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As more states begin legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, its use is becoming much more popular. The market is continuing to grow, and the variety of products is continuing to increase. Despite the ever-increasing product types, edibles and smoking remain two of the most popular methods of use. Are you unsure of which one to try? This article will dive into comparing edibles vs smoking to help you determine which is best. 


Edibles are cannabis-infused foods and drinks. They’re a broad category of products that include sweet treats, savory items, water, coffee, and more. With these products, you ingest them as you would a regular food item. The only difference is that these particular products contain THC. Many also contain CBD, additional cannabinoids, and terpenes. 

edible or smoke

How Long Do Edibles Take to Work

Edibles work a bit differently than inhaled cannabis products, therefore, it’s important to know how edibles vs smoking take effect. Your body digests the cannabinoids as they digest the food itself. After being processed by the liver, the cannabinoids travel into your bloodstream and to your brain. As such, it can take up to two hours to feel the effects.


  • Edibles are discreet
  • They offer easy, accurate dosing (and they’re perfect for microdosing)
  • They’re portable
  • They offer longer-lasting effects
  • Numerous options to fit all taste buds


  • Edibles take up to two hours to take effect
  • If you take a second dose too soon, you could end up with too much THC in your system
  • The effects can be more potent due to how enzymes in the body alter THC
  • They’re more difficult to dose if you make your own 


Smoking is the classic method of cannabis consumption. It’s what most people think of when they imagine people using the plant. Many smokers find it relaxing to grind their favorite strains and roll their joints themselves, but you can purchase quality pre-rolls from your local dispensary, too. 

How Quickly It Works

Smoking is one of the fastest-acting methods of cannabis consumption. Most people feel the effects of the cannabinoids within 15 to 30 minutes. Shortly after you inhale the smoke, the cannabinoids travel through your lungs, into your bloodstream, and to your brain.


  • Smoking is one of the fastest-acting methods of cannabis use
  • Smoking is incredibly simple and straightforward
  • It’s affordable and requires very little equipment (only a grinder, rolling papers, and a lighter at the bare minimum


  • The effects wear off quickly
  • Smoking can irritate your lungs and may have other potential health risks
  • It’s far from discreet (smoke and a recognizable odor)

Edibles vs Smoking: Which Is Right for You?

Both edibles and smoking have their benefits as well as their drawbacks. The honest answer is that one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Instead, it’s all about what works best for you. If you prefer fast-acting relief and aren’t concerned about the smell or the smoke, smoking may be the way to go. You might opt for edibles if you’re looking for something more discreet and easy to use, and you don’t mind waiting for the effects to kick in. 

Don’t forget, edibles and smoking might be two of the most popular cannabis consumption methods, but they’re not your only options. There are also tinctures, oils, vape pens, topicals, and more. The best method of use is the one that provides you with the results you’re looking for and the one that you enjoy using most.