Remember the scene in Alice and Wonderland where there was a little bottle with the message “drink me” and a little cake with a tag that said “eat me”? Alice had to carefully measure out which one to drink and eat at the same time so she could go through the little door that led to Wonderland. The same idea of figuring out “which one is which?” is true of cannabis products. While you won’t grow to be a giant or shrink down to a tiny speck, there are many variables that come into play with both edibles and inhalables. In this article, we’ll be defining what edibles and inhalables are, outlining their potential uses, and who might be better suited to consume either one. Neither edibles nor inhalables are better than the other, as it completely depends on your preference. You may love one and hate the other or fall madly in love with both!
Any cannabinoid-infused product that is ingested orally is categorized as an edible. Some product types include baked goods, softgels, hard candies, and gummies. Sublinguals like tinctures and oils are loosely included in that category because while they are consumed orally, the correct way to use sublinguals is by releasing the liquid under the tongue, held for a minute or two, and then swallowed.
Gummies are by far the most popular type of edible due to how easy they are to consume; no additional hardware is required! Gummies tend to be cube shaped (though some companies offer them in rings, worms, flattened squares, etc.) and covered with sugar crystals. They’re often fruit-flavored and come in a wide variety of strengths and cannabinoid infusions like Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, HHC, THC-O, and more.
So What Are Inhalables?
Inhalables are products that are designed to be inhaled. Disposable devices, vape cartridges, pre-rolls, dabs/dab rigs and cannabinoid flowers are all types of inhalables. The drawback to inhalables is they need some additional hardware to be used. Disposable devices can be used right out of the box, but it’s best to charge them before using them. Vape cartridges require a specialized device (called a vape battery/vape pen) to heat the thick oil within to a hot enough temperature to be vaped. Pre-rolls will need a lighter to ignite, but are typically a fan favorite since there’s no measuring or rolling involved.
Dabs are small plastic containers that are shaped like syringes but have a small opening in the tip for the sticky liquid to pass through. Dabs are easier to use if the tip is gently heated (a blow dryer works great!) so that the warmed liquid can be “dabbed” onto a pre-roll or joint for an extra kick of flavor. Lastly, a cannabinoid flower will require a grinder, rolling paper, something to pack the ground flower in, and a lighter.
Which One Should I Use?
Again, there’s no product that’s “better” than the other; it simply depends on the situation and preferences of the user. We’ve prepared a quick breakdown of the key differences between the two to help you figure out which one is best for you. Prior to consuming either edibles or inhalables, try to figure out how much time you have to wait before the high kicks in, how powerful of a high you want to feel, and how long you want the high to last. You should also have a general idea of some of the potential side effects as well as the discretion aspects of using either edibles or inhalables. Let’s explain:
The Onset Times
Gummies may taste delicious, but they take much longer for the effects to kick in. Usually gummies will take anywhere between 45-90 minutes, but some brands will warn of up to 4 hours to feel the effects. This is to ensure you don’t get impatient and pop a second gummy, only to feel the effects of the first gummy kick in and you’ll be uncomfortably high.
Inhalables are much quicker in their effects, so much so that you’ll need about 5-15 minutes to feel something. The risk of getting too high on inhalables is low due to how quickly the high dissipates, but it’s always a good idea to wait at least 15 minutes to see how you feel before taking another hit.
The Potency & Duration Of The Effects
Gummies may take longer to kick in, but their effects are usually quite intense. The high from edibles usually starts off slowly but gradually deepens in intensity as more time passes. Many brands strongly advise waiting for several hours before taking a second dosage. Since the high
Inhalables, on the other hand, tend to kick in quickly, but the effects are not as debilitating. You may find yourself feeling floaty and relaxed, but still able to complete simple tasks. The high, while not as intense as edibles, is typically very comfortable and you’ll find yourself feeling calm and peaceful for the duration of the high. The high typically does not intensify over time, which is why some users tend to re-up after an hour or two.
The Duration of The Effects
The high from edibles will typically last for around 4-6 hours. If you’re not looking to spend all day in a dazed funk, you should probably reserve the gummies for nighttime use, or at least during a time where your undivided and rapt attention is required.
In sharp contrast, the effects from Inhalables usually only last about an hour or two. Inhalables are preferred for daytime use or for when you don’t have a lot of time. If you’re impatient to feel the effects or need something quick to help you relax, inhalables are a great choice.
