Risks and Rewards Between Edibles and Smoking Cannabis

When Choosing between consuming edibles and smoking flower.

Differences between edibles and smoking

The stark differences between edibles and smoking

By Andy Simmons

Choosing between consuming edibles and smoking flower comes down to what affects the user wants. Those who’ve done both consistently, the choice is clear, but what if one hasn’t done both? What’s the big difference between consuming edibles and smoking cannabis? Those who do not have a guide use a gut feeling on which to practice, but that can be risky both socially, mentally, and physically. It is important to know the differences between the two because while the pros of one may be good, the cons can be equally bad. To the untrained eye, edibles come in many different forms as flower does not, which is untrue. Flower comes in many different forms and the form it comes in tells exactly what effect it will make once consumed. Ultimately, it is up to the user because they know best their situation and body the best. When choosing between edibles and smoking flower, the most important question to answer is what effects does one want out of it.  


Cannabis can be intimidating to those who are new to it, and it can be doubly so when trying it for the first time with friends, peers, or even family. No one likes sticking out when they don’t know what they are doing, so it’s important to have as much knowledge as possible, especially when it comes to edibles. Edibles are more concentrated, so they provide a much more intense effect on the user. This can be overwhelming for first-timers and can be potentially scarring them from ever using again. The new California Senate law in edibles reflects this attitude, as it dropped the recreational amount from 20 mg per piece to 10 mg per piece. A large problem with edibles is that each amount affects a person differently, depending on multiple factors like tolerance, weight, and metabolism. Users can experience a strong effect from a 10 mg edible, while most may feel a moderate to no effect. To make things more complicated, edibles effects take time to manifest and that can vex a new user who is ready to go now. Edibles take longer for the body to break down, meaning the THC won’t enter the bloodstream immediately. It can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes for the effects to be noticed, which means each edible can surprise its user with its manifestation. Compared to edibles, smoking effects are felt almost immediately and consequently, makes it much easier for the users to gauge the effects.


Smoking flower is the classic and social choice for any user. It can be intimidating, especially if there is a large smoke piece being used like a bong. The multitasking involved in smoking through the bong is uncomfortable for a lot of users. In one swift and seamless movement, a user most hold onto the bong firmly, light the flower, and pull the smoke piece all the while inhaling. Trying to do multiple tasks, while simultaneously taking a long, unnatural breath, can be difficult for those not accustomed to the actions and embarrassing to those who want to look like they know what they are doing. Smoking doesn’t always have to be done through a bong. It can be done through glass pipes, blunts (which too are difficult for those who haven’t practiced), or any makeshift device like an apple or soda can. Problems still do arise, since the flower has to be broken up and ground before placed into the piece, which can get messy. Edibles sold at a dispensary do not have a messiness to them and they all have perfect measurements, so users can conduct a body experiment of their own to know the perfect amount. Unfortunately, different brands with the same measurements have different effects, which is largely the most common problem with edibles: they are inconsistent and unpredictable. Not only do edibles take long, but they can be total misses and no one can know for sure until 90 minutes have passed. Once a brand of edibles works for the user, its best to stick with that brand.


Although some edibles can be complete misses, they rarely do not give medium effect but a hard euphoric effect that can overwhelm new users. Edibles, when taking effect, makes users euphoric. The body can warm up, almost like its beaming with energy, and the senses can be magnified to great effect. The psychoactivity is intense when compared to smoking flower and the effects, the body euphoria, and psychoactivity can last up to six hours. When a user plans to an edible, that’s the plan they have made for their day. Once a user has committed to doing edibles, they have committed the whole day to cannabis. Though edibles offer many risks – effects are too strong, effects are too inconsistent – they do offer new ways to consume cannabis for those who are intimidated by smoking. The edible community is so inventive and so creative there is hardly not a form of food that hasn’t been transformed into an edible. Lemonade, pizza, cookies, gummy bears, donuts, popcorn, goldfish, trail mix, you name it: they have them. Edibles are far more inviting with its simple nature and can be flytrap for those who’ve never encountered edibles before. Smoking effects, on the other hand, do not last as long. They can hover around 15 minutes to the hour depending on the potency and the person.  


Smoking cannabis offers flexibility when to consume cannabis as it’s easier to sneak an hour effect than six hours. However, smoking flower is not flexible where it can be consumed. In many apartments and housing complexes, cannabis is often banned due to smell that the flower can produce. Although users might enjoy it, many who are not in the community do not, which makes finding a place to smoke difficult. Vape pens help counteract the smell, as it is an odorless way to smoke. It is, however, far more expensive way to smoke compared to flower, which is already more expensive than edibles. Many go to edibles so they can still practice cannabis. It is also inexpensive and odorless, which happens to be a priority for many in the cannabis community. Edibles generally run cheaper at 10 to 20 dollars compared to the regular 45 dollars for an eighth. However, edibles are one type of effect, while flower has many. Flower can come in an indica, sativa, or a hybrid strain. All of these have a different effect when Choosing between consuming edibles and smoking flower as sativas effect the head as indica does the body. This gives smokers, even more, control over their intended effects compared to edibles.  


As said before, choosing between edibles and smoking depends on circumstance. A user must ask where the priorities are at. Is it the euphoria and psychoactivity that edibles produce, or is it the control that flowers provide? Price can also be influential as smoking involves more equipment as well as a higher price for less effects. Reliability can too be a factor which flower guarantees as edibles do not. When making the final decision, think of the time and place as well as who will be there. If there is a feeling of apprehension with edibles because of the potential high effects, users can also smoke CBD flower as its a counteractant to THC effects. Both edibles and flowers work together since it helps diversify the choices in the industry as they help different type of users. The key is finding out what type of user one wants to be.


They might be both.


Pros Cons

Long lasting


Presentation is inviting

Effect is more euphoric; powerload

Does not carry strain dominant


Longer Onset of Effect

Effects may be overwhelming to newcomers

Homemade is difficult to measure

Stay in the blood system longer


Pros Cons
Easier to gauge effect

Effect takes almost immediately

Popular, classic, social

Offers many types of effects (sativa, indica, hybrid)

Does not stay in the blood system as long

Strong odor

More expensive

Intimidating for newcomers

Can be messy for clumsy types

Have to buy equipment for best output


Originally posted 2018-01-30 10:00:38.