Cannabis Consumption: Eating vs Smoking


shutterstock_166239419Cannabis varies depending on the way it is ingested. If eaten, weed takes longer before it begins to affect the body, but it is not as intense or last as long. In addition, it is highly detectable in urine. Inhalation of weed makes for a faster, intense high that does not last as long. However, smoking weed can cause lung diseases and damage the respiratory system. In order to analyze exactly how the way weed is introduced to the body affects the high, we must look at bioavailability.

Bioavailability is the rate and degree that drugs are absorbed into the body. In other words, bioavailability shows how fast, long, and intense your high may be after using. If you breathe the smoke of marijuana, you will experience the effects of the drug within seconds to minutes. On the other hand, if you consume weed, the effects take around 30 – 60 minutes to take effect, primarily because of the body’s metabolism.

The length that the high lasts also depends on consumption. If you eat cannabis, then your high will last longer, but will be decidedly less intense. In addition, eating weed increases the cannabinoids in urine, so you are more likely to be detected as high in a drug test.

The science behind the varying effects of marijuana based on use are fairly simple. When you eat marijuana, it must pass through your intestinal wall. After this, it is metabolized by your liver, and then reaches your blood stream. Throughout this process, the marijuana does not reach your brain and does not give you the same effect that smoking would have. However, it does not cause the same health problems that smoking can, such as lung disease and heart problems.

Smoking cannabis causes the weed to enter the bloodstream directly from the lungs before traveling to the heart. From here, it makes its way to the brain and enters the circulation. This process is quicker because the cannabis is able to completely bypass the digestive system. The high is stronger because it is able to access the brain. When you eat weed, the body metabolizes the drug before it can reach the brain and alter it, causing a duller, yet longer lasting high.

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