Smoking or edibles: what’s the best way to get high in Amsterdam?

Okay, so you’re in Amsterdam and looking to get high? Going to a coffeeshop and buying a pre-rolled joint is one way to do it ⁠— but certainly not the only way. 😉

Your main choices come down to the two big players of cannabis consumption: smoking joints vs eating edibles.

Smoking or edibles to get high: what’s the difference?

Whether you decide to smoke or ingest your cannabis will impact your experience of your high. This comes down to one defining factor: the way your body absorbs the THC.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical component in the marijuana plant that binds to receptors in your brain. This is the process that gets you trippin’. 🧠✨

But first, it has to journey through your body and make it there. 

Bottoms NOT up: Little reminder to consume cannabis on its own! This also counts for edibles. No other drugs or alcohol are needed to make the most out of your trip. 😌

Smoking weed 

You put a joint to your lips, lighten the tip and inhale the smoke. What happens then? 

As soon as you inhale, the smoke carrying THC will enter your bloodstream via the mucus membranes in your mouth, windpipe, and lungs. Nice, right?

Sniff…can you smell the scent of cannabis in the air? Image: Depositphotos

Thanks to your heart tirelessly pumping blood through your system, the THC is absorbed into your bloodstream and eventually reaches the brain. 

READ MORE | Smoking weed in Amsterdam: ultimate guide [Updated 2023]

Here, it binds to brain receptors which will alter your perception of the world. Or, to put it blandly — get you stoned.

How long does it take to get high when smoking? 

Smoking weed will get you high fairly quickly. You’ll feel the effects within seconds of putting the joints to your lips and taking that first puff.

Weighing your options carefully… Image: Unsplash

Beware that your high from smoking weed can build gradually. That means that despite feeling high pretty quickly, the effects build up over time, and you might feel the weed most strongly about half an hour later.

Pros and cons of smoking weed in Amsterdam

👍 The effect is almost instant, so you can easily feel out your ideal dosage and avoid getting too high.

👍 A large variety of weed strains are available for you to pick and choose from when smoking weed, so you can more easily achieve the desired effects of your high.

👎 Smoking isn’t for everyone, and it does harm your lungs. This is especially true if you mix your weed with tobacco.

👎 The stench of smoke can cling to your clothes. After entering an Amsterdam coffeeshop, you’ll have the smell on you for a good while.

Ingesting edibles

Mhhhh, there’s this beautiful weed-infused brownie. You break off a piece with your fork, put it in your mouth, feel the sugar dissolve on your tongue… and what happens then?

READ MORE | Edibles in Amsterdam: the ultimate guide

The key difference between smoking weed and ingesting weed-infused foods is that with edibles, the THC will enter your bloodstream through your stomach. The way to our hearts! And brains, it turns out.

A single edible can easily contain one gram of weed — or more! Image: Depositphotos

Just as with smoking weed, the THC will enter your bloodstream after enzymes have broken down the space cake enough for your stomach lining to absorb it. 

And now, here’s the catch: timing.

How long does it take to get high with edibles?

One small cookie can do quite the damage. Image: Unsplash

It’ll likely take quite some time for you to feel the effects of an edible after that first bite. This is because the process of digesting the edible can take up to 30 minutes or even two hours.

The speed of your digestion, when you’ve last eaten, what you’ve last eaten, and the composition of the edible are all factors that determine when you’ll first feel the effects of your high.

The cannabis concentration in edibles also tends to be stronger than in joints, so you should never eat more than half of a space cake in one go. This means that even though it can take much longer to kick in, once it does, the high will last a lot longer and feel much stronger.

Always wait before eating more, even if it’s a few hours. Better safe than sorry!

Pros and cons of edibles in Amsterdam

👍 What’s better than eating a delicious cake, cookie or bonbon AND getting high at the same time? Exactly. 

👍 Edibles spare your lungs from any nasty tar or heat damage. 

👍 Eating edibles is far more discrete than smoking a joint — you could just be eating a regular cake after all, and it doesn’t smell like anything. Heading to the movies after a quick space brownie snack? No one will know. 👀

🤔Pro or con? You decide: the high you get off an edible will last you for a really long time, sometimes well into the next morning. So plan in some extra time for edibles to get the most out of the experience. 

👎 Eating edibles means that it will take up to an hour for you to get high, which makes it harder to estimate the right dosage. 

👎 Check for allergies! Maybe you’re off to a great high and then realise that you’ve just eaten a spacey peanut-butter cup, but you’re allergic. That would 100% ruin your day.

6 tips to help you out if you get too high

You’ve followed all the tips but somehow you must have taken one or two bites too many of that delicious weed-infused carrot cake. The result? You’re high. Really, really high.

First off, don’t panic! No one has ever died of a weed overdose and neither will you. Know that whatever you’re experiencing right now will pass. Take a breather, and look at these five tips you can follow to calm you down:

  • Eat something! Carbs will help to regulate your blood sugar. (We recommend having a candybar with you!)
  • Try to sleep it off.
  • Call a friend you really trust and, ideally, have them come over.
  • Try CBD! This magical cannabinoid can help you curb the high and is available in all types and forms — from oils and chocolate to coffee.
  • Watch your favourite comfort TV show.
  • Take a warm, relaxing shower. 

Smoking weed in Amsterdam: what you need to know

Now that we’ve covered the differences between smoking and eating weed, let’s dive into how you can enjoy the best of both worlds during your Amsterdam visit.

A joint by the canal side is part of the true Amsterdam experience. Image: Depositphotos

Where to smoke in Amsterdam

You’re a lover of the tried-and-true, classic getting high in Amsterdam experience — a good ol’ joint is a way to go.

