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Edible Highs Vs. Smoking Highs: What’s The Difference

Edible Highs Vs. Smoking Highs: What’s The Difference


Edible Highs Vs. Smoking Highs: What’s The Difference

There’s a time and a place for each.

In the centuries that cannabis has been used, various methods of consumption have been developed. As legal markets emerge, cannabis has become more popular and we’ve discovered more ways to consume it. In the past few decades, two of the most popular ways to ingest the plant include smoking and eating infused products like pot brownies. In the case of an edible high vs. smoking high, each method comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Benefits of Edible High vs. Smoking High

Edible Highs Vs. Smoking Highs: What's The Difference

Despite the popularity of smoking as the most common method of consumption, many cannabis users prefer edibles for a number of reasons.


One of the main reasons for someone to choose edibles vs smoking highs is healthcare. Combusting cannabis releases a number of potentially harmful toxins.

Even vaping weed, which produces fewer toxins than smoking, can still irritate the throat and lungs to the point of extreme discomfort. Furthermore, some of the harmful compounds found in tobacco smoke are also present in cannabis smoke. Thanks to edibles, anybody that doesn’t want to smoke will still be able to enjoy the benefits of marijuana with absolutely no strain to their lungs.


Anyone purchasing their cannabis products from a dispensary in regulated marijuana markets may prefer edibles over smoking for controlled dosing.

In states like Colorado, every 10mg serving must be stamped with THC warnings. As a result, it is easy to keep track of exactly how much THC you’re taking at a time. On the other hand, it is harder to tell how much THC you’re getting per puff when smoking.

If you’re making your own edibles, it will be much harder to control your dosage. When it comes to homemade edibles or anything acquired in a state without strict edible regulations, finding the right dosage will be more of a challenge. You’ll have to try a small amount at a time to get an idea of how potent the edible is.

Easier To Ingest

Making edibles can be complicated depending on the recipe. However, once they’re made, ingesting them is about as easy as it gets.

Smoking comes with more of a process than eating an edible. You’ll need to know how to roll or you’ll need a pipe. Then, you’ll have to grind and prepare the weed. Eating a pot brownie is as simple as breaking off the right serving size, chewing and swallowing. You won’t be left with a dirty pipe or stinky roach clip.


A huge advantage of consuming edibles over smoking is the stealth factor. Smoking in public can attract unwanted attention.

While smoking, anyone that is close enough to see you will likely smell you too. Even if you smoked in private, the smell of burned weed will likely stick to your breath and clothes. If you’re worried about any drama that may come from the lasting stigma against cannabis consumption, you’ll feel more comfortable consuming edibles in public. Just keep eyedrops on you in case your eyes get red.

Longer High

From a recreational perspective, one of the main reasons to consume an edible is in the hopes for a longer, stronger high.

Once you develop a tolerance to cannabis, you may find yourself smoking several bowls before feeling the desired effects. Not to mention, the high from smoking doesn’t last anywhere near as long as with edibles. If you don’t have the time to grind weed and roll or pack a bowl constantly, you may benefit from choosing edible marijuana over smoking the plant.

Benefits of Smoking vs. Edibles

Can You Smoke Weed While Taking Antibiotics
Circuito Fora do Eixo/Flickr

Even though edibles seem to come with a number of advantages over smoking, most people still prefer to burn one.

Faster High

The main advantage smoking provides over edibles is the fast-acting relief. When you eat an edible you may have to wait for up to two hours before feeling any of the effects. Even worse, you could wait hours and feel nothing. On the other hand, you’ll feel most of the effects from a joint by the time you finish it.

Certain patients that need quick relief can’t wait for the effects of edibles to kick in. When you’re laying in bed wide awake, you won’t want to wait two hours to feel the sedative effects from an edible. Anyone suffering from a condition that requires immediate relief is better off smoking or vaporizing cannabis.

Fewer Surprises

Smoking will come with fewer surprises than consuming edibles. If you’re not purchasing your edibles from a dispensary with strict regulations on dosing, you’ll have to find out the potency on your own.

Take caution when trying edibles you made yourself. Try as small of a piece as possible, slowly increasing dosage until effects are felt. Most beginners try weed for the first time by smoking, not eating it. An edible is more likely to overwhelm users than a joint. If high levels of THC make you anxious, you’ll want to avoid edibles that aren’t marked with the precise dosage per piece.

Fewer surprises will also make it easier to microdose cannabis. You can take things one puff at a time and gradually feel effects escalate. With an edible you may not feel anything in an hour, take another dose and then get hit by both doses at once. Microdosing with edibles requires much more patience than with smoking.


Edibles aren’t the best method of consumption in a group setting for a number of reasons.

It only takes a few seconds to consume an edible but it can take up to a few hours for the effects to settle in. As a result, some people may find themselves sitting around waiting while others are already on cloud 9. On the other hand, smoking a joint will give a group something to do while together while waiting to get high. By the time the joint is finished, the whole group should be at least somewhat high.

People that prefer edibles vs smoking usually do so for reasons associated with stealth and health. Smoking also has its advantages for people looking to get high as soon as possible.

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