Why Do Edibles Feel Different Than Smoking Cannabis?
Cannabis users are no longer limited to purely smoking marijuana anymore, with a plethora of cannabis products saturating the market in recent years. Now, those who wish to partake, whether it be recreationally or for medicinal purposes, can eat, drink, and even imbibe through their skin.
The fact of the matter is that our bodies are capable of metabolizing cannabis through a multitude of means, resulting in uniquely specific experiences depending on the particular method of choice.
So how does this all work? And why do edibles hit differently as opposed to smoking a blunt or a bowl? In this blog post, we will uncover the science behind this age-old question of why the sensation you feel when you consume edibles is a completely different experience.
What Happens When You Inhale Cannabis?
When you inhale cannabis, the molecules penetrate and dissipate into your lungs. From here, they absorb into the blood vessels that are scattered throughout this thin membrane.
This entire process of cannabis traveling to your bloodstream happens pretty quickly, resulting in almost immediate effects felt after smoking.
Depending on your needs or preferences, this may be your desired experience. Edibles, however, work a little bit differently.
What Happens When You Ingest Cannabis?
When you ingest cannabis by eating that brownie, those gummies, or that cookie, the journey the molecules make is longer before eventually ending up in your bloodstream. The edible must first be digested in your stomach before the molecules travel through the small intestine and then into your liver for further metabolism.
During this metabolization process, the THC molecules actually may become stronger. The metabolic byproduct, 11-hydroxy-THC, which is produced when THC moves through the intestines and liver, is more concentrated than the predigested THC molecule.
The 11-hydroxy-THC then gets shuttled into the circulatory system that runs throughout your body and delivers nutrients and molecules to your brain and other body tissue.
What Are The Main Differences Between Inhaling & Ingesting Cannabis
This is why when you eat an edible, the effects usually take longer to settle in, but often feel more intense and last longer than when you smoke cannabis.
So, the next time you’re waiting for the effects of an edible to take hold, take a step back and remember that your liver is working hard to make those THC molecules stronger, and within an hour or so, you will feel the unique high that only edibles can deliver.
It is important to remember, however, that if you are new to the edibles experience, moderation is key initially and a little goes a long way, so it’s best to start out with a smaller portion and give it a few hours to kick in.
Otherwise, you may have a more extreme experience than you are comfortable with.
Why it’s Important to Know The Difference Between Inhaling & Ingesting
Some of the more noticeable disparities between smoking a joint and eating an edible are reflected in the speed of onset of effects, the period of time until peak effects are experienced, and the longevity of the effects.
The most essential factor to remember, however, is that THC is present with both methods of cannabis intake—carrying with it the same psychoactive qualities no matter how it is used.
Smoking, eating, drinking, vaping, dabbing, topicals – with so many different ways to consume cannabis users are truly spoiled for choice. Want an instant high? Maybe a joint or bong rip would suit your needs. Concerned with the longevity of your high? Perhaps a brownie is the way to go. At the end of the day, it’s really up to you.