Should you smoke or eat marijuana?
Ingesting vs. Smoking Marijuana – What’s the Difference?
There are a number of ways to consume medical marijuana but the amount of cannabinoids that enters into your bod differs per method. However, the two best methods of ingesting this miracle drug is by eating it and smoking it. You can smoke it through a rolled joint, bong, pipe or blunt and you can eat it in the form of baked goods or other food that uses it as an ingredient.
Both methods of consumption have their pros and cons but what sets them apart is the high they give. Here are some ways they differ:
If you have ever smoked or inhaled cannabis or eaten it, then you know how long it takes to take effect in each. The edible variety takes longer to do this but it makes up for the delay with the high you get. In other words, it has a stronger effect on the body when it finally hits.
There is a reason why heating sweets infused with cannabis for instance can get you more stoned than smoking a joint. It all depends on how cannabinoids are absorbed by the body. When it is smoked or vaped for instance, the THC or tetrahydrocannabinol or THC finds a direct pathway to the brain.
When it is consumed in the form of edibles on the other hand, cannabis is first processed by the liver which turns it into 11-hydroxy-THC which is a metabolite. It surpasses the barrier between blood and the brain which results in a far stronger high.
How much heat is needed
If you need to smoke cannabis to inhale it, you need to get around 1400°F of heat going under it to make it smoke. This converts it into a form that can bind to the receptors in our brain and induce a psychoactive effect.
Cannabis edibles on the other hand can be heated efficiently up to 300°F which does 2 things – it does not burn the plant completely and it reduces the amount of carcinogens. Since the THC in the plant cannot be dissolved in water, it needs something oily or fatty to disintegrate.
Once it is consumed, the high takes time to take effect since the food moves slowly through the digestive system. It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, but the result is a high that is stronger than smoke can provide.
There is no way to salvage the marijuana plant after it is smoked. It literally goes up in smoke after all. If you make the edible variety on the other hand, you can salvage parts you don’t use for later user. In fact, you can also cut up defective buds which are not good enough to be smoked and use them in edibles.
Low quality marijuana can also be infused in alcohol to extract THC. This is one of the main reasons why more and more people are consuming rather than smoking marijuana.
Determining the amount of THC you can get from marijuana edibles can be a challenge so it is much safer to allow the professionals to measure it out for you. They know the amount you can get in each batch of their products so you won’t overdose.
Since edibles take longer to take effect, you might end up eating the entire thing only to fall sick as you overdose. Remember, these take longer to hit than smokes and when they do, the hit is quite strong. Smoking cannabis gives an instant hit so you know when you have had enough or you may continue as needed.
Some people prefer edibles over smoking cannabis because they do not enjoy the inhalation experience. The effects of joints are instantaneous which some people might not appreciate. Edibles take longer to set in and if they are consumed in the proper amounts, they induce a relaxed state first which can calm the mind.
Smoking can also be harsh on the lungs and especially for those who have never inhaled cannabis before. Most of them turn to vaping to prevent this and if they are concerned about their health. Eating cannabis edibles on the other hand is not only discrete, but you won’t smell of the stuff afterwards either.
Someone who has inhaled or eaten marijuana for a long time will tell you that there is a difference in potency in both options. A couple of puffs or two are enough for them to tell if there is something wrong with the strain because they know what to look for. The effects will hit fast and hard so they will know if something is wrong with their supply.
The change in the plant can also come about if there is a change in the cultivation and growing method. Even a single nutrient out of place or an additional one can have an impact on the output and taste. This is apparent in both edibles and the smoked variety but detecting potency in the former is more challenging than in the latter.
Those who make edible marijuana use different types of the plant in making them and they may not always know how strong or weak it is. In other words, if one of their batches gave a strong high after an hour for instance, the other might take longer to take effect.
Most of the time new batches are made from leftover parts of the plant used in previous batches so this is understandable. However, edibles can be quite potent if the makers use different amounts of the plant during the cooking process.
The bottom line is that whether you smoke or consume marijuana, the affects you experience will vary. You can get a strong or weak high or no high at all for a couple of hours depending on how it is cooked, heated and eaten. An important rule of thumb is to know your tolerance levels and to consume only the recommended amount whether you roll a joint or eat weed brownies.