Everyone has a right to their own taste. When it comes to the difference between marijuana edibles and concentrate compared with old fashioned smoking, it’s not different. Some like it hot, and not don’t.
They’ll even argue about it. Stupid! Too each his own. If she would rather snack on cannabis derivatives than smoke, that’s her call.
There are differences in the experience, but that doesn’t make one “better” than the other. It depends on what you’re looking for, and that’s why many users switch from one to the other on occasion.
The Case for Edibles
Well, edibles just taste good. They come in a variety of forms. And, they generally produce a slow and steady high. In fact, if you are looking for a body high rather than a cerebral high, edibles may take the prize.
Edibles are certainly the first choice of people who just don’t like the idea of smoking. Smoking anything is not the best thing for the lungs. Whether marijuana contributes to lung cancer or not, it can irritate the nasal passages, sinuses, and bronchial systems. The coughing generated by some smoked strains is a clue.
Retail adult-use options and the expansion of medical marijuana dispensaries will drive manufacturers to compete in taste, variety, and branding. Even now, you can enjoy:
- Utopia Edibles produce Raspberry Macaroons. Each vegan piece includes 50 milligrams of THC.
- Om Edibles offer Tree Hunger Cinnaminson Maple and Tangy BBQ Nuts. These are small tins of almonds and pecans coated with cannabis extract, cinnamon, hemp seeds, maple syrup, and sea salt. There are 100 milligrams of THC in each can.
- Badfish Extract makes a Reef Jerky, a savory snack claiming 100 milligrams THC per serving.
- Lifted Edibles has come out with Pineapple Delight Bites. These are donut hole size treats of combines dried fruits and fine, ground nuts, and hash-infused coconut oil to bring you 100 milligrams per piece.
- Indus Holding Company has Altai Sea Salt Caramel Bon Bons, fancy enough to serve guests. They claim 25 milligrams of THC per bon bon, but these are sativa-based and easy enough on you to use during the day for energy and focus.
There are drinks, crisps, ice creams, and popsicles, as well as multiplying recipes for everything from appetizers through desserts. All this taste, body, and brain satisfaction without paraphernalia, accessories, or supplies.
Effects of edibles and extracts last longer and stronger than in smoking. What happens is that the THC is broken down in the liver. The liver converts THC into 11-Hydroxy-THC, a metabolite that produces a more intense high. Therefore, it takes a while before you feel the effects and why they last longer.
It might take 30 minutes to 2 hours to work, but the effects usually last several hours. Depending on the product, users report strong body effects with an almost psychedelic head high in larger doses. New users should take baby steps. You might be tempted to take more pieces or increase their dosage because the effects take time to kick in. So, you are warned to avoid overdosing. In The Daily Beast, Steven Wishnia quotes Dr. Mark A. Ware of McGill University who recommends “the lowest dose possible to achieve therapeutic effects.”
Finally, you should know that the labeling on edibles packaging may be inexact in several ways. Because the sale of good buds is more lucrative, chances are that your edibles are made from trim, a waste product. As Phillip Smith, writing for Alternet.org, says, “The secret of extraction is that it can concentrate that low-potency trim into high-potency cannabis oil, but the process also eliminates terpenes (which provide taste and scent) and many cannabinoids present in the whole plant... that's like the difference between a fine Scotch grown with high-quality grain and rot-gut vodka made out of cheap potatoes.’
It’s also true that something is lost in the food making process. The terpenes are broken down, and the interaction with other food ingredients is unknown. So, while you may be getting a perfectly healthy food, it may not live up to its advertised high.
The Case for Smoking
Smoking still lacks the social acceptance that edibles enjoy. Some people simply don’t like smoking or those who smoke. They don’t like the smell of it, don’t like it in their hair or clothes, and they don’t like it in their lungs.
Smoking marijuana is different from inhaling the nicotine and tars of cigarettes. But, doctors pretty much agree that anything artificial is not good for your lungs and respiratory system.
Still, smoking remains the first choice of most users if only because of the tradition. Smoking is usually the way they were introduced to smoking, and they often socialize with other smokers. There’s a certain camaraderie among long-time users.
And, they probably enjoy the most immediate difference between smoking and consuming edibles; that is, the high hits quickly, usually within 10 minutes. Depending on the strain, the effects will diminish quickly, within 30 minutes to an hour. But, getting that fast and early high seals the deal.
For one thing, the THC metabolizes differently. It travels with the smoke into your lungs and leaches into the blood system quickly. That takes it right to the brain. Where it creates the psycho-active results you call a “high.” Only smoking, vaping, and dabbing provide that instant satisfaction.
With time and experience, you will become a very good judge of the strains and strength that serves you best. Where it can be hard to determine the effective dosage in edibles, you’ll get more accurate info from the labeling on flower products. Put that information together with the advice of your budtender, and your intake should be what you want.
Even when your black-market purchase is not labeled, you will quickly figure out if the dose and the THC/CBD balance are what you are looking for.
Joints vs. Edibles: How Different is the High?
There are so many variables, including the users’ weight, height, and experience. The THC interacts with fats, alcohol, and other intake. Some strains and some edibles are stronger than other. Still, edibles will affect you slower, stronger, and longer. Edibles, taken sensibly, will affect your body more than brain, and prove better for medical needs.
Edibles do not carry some of the negative and potentially dangerous consequences of smoking marijuana through a joint. Edibles do not create habitual smoking urges, do not lead to smoking-related health problems, and do not produce second-hand residue.