Is Eating Weed Edibles Better Than Smoking Weed?

Humans have been eating and smoking weed in its various forms for thousands of years. According to this study published in the US National Library of Medicine, we’ve been doing it for at least 2500 years!

The ancient Indians consumed it in the form of Bhang (a tasty brew made on holy days) and the Chinese used it in tinctures and medicine. In Thailand, they would put in curries and in dates and chocolates in the Middle East.

In our modern times, we have edible marijauna in the form of gummies, Lollipops, chocolates, brownies etc. We’re pretty spoilt for choice, in a nutshell.

Eating and smoking weed are two very distinct experiences; as the time taken to get high, the total timeline of the trip varies depending on what form you took it in the first place.

Let us first understand the reaction and process of the body.

people smoking and vaping

Difference in how body processes THC


When We Smoke Weed 

When We Ingest Weed

When we smoke weed, the THC is delivered into the lungs where it is directly passed into the bloodstream. The bloodstream carries this THC to your brain.

When we ingest weed, the THC travels from the stomach to the liver. After which it makes its way from the bloodstream into your brain.

This method is more potent as the digestive system metabolizes a greater number of cannabinoids than it does with inhalation.

The liver also converts the THC into a far more potent form resulting in an intense high.

The effects of the THC are felt within a few minutes of consuming it.

The effects of consuming weed are felt within an hour or two of consuming it.

The peak effects of consuming weed can be felt within 30 minutes of its inhalation.

You may experience its peak effects after 3 hours of consuming it.

The effects can last from anywhere between 4-6 hours all depending on the potency of the strain.

When you consume weed, be ready to spend around 12 hours on high.



The data above generally shows that edibles get you much higher as they are more potent, although the time taken to register signs of marijauana consumption is much more. The high created by the edibles also stays for a longer time.

weed edibles illustration on orange background

What should I do then ?

We would recommend that eating an edible is easier and by far the better option if you have a lot of time on your hands. As the high is stronger, you’ll want to make sure you are on top of any housework, especially in case you have children or pets that need feeding.

In case you have a social situation like dinner or anything else where you have to be active socially, smoking might be the better option.

Does this mean you can get a potent high after consuming raw marijuana?

You can try this and eat raw, unprocessed weed but the high will not be the same as when taking a marijuana-based product. This is because in order to get high from cannabis, it has to be activated first.

This activation goes through a process called decarboxylation. Therefore, to activate the compounds, marijuana must be exposed to heat. This only happens when you smoke or bake it.

Even though you may not get high from eating raw weed, most health experts believe that consuming weed raw has a lot of health benefits as it has a variety of beneficial plant compounds.

What is healthier? To smoke weed or to eat it?

Smoking weed is not considered to be harmful but there’s plenty of research that shows inhaling it has a negative impact on your health. As weed smoke contains toxins like cyanide, ammonia, and hydrogen (in small quantities) which damage your lungs and increase your risk of exposure to cancer.

Smoking weed can also cause inflammation of the lungs, bronchitis, and in some cases, impaired brain function. On the other hand, edible marijuana products have not been shown to affect your lung health or cause cancer risk.

So, it does seem like you might want to choose edible marijuana products if you are concerned about any of the potential downsides that come with smoking.

To be honest, the sample size for all the research we went through is very small. Broadly speaking, there is just a lot more research out there about the long-term effects of smoking weed versus consuming edibles.


Final Verdict

Nothing is settled as far as the research goes. But it does seem that consuming weed is safer than smoking weed.

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