What’s the Difference Between Eating and Smoking Medical Marijuana?

Marijuana DocMarijuana Education

There are many types of medical marijuana products out there with many different ways to consume them as well. But on the most basic of levels, there are mainly two methods when it comes to the consumption of marijuana – smoking weed and eating weed. While both methods will get you high, the process, the timing, and the end-result will vary.

The Difference Between Eating and Smoking Marijuana

Smoking Medical Marijuana

When marijuana gets smoked, THC (the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” feeling – Medical Marijuana FAQs) enters through the lungs. When we inhale, the lining of our lungs rapidly absorbs marijuana smoke. The absorption is instant which allows THC to enter into our bloodstream quickly.

Because of this speedy absorption, smoking marijuana is most effective for those needing immediate relief from issues like nausea, pain, or muscle spasms.

Another feature and benefit to smoking marijuana is that it’s easier to regulate dosage. Due to the quick absorption factor that comes from smoking weed, you can easily and quickly feel the level of THC being taken in. With smoking, you can carefully intake a bit at a time until you reach your desired level of medication – making it difficult to overdo it.

Eating Marijuana

Unlike smoking marijuana, eating weed relies on the digestion process, making it a different beast altogether.

When eating marijuana, THC is extracted from the actual plant through cooking and then added to an edible product. This is the most common process for weed edibles as eating straight weed in plant form is extremely unpleasant.

Once consumed, the THC is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, an actually MORE psychoactive form of THC when compared to the traditional method of smoking. Our bodies will digest the edible and the liver then processes the THC. At this point, our bodies will begin to feel to the effects. Depending on each person’s metabolism, stomach contents, and/or tolerance, it may take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour for the weed to kick in.

While the waiting period is longer, so is the lasting effect when it comes to consuming edibles, which can be a major bonus factor if you’re not a fan of constant re-dosing. But you must be careful. Due to edibles’ long wait-time, you have to be mindful of each dose in order to avoid taking in too much.

Which Method is Right for You?

Depending on your mood, needs, or availability, you can’t go wrong with either method. It really just depends on what you want and/or can get.

To recap, smoking marijuana provides a more instant high as it is rapidly absorbed through the lungs and into the bloodstream. Eating weed edibles takes longer to kick in, as the product needs to travel through the digestive system. But once the weed takes into effect, the high lasts longer and feels different physically due to the fact that the THC is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, a more psychoactive form of THC.