Comparing the effects: Vegan cannabis edibles vs smoking

As the cannabis industry evolves, consumers are increasingly faced with a pivotal choice between traditional smoking and the burgeoning world of edibles.

The decision is especially hard to make when it comes to vegan cannabis edibles.

Vegan edibles are becoming more innovative and discreet, they offer a longer-lasting high without the lung irritation associated with smoking.

Smoking, on the other hand, provides the immediacy and control that many users crave, despite growing health concerns.

In this article, we dive deep into the effects of vegan cannabis edibles versus smoking and shed light on a pivotal shift in consumption practices and what it means for your wellness journey.

Understanding vegan cannabis edibles

The cannabis market is no longer just about smoking. Edibles have surged in popularity, offering a diverse range of products from THC-infused salad dressings to gummies and cakes.

This shift reflects a growing consumer demand for more discreet and health-conscious ways to consume cannabis.

Vegan cannabis edibles, specifically, are gaining traction as a health-conscious alternative to traditional edibles that often contain animal-derived ingredients.

These plant-based options cater to a growing demographic of consumers looking for cleaner, more ethical ways to consume cannabis.

Unlike their non-vegan counterparts, these edibles avoid gelatin — a common gelling agent derived from animal collagen. Instead, they opt for plant-based thickeners like agar or pectin.

As a result of these benefits, the market for vegan cannabis products is expanding rapidly.

This surge reflects not only a shift towards plant-based diets but also a wider demand for cannabis products that align with personal health and ethical values.

Effects of smoking cannabis

Smoking cannabis is one of the oldest and most common methods of consumption, offering immediate effects due to the direct inhalation of cannabinoids into the lungs.

This method allows for quick absorption into the bloodstream, with users typically feeling effects within minutes.

However, studies highlight potential health concerns associated with smoking cannabis.

For example, according to a 2016 study,  regular smoking can lead to respiratory issues, with symptoms akin to those found in tobacco smokers, such as coughing and phlegm production.

Despite these concerns, many users prefer smoking for its rapid relief and the ability to precisely control dosage through inhalation.

Yet, as awareness grows regarding the health implications of smoking, there’s a noticeable shift towards alternative methods like vaping and edibles.

Edibles vs. smoking: A comparative analysis

Now, let’s compare the effects of vegan cannabis edibles and smoking, shedding light on the key differences that might sway your preference:

  • Onset and duration: Edibles take longer to kick in, usually between 30 minutes to 2 hours, but the effects last much longer. Smoking, in contrast, provides immediate effects that taper off more quickly.
  • Health impacts: Edibles avoid the respiratory risks associated with the inhalation of smoke, presenting a healthier option for the lungs. Smoking, however, can lead to respiratory issues over time due to the inhalation of combustible byproducts.
  • Dosing precision: Edibles offer a level of dosing precision, especially with labeled commercial products, though the delayed onset can lead to overconsumption. Smoking allows for real-time dosage control, as users can stop once they’ve reached the desired effect.
  • Discretion and accessibility: Edibles win on discretion, as they produce no smoke or smell, making them ideal for privacy and ease of use. Smoking is more noticeable due to the smoke and odor, limiting where and when it can be used.

But regardless of the pros and cons of each method, choosing between edibles and smoking comes down to individual health concerns, lifestyle needs, and personal preferences.

As the cannabis landscape continues to broaden, understanding these nuances will help consumers navigate their options more effectively.

5 reasons you might choose vegan cannabis edibles over smoking

1) Control over dosage

Surprisingly, despite the more intense and potentially unpredictable high associated with them, vegan cannabis edibles offer a unique advantage in terms of dosage control.

Here’s how that works.

When smoking cannabis, the effects are immediate, which might lead you to believe you have greater control over your experience.

However, it’s challenging to gauge the exact amount of THC you’re consuming with each inhalation. The potency can vary significantly from one puff to the next, and from one flower to another.

On the contrary, vegan cannabis edibles come with specified doses, often measured in milligrams. This precise labeling allows for a more calculated consumption.

You know exactly how much THC you’re ingesting, making it easier to achieve the desired effects without overdoing it. For those new to cannabis or those who prefer a consistent experience, this can be particularly appealing.

