Smoking, Edibles, or Vaping? A New User’s Guide to Consuming Cannabis

What’s the difference between smoking, consuming edibles, and vaping? This is a question that comes in a myriad of forms: Is one method better, or more effective than the others? Which method is the more preferable for first-timers? Why are there those who switch from one of these methods to another?

In actuality, there’s no one method that is necessarily superior to another. Each of these methods has their pros, and everyone’s bodies and minds work differently. Thus, it all boils down to personal preference and your objectives as a cannabis user.

We always encourage people to try out different methods for consuming cannabis. Granted, if you are used to one method, there may be somewhat of a learning curve adjusting to the other two methods. So let’s examine some of the different aspects and try to achieve a clearer understanding of each method.

What are the Big Differences?

Let’s begin by looking at how marijuana gets you high. THC is the chemical responsible for the “buzz”; those feelings of relaxation and euphoria. For the chemical to work, it needs to enter your bloodstream, so that it can make its way to your brain. Once there, this little chemical works its magic.

Because the body requires constant oxygen, the fastest way into your blood is through your lungs. So, if you’re looking for an immediate high, smoking and/or vaping are the better options. Cannabis in the form of smoke or vapor starts to take effect within a minute or two, and will take full full effect within 30 minutes. Marijuana can stay in your system for up to 6 hours, and then it fades away.

Conversely, edibles need more time to take effect. The cannabis in edibles needs to go through your stomach, your liver, and then into your blood. It’s a longer journey, so you’ll need to wait longer to feel any results. As everyone has different bodies, so some people might start to feel effects in 30 minutes. Others may need up to two hours to feel anything. It’s important not to eat consume additional edibles until you start feeling the effects of the initial dose. You don’t want to lose control over your experience. The other thing about edibles, is that the high lasts longer. They are more suited for people who want to be higher for longer. The highs aren’t as immediate, but they can pack a long-lasting punch once they kick in.

The best method for you may depend upon what it is that you want to accomplish. Try different methods, start slow, and see how your body reacts. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing all methods, as long as you are confident and familiar with the all products involved.

Isn’t Smoking Bad for You?

While it is true that cigarettes are completely horrible for you, cannabis joints are undeniably cleaner than cigarettes. With weed, what you see is what you get. It is an all-natural plant. There are no dubious chemicals added to it, and comparing it to cigarettes because both are smoked is kind of ridiculous.

The truth is that smoking weed, like so many other things considered to be detrimental to one’s health, is fine in moderation. You can’t say that about smoking cigarettes though.

Options for Edibles

Edibles may take more time to kick in, but the advantage of edibles is that there is an endless array of products available and the majority of them taste just like the regular, everyday treats we all enjoy. And, unlike alcohol, the active ingredients in marijuana don’t cook out, so you can put it in literally anything you can imagine.

Baked goods are some of the most popular choices when cooking with cannabis. Brownies, cookies, pies, and even deep-dish pizzas come out delicious. Then you have soups, fried chicken, and marinara sauce if you’re craving something more savoury. You can even brew your cannabis into a tea and combine that with some of your favourite drinks. Marijuana lemonades and cannabis cokes may be more appealing to some than smoking and vaping.

There are tons of recipes online, and we mean it when we say people have baked marijuana into anything you can think of. Just keep track of the dosage in each serving so you get the high you’re looking for. Just be sure your edibles are clearly labelled when you store them. Keeping track of leftovers is hard enough, you don’t want to forget which ones will take you on a trip.

A Bit About Vaping

Vaping, or consuming cannabis via a vaporizer, is another viable option if you’re hesitant about smoking. The water vapour carries the THC to your blood and gives your that same type of high. There are just a few things to keep in mind while vaping, primarily, that there’s more maintenance involved with vaping than the other two methods. Regular cleaning is necessary for health, safety, and maintaining flavour. 

A favourable vaping experience may take some time and potential adjustments to your products and process. You can control the temperature of the vape, which impacts how much cannabis you’re getting and how it feels inside your lungs. Even though vapor feels much cooler than smoke, the moisture in your lungs can make you prone susceptible to some serious coughing fits if you’re not used to or ready for it.

Most Importantly, Enjoy Yourself

That’s the whole point of marijuana. Such is the beauty of cannabis: There isn’t one method of enjoying weed that’s necessarily superior to the others, just as there are no major differences in the ways that we consume beer, vodka, and jello shots. You might find that you prefer just one method, or perhaps you can learn to appreciate all three! The important thing, is that you understand the various options available and how to utilize them most enjoyably and effectively. We are firm believers in trying all methods for consuming cannabis at least once, but we also believe in making informed choices and proceeding with caution if you’re new to any one of them.


By the Potmaster General, for Potsmart

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