How does Cannabis Make You Feel? Difference Between Smoking, Edibles & Topicals

With cannabis getting more and more popular, it’s common for many of its users to try different products. You can find many cannabis-infused products, with each product has its own variations too. It is safe to say that we now have more than enough options when it comes to cannabis products, and we might see even more of them in the future.

I think it’s no longer a secret that people are consuming various forms of cannabis. You just can’t stop people from exploring different products. Especially now that cannabis is commercially available for medical and recreational uses.

But one question is often asked due to all the options that Canadians have now: are we going to get different highs if we consume different products? There are some popular methods of consuming cannabis that we know today, such as smoking, edibles, and topicals. Is each method going to offer a unique high compared to the rest?


How does cannabis make you feel?

There are various ways for people to describe their highs. From dazed and confused, half-baked, to pineapple express, there are just so many ways to explain how you feel after using cannabis. Some terms are also made popular by movies, celebrities, TV shows, and books. People have been trying to come up with detailed depictions of what it sounds, feels, and looks to be high.

But it can still be difficult for people who have never tried cannabis to actually pictures what it feels to be high. Not to mention that some of these popular terms are just simply ridiculous. There are some certain key characteristics of cannabis high that you should be aware of. Perhaps by knowing these characteristics you can picture the high better.

Some of the characteristics (ideal highs, some things that you want to achieve) are relaxation, increased appetite or the munchies, sensitivity to color, touch, smell, taste, and light, euphoria, amusement, and creativity. In fact, these ideal highs are what some people really want to achieve and make them coming back to cannabis.

The mental and physical reactions tend to happen at the same time. But it could be different depending on your tolerance levels and some other factors too. Methods of consumption could make a big difference too, and we’re going to talk more about that below.

If you have low tolerance levels and don’t want to get too far into the emotional state or, in other words, getting too high, you can choose products that have less THC. Some products could also contain no THC.

The different highs

Now let’s see some of the different highs you can get from smoking cannabis, edibles, and topicals. Keep in mind that your experiences with these methods could be entirely different from what’s described here.

Smoking cannabis

Smoking cannabis is probably the fastest way to feel high. Most people would probably feel high 10 minutes after smoking, while other people might feel high even quicker. After the first inhalation, it’s common to feel the effects after several minutes and you can expect the high to linger around for up to five hours.

Smoking is an efficient way to deliver the content of cannabis into the bloodstream. But the problem with smoking is that it can be inconsistent. How deep you inhale, how long you hold your breath and some other factors could affect your experience heavily.

Bioavailability is also a factor here and unfortunately, smoking offers low bioavailability rates, meaning you might have to smoke more to get the high that you’re looking for.


Anything you can eat and drink is considered edible. And edibles are a great and fun way to consume cannabis. Many people think edibles carry a lot of promises for the future of cannabis. You can expect a more consistent experience when consuming edibles compared to smoking.

After eating an edible-infused edible, the compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestive tract. Since the absorption process goes slowly than smoking, the high you feel will be more gradual at first but could last much longer. And depending on how much cannabis is inside the edible, it is easy to be too high if you’re not careful.


Topicals are a bit different compared to edibles and smoking cannabis. Lotions and balms that are applied directly onto the skin are considered topicals. After being applied, they will stick to the skin and gradually release the compounds of cannabis into the bloodstream over a long period.

Topicals can be effective, and you can be more precise with them as well. You can apply a bit of cream, for example, to certain spots on your skin. But the thing is, many people believe topicals won’t get you high. Cannabis may not produce its psychoactive or intoxicating effects through local applications.


There you have it, some of the different highs Canadians can get from various methods of cannabis consumption. Feel free to explore these methods as you see fit and experience the highs yourself. As always, please make sure you consume no more than necessary as too much cannabis could give you some unwanted side effects.