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Why Do Edibles Give You a Different High Than Smoking?

Ever since the world-famous ‘special’ brownies, people started experimenting with different effects of cannabis edibles. As a result, numerous edible products are launching every year, and the selection is only growing richer.

With advanced science and thanks to many researchers’ curiosity, today we know much more about cannabis than just a couple of years ago. So, now various edibles are taking all kinds of forms and shapes, with THC and CBD edibles taking the lead in popularity and use.

However, passionate cannabis lovers and regular users noticed some differences after comparing different ways of taking their cannabis. So, today we’re going to dive in and discuss whether the edibles give a different high than smoking.

About Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis edibles shook the entire cannabis and food market with their debut, and today countless companies are proud makers of various cannabis-infused goods. Starting from the well-known brownie cakes, today, the cannabis edibles include much more variety among their products.

Cupcakes, chocolate bars, gummy bears, protein powders, coffee, tea, and energy drinks are just some of the favorite cannabis-infused products people consume daily.

So, let’s clarify what cannabis edibles are.

Cannabis edibles are specially made ingestible products infused with a specific dose of cannabis. As the cannabis plant is rich in over a hundred different cannabinoids, they can be used to make these products.

However, not all cannabinoids are equally researched, but two of the most famous ones are indeed THC and CBD. They also dominate this unique food industry, so you’ll mostly come across foods infused with one of these two cannabinoids.

Smoking vs. Ingesting

Although most people immediately connect cannabis with smoking, that doesn’t have to be the case. Many users don’t like the effects of inhaling the smoke, and they prefer taking their daily cannabis dose through an edible.

Besides, this option is great for anyone wanting to remain more discreet while consuming cannabis products, especially if they’re somewhere in the public or on-the-go. These small, delicate sweets or drinks look just like regular products, and they’re easy, portable, and efficient to carry with you.

Nevertheless, there are some other crucial differences between smoking and ingesting cannabis besides efficiency that might influence a person’s decision on which one to choose.


Firstly, the effects strongly depend on the cannabinoid itself. For example, THC and CBD products offer a completely different set of effects, where the first one gives a more euphoric and stoned effect. In contrast, the latter provides a more relaxing, calming, and therapeutic sensation.

This goes for both the smoking and ingesting method, so your experience will first depend on the cannabinoid in the product.

On the one hand, THC edibles will give you a more high effect, but taking too much THC can increase anxiety and paranoia. On the other hand, CBD edibles have a more soothing effect that’s not as intense, but you can’t go overboard with it.

Based on what you’re looking for in a product, weigh all pros and cons to decide which one suits you better.


Secondly, edibles go through your body in a completely different way than smoke.

Namely, smoke enters your lungs by inhaling and almost instantly travels to your bloodstream via alveoli. This makes virtually all Delta-9 THC immediately enter your bloodstream, resulting in a high effect. Smoking cannabis only takes 5-15 minutes to experience the full effect with such a quick process.

Ingesting cannabis edibles is a bit more complicated than that. Before passing through your entire digestive system – including stomach, intestines, and liver – saliva helps break down the edible allowing it to travel easier.

This entire process takes much longer, and your body distributes the cannabis evenly until it reaches your brain. Only when that happens will you start feeling the effects of an edible. For some people, this process takes around 45 minutes, but it can take even up to 3 hours for others.


Thirdly, smoking and ingesting cannabis also differentiate in their intensity. While smoking absorbs cannabis content much faster and the effects are felt almost instantly, that means the same effect lasts much shorter, approximately between 1 and 2 hours.

Ingesting an edible might take a long time to work, but the effects are much stronger. With slower absorption, you’ll feel benefits from a cannabis edible between 4 and 6 hours.


Finally, a lot goes into what influences the high effect of an edible. Depending on the edible itself, you might get completely different results. However, it’s known that edibles, even though they need a longer time to take effect, offer a much intense and durable high effect than smoking cannabis.

However, the exact effect also depends on your metabolism, cannabis tolerance, and personal predispositions.