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Edibles, vs smoking, vs vaping

Edibles, vs smoking, vs vaping

Exploring Cannabis Consumption: Edibles vs. Smoking vs. Vaping


Cannabis consumption has evolved significantly over the years, and with the growing legalization and acceptance of its use, individuals now have a variety of methods to choose from. Among the most popular options are edibles, smoking, and vaping. Each method offers its own unique experience, benefits, and considerations. In this blog post, we will delve into these three methods of cannabis consumption, exploring their effects, dosing considerations, onset times, health implications, and overall user experiences. By the end, you'll have a better understanding of which method might be the best fit for you.

I. Edibles:

Edibles refer to cannabis-infused food or drink products that are ingested orally. They have gained significant popularity due to their discreet nature and longer-lasting effects. Edibles typically come in various forms, such as cookies, brownies, gummies, chocolates, and beverages. Let's explore the key aspects of edibles:

1. Effects:
  • Onset Time: Edibles' effects can take longer to manifest compared to other methods. They need to be metabolized in the digestive system before entering the bloodstream. Typically, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for the effects to be felt
  • Duration: The effects of edibles are generally longer-lasting than those of smoking or vaping. They can last anywhere from 4 to 12 hours, depending on factors such as dosage, metabolism, and individual tolerance
2. Dosage Considerations:
  • Potency: Edibles can have a higher potency compared to other methods. It is essential to start with a low dosage and gradually increase if needed to avoid overwhelming effects
  • Labeling and Standardization: When purchasing edibles from licensed dispensaries, the packaging should indicate the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) content. This allows users to have better control over their dosage
3. Health Implications:
  • Metabolism and Absorption: Edibles are metabolized differently in the body compared to smoking or vaping. The liver converts THC into a stronger form called 11-hydroxy-THC, which can result in more potent and longer-lasting effects
  • Delayed Onset and Accidental Overconsumption: The delayed onset of edibles can lead to the common mistake of consuming more than intended, as users may feel that the initial dose is not effective. This can result in uncomfortable experiences, such as anxiety or drowsiness

II. Smoking:

Smoking cannabis involves inhaling the smoke released by combusting dried flowers or concentrates. This traditional method has been widely used for decades and offers a unique experience. Let's delve into the specifics of smoking cannabis:

1. Effects:
  • Onset Time: Smoking cannabis provides the quickest onset of effects. THC is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs, leading to near-instantaneous effects that can be felt within minutes
  • Duration: The effects of smoking typically last for 2 to 4 hours, depending on factors such as strain potency and individual tolerance
2. Dosage Considerations:
  • Inhalation Control: Smoking allows for better control over dosage compared to edibles. Users can take a puff or two and wait for the effects before deciding whether to consume more
  • Strain Selection: Different strains of cannabis have varying levels of THC and CBD, resulting in distinct effects. Users can choose strains that suit their desired experience and potency
3. Health Implications:
  • Respiratory Concerns: Smoking cannabis involves inhaling combusted plant material, which can have adverse effects on the respiratory system. The inhalation of toxins and potential carcinogens may pose risks, particularly for long-term smokers
  • Secondhand Smoke: Smoking cannabis in communal settings may expose others to secondhand smoke, which can be a concern in situations where smoking is not allowed or when non-smokers are present.

III. Vaping:

Vaping cannabis involves the use of vaporizers to heat dried flowers or concentrates, creating inhalable vapor. This method has gained popularity in recent years due to its perceived health benefits and discreetness. Let's explore the specifics of vaping cannabis:

1. Effects:
  • Onset Time: Vaping provides a relatively quick onset of effects, similar to smoking. THC is absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs, resulting in effects that can be felt within minutes
  • Duration: The duration of effects from vaping is similar to smoking, lasting around 2 to 4 hours
2. Dosage Considerations:
  • Precise Dosing: Vaping devices often allow for precise temperature and dosage control, enabling users to have a more consistent experience
  • Cartridge Selection: Vape cartridges come in various THC and CBD concentrations, offering users the ability to select their desired potency
3. Health Implications:
  • Reduced Harm Perception: Vaping is often considered a safer alternative to smoking due to the absence of combustion and reduced exposure to harmful toxins. However, research on the long-term health effects of vaping is still ongoing, and certain concerns, such as lung injury associated with illicit vape products, have emerged.


Edibles, smoking, and vaping are all popular methods of cannabis consumption, each with its own unique characteristics and considerations. Edibles offer longer-lasting effects and discreetness, but dosing can be challenging, and accidental overconsumption is a concern. Smoking provides quick onset and dosage control but carries respiratory risks. Vaping offers a balance between quick onset and reduced harm perception, but long-term health effects are still being studied.

Ultimately, the choice of consumption method depends on individual preferences, desired effects, and health considerations. It is crucial to start with low doses, understand the potential risks, and choose high-quality products from reputable sources. As always, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or budtender for personalized guidance, particularly if you are new to cannabis or have specific health concerns.

Remember, responsible and informed cannabis consumption leads to a more enjoyable and safe experience.

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David Nadel is a freelance copywriter and content writer who has been doing content creation since late 2014. He originally worked at a marketing tech company in Boston doing email marketing and SEO display ad campaigns (where he helped to create the content for those emails and banner ads for clients) before going full time as a freelance writer in 2017.

It all started working with clients in the vaping industry in 2013, where David got his opportunities to do more freelance work for that industry the following year because of his success with helping those clients with emails and ads. And, which led him writing for the hemp industry too, as he had already been an avid cannabis enthusiast going all the way back to 2011.

Because of his extensive knowledge and legit passion with non-psychoactive and psychoactive cannabinoids, coupled with his better understanding of shrooms (mushrooms) since 2015, and the kratom/kava industry since 2019, it has allowed him to create some of the most remarkable, out-of-the box, and informative content in the industry.

Even today, David still keeps on top of what’s happening in the cannabis, shrooms, and kratom/kava industries, like new research and data studies, wellness trends, legality, and emerging cannabinoids and strains, in order to supply the most up-to-date, precise educational, fun, and engaging content. That way, new and experienced users alike can really understand what this amazing industry has to offer while still being fully informed.