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Smoking Marijuana Vs Eating It: What’s The Difference?

Since the legalization of Marijuana, one of the questions being asked by people in Canada and the U.S. alike is what the difference is between smoking and eating cannabis.

This was even elaborated on in an article published by The Atlantic but we’re going to simplify and cut things down a little more for our readers!

Smoking and Eating Marijuana: What is the Difference?

Marijuana today is most commonly used either recreationally or for medicinal purposes. Though smoking marijuana is the main go to when it comes to marijuana consumption, there may be some who do not like smoking. Alternatively, there may also be those who need cannabis medicinally but cannot smoke due to health reasons.

In any case, understanding the difference between smoking and eating marijuana is important.


The first noticeable difference between smoking and eating marijuana is in the preparation. Smoking for the most part involves the simple procurement of dry herb which is then crushed and smoked as the individual sees fit.

Eating on the other hand would involve either cooking the herb or heating it with something like oil or butter which can then be used in regular cooking. Alternatively, edible marijuana goods could also be procured readymade.

Taking it Up

When you smoke marijuana, active ingredients in the inhaled smoke are absorbed through the alveoli (gaseous exchange sacks) in the lungs into the blood. When eating marijuana, the same are absorbed via the digestive tract. This influences two things:

Onset: It takes a lot longer for someone to feel the effects of marijuana after eating it than it would after smoking. This is because digestion may take a little longer.

Affect: It is observed that if two buds of identical size from an identical strain were both picked for consumption and prepared, the one which was eaten would produce a more intense high. The reason for this is that THC is broken down in the liver into a more potent and easier absorbed form of the same. The result, a high which is far more potent!


The duration of how long you will feel the effect of marijuana also varies depending on if the herb is smoked or eaten. Where the onset of smoked marijuana is a lot quicker to hit, so is the comedown. We’re talking an average of anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour for peak effects. When ingested however, peak effects for marijuana can last anywhere between 2 to 6 hours!


Though you would think that eating marijuana is the way to go, you must remember that the high produced when you ingest the same can be far more intense than what you may be used to via smoking. It is for this reason that many seasons marijuana users and enthusiasts prefer to stick to smoking and the options it offers.

On a flip side, if you’re okay with your high veering into the seriously psychotropic, eating is great!

Health Concerns

It stands to reason that eating marijuana holds one advantage for those suffering from chronic lung impediments. The advantage being marijuana if consumed by eating does not exacerbate the same! Other than that, however, smoking and eating are equally benign!

Winding Down

Winding down all we would suggest is that you choose according to what suits you and what you’re comfortable with. If you feel marijuana edibles are your thing, go for it! If you’re a loyal smoker and just want to maybe switch up the way you smoke, you have some options to choose from!

Swing by our online smoke shop and check out the equipment like bongs, bubblers, pipes and others available! In any case, hit that high!  

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