Edibles versus Smoking - Which is the Best Method?
Some people prefer to smoke, others prefer to snack. That’s just the way it is. And while nobody from either side can actually make a convincing argument for either cause, the debate rages on. So, let’s compare one with the other; let’s identify the difference in the effects of each method and figure out which one’s right for you.
Edibles versus Smoking – Which Method is Best?
Before we begin, let’s get one thing crystal clear: No one method is best, per se. They’re different. It’s like working out: Some people prefer machines, others prefer free-weights. And while there are proponents of either cause, they both get you where you want to go: sweaty and penniless for a few weeks in January. Therefore, in an effort to remain diplomatic, let’s dissect the effects of both, starting with smoking.
What Happens When you Smoke Weed
The best way to consider the effects of smoking cannabis is to think of it as one for the brain. When you inhale cannabis, the THC contained therein hotfoots it straight to your head and – as THC is not metabolized in blood – the effect is immediate and strong, with your brain receiving roughly 50-60% of the THC.
Once in your head, your brain starts spilling out dopamine. This feel-good drug – the same one you get after a run, sex or eating junk food – makes you feel mildly euphoric. Blood vessels expand in the brain and the effect varies from user to user; some become dizzy, others sleepy, others energetic. A blanket side effect, however, is ‘red eye’: This occurs when blood vessels expand in your eye and leave those tell signs of cannabis use.
The effects normally wear off after around one hour, at which point users are back to their old self. Or sleeping.
What Happens When You Consume Marijuana Edibles
When you consume marijuana edibles, the effect is quite different. And as you consider smoking a hit for the brain, think of this one as a hit for the belly. Literally.
Unlike smoking, when you eat weed, there’s a hell of a lot of metabolizing to do. Just like what happens when you eat anything, your body gets to work turning that ‘erb to energy, and to do so your body needs a bit of time. Because of the way this process works, it can take anywhere between 30 minutes to a couple of hours for the cannabis to have any effect. Therefore, the rule is always the same: Be patient.
What’s more, due to the process of metabolization, the THC contained in the cannabis actually evolves into another form of THC; one that has different effects on the human body. As Mitch Earleywine commented in Understanding Marijuana, “Eaten cannabis gets metabolized by the liver, so delta-9 THC becomes 11-hydroxy-THC, which passes the blood-brain barrier more rapidly and has more of a psychedelic effect than standard THC.”
Cannabis Edibles versus Smoking – Which is Right For You?
Okay, so now you know the difference, let’s weigh up the good and the bad points of each. And to do so, let’s once again start with smoking.
Advantages of Smoking Cannabis
- It’s a quicker method of administration
Smoking is irrefutably the quickest method to get cannabis doing its thing.
- It’s easier to moderate dosage
Due to the fact the effect comes on a little faster, it’s easy to know when you’ve had too much.
- It’s more widely available
Herb is very widely available, especially post Proposition 64. It’s the first product you’ll see advertised in any dispensary.
- There’s more choice
Due to the fact that herb is so widespread, there are literally thousands of strains to choose from. Click here to see what we stock.
Disadvantages of Smoking Cannabis
- It smells
While some might not consider this an overly negative thing, let’s face it – it ain’t subtle.
- It has proven negative health effects
Smoking is bad for your lungs. You know this by now.
- It can’t be consumed everywhere
Even despite Prop 64 being passed in California, you can still only smoke weed within the confines of your own home.
Okay, so that’s a relatively affair assessment of smoking. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of cannabis edibles.
[caption id="attachment_1207" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Smoking is the quickest way to feel the effects of cannabis.[/caption]
Advantages of Cannabis Edibles
- It’s subtle
As long as you dose right, nobody’s likely to know there’s anything up with you.
- Edibles are delicious
The growth in the edible marijuana products market has resulted in a growth in creativity. Edible cannabis is now available in a host of tasty food products, from cookies to cakes; gravy to gummy bears.
- The effect lasts longer
If you dose smartly, once you achieve the effect you desire, it’s going to stick around for a while.
- You don’t have to put up with any smoke
Nobody likes smoke. You’re not meant to like it. Eating your weed takes care of that problem.
Disadvantages of Cannabis Edibles
- It’s hard to ensure you’re dosing correctly
Due to the amount of time it takes for cannabis to have an effect when it’s ingested, it’s difficult to know if you’ve eaten too much or too little. Especially when you’re lacking experience.
- Cannabis edibles are always full of calories
As weed needs to be cooked in fats and oils for the goods to be drawn out of the plant, you can be sure that almost all available edibles are not going to agree with your diet.
- There’s less choice when compared to herb
Due to the relatively new state of the market, there isn’t an endless amount of options. Click here to see what we stock here on GreenRush.
- The effects last longer
Conversely to the entry above, if you eat too much, it’s going to take a while until you feel normal again.
[caption id="attachment_1503" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Though tasty, cannabis edibles are almost never good for your waistline. Image courtesy of hightimes.com[/caption]
Ultimately, though, the debate can’t be resolved by reason. It’s like how some people like Justin Bieber and some people don’t. Some people enjoy his effortless, lazy whining, and some people have ears that work. The only way to know which one you prefer is to dabble in both and see which one is your favorite. So load up some Bieber on Spotify, try each method and see which one makes your afternoon more bearable. That’s science.
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