So, while the delayed onset and longer duration require a bit more planning and patience, the ability to control your intake more accurately is a significant benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked.

2) Health considerations

Have you ever stopped to consider the health implications of your preferred method of cannabis consumption?

It’s a question that hits close to home for many, especially for those of us mindful about our overall well-being.

Smoking, whether cannabis or tobacco, involves combustion, which releases harmful carcinogens and tar. These substances can irritate the lungs and respiratory system, leading to potential health issues over time.

For individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions or those concerned about lung health, smoking may not be the ideal choice.

In contrast, vegan cannabis edibles present a smoke-free alternative that eliminates the risk associated with inhaling burnt plant material.

Opting for edibles means you’re sidestepping the inhalation of harmful byproducts, making it a safer option for your lungs and respiratory system.

This method can be particularly appealing to health-conscious individuals looking for a cleaner way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis.

3) Discretion and convenience

One of the more pragmatic aspects of choosing vegan cannabis edibles over smoking is the element of discretion and convenience they offer.

Edibles provide a level of privacy that smoking simply cannot match.

There’s no distinct smell to linger on clothing or in the room, making it a subtler choice for those who prefer to keep their cannabis use private.

What’s more, the convenience factor is undeniable. Edibles don’t require any additional accessories—no need for rolling papers, pipes, or bongs.

They’re ready to consume straight from the package, making them a hassle-free option for both seasoned users and newcomers alike.

Here’s a quick rundown of why discretion and convenience matter:

  • No lingering odor
  • No smoke to irritate others
  • Portable and doesn’t require additional accessories
  • Easy to consume without drawing attention

Whether you’re at a social gathering or simply at home wanting to maintain a smoke-free environment, edibles offer a compelling alternative.

4) Flavor and experience

Let’s talk about something that we often overlook but is integral to our enjoyment: the flavor and overall experience.

When I think about vegan cannabis edibles versus smoking, the diversity in flavors comes to the forefront.

Edibles offer a vast array of tastes, from sweet to savory, allowing for a more pleasurable and varied consumption experience.

Imagine indulging in a decadent chocolate truffle or a tangy gummy bear, all while receiving your desired dose of THC. It’s a sensory experience that smoking simply cannot replicate.

Moreover, the act of eating itself can be a more satisfying way to consume cannabis for many people.

We’re used to associating food with pleasure and socializing, which can make edibles feel more indulgent or celebratory than lighting up.

That’s why I believe it’s important to consider how the method of consumption can enhance your overall experience.

For those of us who value taste and the act of eating as part of our cannabis journey, edibles offer a unique and delightful alternative.

5) Environmental impact

In our discussions about vegan cannabis edibles versus smoking, it’s essential we don’t overlook the environmental impact.

After all, our choices don’t just affect us—they ripple out to the world around us.

Smoking cannabis, especially when using rolling papers and disposable products, contributes to waste. Consider the lifecycle of a single disposable vape pen or the paper used for rolling joints.

These items, often made from plastic and other materials not easily biodegradable, can accumulate, adding to the already significant problem of pollution.

On the other hand, vegan cannabis edibles present an opportunity to minimize this impact.

Many companies producing these edibles are increasingly mindful of their environmental footprint, opting for eco-friendly packaging and sustainable sourcing practices for their ingredients.

Let’s not forget that by choosing plant-based options, we’re also supporting a reduction in animal agriculture, which is known to have a considerable environmental toll.

What’s your next step?

After exploring the nuances between vegan cannabis edibles and smoking, you might be pondering your next move in this wellness exploration.

Our ethos encourages a holistic approach, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the choices we make and their impact on our overall health.

  • Consider how your cannabis consumption aligns with your wellness goals.
  • Reflect on the importance of mindful consumption practices.
  • Engage with communities or forums to share experiences and learn from others.

This exploration is not just about choosing between edibles or smoking. It’s about making informed decisions that honor your body, mind, and the environment.

Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

From Nairobi, I’m Kwame, and I’ve journeyed through the world of CBD and cannabis to share what I’ve learned with you. Experimenting on myself, I've discovered what works and what doesn't. My stories and tips are all about making cannabis understandable and accessible, helping you find the right balance for your wellness.

Related articles

CBD oil benefits

Most read articles

Get our articles

The latest Move news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.