You may already know about smoking cannabis, but did you know that you can consume cannabis by eating edibles? Enter the edibles vs. smoking debate — we already know that we love consuming our CBD in both ways, but is there a best method?
Smoking cannabis as a practice has been around for approximately 2,500 years (evidence suggests that it was smoked as part of rituals and religious ceremonies in western China), but consuming cannabis edibles can be pretty fun and super tasty too. We know that seasoned smokers may be skeptical about newer methods of cannabis consumption, so we’re here to give you a total breakdown of CBD edibles and smoking. Let’s jump right in, so we can find the CBD products that best work for you!
What Are CBD Edibles?
CBD edibles are consumable products that are infused with high concentrates of CBD. They can come pre-made in different forms, like infused gummy candies or chocolate bars. If you’re feeling ambitious enough, you can also make your edibles at home by adding CBD tinctures to batters, dressings, or sauces! The possibilities and potential for creative combos are endless.
But What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a primary cannabinoid found in hemp, which is part of the cannabis family. There are over 100 different compounds in each cannabis plant, and CBD is often one of the most active compounds present. Hemp is a cannabis plant that’s naturally high in CBD and low in THC — while CBD can be found in marijuana too, it’s found in much smaller quantities.
When we consume CBD, it binds with our body’s cannabinoid receptors to help boost our endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for managing many of our body’s most crucial systems and functions. Since it binds to these receptors so weakly, CBD is non-intoxicating, so you don’t have to worry about feeling any overwhelming side effects during or after use.
What Are the Benefits of CBD?
People consume CBD for its naturally relaxing and soothing effects. They enjoy CBD because it:
- Has calming properties and can help ease worried nerves.
- Can assist in alleviating soreness and irritation.
- Promotes improved, more restful sleep.
- Can help with regulating digestion.
- Can enhance mood.
- Boosts appetite.
- Encourages an overall boost to wellness!
Cannabis 101: Hemp vs. Marijuana Edibles
Let’s set the record straight right away. While edible marijuana products are also a thing, they’re not federally legal in the United States because they are above the legal Delta 9 THC threshold.
On the other hand, CBD edibles are made with CBD from industrial hemp. This kind of edible cannabis contains 0.3% Delta 9 THC or less, so it’s federally legal and follows the 2018 Farm Bill.
How Do CBD Edibles Work?
After eating a CBD edible, your digestive system has to break it down before any CBD can make its way toward your liver and bloodstream. As the edible makes its way through your digestive tract, CBD slowly releases into your system little by little. Though this does mean that it will take significantly longer for you to begin feeling its effects, it also means that you’ll feel the effects for much longer than you would with any other method of CBD consumption.
It generally will take 45 minutes to an hour before you’ll begin feeling the effects of your edible, with those effects lasting from 6-8 hours. Even though effects last for a longer time, they’re usually very passive, so you don’t have to worry about planning your day around your edible consumption.
To learn more about dosing for various CBD edibles, visit our CBD Dosage Chart. Though there are no official recommended guidelines for consuming CBD, our chart will help you get started.
What Are the Benefits & Effects of CBD Edibles?
Along with all of the benefits you’ll receive from the CBD itself, there are a few added benefits that come along with consuming edibles:
- The effects last the longest! This one feels a little more obvious, but if you want to feel the effects of CBD for a longer time without having to consume as much, eating an edible might be the best way for you to go.
- It’s easier to take a controlled dose. Edibles that come pre-portioned (like gummies and capsules) contain a more controlled amount of CBD. That makes it easier to consume the same dose every time once you find your preferred dose.
- They’re pretty delicious. If you’re someone who doesn’t prefer the taste of hemp, edibles may be for you. They come in many forms, so there’s a CBD edible snack out there for everyone.
CBD is generally well-tolerated by most consumers (through oral ingestion and other methods, too). Any potential side effects of CBD consumption are usually mild and short-lived and can sometimes include diarrhea or slight stomach upset, dry mouth, or light fatigue.
What is CBD Flower?
Female hemp plants produce buds, which are also known as CBD flower. These buds can take from 3-4 months to mature in a controlled environment, though this can greatly vary depending on whether the hemp is grown indoors or outdoors. Once they are harvested, they’re cured and trimmed before being packaged. CBD flower looks very similar to other cannabis flower types but is different in that it is high in CBD.
CBD flower has trace amounts of Delta 9 THC present and is non-intoxicating for most consumers. It is mostly smoked for the benefits that CBD brings and is great for people who want to reap the benefits of the cannabis flower without feeling the overwhelming side effects that accompany Delta 9 THC.
Welcoming the Entourage Effect
When you smoke hemp flower, you’re also consuming all of the valuable components that grow naturally within hemp. The presence and teamwork that occurs between all these elements are known as the entourage effect!
But what is the entourage effect, exactly? It pretty much means that CBD works its best when combined with the other natural compounds and flavorful terpenes (which are responsible for the aromas and flavors that all plants have) found in hemp. This synergy increases the benefits of CBD than if it were to be consumed on its own.
