What Are Major Differences Between Smoking & Edibles?

Gummies, brownies, teas, pizzas, etc.—there are many options available when it comes to edibles. These foods and beverages contain different levels of cannabinoids and terpenes, allowing you to buy what’s right for your condition.

Recent research says that the sales of cannabis edibles increased in the COVID-19 pandemic. This indicates that it’s safer than smoking. How are cannabinoids delivered into the system when you inhale and ingest marijuana? What are the major differences between the two cannabis consumption methods? How to apply for a medical marijuana card online? Let’s discuss!

Cannabinoids Are Processed Differently

When you smoke cannabis, the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream directly. So, THC is transferred to the brain and other parts instantly. This is the reason why the effects of inhaled cannabis come on quickly and diminish in a few hours.

On the other hand, edibles are processed by the digestive system. THC is metabolized through the liver and converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, which delivers more potent and lasting effects. In the case of smoking, 11-hydroxy-THC isn’t generated and sent to the brain.

Some homemade edibles may have different onset and duration. So, make sure you dose them properly to minimize discomfort and maximize medicinal potential.

Onset & Duration

Since edibles are processed by the stomach, the consumers have to wait for some time to feel the therapeutic effects. Marijuana-infused foods and beverages usually take 30-90 minutes to kick in. Research says that some edibles may take 2 hours to kick in, depending on the concentration of cannabinoids.

Additionally, the type of edible you have consumed impacts the onset time. For instance, lollipops have faster action because they are absorbed sublingually. But, chewable edibles take longer to kick in because they are processed through the stomach. Other factors influencing the effects of edibles on the body are metabolism rate, weight, and tolerance to cannabis.

How long edibles last? 6-8 hours. However, the duration of effects may vary from edible to edible.

Related- How Long Cannabis is Detectable in The System?

Dosing is Difficult in Edibles

Since edibles don’t provide medicinal effects instantly, it’s quite difficult to dose them. Many end up consuming higher amounts of THC and experience cannabis overdose. Additionally, edibles deliver stronger effects than smoking. According to a report by the Colorado Department of Revenue, 1 mg of THC in edible form is equivalent to 5.71 mg of THC in smokable form. In other words, you can receive more potent effects by consuming less amount of edibles, but have to inhale more puffs to feel the same effects.

So, start with a low dose when using edibles. Additionally, it’s important to wait for at least 2 hours before you take the second dose.

Edibles Are Safer

Smoking can cause harm to lung health. According to the American Lung Association, smoke whether generated from burning wood, cigarette, or marijuana, generates a wide range of toxins and carcinogens, which are harmful to health. Cannabis smoke contains many of the same toxins as marijuana smoke.

However, edibles allow you to enjoy the medicinal benefits of cannabis without inhaling the smoke. No smoke means no toxins, so no risks to lung health. Since edibles deliver lasting effects, they are often preferred by patients suffering from pain, anxiety, sleep problems, etc.

How to Apply For an MMJ Card?

To apply for a medical marijuana card, you need to speak to a licensed doctor. And, telemedicine technology allows you to see a doctor online. So, you can apply for MMJ recs without leaving your home. Here’s the process-

  • Sign up an account
  • Talk to a licensed doctor through the HIPAA-compliant software
  • Receive MMJ recs in PDF format via email

Related- Why do You Need a Medical Cannabis Card in 2020?

Final Thoughts

Hope you understand the differences between marijuana edibles and smoking. Since no combustion of the substance occurs, consuming edibles is safer than inhaling cannabis. However, it’s important to dose edibles properly to alleviate your symptoms without experiencing any negative effects. Start with a low dose (let’s say 1 mg), and increase gradually until you receive the desired medicinal effects. Additionally, check the levels of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD when buying edibles.

Talk to our doctors online to apply for your medical marijuana card in just 10 minutes.


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