoking. They are usually nourishing and do not possess harmful side effects. Edibles are suitable for patients who have underlying diseases such as lung infections and asthma. Moreover, for persons who do not like the smell of cannabinoids on them, edibles are the best bet to enjoy cannabinoids.
The major disadvantage of taking edibles is that it’s easy to overdo it. It’s easy to quickly gobble up a very large amount of cannabis while eating edibles. For example, a person could, in a matter of minutes, consume 30 pieces of gummies–equivalent to about 15 blunt rolls. This can be harmful to the user as they may experience an overdose, leading to brain damage and in exceptionally rare cases, even death.
For persons who have diabetes, edibles might not be the best option since edibles tend to contain copious amounts of sugar and diabetics may not have enough insulin to metabolize the sugar contained in edibles.