Cannabis 101: Hemp vs. Marijuana Flower
Similar to edibles, hemp flower and marijuana also both exist. Marijuana flower is not legal or protected by the 2018 Farm Bill, is not regulated, and is not federally legal in the United States. Hemp flower, on the other hand, is federally legal. Hemp flower is high in CBD and contains very low THC content (you already know — 0.3% D9 THC or below!).
How Does CBD Flower Work?
When you smoke CBD flower, its cannabinoids come into contact with your lungs and enter your bloodstream almost immediately after that. That’s why smoking has one of the fastest onset times, with effects you can feel almost immediately to within 30-90 seconds after inhalation.
Since its onset time takes only a few minutes, the effects of smoking CBD don’t last as long as other consumption methods do and usually last between 3-4 hours.
What Are the Benefits of Smoking CBD Flower?
When you smoke CBD flower, you also receive all of the same benefits that you would if you had ingested a CBD edible. There are a few added benefits, though, which may be especially appealing to those who already enjoy smoking:
- You don’t have to wait as long to feel the effects of CBD because onset times are so much shorter. Because of this, you’ll also be able to tell sooner if you want to consume more CBD or not.
- Bioavailability is higher with smoking. Bioavailability is the ability of a substance has to be absorbed by your body. Because you inhale CBD directly into your lungs when you smoke, the percentage of bioavailability is between 40-50%, whereas, with oral ingestion, it’s only about 10-20%. This percentage represents the number of nutrients you’ll be able to absorb through your body’s circulation.
What’s the Difference Between CBD Edibles Vs Smoking?
The main difference between CBD edibles vs. smoking is based on your personal preference. Not everyone enjoys smoking because of the potential risks that accompany the act of smoking itself. When you consume an edible, you can still reap the benefits of CBD without having to light up.
On the other hand, some people may not enjoy how eating an edible makes them feel and may prefer smoking because of the immediate control it offers them. When you consume an edible, you have to wait much longer before finding if you’ve had the right amount for you.
Have a Professional Help You Decide
If you want to try out CBD for yourself but are unsure about how it may affect you, your daily routine, or your habits, give your doctor a call. A licensed medical professional may be able to answer questions that’ll help you decide whether CBD is right for you and whether you should try out an edible CBD product vs. a smokable one.
Why Choose An Edible Vs Smoking CBD?
We all look forward to free days — you’re off work, your errands are finished, and you have the whole day all for yourself! What better time to try out that CBD edible you’ve been excited for? Change back into your pajamas and lay back on the couch because the next 6-8 hours are all about you, and some sweet restorative vibes that will benefit your body’s wellness, too.
Why Choose Smoking CBD Vs an Edible?
Who wants to wait around to relax at the end of a long day? If you want to feel a relieving calm without having to wait, smoking CBD is the right move for you. Whether you’re looking to find comfortable sleep more easily or just ordered a pizza for movie night, smoking CBD will lift you onto the right foot.
Which CBD Edibles Are Best?
When we say there’s a CBD edible out there for everyone, we mean it. We have our favorite flavors and varieties, and we’re here to help you discover yours, too!
- Gummies: They’re just as delightful and easy to eat as fruit snacks were when we were kids. The best part, though, is that these provide all the wonderful benefits of CBD, too.
- Oil Tinctures: One of the coolest things about CBD oil tinctures is that you can cook with them, add them to already-made food, or consume them sublingually. To consume sublingually, apply your dose underneath your tongue, wait 15-30 minutes, and enjoy for 4-6 hours.
- Capsules and Softgels: These are super convenient because they’re already pre-dosed for you, and they’re discreet and easy to consume.
Cheef Botanicals carries Vegan CBD Gummies, CBD Oil Tinctures, CBD capsules, and more, so you can easily find which one’s suited to your tastes and lifestyle. We also carry each product in different strengths, so they’re great for new and seasoned CBD consumers.
Which CBD Products Are Best For Smoking?
Did you know that there are more ways than one to smoke CBD? You heard us right! There’s a wide range of all-natural choices for smokers too:
- CBD Flower: CBD flower comes in a wide range of aromas and flavors to please every individual’s (taste)buds.
- CBD Concentrates: CBD concentrates are awesome because they are high in potency, so a little goes a long way. They come in waxes, isolates, or distillates and you can vape them or smoke them in dab rigs.
Cheef has premium flower (we currently have over 20 premium strains for you to savor), pre-rolls, joints, concentrates, and more to fulfill all your smoky needs!
Final Thoughts – Edibles Vs Smoking
Consuming CBD as an edible vs. through smoking can create very different experiences. Because they’re so different, we don’t think it’s fair to say that one is “better” than the other. When deciding whether you want to consume a CBD edible or smoke CBD, consider these three important questions:
- How quickly do I want to feel relief?
- For how long do I want to feel the effects of CBD?
- How much time do I want to spend preparing and consuming my CBD product?
After reading our breakdown of the two, these questions might help you determine which kind of adventure you’re looking for if you don’t already have a set-in-stone preference between edibles or smoking.
Got a minute more to hang? Visit Cheef Botanical’s Learn page to continue growing your CBD knowledge with us — we can’t wait to keep growing with you!