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Edibles vs. Smoking: Pros and Cons

Edibles vs. Smoking: Pros and Cons
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Two of the most popular means of consuming cannabis are edibles and smoking, and each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we’ll delve into the differences between consuming edibles and smoking cannabis, touching on aspects such as the onset and duration of their effects, their convenience, and health considerations that should be taken with each.

Whether you’re a seasoned consumer or new to the cannabis scene, understanding these differences is key to making informed choices about marijuana products.

What Are Edibles?

Edibles are food products infused with cannabis. They primarily serve as an alternative to smoking marijuana. Edibles can range from baked goods like brownies and cookies to candies, gummies, chocolates, and even beverages.

Edibles Pros and Cons


  • Discretion and Convenience: Edibles offer a level of discretion unmatched by smoking. They produce no smoke or odor, making them the perfect choice for consuming marijuana without drawing attention.
  • Longer-Lasting Effects: The effects of edibles last significantly longer than smoking, often leading to a more extended period of relief for those using them medicinally.
  • Controlled Dosage: Edibles are often lab-tested and clearly labeled with their THC content, allowing for precise dosing and the ability to manage your marijuana consumption.
  • No Respiratory Risks: Since they don’t require inhalation, edibles present none of the respiratory risks associated with smoking, making them safer for your lungs.
  • Variety of Options: The variety of marijuana-infused products on the market today is vast, ranging from baked goods to candies to beverages and more.


  • Delayed Onset: Consuming edibles often results in a delayed onset of effects. This can lead to overconsumption when the user mistakenly believes their original dose was too low and eats another edible before the first one kicks in.
  • Longer Duration: The effects of edibles can last much longer compared to smoking, sometimes resulting in an uncomfortably long experience, especially for inexperienced users.
  • Unpredictable Intensity: Edibles can produce unexpectedly intense effects since their THC is converted to the more potent 11-hydroxy-THC in the liver.
  • Unpredictable Dosing at Home: Dispensary-grade edibles clearly indicate how much THC they contain, but when you make homemade edibles, it can be difficult to gauge how much each contains.
  • Health Effects: Regular consumption of edibles can lead to higher calorie, sugar, and fat intake since edibles often take the form of baked goods and candies.

Are Edibles Healthier Than Smoking?

When comparing edibles to smoked marijuana, there are several health considerations to take into account. For one, edibles eliminate the respiratory risks associated with smoking. However, the delayed onset of edibles’ effects can make it tricky for users to consume an appropriate dose, and high doses are a significant risk factor for developing an addiction.

Smoking marijuana and eating edibles both carry their own risks. As with any substance, moderation and understanding your individual tolerance level are key to a safe experience.

Are Edibles Healthier Than Smoking?

Are Edibles Healthier Than Smoking?

When marijuana is ingested as an edible, the active ingredient known as THC is metabolized by the liver and converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is more potent. This process can result in more intense and longer-lasting effects compared to those of inhaled cannabis, where THC enters the bloodstream directly through the lungs and the effects come on more rapidly.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Edibles

To maximize their benefits and optimize your experience with edibles, consider the following tips:

  • Start with a Low Dose: Begin with a small amount to gauge your tolerance, especially if you’re new to edibles.
  • Understand the Timing: Edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect, so be patient before consuming more.
  • Eat Beforehand: Having a meal before taking an edible can help moderate the absorption of its active ingredients.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after consumption to avoid dry mouth and dehydration.
  • Choose the Right Setting: To ensure a positive experience, consume edibles in a comfortable and safe environment.
  • Store Properly: Keep your edibles in a cool, dark place to maintain their potency and freshness.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card through the Sanctuary

At the Sanctuary Wellness Institute, we simplify the process of obtaining your medical marijuana card and provide guidance and support every step of the way. Our expert staff can answer your questions and connect you with licensed physicians who understand the therapeutic potential of medical marijuana.

When you choose the Sanctuary, you choose a compassionate, judgment-free team that’s ready to help you commence the next chapter of your healthcare journey.

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