Inhaling vs. Ingesting: Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Edibles

Inhaling vs. Ingesting: everything you need to know about cannabis edibles

Chocolates, beverages, candies, and teas! The list goes on! There is such a variety of cannabis-infused consumables that you can experiment with today. Whether you are unsure about the differences between inhaling and ingesting cannabis or curiosity has stricken you today on – what exactly happens when I ingest an edible? This read is for you. We’ve broken down some key differences on inhaling and ingesting forms of cannabis. 


Different methods of cannabis consumption

The first key difference is the method. Edibles come in various forms. You may be thinking back to a stereotypical television reference to cannabis-infused brownies – that’s exactly it! Overtime, the list of cannabis-infused products has grown quite rapidly. This includes cannabis-infused muffins and beverages. Edibles are ingested through the mouth as you would consume regular food items. 

That being said, many prefer edibles over inhaling cannabis due to the elimination of smoking. If you have resisted cannabis because you do not like the harsh smoke, the appearance of smoking, the lack of discretion when smoking, or the smell – then edibles are a great alternative. Another alternative to smoking is also vaping cannabis.

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Time duration for effects – the beginning and peak

If you have already dabbled in the cannabis edibles world, then you may be familiar with the difference in duration between inhaling and ingesting cannabis. If you are eager to get to the effects of cannabis, then you may want to reconsider trying an edible this time around. 

You will typically feel the beginning effects of edibles 30 mins to 2 hours of ingesting whereas you will feel the effects from seconds to a few minutes after inhaling. As for the peak effects, while this varies, it can peak within 4 hours after ingesting and 30 minutes after inhaling. 

The intensity of the effects depends on the dosage. When experimenting with edibles for the first time, we recommend starting with a low dosage. Speak to your local Sessions Budtender to find the right dosage for you. 


Cannabis is metabolized differently when ingested 

Compared to inhaling cannabis, edibles are metabolized by the stomach and liver. The biggest difference here is the THC is converted to 11-hydroxyl-THC before entering the bloodstream. This metabolite is a lot more effective when crossing the blood-brain barrier to experience a more intense high. While the duration before reaching peak effects is longer when ingesting, the effects are greater and last longer.

When inhaled, the THC quickly transfers from the lungs to the bloodstream before getting carried to the brain. At this point, THC acts on brain cell receptors and you will begin to feel the effects. 

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The difference in dosage between ingesting and inhaling cannabis 

With edibles, it can be challenging to capture the dosage level of the products. While the dosage can be approximately estimated, it is always good to start with the lowest and work your way up. Your Sessions Budtender can always assist you to select the right choice. 

To help get a better understanding of dosage, a very low dosage is typically 1 mg THC. What you want to avoid doing is falling into the trap of “last time I felt very little effects, so I will take a few more bites.” It is always safer to start small and consumes more later due to the varying potency.


Try an edible at Sessions! 

You’re a cannabis edible expert! The great part of edibles is the range of products you can select from. So, what will you try first? Visit your local Sessions to get the best cannabis edible for you.

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