It would be unfair to only outline the pros yet not the cons. You may occasionally experience some unwanted side effects of either edibles or inhalables, but they’re usually easy to deal with or eradicate completely. The effects of both edibles and inhalables will be the same, despite the common misconception that edibles give worse side effects due to delivering a stronger high.
If you’ve never consumed cannabis products before, you may experience some increased uneasiness and light disorientation as your body experiences being high for the first time. Some products tend to leave you with reddened eyes, that, while it doesn’t hurt, may reveal that you’re high to those around you. Cottonmouth is another side effect that you may feel, but the taste of a refreshing beverage is almost magical once it touches your tongue. The munchies are another side effect that can encourage late-night noshing or full meals, as your hormones scream for salted chips/crackers or sugary sweets like cookies or cake.
You may experience an elevated heart rate despite feeling lazy and relaxed; if you feel your heart racing, don’t panic. It may be alleviated by laying down or taking a quick shower. Lastly, you may experience some memory impairment. Many people feel that their memory actually improves while high while others won’t remember their actions from five minutes ago. That being said, remembering what you did during your high after the high wears off may not be so easy. If you want to remember how your high felt or what you did, consider writing down your thoughts and feelings while high and revisiting them once your high wears off.
Edibles tend to be more discrete due to their similarities to regular sweets. Gummies and baked goods are often confused for the non-cannabinoid varieties, which is why it’s strongly advised to keep these treats out of sight and reach of underage adults. Inhalables, however, may require a bit more discretion. Vape pens and disposables may leave a light lingering scent of the cannabis which may prompt those in the same space to question the funky smell. The vapor usually dissipates quickly but the pungent aroma may remain. Pre-rolls and handmade joints will leave a harsh scent that may linger on clothes and hair, as the ignited end will continue to smolder until it’s extinguished. If you’re looking to get high quickly but don’t want to attract attention, it’s best to slip outside quietly and take a few hits from your vape pen/disposable or take a quick walk to smoke your joint/pre-roll.
A Comparison At A Glance of Edibles and Inhalables
We’ve compiled a quick list of some of the main differences between edibles and inhalables. Some of these we have already touched on in this article while others you may already be aware of. Perhaps you’d like to save this chart as a quick reference of the two side by side.
Processed in liver and enter bloodstream
Absorbed into the bloodstream via lungs
Potency Of Effects
Intense high that lasts for 4-6 hours
Moderate high that may last for 1-2 hours
Ease of Use
Easy to consume, great for beginners
Best used by those with vaping/smoking experience
No major downsides to date
Not ideal for lung/heart health, as can cause coughing fits and shortness of breath.
5-15mg to start; increase with 5mg to find preferred dosage
1-2 hits to start; increase with one hit to find preferred dosage
Time Between Doses
Minimum of 1-2 hours before additional dosages. 24 hours is ideal
At least 15 minutes after last hit
There should never be a competition of whether edibles or inhalables are “better.” It all lies in your preference and situation at that time. Short on time and don’t want to feel high for hours? Edibles probably aren’t the greatest choice, but an inhalable product is! Got a day off and nothing to do? Edibles promise to leave you feeling floaty and relaxed for hours, while inhalables may wear off after an hour or two and you’re back to feeling bored. The intensity of edibles like gummies may deliver an intense high that lasts for hours, whereas a few hits of an inhalable may kick in quick but dissipate just as quickly. You’ll need to be patient and in a safe space when you try either edibles or inhalables for the first time, at least until you have a firm grasp of how either one affects you. Start off with small dosages and gradually increase the amount consumed until you’re content with the effects. Lastly, make sure to allow enough time to pass before taking a second dose.
Here at TwoHawk Extract, we’re dedicated to ensuring the safety and happiness of our customers. That’s why we offer an impressive collection of both edibles and inhalables, available in Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, HHC, and THC-O. Browse through our collection of edibles that feature soft and chewy gummies, easy-to-swallow capsules, silky tinctures. Our catalog of inhalables includes convenient disposables and 510-connection cartridges that easily screw into the base of your vape battery. All of our products have been thoroughly tested by third-party independent labs to ensure purity and potency, the results of which can be viewed by scanning a QR code on the product packaging or clicking on the embedded link in the product description. Feel free to drop a comment below as you share your experiences with our products. We look forward to reading how our products have helped make a positive impact in your life. Check back soon for more in-depth topics on the wonderful world of cannabis!