Edibles vs. Smoking: Pros and Cons

An age-old question: Light up or chow down? Every person has their own preference on whether they prefer edibles vs. smoking weed, and some people just like to do both. We certainly do! However, both edibles and smoking have their own pros and cons, so let us walk you through both to help you decide which one is right for you.

Comparing Experiences of Edibles vs. Smoking Weed

One of the biggest differences between edibles and smoking is the way they get you high. If you want to find out which method is best for you, we recommend you try both (just not at the same time if you’re a newbie).

When you smoke weed, the cannabinoids in the smoke go straight from your lungs to your blood and then to your brain—so you can get high almost immediately. 

Edibles have to pass through your stomach and into your small intestine before the cannabinoids can start getting absorbed into your bloodstream, which means edibles take significantly more time for the user to feel the effects. But there is a trade-off—this slow release means that the effects of edibles often last longer than smoking.

Are Edibles Better than Smoking?

That depends on your personal preference. There can be a level of culture and community around smoking weed that doesn’t exist in the same way when it comes to edibles. Many people like sharing a joint or bong with friends, taking in the flavor, and just hanging out with each other. Many tokers have met some of their closest friends and bonded over smoking weed. 

However, some people just don’t like smoking, and that’s okay, too! Edibles allow you to pick your own flavors and foods. Many of the local DC dispensaries we go to have THC-infused cookies, gummies, chocolate, brownies, cereal bars, and other products that are delicious in their own right. You can also make your own edibles at home, and many people take satisfaction in baking up some tasty pot brownies and sharing them with friends.

Are Edibles Healthier than Smoking?

This is a contentious issue among cannabis enthusiasts, and you'll hear a lot of different opinions about it. If you ask the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse, they'll tell you that smoking any product, including weed or tobacco, may cause irritation and inflammation to your lungs and throat. Like cigarette or cigar smoke, weed smoke can also contain harmful substances like tar, and it could make you more susceptible to catching a respiratory infection—especially if you don’t clean your glass or replace your bongwater after every session! Some tokers would argue that vaporizing flower (not liquid vape cartridges!) can reduce or mitigate some of these risks.

You'd think that since edibles cut smoking out of the process entirely, it is the healthier alternative to smoking. Makes sense! Except that many commercial edibles for sale use low-quality distillate. Any pesticides or toxins in the starting material may remain in the end product, except now they've also been concentrated. 

Another concern about most distillate-based edibles is that they don't have the full spectrum of cannabinoids, which are intended to work in harmony for a true-to-plant experience. It's just straight THC, no chaser.

At Gentleman Toker, we strive to help you make informed decisions, but ultimately, what risks you take regarding your health are a personal decision—as they should be.

Are Edibles Stronger than Smoking?

That depends on how much you eat and how much you smoke. Research has shown that the amount of THC in an edible will get you higher than the same amount of THC consumed by smoking. That’s why it's important for new cannabis users to get a sense of the effects of THC on their bodies specifically for each product. 

Also, because of the delayed effects of edibles, many people assume they didn’t take enough and eat some more. This can lead to users consuming too much THC and getting more high than they intended.

Edibles vs. Smoking Cost

Typically, edibles are a more cost-effective way to get high on THC. Because of their more potent effects, you don’t need to spend as much on edibles as you would on weed to get the same level of high. On the East Coast, edibles are typically priced at around $20 for every 100mg of cannabinoids (if they include THC). 100mg is way, way too much for inexperienced users!

Smoking weed can also have plenty of adjacent costs in addition to just the flower. There’s the investment in grinders, bongs, cleaning supplies, paper, lighters, and anything else that tokers choose to add to their smoking experience.

Edibles vs. Smoking: Anxiety

Why Cannabis Can Cause Anxiety

The science of cannabinoids is not fully understood, but we do know, like any neurotransmitter, that getting out of balance can cause issues. While low doses of weed, particularly indica flower, are known to relax users and relieve anxiety, consuming too much cannabis can increase anxiety. That’s why it's always important to start with a low dose of any new cannabis product to learn how it affects you.

Which Is a Calmer High?

Both smoking weed and eating edibles can cause anxiety if you take too much. However, just as the high from smoking wears off much faster, so will the anxiety. It can also be much easier to underestimate the ability of an edible to get you high because of its stronger potency and delayed effects. In addition, since edibles often take the form of everyday foods such as gummies, chocolate, or brownies, inexperienced users may not take them seriously and consume too much. 

Many users report that flowers or edibles that include a high percentage of CBD produce a calmer high and reduce the anxiety high THC can produce. That matches our own experience here at GT, and we definitely recommend trying it!

How to Buy Marijuana Edibles Online

Browse Our Directory

We may be called Gentleman Toker, but we love munchin’ just as much as we love tokin’. We take it as our solemn duty to try out every marijuana dispensary around, and that includes their edibles

Place Your Order

Buying edibles is easier than ever thanks to the new businesses that have been popping up in the wake of marijuana legalization. You can buy edibles in stores, or order them online for delivery or pickup.

Want More Insider Cannabis Knowledge?

Even if we’ve settled the smoking vs. edibles debate, there’s still plenty more to talk about in the wide world of cannabis. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter for tips on buying cannabis in any form.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Weed Is in an Edible?

That’s going to depend on the product. You’ll want to pay close attention to the milligrams of THC listed for every marijuana edible you take. 

If you’ve never tried an edible before, you might want to take somewhere less than five milligrams for your first experience, especially if you’re new to THC in general. Wait a couple of hours so you can really start to feel the effects, and then up your dosage by only a few milligrams at a time if you’d like a stronger high. Remember, a little goes a long way when it comes to edibles.

How Long Does Edible Weed Stay in Your System?

The high you feel from an edible will build up over the course of about two to four hours before it will peak and start to wane. Usually, the effects will completely wear off after six or eight hours. 

It’s possible for the effects to last longer depending on the person and how much they consumed. For comparison, the high you get from smoking weed may last between one and three hours.

Do Edibles Smell Like Weed?

Not really. Baked edibles may smell like weed while they’re being cooked, but that’s about it.