18 Dec Edibles vs. Smoking: Which Gets You Higher?
There are a lot of different ways to enjoy marijuana, but not every form enters and leaves your body in the same way. The method in which you consume marijuana will affect how CBD and THC affect the body and mind.
Regular smokers probably know that smoking is not the same as eating an edible. Your first brownie might have been a doozy compared to your first joint. Conversely, no amount of edibles may compare to a bong rip.
So, so let’s settle the debate. Do edibles or smoking get you higher?
How Marijuana Smoke Travels Through Your Body
In order to understand why you feel high after smoking or eating edibles, you have to understand how marijuana travels through the body.
When you light up and inhale marijuana smoke, the smoke transports THC right into your lungs. From there, it heads to the bloodstream. It stays relatively intact; THC is oil-soluble and doesn’t dissolve in water. Once THC enters the bloodstream, it doesn’t take long to head up to your brain. Within a few minutes, you start to feel the effects of marijuana.
But what comes up must go down. After you smoke, THC leaves the body just as quickly as it enters. Most users will feel the heady effects of marijuana wear off within one to three hours (unless they keep smoking.)
How Edibles Travel Through Your Body
Remember when we said that THC is oil-soluble? Well, edibles are THC in oil. When you take a bite out of a pot brownie, your saliva starts to mix with the THC you’ve ingested and head down to your stomach and then the liver. In that process, the THC start to break down into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC, which is pretty potent.
11-hydroxy-THC is more water-soluble than regular THC, so once it hits the stomach and the liver, it can easily move through the body and up to the brain. Users tend to feel more of a “body high” after eating edibles than the “head high” they might get from smoking.
The whole process of moving from the mouth to the stomach, blood, and then brain can take a while. While smokable marijuana starts to “hit” within a few minutes, it may take up to an hour for users to feel the effects of edibles.
What goes up must come down…at a similar pace. Users may still feel the effects of edibles for a few hours after they first start to “kick in.” A quick nap won’t always help someone shake off their high after they stuff their face with a batch of brownies.
Why Edibles Hit Harder Than Smoking
So far, it seems as though edibles are the rousing winner. But there are some other factors to consider before we give the crown to pot brownies. There are two reasons why edibles may hit users harder than a joint or a bong rip.
Users Don’t Know Their “Limit”
Every experienced smoker has a tale about eating one edible too many. First-time edible users do not always know or understand that edibles take a lot longer to hit than smoking, so they eat past their “limit” and get hit with a ton of bricks after an hour of consumption. Smokers can avoid that mistake. Since smoke hits your brain quickly after you inhale, you know when you’ve “hit your limit” and put down the bowl.
One Rice Crispies Treat Is Not The Same As One Joint
But is your “limit?” How much marijuana and THC are you actually consuming when you take a toke or take a bite? For many people, a single “unit” of edibles has a lot more THC than a single “unit” of smoking.
Calculating the amount of THC that you’re ingesting comes with a lot of guesswork. Each strain of marijuana has a different concentration of THC (usually 10-20% for recreational use.) We’ll go with 15% for this example.
Each joint has a different amount of marijuana inside. At SpeedGreens, we sell pre-rolls with 1000mg of marijuana inside. Experts predict that when you roll yourself, you may only put around 500mg inside your joint. At most, you’re getting around 150mg of THC. But that doesn’t factor in the amount of THC that you’re losing when you smoke. In fact, many experts say that you lose more THC than you inhale.
Compare that to an edible. Our Pumpkin Spice Truffles contain 60mg of THC. This is probably around the amount that you will get from a good, strong joint. But if you get impatient…you might consume another and give yourself a full 120mg of THC.
See how easy it is to be carried away with edibles? No wonder they knock you off your feet!
Listen To Your Body (And Mind)
To sum it up, here’s our answer to the age-old question: Smoking marijuana can give users a quick high and the choice to gauge how high they want to get. Edibles offer a longer high and will often be stronger due to impatience and the presence of 11-hydroxy-THC. So if you’re looking to feel like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks, eat an edible and wait for an hour. You’ll be knocked off of your feet for a longer period of time.
Cannabis fanatics may also have to wait a while for more research and information about the effects of smoking, edibles, vaping, and other forms of cannabis consumption. Now that marijuana is legal in Canada and becoming more popular around the world, more researchers are looking into studying marijuana. If you ask us about edibles vs. smoking in a few years, we might have a completely different answer for you.
If you are an experienced smoker, you probably already have a preference. But if cannabis is a new way to relax, experiment with edibles and err on the side of caution. Be patient when you take an edible and wait for the first effects to kick in before you indulge in another cookie.
Happy smoking (and eating!)