Differences Between Smoking vs. Eating THC

Differences Between Smoking vs. Eating THC

THC can be consumed in a variety of ways including smoking, oral intake, and topical application. Smoking makes this chemical available to the endocannabinoid system through direct diffusion across the alveoli bed. The oral intake on the other hand makes it available to the body through absorption in the digestive system after being modified by the digestive enzymes.

1. Absorption

As their naming suggests, smoking vs. eating THC is consumed through different routes. Smoking THC is taken through dabbing or vaping smoke from burnt cannabis. This causes direct diffusion to the blood. Eating THC makes it available to be acted by the digestive system biochemicals for it to be absorbed. They are further metabolized in the liver where it is conjugated.

2. Onset of action

While smoking THC undergoes direct absorption, eating THC takes more time through the intestinal tract to be absorbed. This makes smoking THC have a very short onset of action starting almost immediately after inhalation. This is important for one to gauge the amount to consume when comparing smoking vs eating THC which forms an illusion of lack of effect within the first hour.

3. Duration of action

After digestion and absorption of THC in the intestinal tract, it undergoes metabolism in the liver where it is conjugated to form 11 hydroxyl THC. While smoking THC is transported to the brain in its original form of THC. These differences cause a great difference in the duration of action. Metabolized THC produces effects for as long as ten hours while smoking effects last for barely two hours.

4. Potency

Potency refers to how effective a chemical is to a body system.11 hydroxyl THC, a metabolite of THC, has more affinity to cannabidiol receptors in the brain compared to unmetabolized THC. This causes increased effects on the endocannabinoid system and increases euphoria. This however isn’t applicable for people who are tolerant of it forming the main basis of smoking vs. eating THC.

5. Dosing

The differences in dosing are due to the difference in potency. Edibles with their ability to produce magnificent effects for a small amount should be dosed at 10 mg per session. Smoking on the other hand is dosed depending on the consumer. It is easy to control the amount of smoked THC since it takes effects soon after consumption.

6. Health effects

Based on the health of the respiratory system, smoking is very detrimental as it exposes the lungs to smoke which can be carcinogenic. This however doesn’t mean that cannabis itself is carcinogenic. Edibles on the other hand are usually considered safer as it brings the same feelings via a lesser dangerous method.


THC consumption is sometimes considered hazardous due to insufficient knowledge of the general population. Excessive consumption is what brings various side effects which can cause destruction. It is important to notify users of the benefits of using the correct methods and that they should perhaps take it in limited amounts to avoid dependence.

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