When it comes to consuming cannabis, many people are familiar with the traditional method of smoking it. However, in recent years, the popularity of cannabis edibles has grown significantly. Edibles are food or drink products that have been infused with cannabis, allowing people to consume it in a more discreet and convenient way.
One of the major differences between consuming edibles and smoking cannabis is the way in which the body processes the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that is responsible for the plant's psychoactive effects. When cannabis is smoked, the THC is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs, resulting in a rapid onset of effects. In contrast, when cannabis is consumed in the form of an edible, it must be digested and absorbed through the liver before it enters the bloodstream. This process takes longer, resulting in a slower onset of effects.
Another difference between consuming edibles and smoking cannabis is the duration of the effects. When cannabis is smoked, the effects are usually felt within minutes and can last for a few hours. In contrast, the effects of edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to be felt, and they can last for much longer than smoking, with some people experiencing effects for up to 8 hours.
The intensity of the effects of edibles is also generally stronger than smoking cannabis. This is due to the fact that when THC is consumed in the form of an edible, it is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC by the liver. 11-hydroxy-THC is more potent than THC and is thought to be responsible for the stronger effects that are often experienced after consuming edibles.
One of the potential downsides of consuming edibles is the risk of overconsumption. It is easy to underestimate the strength of an edible and consume more than intended, leading to a potentially unpleasant and uncomfortable experience. On the other hand, it is much harder to overconsume when smoking cannabis as the effects are felt more quickly and it is easier to gauge how much has been consumed.
Overall, while both consuming edibles and smoking cannabis can have similar effects, there are some key differences in the way that the body processes the THC and the duration, intensity, and potential health risks of the effects. It is important for people to be aware of these differences and to make an informed decision about which method of consumption is best for them.
I hope this article has been helpful in providing an overview of the differences between consuming cannabis edibles and smoking it.