With the increasing popularity and acceptance of cannabis, more consumption methods have emerged beyond traditional smoking. Cannabis edibles, in particular, have gained significant attention among users due to their discrete nature and longer-lasting effects.
However, a common question arises: Do cannabis edibles provide a different high compared to other consumption methods? For those who want to try edibles, it’s important to explore their unique aspects and how they can produce distinct effects.
Good RX summed it up this way: “Based on what type of cannabinoid your edible contains, you’ll feel different effects when consuming it. Higher THC edibles typically have a more intoxicating or psychoactive effect. Edibles with greater levels of CBD cause less of a “high,” but may make you feel relaxed and less anxious.”
The Science Behind Cannabis Edibles
To understand the differences in the high produced by cannabis edibles, it’s essential to grasp the science behind their consumption. When cannabis is ingested orally, the active compounds, such as THC, are metabolized by the liver. Through this process, THC is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, a compound that can cross the blood-brain barrier more effectively than THC itself.
This metabolic conversion results in a unique high that is often described as more intense and longer-lasting than the high experienced through smoking or vaping.
Key Distinctions Between Smoking and Vaping
One of the most important distinctions between cannabis edibles and other consumption methods is the onset time. When smoking or vaping cannabis, people feel the effects almost immediately as THC is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. In contrast, edibles take longer to kick in due to the time required for digestion and liver metabolism.
Onset times can vary depending on factors such as the person’s metabolism, the edible potency, and whether the user has an empty stomach. Typically, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel the effects, leading some users to make the mistake of consuming more before the initial dose has fully taken effect.
Once the effects of edibles set in, they tend to last much longer than other consumption methods. While the high from smoking or vaping may peak within minutes and begin to fade after a couple of hours, the effects of edibles can endure for several hours, sometimes even up to eight hours or more.
This prolonged duration is a result of the way the body processes THC from edibles. The high from edibles is often described as more potent and body-centered, leading to a deeply relaxing and sedating experience. Due to the slower onset and longer-lasting effects, it is crucial to consume edibles responsibly and stay mindful of the potency to avoid discomfort or unwanted outcomes.
It’s Different For Everyone
Beyond the near universal differences in onset time, duration, and intensity, the subjective experience of the high can also vary between edibles and other consumption methods.
For example, many people report that the high from edibles feels more physically intense, with a stronger body high and increased feelings of relaxation and sedation. This effect is particularly beneficial for individuals seeking relief from pain, insomnia, or anxiety.
On the other hand, smoking or vaping cannabis is often associated with a more immediate, cerebral high, with effects that may feel lighter and more uplifting for some users.
The unique metabolic process involved when ingesting edibles leads to a more intense and longer-lasting experience. The delayed onset, extended duration, and distinctive physical effects contribute to the distinct high associated with edibles.
It’s important for individuals who choose to consume edibles to start with low doses and stay patient with the onset time to avoid potential overconsumption and discomfort. For many people, cannabis edibles are an improved experience over smoking.