The iconic line at the end of Dr. Dre’s “Next Episode” (want a little theme music for your listening? Scroll to the bottom to play the song) describes what, for many, is a lifestyle choice: daily cannabis use. People use this wonder drug for a variety of reasons, from anxiety and pain relief to appetite and sleep aid, to just plain old having fun.
These days, the number of products on the market are seemingly as numerous as the reasons for imbibing. With California’s recent legalization, the number of new ways to elevate one’s consciousness will likely only grow. Still, for someone new to the world of weed, the choices can seem overwhelming at times. A newcomer diving in might wonder about the different methods of intake, and rightly so.
The differences and duration of highs can vary dramatically based on how the drug is ingested. If you are new to the scene, have no fear. Today, we are going to explain the main differences between eating and smoking cannabis, and what you should know when choosing your own adventure!
What Is An Edible?
When most people think about consuming weed, the images that usually come to mind are of huge joints (marijuana cigarettes), pipes, or bongs. There are many more ways to inhale your way into a dreamlike state of euphoria and Funion cravings, but I think it’s easy to say most think of smoking the buds themselves as the primary way of getting high.
Smoking marijuana is fun, but not the only way to consume
Although these tend to be the most classically-associated methods, your lungs are not your only ticket to experiencing the carnival ride that is getting stoned. A short edible definition is any product containing the cannabinoids THC and/or CBD that you can eat or drink. The number of cannabis-infused products out there is vast, ranging from marijuana gummy bears and peanut butter cups to ice cream, blueberries, and even pizza. As with smoking, there is a vibrant culture surrounding the use of edibles, with many resources available to those interested in exploring new frontiers. I can remember with fondness one Friendsgiving where, halfway through the dinner, my friend, in a fit of giggles, confessed he had spiked the mashed potatoes.
THC is fat soluble, so most edibles contain cannabinoids that have been captured by heating cannabis in butter or another fatty oil. Marijuana tinctures are another way of enhancing normal food. A drop or two added to a batch of brownies can have the desired effect, and may prove to be an easier method of regulating dosage.
Whose heart wouldn’t be filled with joy at such a sight?Edibles vs Smoking
While ingesting cannabis has numerous health benefits, and can be quite enjoyable when taken recreationally, there are a few things to consider when choosing the intake method that’s right for you.
Smoking marijuana is the quickest way to get high, as the cannabinoids enter your bloodstream faster and are metabolized quicker. The high can hit in a few seconds, or take as long as 15 minutes. It can last between 4-6 hours, depending on the strength of the weed and the amount consumed. There are more factors that influence the intensity of the high, such as how long you hold each breath of smoke in your lungs.
Inhaling marijuana smoke is much safer than tobacco, although most doctors will tell you that smoke of any kind is something your lungs were not designed for. Vaporizers (and there are many!) are said to be easier on the lungs.
For those wishing to keep their lungs clear of anything weed-related, edibles are the way to go. Eating cannabis products allows users to circumvent the potential health risks involved in inhaling the drug, as well as offering an overall longer and potentially stronger high. A typical edible high can last anywhere between 4-12 hours, giving you considerably more bang for your buck.
Oatmeal cookies just like grams used to makeIt is important to note that edibles usually take much longer to take effect, as they enter the bloodstream via the stomach and intestinal tracts. Factors such as whether or not you’ve eaten recently can have a dramatic impact on the time it takes to feel the effects. They can even lessen the intensity of the experience.
An edibles high usually takes anywhere from 30-90 minutes to come on, but can take even longer. It is important to have patience while waiting for your marijuana edibles high. Many are the edibles stories told of enthusiasts who, after waiting 45 minutes and feeling nothing, take another dose and wind up way higher than they expected or wanted to be. That’s why it is a good practice to know your dosage and err on the conservative side when trying any new edible.
How you decide on edibles vs smoking is a personal decision – and, let’s be honest, it could be both. It’s always a good idea to acquire your products from a reputable source, and pay attention to how the drug affects you. Making the right decisions for you will help you get the most out of your cannabis experiences.