CBD: Should I Smoke It or Eat It?

Want to consume CBD but not sure whether to eat or smoke it?

Start here. It can be tricky for beginners to figure out how to use CBD – if you’re a newcomer, all the options and information can be overwhelming at first. Of course, even longtime CBD enthusiasts may learn a few things by reviewing the two major ways of consuming this incredible compound: inhaling and digesting.

At first glance, it might not seem like there’s a real difference between smoking CBD-rich hemp vs. eating/digesting it. But there is, and we’re here with the lowdown so that you can make an informed decision!

CBD Ingestion and Your Body

CBD edibles and filtered hemp pre-rolls get CBD flowing in your bloodstream, but surprisingly, the destination of that CBD actually depends on how you consumed it. When you smoke hemp, you inhale CBD into your lungs before it goes anywhere else. But if you consume CBD orally, it goes right to your stomach before it gets distributed to other organs like your liver. Generally, you get less CBD by digesting it this way. However, what you do consume will stick around for longer.

Controlling Your Dosage

When someone smokes hemp, they can expect to feel its effects pretty quick. But with edibles, this is delayed – depending on how much you’ve eaten recently, it could take extra time on top of that. Smoking is definitely your go-to option if you’re in need of a quick fix.

In the event you consume CBD orally, remember that because it takes longer to produce an effect, you might be tempted to consume more. This can be scary in the case of THC, which might leave you uncomfortably high. However, with CBD, you’re pretty much just at the risk of wasting your edibles.

Thankfully, there are no known reports of anything like a CBD overdose.

In other words, no one has ever suffered lethal consequences caused by consuming CBD products. The National Cancer Institute reports the following:

“Cannabinoid receptors aren’t found in the brain stem; there is no way [cannabis] can change our key functions like breathing. Drugs like opioids, on the other hand, are located in the brainstem — which means [opioids have] the potential to interrupt things like blood circulation and breathing that can result in serious injury or death.”

man smoking hemp rolls by a window

So no matter how you consume CBD—by smoking or digesting it—you’re not going to be at risk of dangerous overdose. CBD doesn’t get you high, so the main impulse leading to overdosing (achieving a high) is not really a point of note either way. That said, if you’re taking CBD orally, it’s way trickier to gauge how much you’re consuming with edibles than if you were smoking CBD-rich hemp.

If you’re smoking, you can control your intake by counting the size and number of hits taken.

However, edibles may be small or otherwise likely to get eaten in one brief sitting. This means that, in the case of edibles with heavy CBD content, eating them quickly may be like smoking many hemp rolls at the same time! 

Regardless, when digesting CBD, there are so many biological factors governing the experience that, if the CBD does little-to-nothing, you’re not going to realize it until way later. This can be quite frustrating if you’re looking to consume CBD for its relaxing/soothing effects now. For example, if you’re craving nicotine, and you take CBD oil or some other digestible, you may still have to sit with the raw craving until the CBD kicks in. This pretty much defeats the purpose of using CBD for craving control.

Health Issues

There are no known reports of digestible hemp leading to health concerns. And while CBD is safe to consume, the method of consumption may be a different story. Smoking CBD-rich hemp is, at the end of the day, still smoking. Inhaling heat and smoke is not recommended by doctors, so there’s no getting around that.

However, the same is true of smoking tobacco cigarettes with nicotine. In fact, tobacco cigarettes are rife with all kinds of nasty chemicals that make it significantly worse for your health than merely inhaling smoke from a hemp roll. The main thing is this though:

If you’re trying to kick your nicotine habit, then you’re already a smoker. 1606 filtered hemp pre-rolls are an exercise in what we call harm reduction. 

By switching from tobacco cigarettes to hemp rolls, you’re actually making a safer choice for your body – you’re reducing harm. And hemp rolls have the added benefit of imitating the tobacco/nicotine experience, making things much easier on you as you push through a tough time full of cravings and nicotine withdrawal. Hemp rolls provide comfort, and they make quitting nicotine possible.

two men arm wrestling

CBD: Friend or Foe of Addiction?

At 1606, we don’t make health claims about CBD. We do, however, share the abundant research on hemp and CBD—specifically, how they affect the human body. we just share the research. We like to provide references to relevant literature in science, but keep in mind that this stuff is all...
old man with leaky gut syndrome holding his stomach

Go for the Gut! CBD and Your Digestive Health

CBD affects so many other things in the body – why not the gut, right? Some people actually use CBD as part of their own custom supplement program for healthy gut functioning. What is the gut exactly? When we say “gut,” we mean the gastrointestinal system, AKA the gastrointestinal tract...
high blood pressure heart scale

Does CBD Have What It Takes to Fight High Blood Pressure?

What can CBD do for you? Sometimes, it seems easier to ask the reverse question. That is, what can’t CBD do for you? It surely performs a range of helpful functions throughout the body, although the ultimate test is to simply try it for yourself. But think back to the...