Inhaling Vs Digesting

Cannabis: The Effects of Inhaling vs Digesting

Cannabis can be enjoyed by smoking it, inhaling it through a vape, digesting it in edibles or oils, and even in the form of patches. When inhaling cannabis, THC enters your lungs and passes onto your bloodstream and brain, where you begin to feel the effects of the cannabis. Digesting cannabis, on the other hand, means that the cannabis enters your liver, through your stomach, where your liver converts THC into a stronger form, which then enters your brain at a higher concentrate. Even when the strains and doses are similar, the way cannabis is enjoyed can produce a vastly different effect.

The Difference in Effects

Usually, inhaling cannabis means that the effects are felt sooner, but the effects often don’t last as long. On the other hand, edibles may take longer to kick in, but once the effects are felt, the experience can last slightly longer.


When inhaling cannabis, effects can take anywhere between seconds and minutes to be felt, while it may take between 30 minutes and 2 hours for cannabis to take effect when digesting cannabis through edibles.

Length of Effects

Like the time they take for the effects to kick in, the duration of effects can also differ. When inhaling, you can reach the peak of your effects within 30 minutes, and these can last anywhere between 4 to 6 hours. You may even be feeling the residual effects for up to 24 hours after. When digesting cannabis, the effects may peak around 4 hours after digesting, and last up to 12 hours. Like inhaling, the residual effects can still be experienced for up to 24 hours.

Things to Know Before Digesting or Inhaling Cannabis

Take a look at our top 5 takeaways to consider before choosing whether to digest or inhale cannabis:

● Digesting or vaping cannabis is less harmful to your lungs, when compared to smoking

● If you are new to cannabis, select a low dose of THC. For edibles, choose a cannabis product with no more than 2.5mg of THC in and for inhaling, look for a cannabis product with around 10% being THC

● Limit yourself to the use of cannabis products to prevent tolerance and dependency

● Avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol or other substances as this can lead to serious adverse health effects

● Always read the labels carefully As with everything cannabis-related, effects are down to the individual, dose and strains, so be sure to speak to a specialist when choosing your cannabis.


References: phic-2019-en_1.pdf