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The difference between smoking and eating cannabis

When it comes to consuming cannabis, there are several ways to do it. The most popular of which are smoking and eating cannabis as these take minimal effort and cost less than buying a vaporizer. In this article we look at the difference between smoking and eating cannabis and how they will affect you.


THC is the chemical in marijuana that gets you "high". When you smoke marijuana, the THC enters into your body and is processed directly to the brain, which is why you get higher quicker and the effect diminishes faster. Consuming cannabis means that it passes through your stomach and to your liver which is where it is processed. This is turned into a metabolite that crosses the blood-brain barrier, giving you a bigger high.

Time and effects

As mentioned, smoking weed will give you an almost instant high thanks to it travelling straight to your brain. This also means, however, that it also disappears faster as the effects usually kick in about 10 minutes in and then fade off over the next 30 minutes or so.

When putting cannabis in edibles, we suggest you start off with small doses and be patient. It takes longer for the compounds to get into your system this way and therefore (depending on your metabolism) it can take between 30 minutes to two hours for the effects to hit you. Take a small dose edible and wait for the wave to hit you. Whatever you do, don’t eat another before feeling it thinking  it is taking too long, as the effects can add up and hit you all at once!


When you smoke marijuana, you know exactly how much you are putting into your joint or bowl. It is common to mix the weed with tobacco when smoking, in order to control the amount of high that you’re consuming. This way you know how much you’re taking and can always increase it if you wanted a stronger high.

When you eat cannabis, it can be very hard to control the amount that is distributed, especially if they’re homemade! It can be hard to spread the drugs evenly, so you may end up with more in some pieces than others. This can be particularly dangerous if you’re trying to keep an eye on how much you’re taking.

In places where marijuana is legal, such as Colorado, 10 milligrams of THC is the standard amount that you will find in each edible to give you a good buzz. Again, this doesn’t mean you should assume that all batches are the same. Even professional distributors can find it difficult to control the amount of THC, so if you had a weak batch previously, the next one could be stronger. Consequently, you should still follow the small and patient rule.

In summary, there are both positives and negatives to both smoking and eating cannabis – you just need to find which is right for you! Be sensible and responsible and you should have an enjoyable high.

MSNL Team MSNL Team / 28th July 2015

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