Are Edibles Stronger Than Smoking Weed?
First, make sure you know what you're eating.
Many people recount their first-time horror stories of edibles, most commonly because they weren’t made on the legal marketplace and the dosing was not precise. They either didn’t know there was weed in the brownies, they ate too many, or the high didn’t wear off in time.
Understanding how edibles work, what the strength and proper dosages are for your body, and what to expect is the key to having a great edible experience. The difference between edibles and weed is pretty significant, and if you’re not sure what you’re getting yourself into, it’s easy to take way too much.
There’s always going to be a little bit of trial and error involved, but once you figure it out for yourself, you’ll understand why so many people love edibles.
The way THC affects the body
Your body is full of cannabinoid receptors. There are two officially recognized cannabinoid receptors, but most medical scientists agree that there are likely as many as five kinds. CB1 and CB2 are the receptors that have been extensively studied for their interactions with weed.
Weed is full of cannabinoids. There are over 113 recognized cannabinoids. For the sake of simplicity, it’s very convenient that only one of them gets you high. That cannabinoid is THC, and its presence is what dictates whether or not weed is “strong.”
When THC enters your body, it eventually finds its way to your CB1 receptors. It binds to those receptors, and the effect of that bond is what makes you feel high.
Indica versus Sativa
Your high can be affected by the presence of CBD. CBD and THC are the two most prominent cannabinoids. How much CBD is in your flower depends on its strain and the way it was bred. More often than not, indica strains will have more CBD than sativa strains. CBD relaxes the body. It’s part of the reason indica is associated with a body high.
CBD dampens THC’s effects just a little bit. It attempts to block THC from binding to your CB1 receptors. That’s why a 30% THC indica hits so much differently from a 30% THC sativa. The sativa is a pure head high. In an indica, the body high and the head high balance each other out. You feel more of the effects throughout your body, but your mind isn’t as affected as it would be with a low CBD sativa.
How does smoking weed get you high?
When you smoke weed, you’re giving the THC a path directly to your bloodstream. You can take a hit and know within a minute the way it’s going to affect you. Your blood carries it quickly to your CB1 receptors, and the THC binds. It’s nearly immediate, and the peak of your high comes much sooner.
Because smoking THC works so quickly, it also fades away much sooner. You’ve bypassed most of your body’s processes to use the THC and permitted it to roll full steam ahead at your receptors.
How do edibles get you high?
Edibles, like anything you eat, have to pass through your digestive system. They’re never going anywhere near your lungs. Many people see this as an advantage of using edibles. There’s no smoke, no coughing, and no potential risk to lung health when you choose to eat your weed.
They have to make a long trip through your body, which many people see as a disadvantage of taking edibles. A stomach isn’t like a circulatory system. There are a lot of factors that affect digestion. Your personal metabolic speed and how much you’ve already eaten will impact how and when your edible will start to work.
The slow movement of your digestive system means that your edible may kick in at an unpredictable time, and your high will continue to escalate for a while. Your body slowly and continuously processes the THC you ate in a steady stream.
Smoking THC is like a bike ride up a mountain. If you want to get higher, pedal a little bit. If you don’t want to take the ride anymore, you can stop. Edibles are like a plane ride. You’re going up high, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. When you buy the ticket, you have to take the ride.
It isn’t unusual for edibles to take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to completely wear off. As long as the THC is moving through your digestive system, it’s going to continue to affect you.
It’s not the strength. It’s the experience.
Weed’s THC is measured in percentages. In edibles, it’s measured in milligrams. Leveling the playing field and going apples to apples is easy. Your weed percentage refers to milligrams of THC per gram. That means that one gram of a 30% weed is 300 mg per gram. If you roll two joints out of a gram, that means you’re getting 150mg of THC per joint.
Many edibles have much less THC. Edibles start as low as 2.5 grams and go as high as 1000 mg. The average candy or gummy edible has about 40mg of THC per serving, meaning you’d need to eat more than three to get as much THC as you’d get in a joint. Most of the time, edibles aren’t stronger.
Although the THC content of edibles is usually much lower, many people feel like the edibles are much stronger. This is likely due to the duration of the high and the THC’s slow release. You’ll feel like you’ve been high for a whole day because when all is said and done, you will be. Edibles take a very long time to pass.
Dosage and patience are key
Often, people will find that edibles seem stronger because they take way too much. A so-called “serving” of weed is easy to estimate. You pack a bowl or roll a joint, and you smoke it. You know how much weed you smoked and what to expect from that amount of weed. The nature of edibles is much different.
Three gummies don’t feel like a serving to most people. If you buy a small bag of gummy candy, it’s easy to eat the whole thing in one sitting mindlessly. That would be a huge mistake with edibles. They pack a lot of THC into a very small serving, which distorts the perception of how much you should be ingesting. You could easily down 500mg of THC in edibles without ever thinking about it.
Edibles can also take up to two hours to start kicking in because your stomach has to break them down first. People tend to get impatient with edibles. After half an hour, they don’t feel anything. Then they eat more. Then the process starts again. While their high is climaxing from their first edible, their second edible starts to kick in. The effects stack and the duration of the high gets longer and often more intense.
The key to a successful experience with edibles is small doses and lots of patience. Don’t run back for another weed brownie in an hour because nothing is happening yet. You might regret that decision, and once you’ve made it, there isn’t much you can do to fix it.
Which high is better?
Smoking weed is always going to give you a more predictable high for a reasonable duration of time. Edibles are a little less predictable, but they keep you high for longer.
Assuming you’re using edibles correctly, the experience can be fun. Edibles will give you a much longer high, making them better for a fun day in. As long as you aren’t using edibles on a day where you have a lot of stuff to do, you might find that you enjoy the experience.
The perception that edibles are stronger comes from many misconceptions about what they do and how they work, leading to their misuse. They aren’t necessarily stronger — they’re just processed completely differently.
Whether you’re looking to try edibles or you’ve decided that sticking to traditional, old-fashioned weed is a better choice, Emjay is here for you. We have a large selection of flower and edibles for you to choose from. Just make sure you understand your percentages before you dive in. We’ll deliver the weed to you in half an hour or less. If you’re planning to eat some edibles, stay in for the day and let us deliver.