What to Expect When You Switch from Smoking to Edibles
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 03/16/2020 in Medical Marijuana
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Edibles used to be nothing more than a fun party favor. It took time and effort to make a batch of magic brownies, so while the all-body high was a fun and coveted experience, it wasn’t the every-day method of dosing most regular marijuana users preferred.
Then, marijuana started becoming legal across the country. Once dispensaries began popping up and edibles could be mass-produced, the opportunity to ingest your marijuana on the regular, and skip the smoking part, it became a much more realistic option. And for some, greatly preferred.
Today’s edibles extend far beyond the baked party goods you may have had in the past. Dispensaries offer chocolate bars, lozenges, mints, gummies and countless other options for easily and discreetly getting your THC fix. One of the big benefits of these conveniently packaged edibles is being able to accurately control dosing.
This is especially true for those medicinal marijuana users who micro-dose for pain, anxiety, or other ailments. A common rookie mistake with edibles is taking too much, too fast, and dealing with a less than enjoyable high as a result. If you’ve been a regular marijuana smoker for a while, here’s what should you know about making the switch to edibles.
You’ll get a delayed high
Research has found that smoking marijuana produces a high within minutes because of how quickly THC can reach the bloodstream through the lungs. Edibles provide a different experience entirely, as the THC has to be absorbed through the digestive system. This process can take an average of 30 to 90 minutes before users feel any effects at all. The timing can be impacted by weight, metabolism, gender, and even how much you’ve already had to eat on any given day—which means the same edible dose taken by the same person could hit fairly quickly one day, and take much longer the next.
You’ll experience a whole-body response
The high achieved from ingesting marijuana is different from the high experience with smoking. Many scientists say that edibles provide a more potent ratio of THC. This leads to what many users describe as being a stronger, more relaxing experience. The high from edibles is one users say can be felt throughout their entire body, which is one reason chronic pain patients may often prefer edibles to smoking.
You’ll feel the effects later and longer
When you smoke marijuana, the high peaks around 20 to 30 minutes, with most users reporting no psychoactive effects at all 2 to 3 hours after use. Edibles are different. We already know the high takes longer to achieve, but once it hits it lasts longer, peaking around 2 to 4 hours, with the psychoactive effects of the THC lasting up to 8 hours.
The bottom line on edibles
For users who are accustomed to a quick high, patience is required with edibles—you want to give this method of dosing a fair chance to work before assuming you didn’t take enough and consuming more.
Take your time and go slow. Experiment with how your body responds to edibles to determine what your preferred dose is. But once you find that dose? Enjoy the convenience and discretion edibles provide.