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  • Ashley Slimak

Inhale or Ingest? The Difference Between Vaping Cannabis and Taking Edibles

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

is ingesting or inhaling cannabis better?

In order to purchase edibles from dispensaries, patients must first get approved by a medical marijuana doctors.

The way you consume marijuana impacts your overall experience. The high from vaping cannabis flower is going to be different compared to consuming an edible. The time it takes for you to begin feeling the effects, what the effects feel like, and when they wear off all vary based on the consumption method.

Cannabis consumption will affect everyone differently, even when using identical dosages. As a result, those who are a beginner to using marijuana can accidentally get too “high” or end up feeling the effects sooner or later than anticipated.

If you are a new cannabis user, it’s important that you understand the differences between inhaling and ingesting marijuana. This knowledge will help you select the right products for you and ensure a positive experience.

What’s the Difference Between Inhaling and Ingesting Marijuana?

There are two main ways to get THC into your bloodstream: inhalation and ingestion. Inhalation is when THC and other compounds found in marijuana enter your bloodstream through the lungs. While Ohio prohibits the smoking or combustion of medical marijuana, dried cannabis flower, waxes, oils and other concentrates can be used with a vape device for inhalation.

On the other hand, ingestion is when you orally consume a cannabis-infused product such as an edible or tincture. Unlike inhalation, edibles need to be digested and the THC will be metabolized by the liver before it is released into the bloodstream.

Based on these two consumption methods, the effects you experience will vary. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between each.

1. Inhaling Marijuana Will Work Faster

If you are looking for immediate relief, inhalation would be the best method to use. Once inhaled, the effects of marijuana can be felt within minutes, with peak effects at around 30 to 45 minutes. The rapid effects allow for patients to attain instant relief and make it easier to experiment finding the correct dosage.

However, when you ingest marijuana, effects can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to kick in. Because of this, it is critical to be careful when dosing edibles and avoid taking too much. Generally, 10mg is the standard dosage/serving size for many cannabis-infused edibles.

However, if you are a beginner, it is recommended to start even smaller - somewhere around 2.5 to 5mg.

2. The Effects Of Edibles Last Longer

When taking edibles, you can expect the effects to last anywhere around four to eight hours. If you accidentally take a larger dose than you anticipated, you may feel slightly groggy for even longer.

The longevity of edibles makes them a great option for overnight use. However, there are times when patients need the effects to dwindle sooner. In this case, inhaled cannabis is a better option. Depending on your biology and the dose, the effects of inhaled marijuana can last around one to three hours.

3. Ingested THC Leads To A More Intense High

When you consume edibles, it is metabolized by the liver. The end result is a different form of THC called 11-Hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), which crosses over the blood-brain barrier more easily. Because ingested THC has greater access to the brain, the effects are usually more intense compared to inhaled cannabis.

Overall, the effects between inhaling and ingesting marijuana will differ from patient to patient. If you are looking for immediate relief, inhaled cannabis is the go-to. But for prolonged relief, edibles are the best option.

When you use any new product, remember to start low and go slow. Being precautious will help you find the best products and dosages for you and ensure you get the most out of your marijuana experience.

Check out our Ohio Dispensary Locations page to see which products are available near you. If you have additional questions or are still unsure about what products are right for you, consult with your budtender during your next trip to the dispensary.


Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

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If you have any questions, call us at 866-457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Ohio Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Ohio.


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