Cannabis – To Inhale or Ingest?

We’re sure that most reading this are likely aware of the fact that cannabis can be consumed by both inhalation and ingestion. Inhalation is basically just the absorption of cannabis components through the lungs by way of vapors and smoke which activate cannabis cannabinoids through heat. Ingestion, on the other hand, is the consumption of cannabis by way of eating edibles or beverages that are consumed by the breakdown of decarboxylated cannabis components during the digestion process. 

Both consumption methods provide a way to receive the therapeutic and mind expanding benefits of cannabis, however, between each method there is a difference in their potency, onset time, and duration of effects. 

Cannabis Ingestion

The effects of edibles greatly vary depending upon the several factors unique to each individual. How regularly a person consumes cannabis, sleeping habits, diet, age, and physical condition all play a role. For those looking for the most overall effective way to consume cannabis and receive as much benefit possible, ingestion is probably the better choice. However, if you’re new to edibles, proceed with caution as edibles can provide a much stronger effect that might be too much for some. One of the main reasons for this is the breakdown products of cannabinoids during ingestion, the main one being  11-hydroxy-THC. This product had been shown to provide a much stronger and longer effect, while being more bioavailable than THC. It begins by making it’s way to the bloodstream throught digestion which gives that “body high” and then finally to the brain for the heady effect most note from edibles.

As mentioned before, ingesting edibles tends to have a much longer lasting effect than inhalation. This makes it a great choice for those using it for therapeutic purposes, looking for something to last the day. However, the onset time of effects when ingesting is much longer than inhalation (about an hour on average, but can take up to 2 hours) so it’s important to keep that in mind. 

Cannabis Inhalation

Just like with ingestion, inhalation effects, onset time, and duration are all varied from person to person. What tends to happen in the body, however, is universal. During this consumption process, cannabinoids present in cannabis become activated through heat, and then enter on into the lungs once smoked or vapors are inhaled. Then these cannabinoids enter the bloodstream leading straight on to your brain, offering almost immediate effects after consuming. This is why those looking for a more fast acting effect, find a lot of value in inhalation. The duration of these effects are different for each individual, but most report them lasting about 1 to 3 hours.


When it comes to cannabis consumption there really is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. Each consumption method has it’s own set of benefits and disadvantages that make the “best” method whatever meets the needs of the situation and person using it. It’s important to remember that everyone is different, and we all have unique chemical make ups that make our needs unique too. So we suggest you start slow, do your research, and make sure to read our article about what to do if you’re too high just in case! And stay tuned for our up and coming beginners guide to edibles!

Thanks for reading,


Social Share:

Cannabis Consumption Methods

Looking For A Unique Way To Consume Cannabis? Check Out Our Partners Over At Fairwinds And Their Cannabis Inhalers!