Edibles vs. smoking: how consumption methods affect your experience

It is common sense to know that there is a remarkable difference between the high that consumers of cannabis achieve when they smoke it, and the high that they achieve when they eat edibles such as weed-laced brownies.

But some newbies may not know exactly what these differences are. Here is a guide for you to have a safe high.

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THC Edibles vs. Smoking Weed

There are various elements that enter play when establishing what type of experience you have with marijuana. Different stress, terpene accounts, CBD to THC proportions – every one of these elements can have a massive influence on your experience, including exactly how high you feel and for how long.


For those that have tried smoking and eating pot-laced desserts, they must know that edibles usually take longer to kick in as compared to smoking a joint. The effects of the edibles also last much longer. You will feel like you are glued to your couch, most probably, which is also known as “couch-locking.” And it is very likely that your high will probably last from four to six hours. You will feel fuller, because obviously you have just eaten and if taken in adequate quantities, your mind will very obviously be at ease.


When you smoke a joint instead of shoveling down a pot-laced brownie, it will probably hit you much sooner. You will feel the effects within a few minutes, and your head will start feeling lighter. But the bad thing (or good thing, depending on whom you ask) is that these effects will also wear off sooner. They will start peaking within a half hour to an hour, and that is when you will probably feel your best. But within two to four hours, depending on the person, these effects will wear off.



The real thing to ponder over is that you actually absorb way more cannabinoids when you smoke cannabis as compared to eating an edible. Cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol – THC) are the ingredients the weed that induce the high itself. So why exactly are the effects of an edible lingering for a longer period of time?

According to the primary research scientist at cannabis’ godfather enterprise Leafly, Nick Jikomes, “The issue isn’t that [weed is] metabolized differently, it’s that it’s gonna get metabolized to different degrees in different parts of the body, depending on the route of administration.”

He says that with edibles, “a much larger fraction of Delta-9-THC makes it to the liver first. There it gets converted to 11-hydroxy-THC. So, in other words, if you smoke or vape, the ratio of 11-hydroxy-THC to Delta-9-THC is quite low, and if you take an edible it’s much higher.”

There is an edible producer in Colorado called Dixie Elixers, whose director of science and an analytical chemist, Jay Denniston, said that there are multiple elements that are involved in making an edible high a little different than a smoking high. According to him, “Psychoactivity and the effects of cannabis depend not only on the cannabinoids, but on the terpene levels, on the individual metabolite of the person, on what that person had already eaten that day; it depends on the setting.”

So, maybe that is why the edibles take much longer to kick in, and why the effects linger longer too.