Edibles vs Smoking – 7 Differences You Need to Know About

Edibles vs Smoking
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Contributor: Asia Mayfield

So, you’re looking to get stoned.

A fat joint loaded with crumbly bits of weed bulges against your pocket. Your bong peeks out from the closet. A dab rig is buried somewhere in the distance, with its curved edges glistening in the light. Whether you’re an experienced stoner or an intrepid beginner; you have everything you need to blaze.

So, what’s next?

Well, folks, you’ve stumbled into the great stoner divide.

Let me explain.

Some cannabis enthusiasts love to smoke; they crave the burn in their throat, as the smoke races to their lungs. Others eschew bongs and pipes entirely. Instead, they use their bud to create potent cooking oils. The instant high triggered by a puff of smoke is replaced by the slow, tantalizing buildup in your body that occurs when you consume edibles.

There are vast differences between the two methods. Here’s what you need to know.

Some Of The Key Differences Between Smoking Cannabis And Eating It

1. Edibles Are Stronger

It’s hard to think that, as you watch someone guzzle down bong smoke, but edibles are actually more potent than plain flower. You can cram a lot of weed into an edible. There are bud butter recipes that call for a half-ounce (or more) of weed! You could never smoke that much in one sitting.

If you’re using cannabis for medicinal purposes, you want a robust body response. You’re trying to quench the pain throbbing through your muscles, or you might be desperate for sleep after a long bout of insomnia. You can mess around with illegal drugs, but you’re putting your health and safety at risk. Getting involved in the black market drug industry could throw your entire life off-course. An opioid prescription removes the legal danger, but you’re still exposed to risks, like addiction and physical stress.

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Instead of embroiling themselves with unscrupulous drug lords, more and more people are turning to cannabis for relief. A 2018 study published in the Archives of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences found that edibles provided more pain control than smoked cannabis.

2. Edibles Are More Discreet (Usually)

When you’re puffing on a joint, or sucking on a bong, everyone in the vicinity will know what you’re doing. There’s no way to hide the pungent odor, or plumes of smoke. You need to make sure you’re in a chill environment before lighting up.

Cannabis edibles are easier to hide. A homemade infused treat looks no different than the plain version. Dispensary edibles in Las Vegas are usually stamped with a THC symbol, but you could easily hide this from prying eyes if needed.

The only method that might be more discreet is vaping. However, this method hasn’t been on the scene for a very long time.

3. Smoking is More Budget-Friendly

A lot of consumers are looking for the cheapest way to get high. If you’re trying to tighten your bud budget, smoking is the way to go. To get the most effect out of your edibles, you need to infuse them with a lot of weed. A bowl or two’s worth of cannabis is useless if you’re trying to make bud butter.

You don’t need much to load a bowl, however. I’ve seen stoners pack bowls half-filled with hope and ashes, as they only need the tiniest speck of green to take a hit.

4. Smoking Gives You Control

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Edibles are tricky. It can take up to two hours after consumption to feel the effects. If you ended up gorging yourself in the meantime, it wouldn’t be a surprise. You wouldn’t be the first stoner to consume a massive dose because you were waiting for the high to kick in.

When you smoke flower, you can see exactly how much cannabis you’re consuming. You can stop smoking if you feel too high, as well. Whereas, if you’ve eaten too many edibles, you’re stuck with the feeling until the THC is out of your system. Which, to be honest, could take hours.

5. Edibles Are Healthier

There’s no way to get around it, smoking anything can take a toll on your health, especially if you’re immunocompromised. Some patients need to avoid smoking entirely. Vaping is easier on the lungs, but it could still be harsh for your health, especially if you’re having trouble with your lungs.

Edibles allow you to consume cannabis without worrying about smoke. You can even make savory, sugar-free infused food if you’re not interested in the dessert-like edibles sold at most dispensaries.

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6. Smoking is More Social

Weed culture revolves around smoking. Edibles take too long to kick in to be perfect party favors, in my opinion. The immediacy of smoking pot fosters social relations. Sharing a joint at a party is fun because everyone knows what you’re experiencing. If everyone ate edibles instead, there would be a long awkward period where everyone waited to “feel it.”

If you make your own edibles, you need to pay attention to how much cannabis you use if you care about your consumption rate. So always remain vigilant.

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7. Smoking Tastes Better

There’s a reason why so many edibles are created with chocolate. It’s an attempt to mask the flavor of the weed. You don’t see chefs sprinkling bits of marijuana bud on their food because it’s more or less universally-agreed that it’s terrible as a “spice.”

The taste is different when you smoke, though. Flavors that you would instantly reject if you were picking out ice cream, are far more appealing when the tasting experience is confined to a few brief moments. The smoke doesn’t linger in your mouth, either.

Now that recreational cannabis is legal in so many places, the market is saturated with high-quality buds. Smoke them, eat them, make your own bud oil and rub it into your skin, it’s really up to you. If you live in a legal state, you don’t have to worry about skirting the law. Discovering how you like to consume weed is a wonderful journey. And I wish you nothing but the best of luck on your THC trek.


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