Edibles vs. Smoking: The Definitive Marijuana Guide
Are you curious about edibles vs. marijuana smoking? It’s not surprising. Smoking is pretty well known, but edibles are still a mystery to a lot of people.
Honest Marijuana’s experts have put together this comprehensive guide to edibles vs. cigarettes. Here are some examples:
- THC’s chemistry (we promise to keep it simple).
- Decarboxylation is crucial.
- There are differences between smoking and eating.
- The best way to eat edibles.
We will also discuss the advantages of edibles over smoking, and help you choose which one is best for you. Let’s get started.
You probably asked this question at one time during your education, whether it was high school or college.
Today is the day, friend. We are going to get rid of the part of your brain that stores all of your chemistry and biology information. We won’t make it difficult if you forget it.
Let’s start with one fact that should be fairly familiar to even someone who’s completely new to the cannabis scene: marijuana contains THC. THC-f ull name delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol- is a cannabinoid that interacts with neurotransmitters in the brain to, among other things, get you high.
THC can be processed differently in different ways depending on whether it is consumed as edibles or smoked. Here’s how.
The THC is released into your bloodstream through your lungs. It then travels to your brain. We’ll refer to THC as delta 9 THC for the purposes of this article (you’ll learn why in the next section).
Although your lungs filter some of the delta9-THC, between 50 and 60 percent of the cannabinoid passes the blood-brain barrier to get you high. The entire process can be felt from start to finish almost instantly.
With an average joint, peak concentrations of delta9-THC (the highest you’re going to get) come anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes after your first inhalation. The effects begin to fade over the next 1 to 2 hours.
All that you need? That’s great. Here are some important points for you to keep in mind, just in case.
- Smoking introduces delta9-THC into your body.
- The effects of delta9-THC are felt almost instantly (at most, in a matter of minutes).
- The peak of the high is usually around 15 minutes after inhalation, but can disappear an hour later.
The delta9-THC is released into your stomach when you consume marijuana in edible form. It then travels to your liver. You can read more.
Your liver converts delta9-THC into 11-hydroxy THC. This chemical is the key to understanding the differences between edibles and smoking.
Delta9-THC is more psychedelic than 11-hydroxy-THC. This difference in effect is what explains the stark contrast in the sensations you get after smoking pot and after you consume it.
Trust us, even if you have never smoked or ingested marijuana before, there is a huge difference in the highs.
Timing is another factor that distinguishes edibles and smoking. You’ll notice the effects of smoking very quickly, and they will fade soon afterward.
The timing of edibles is more complicated because THC must travel through your digestive system, then through your circulatory system to reach your brain.
This means you might need to wait between 60 and 120 minutes before feeling the effects. The effects can last anywhere from 6 to 10 hours once they have hit.
Edibles sound amazing, don’t you think? You will experience more intense, lasting effects. This makes you want to bake brownies immediately.
Before you start dumping a bag full of marijuana into your brownie mix, you should understand another aspect of chemistry.
Decarboxylation: The Importance
Raw marijuana, such as you get at your local dispensary is not psychoactive. This is because your body can’t process it in a way that delivers THC to your bloodstream.
That plant-matter needs to be decarboxylated (chemistry speak for “baked”) before it can do any good.
Decarboxylation is the process by which marijuana-matter has been burned. To incorporate the same cannabis into your favorite recipe, heat must be applied without destroying it.
This is where your oven comes into play. Here’s a simple process for decarboxylating your weed.
- Preheat the oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit or 115 degrees Celsius. Remember that THC has a boiling point of 314 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures too high could cause damage to your buds. You can find the exact temperature inside your oven by using an oven thermometer.
- You can break, tear or grind the marijuana into small pieces.
- Bake for between 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow the pan to cool in the oven.
- Place the toasted weed into a food processor and process until it is coarse.
You can then add cannabis to any of your favorite recipes.
Edibles vs. Smoking: Dosing Differences
You have probably seen the results of smoking cannabis and experienced them yourself. The effects can be felt in minutes. This immediate feedback gives you more control over the dosage, the high, and the overall experience.
You can take more if you feel a little too weak. You can stop if you feel overwhelmed and allow the effects to pass. This makes it much easier to determine the correct dosage.
It can be difficult to understand edibles. It all comes down to how THC enters your body. Each person’s metabolism and digestion is different. Some are faster than others, while others are slower.
All of these are fine. It just means you might process THC differently than your friend. You may feel the effects in a matter of minutes, but it could take you up to two hours to feel them.
This is because of the delay between people and the slow onset of symptoms.
Those consuming marijuana in edibles may get impatient and think that ingesting more will speed things up. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works and is only a recipe for a bad trip.
It can be difficult to get high when the high finally arrives. And that’s a shame because edibles done right can be an effective way to get the THC or CBD that you need.
This post was written by Flo Sugyatno, operations manager of https://getlocald.com, and cannabis expert. LOCAL’d is a helping hand to the companies that strengthen your community in the Washington, DC area. Helping them to grow through financial and promotional support, LOCAL’d is a Washington, DC weed delivery service.