Edibles vs. Smoking What is the Difference?LOTUS TORONTO
When you inhale cannabis smoke into your lungs, the active compounds, such as THC, are almost immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, making their way to the brain.
Once the THC hits the brain, it binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, most notably the CB1 receptors, which produces the euphoria typically associated with getting high.
Because the time between inhalation and THC reaching the brain is so short, smoking cannabis has a rapid onset. You’ll feel the effects of smoking weed almost instantly.
When you eat an edible, it passes through the digestive tract where it’s then absorbed by the stomach. Cannabis’ active compounds are then metabolized in the liver, where the THC is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, a compound that is both more potent and longer-lasting than THC.
Because an edible has to go through the digestive tract and liver before getting absorbed into the bloodstream, it takes significantly longer for the THC to hit your brain. But once it does, it’s stronger and has a longer half-life.
As mentioned, the process of metabolizing THC is significantly longer when you ingest an edible, typically anywhere between 45 minutes and three hours. The delayed process of absorbing and metabolizing THC means it takes longer to feel the effects.
But because 11-hydroxy-THC is both more potent and has a longer half-life than THC, once you do start feeling the effects, they’re typically going to feel stronger and last longer than if you hit a joint.
When you smoke weed, on the other hand, the THC almost immediately travels to the brain. That means you’ll feel high almost immediately, but because of the rapid absorption of THC, your high has a shorter duration than with edibles.
Most dispensaries have a selection of edibles, including different types of edibles (like cookies, gummies, and chocolate bars), different dosages, and different CBD to THC ratios. You can also take the DIY route, whip up some cannabis-infused butter or oil, and make your own edibles at home. Just be careful. While making cannabis-infused edibles at home is fairly straightforward, it’s much harder to control potency and dosing. For more consistent dosing and a more consistent experience, stick with professionally manufactured edibles purchased at a reputable dispensary.