Eating weed or smoking it: what’s the difference?

Why use marijuana at all?

Doctors still avoid prescribing marijuana to patients, even in countries where marijuana is legalized and medical cannabis is sold in pharmacies. Why this happens, you can read in the article “Reasons for refusing cannabis by doctors”. As a spoiler, not because cannabis is harmful, but because it is not well researched. If you are still a fan of traditional methods, read weed grinder reviews.

  1. THC is able to treat inflammation and even cancer (according to the results of a study funded by the US government and published in the authoritative scientific journal “Journal of Biological Chemistry”);
  2. THC has a positive effect on the brain, preventing its degenerative changes, and also induces the release of antioxidants and increases the body’s endurance (research conducted at the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn);
  3. THC has an anticonvulsant effect (study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology);
  4. Cannabinoids reduce the risk of skin cancer (as reported by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health research published in the journal Pharmacy and Pharmacology);
  5. THC May Prevent Heart Attack (study published in Biochemical Pharmacology);
  6. THC helps in the fight against HIV (more on this in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology);
  7. Cannabis treats PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), which is widely used in the United States;
  8. Cannabis helps treat osteoarthritis (according to a study published in the medical scientific journal PLOS One);
  9. Cannabis helps donor organs take root after transplantation (based on a study published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology);
  10. Cannabis promotes brain injury after trauma (research published in the Biochemical Society Transactions and previously posted on the US National Institutes of Health website).

In addition, cannabidiol (CBD) helps to lose weight and improve metabolism in obese patients.

What’s the best way to use marijuana?

Smoking marijuana has a predictable effect and is easier and easier to control. The effect of eaten marijuana is stronger, which is just ideal for many; however, it is less predictable and difficult to control. In addition, it is not always clear when it will come.

If you are thinking about how to dose your edible marijuana, it is best to know a couple of ways ahead of time to improve your cannabis experience.
There are so many methods and mechanisms for using marijuana, but it is important to understand how much marijuana you really want to use, how many cannabinoids will enter your circulatory system. The two main uses for marijuana are known to everyone:

  1. Smoking through many devices, such as a pipe, bong or bulbulator, a roll-up or joint, smoking through a pipe with foil, etc.
  2. Consuming edible marijuana with cannabis-infused foods such as cookies, brownies, butter, pasta, sandwiches, candy, ice cream, coffee, wine, and even curry, the list goes on.

The methods of smoking and eating marijuana are almost endless, but both methods – eating and smoking – have their own advantages and disadvantages, and differ in the type of effect they entail.

Let’s look at what distinguishes these methods from each other, and why the method needs to be selected individually: what is ideal for one person will seem terrible to another.


Anyone who has not only smoked marijuana but also ate it knows the difference between these ways of using marijuana. Eaten marijuana takes longer to absorb, but its effect is much stronger and lasts longer. You might ask why a handful of cannabis candies work so much more than a series of bong puffs or a few rolls. The answer to this lies in how cannabinoids are absorbed from the body.

When you smoke, THC, figuratively speaking, is directed to the brain in more direct ways. In the case of eaten marijuana, THC is metabolized in the liver, where it is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC. This metabolite successfully crosses the blood-brain barrier and, therefore, has a much stronger effect.

Beginning, duration, and strength

When smoking marijuana, the effect occurs almost immediately after a puff. Depending on the type and variety of marijuana, how tense you are, and how often you smoke, there may be immediate relaxation or euphoria, creativity, or even cheerfulness. These effects begin to wear off and disappear over the next hour or so. Because of this quick start, you can immediately understand how much THC you just consumed, how much is normal, when the overkill happens, and when to stop. So, it is easier to control the amount of THC when you smoke.

It’s quite another matter – eating marijuana. It takes time to digest eaten marijuana, so the first psychoactive effect can be felt between 30 minutes and two (sometimes three) hours. The effect lasts for several hours, depending on the quantity and quality of cannabis eaten. Because of this significant time lag between the time the marijuana food is eaten and the feeling of the first effect, it is extremely easy to exceed the required dose. You need to wait at least an hour before deciding whether the eaten marijuana “works” or not, but it is better to wait even longer and not “get”: it is highly likely that you just need more time, and the eaten will work, but later. If you eat two or three more doses in addition to what you have already eaten, the psychedelic effect may not be as expected.

This is very common among people who have little experience eating marijuana. If you decide to eat, for example, “magic cookies”, you need to start with small doses and be patient, not tempt fate. Take a dose you can handle and wait until you feel the full effect of what you eat before taking more. Better yet, wait until the trip is complete, draw the necessary conclusions, and take more next time.

Dose difference

When it comes to the dosage of edible marijuana, ten milligrams can be considered a sufficient dose of THC. This is convenient for using marijuana and avoiding overdose. For example, a cannabis chocolate bar might contain one hundred milligrams of THC divided into ten squares. In this case, it is very easy to know the amount you want to take, provided, of course, that your bar came from a reliable and trusted source. This does not mean that the normal dose is 10 milligrams at a time: the optimal dose for a particular person depends on many factors that can influence the speed and strength of the effect. For example, marijuana eaten on an empty stomach may work faster and stronger than if you had a heavy meal beforehand. How much you weigh is also very important.

Even professional pharmacies have been known to have problems with the accuracy of the dosage of marijuana in their products, with consumers reporting that the same product may differ, be “weaker” or “stronger” depending on the batch. The rules dictate trying and creating products with precise and verified dosages; however, there is a real reason to be careful when using even pharmaceutical products – to start with small doses and be patient while waiting for the effect to begin.

Eat or smoke: which is healthier?

To smoke a plump cigarette-roll is a very relaxing activity, and sometimes almost a ritual: the process of twisting is rather meditative; here you are sitting, reclined in a chair, surrounded by your friends, and your hand-rolled cigarette flickers, almost like a candle, and flashes, and ignites magical conversations. Meanwhile, there are growing concerns among doctors about whether it is safe to inhale the by-products of marijuana combustion: they can be toxic and even carcinogenic. This has not yet been fully studied, so it is impossible to draw a definite and final conclusion. There is also speculation that the anti-carcinogenic properties of cannabis may combat the negative side effects of smoking. Despite this, many smokers are switching from roll-ups to vaping: it is safer, fewer combustion products are consumed with this method of smoking.

There are obviously no combustion products when eating marijuana. However, how marijuana will affect the body depends, among other things, on the type of food in which the herb is mixed. For example, the constant eating of brownies, cakes, and biscuits – it is, of course, extremely tasty, but also extremely nutritious, in other words – sweet, fatty, and harmful. On the other hand, it is possible to add cannabis to healthier foods such as guacamole, or vegetable oil to create healthy salad dressings. The possibilities for creating wholesome food with marijuana are nearly endless.


Overdose manifests itself in different ways depending on whether you smoke or eat marijuana. If you smoke, you will most likely just relax, let go of your problems, put the half-smoked joint on the ashtray, and lie down to your pleasure on the couch. If you overeat marijuana, the situation is different. Most likely, you will not be ready for the effect that will come (and even more, it will begin to intensify). If this happens to you, the most important thing is not to panic. Sit down, take a few deep breaths, and relax. Remember that soon you will sober up and everything will be fine.

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