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Ingesting vs. Smoking Weed in Canada: Understanding Your Consumption Options

ingesting vs smoking weed in canada understanding your consumption options

As a marijuana enthusiast in Canada, you’re likely familiar with the various methods of consuming cannabis. Whether you’re a seasoned user or new to the scene, understanding the different ways to enjoy marijuana is crucial. In this post, we’re going to explore two popular methods: smoking and ingesting cannabis. We’ll delve into how you can consume weed and the key differences between these two methods.

How Can You Consume Weed (Marijuana)?

Cannabis consumption comes in various forms, each offering a unique experience. Let’s look at some popular methods:

Smoking: This traditional method involves inhaling the smoke from burning cannabis. You can smoke marijuana using blunts, pipes, or bongs. Smoking is a preferred method for many due to its quick onset of effects.

Eating (Ingesting): Edibles like brownies, gummies, or even cannabis-infused coffee and ice cream offer a different way to consume marijuana. Edibles are widely available in online cannabis dispensaries across Canada. They provide a longer-lasting and often more intense experience compared to smoking.

Other Methods: Besides smoking and eating, there are other ways to consume cannabis, such as dabbing and vaping. These methods also have their unique characteristics and effects.

Ingesting vs. Smoking Cannabis – Key Differences

Understanding the differences between ingesting and smoking cannabis is crucial for every marijuana user. Let’s break down these differences:

The Difference in Absorption

Ingesting: When you consume weed edibles, the effects take longer to manifest. This delay is due to the liver metabolizing THC and converting it into 11-Hydroxy-THC, a potent metabolite. This process results in a more intense and longer-lasting high.

Smoking: In contrast, smoking weed allows THC to travel directly to the brain through the lungs. This method leads to a quicker onset of effects, usually within minutes. The high is more immediate but tends to last for a shorter duration.

The Difference in Onset

Smoking: When you smoke cannabis, you can gauge the intensity of your high more easily. You’re aware of the amount of THC you’re consuming, allowing you to control your experience by taking breaks or stopping altogether.

Ingesting: With edibles, the onset is slower, typically taking about an hour or more. It’s challenging to gauge the intensity of the high initially, which can lead to overconsumption, especially for first-time users.

The Difference in Duration of the High

Smoking: The effects of smoking cannabis are immediate but tend to diminish within a couple of hours. The experience may include feelings of relaxation, euphoria, or even being couch-locked.

Ingesting: Edibles offer a different experience. Once the high kicks in, it can last anywhere from four to eight hours. This prolonged effect is why even experienced cannabis users like Snoop Dogg are cautious with edibles.

The Difference in Intensity of the High

Ingesting: Edibles deliver a more potent high due to the way the body processes THC. The metabolite 11-Hydroxy-THC has a higher affinity for CB1 receptors, intensifying the high. Users with a high tolerance might handle a whole weed brownie, while others might find half a square overwhelming.

Smoking: Smoking transforms THCA in cannabis flowers into THC through decarboxylation. The high is more controllable, allowing users to take it one toke at a time. For a more intense experience, users can opt for larger dabs or concentrates.

Ingesting vs. Smoking Weed in Canada: Mastering the Art of Dosing and Managing Overconsumption

In the world of cannabis consumption, understanding how to dose correctly is as important as knowing the differences between smoking and ingesting weed. This section will guide you through the dosing methods for both smoking and ingesting cannabis, and what to do if you find yourself having consumed too much.

How to Dose Cannabis Edibles for Ingestion

Edibles are notorious for their potency and the delayed onset of their effects. Here’s how to dose them safely:

Start Small: Cannabis experts often recommend starting with a dose of 10mg or less. This cautious approach is due to the potency of edibles and the risk of overconsumption.

Understand the Product: If you have a 100mg THC-infused chocolate bar, divide it into ten equal parts. Each part will be approximately 10mg.

Consider Your Physical Factors: Your body weight and whether you have food in your stomach can influence your experience. Consuming edibles on an empty stomach can intensify the effects.

Wait Before Redosing: After consuming an edible, wait at least an hour to feel the effects before considering taking more. If you do decide to consume more, do so in small increments.

How to Dose Weed for Smoking

Smoking cannabis offers more control over the dosing process. Here’s how you can dose your smoking sessions:

Gauge the THC Content: Knowing the THC percentage in your cannabis flower can help you dose accurately. For example, if you have a flower with 18% THC and you use 300mg of it in a joint, you’re consuming 54mg of THC.

Adjust According to Tolerance: Beginners might find even 10mg of THC overwhelming, while experienced users might not feel the effects until reaching higher doses, like 80mg.

Listen to Your Body: With smoking, you can adjust your consumption based on how you feel after each toke, finding your ideal balance.

What If You Consume Too Much Weed?

Overconsumption of cannabis, whether through smoking or ingesting, can be uncomfortable but is rarely dangerous. Here’s what to do in such scenarios:

Overconsumption from Smoking: If you smoke too much, the uncomfortable feelings will pass with time. Put down your joint, drink some water, and eat something to help ground yourself.

Overconsumption from Edibles: If you’ve eaten too much, try to get some fresh air. Eating or drinking can also help mitigate the effects. Remember, while the feelings may be intense, they will pass.

Smoking vs. Ingesting Weed – The Healthier Option

The debate over which method is healthier depends on various factors:

Respiratory Health: Edibles are generally considered better for respiratory health as they don’t involve inhaling smoke.

Minimizing Toxins: Using a dab rig or vape can reduce the health risks associated with smoking.

Dietary Considerations: Edibles, especially those with added sugars, may not align with a balanced diet. However, you can infuse cannabis into healthier options like olive oil for salads.

Ultimately, the choice between smoking and ingesting cannabis comes down to personal preference and lifestyle considerations. Whether you prefer the immediate effects of smoking or the prolonged high of edibles, understanding these methods ensures a safer and more enjoyable cannabis experience.


For cannabis lovers in Canada, the choice between smoking and ingesting weed is a matter of personal preference, lifestyle, and health considerations. Understanding the differences in absorption, onset, duration, and intensity of the high is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience. Remember, whether you choose to smoke or ingest, start with a low dose and go slow, especially if you’re new to cannabis or trying a new method of consumption. Enjoy your cannabis journey responsibly!

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