As states continue to ease up on cannabis regulations, more people are beginning to dabble in the art of marijuana consumption. However, as a first-timer hoping to sink your teeth into the wide world of flower-related products, knowing where to start can be tricky— especially in an oversaturated market. Between perfectly rolled joints, carefully crafted edibles, highly concentrated tinctures, and thousands of glassware options, you should familiarize yourself with each method before curating your perfect spread.
The most popular consumption methods are smoking and edibles, both of which are perfect for inexperienced users because they are easy to consume and regulate. However, even within these two simple techniques, you’ll need to consider the long list of variations, like strain, flavor, potency, and CBD to THC ratios. That way, you’ll be ready when the cloud of mind-altering effects sets in.
If you’re unsure which marijuana product is right for you and are eager to learn more about the ins and outs of cannabis consumption, read on for a point-by-point comparison of consuming versus smoking ganja. With this marijuana-specific information at your disposal, you can select the cannabis consumption best suited to your needs and preferences.
Not all cannabis products are created equal, and each approach has its own set of outcomes depending on how much you consume and how potent the product is. That said, the first step in achieving the perfect high is understanding how each method physically and mentally affects you. For example, smoking flower—either through a joint, pipe, or other glassware rigs—will result in a quick, more controllable high than edible-induced trips.
The science behind smoking
When inhaling smoke into your system, the active THC compounds absorb instantly into your bloodstream and travel to your brain, resulting in near-immediate effects. Because of these fast-acting cannabinoids, smoking enables you to control and regulate the impact by gauging your high in real-time, slowing or picking up the pace as you go. However, though you’ll experience the high quickly after your first puff, the effects can dwindle rapidly and require a more constant inhalation to keep your high steady for an extended period.
Unlike smoking, which provides an immediate high, consuming edibles features a waiting period as your body digests the product. The ingestion process takes significantly longer—think forty-five minutes to three hours—which is why some prefer smoking bud. That said, the effects are often more potent once the high hits as the cannabinoids metabolize, converting from traditional THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, a robust, long-lasting compound.
Additionally, there are several edibles you can choose between, from gummies, hard candies, chocolates, and drinks, all of which come in various potencies and strains, allowing you to customize your high based on the intended outcome.
A word of warning
When stepping foot into the ganja market, fresh-faced users should apply caution, as overconsumption is common amongst edible enthusiasts. Because the euphoric effects take longer to kick in, some impatiently dive head-first into a second dose and end up greening out, a term coined to explain the adverse effects of ingesting too much cannabis. While overdosing and permanent damage aren’t possible, overconsumption can lead to nausea, headaches, dizziness, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Settling the debate
There is no clear winner regarding the eating versus smoking debate because each cannabis product comes with a specific set of intended effects and purposes. This customizability allows consumers to pick and choose which products they want for each experience, with some long-time users choosing to combine methods for a more intense trip. Regardless of which route you take, be sure to consider each variable, like potency, amount, and strain, and settle in for a euphoric high.