Cannabis: Edibles, Smoking, or Vaping

How you experience cannabis is dependent on how you ingest it. Smoking weed and eating an edible will have drastically different impacts on your perception of the plant’s potential, from psychoactive effects to longevity and depth of the experience. If you are looking for rapid pain relief, you might be more inclined to smoking or vaping, both of which have a shorter onset period (sometimes, literally seconds). If you are looking for a replenishing sleep and a “body high,” you might lean towards edibles. Either consumption method interacts differently with the body (absorption through the bloodstream), meaning that the active compounds, such as THC, will reach the brain instantly or much slower. This makes a big difference.

Method: Edibles

Onset: Fifteen minutes to two hours.
Duration:
Roughly 4-6 hours, though unusually high doses can result in effects lasting over 24 hours.

Pot brownies with sketchy dosing is a thing of the past (for the most part). Today’s market is offering up premium product that’s precisely dosed so you can manage your experience and expectations. From chocolate bars, sugary sweets, and even infused water, there is no shortage of options for consuming cannabis by way of the stomach.

Eating edibles is often a preferred method for consumers who want to avoid smoke inhalation and the carcinogens and chemicals associated with smoking. Angelina Blessed, founder of Blessed -- a Canadian-based edibles company focused on active lifestyles, breaks down the difference between smoking and edibles. 

“Once you smoke cannabis it goes into your lungs it takes about 90 seconds to get into your bloodstream, meaning you feel the effects almost instantly. When you eat edibles, there are many factors involved. The edible has to make its way through your stomach and have your liver break it down and metabolise it. Other factors could include, if the edibles were made with the best bioavaiability, what you have eaten that day, and how hydrated you are. Ingesting edibles can have an onset time of 30-100 minutes to feel the effects, and have longer lasting effects than smoking. Edibles will also feel up to five times stronger than smoking.”

While edibles may beat smoking for those looking to reduce throat irritation or potential discomfort, it’s also the most discreet way to enjoy cannabis in permitted areas. 

The biggest takeaway when considering edibles is to remember the newbie motto: start low and go slow. There are few things worse than feeling greened-out and couch-locked.

Method: Smoking

Onset: Seconds to minutes after inhalation.
Duration: Effects will generally peak within thirty minutes and diminish anywhere from 1-3 hours.

Smoking remains the most popular way to ingest cannabis. The effects are felt within minutes and last a reasonable amount of time. Rolling a joint and passing it to the left is a tale as old as time. Friends congregating for a “safety meeting,” often used as code for slipping out the backdoor to enjoy a puff or two, is part of what makes smoking so enjoyable: it’s an experience that’s best when shared. However, between lighting that precious joint and passing it around to your friends, some of the active cannabis compounds go up with the smoke. Say goodbye to potent THC and tasty terpenes every time you spark a flame. Worth it?

Ripping on a bong is another quick way to skyrocket through the ceiling. Long-time cannabis consumers love to fill their faces with murky clouds of smoke and instantly enjoy the psychoactive effects of their favourite strain.

Like any form of smoking, there can be some lung irritation, which is why vaping is an enticing option for those who prefer inhalation. 

 

Method: Vaporizing or “Vaping” 

Onset: Within seconds of inhalation
Duration: Effects will generally peak before thirty minutes and diminish in a couple of hours

Cannabinoids come with a ton of benefits including relief from pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation. Vaping allows the flower to secrete cannabinoids without creating toxins through combustion. Also, terpene profiles, which determine the flavour of a cannabis product, are more prominent with vaping as the cannabis is heated at low temperatures and allow for more subtle flavours to emerge.

Toxins aren’t released into the respiratory system with vaping, which means it’s considered a healthier approach to inhalation, while still maintaining all the benefits of quick onset and lasting effects. It’s important to buy oils and cartridges from reputable and trusted companies. You want to mitigate risks of chemical solvents and low quality materials. 


Whether you choose to vape, smoke, or ingest cannabis, the bottom line is that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to consuming. With each consumption method, comes different considerations and expectations (for different occasions)! Pair your chosen method with whatever experience you’re seeking, or looking to enhance. Also, how long you’d like to be high and how quickly you want to feel the plant’s many benefits, be it sleep, pain relief, appetite or euphoria.



Cannabinoids come with a ton of benefits including relief from pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation. Vaping allows the flower to secrete cannabinoids without creating toxins through combustion. Also, terpene profiles, which determine the flavour of a cannabis product, are more prominent with vaping as the cannabis is heated at low temperatures and allow for more subtle flavours to emerge.

Toxins aren’t released into the respiratory system with vaping, which means it’s considered a healthier approach to inhalation, while still maintaining all the benefits of quick onset and lasting effects. It’s important to buy oils and cartridges from reputable and trusted companies. You want to mitigate risks of chemical solvents and low quality materials. 

 

Whether you choose to vape, smoke, or ingest cannabis, the bottom line is that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to consuming. With each consumption method, comes different considerations and expectations (for different occasions)! Pair your chosen method with whatever experience you’re seeking, or looking to enhance. Also, how long you’d like to be high and how quickly you want to feel the plant’s many benefits, be it sleep, pain relief, appetite or euphoria.