READ MORE | Visiting a coffeeshop in Amsterdam: etiquette, tips and tricks for first timers

But where is the best way to smoke up in the Dutch capital? Where can you find the best weed, top-notch staff and immaculate ✨vibes✨?

Coffeeshops vs smoker’s bars

Smoker’s bars are everywhere in Amsterdam — you just have to know where to look. Image: Depositphotos

Here’s one thing you maybe didn’t know: coffeeshops aren’t the only spots where you can smoke weed in Amsterdam. There are also smoker’s bars.

What’s the difference? In coffeeshops, you can buy and smoke weed — but you can’t drink alcohol. Smoker’s bars, on the other hand, do have a license to sell alcohol, but you can’t buy any weed there.

READ MORE | What Amsterdam bars can I smoke weed in (that aren’t coffeeshops)?

You can, however, still smoke in a smoker’s bar! All you have to do is drop by a coffeeshop beforehand and buy yourself some ganja to enjoy with your beer. 🍻

Note: The Netherlands has a strict ban on smoking tobacco indoors. As a result, the weed you smoke at a smoker’s bar has to be pure!

Best coffeeshops in Amsterdam

The most obvious way to get high in Amsterdam is to head to one of the 160 coffeeshops scattered all over the city. With this much choice, you’re sure to run into a tourist trap sooner or later.

READ MORE | 17 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam: the best spots to smoke in 2023

To make sure you won’t find yourself in a dark, dingy, and stuffy coffeeshop somewhere in the Red Light District, we’ve got a number of tried and tested spots for you that are sure not to disappoint. 

Coffeeshop Tweede Kamer
If this doesn’t scream ‘inviting’, then what does? Image: DutchReview

Located on a quiet and cosy side street, this coffeeshop is just a stone’s throw from Amsterdam’s biggest shopping street, the Red Light District and the Flower Market.

Tweede Kamer, recently renovated, invites you for a much-needed pitstop with its friendly staff, old-school charm and a well-thought-out weed selection. 

Here, you’ll find top-notch advice on what to smoke and how you’ll feel afterwards. Looking for a crystal clear head high? Try Super Silver Haze. Aiming for that total relaxation? Maybe go for Strawberry Kush.  

They also have amazing edibles in delicious flavours! We have personally tried the white-chocolate pistachio cake (uhm, yum!), and had to exercise serious restraint in order to keep our hands off the Red Velvet. 🍰

Coffeeshop Sloterdijk
Look at these joints stored beautifully in their gold-plated shelves. Image: Supplied

If you have some time on your hands, hop on a bus and visit Coffeeshop Sloterdijk. Located just a little outside of the city centre, this establishment is all about the experience.

Coffeeshop Sloterdijk is far from your ‘ordinary’ coffeeshop. Here, it’s class and expertise that rule the day. You’ve got budtenders in uniform, crisp glass surfaces, and weed buds stored on gold-plated shelves.

You should especially go here if you’re new to the world of weed because the staff are expertly trained in knowing their products to a T. (Did we mention the uniforms?)

CoffeeshopAmsterdam is just a short walk away from Amsterdam Centraal Station. Image: DutchReview

If you’re looking for a traditional Amsterdam coffeeshop in combination with a warm and welcoming atmosphere — you’ve come to the right place.

Coffeeshop Amsterdam charms with great personnel, an extensive drinks and snacks menu and a smoker’s lounge that’ll have you wanna stay for hours on end. 

A relaxed atmosphere is super important when smoking up, so we can definitely recommend this coffee shop to enjoy a beautifully undisturbed high.

What to smoke in Amsterdam?

Now that you know where to smoke in Amsterdam, it’s probably also good to know what to smoke in Amsterdam. 

Coffeeshop menus can be overwhelming sometimes, but there are a few basic markers that can help you navigate the ins and outs of smoking cannabis. 

Difference between Indica and Sativa

The common marijuana plant with its famous feathery leaves can be divided into two main species: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. 

This is important for you to know because you’ll likely find the categories Indica and Sativa on every single Amsterdam coffeeshop menu. That’s because both strains are known to have different effects.

Think of Sativa as the more active and trippy out of the two that goes straight to your head. Indica, on the other hand, is the strain that calms you down and leads to a relaxing body high.

An essential difference! Image: DutchReview


When looking at a coffeeshop menu, you’ll also notice that there are several strains of the Indica or Sativa plant which still have different effects. How can that be?

Obviously, smoking or ingesting cannabis makes you high. This is because there are chemical components in the marijuana plant, called cannabinoids, that bind to receptors in your brain.

There are two cannabinoids that you should know about: CBD and THC. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is psychoactive and can have effects on your mood, behaviour and even senses.

You’ve smoked half a joint and all of a sudden you just have THE best ideas because you’ve essentially transformed into a creative genius? Yup, that’s THC for you.

CBD (cannabinol), on the other hand, is not a psychoactive substance. Instead, this magic component is known to have a wide range of health-promoting effects. From soothing anxiety, and reducing stress to sleep promotion — CBD appears to be amazing for our nervous systems. 

The effect of your joint, whether it’s Indica or Sativa, will depend on the composition of CBD and THC. If you’re picking up a Sativa strain that’s 75% THC and 25% CBD your creative spirits will be wide awake in no time.

On the other hand, if you chose an Indica strain that’s mainly CBD-based, you can prepare yourself for a relaxed time and a good night of sleep.

What is hash?

It’s really a pity, but hash is often forgotten about when people venture out to smoke weed in Amsterdam. 

Hash, or hashish, is essentially derived by compressing bits of the cannabis plant into the brown blocks you can buy in any Amsterdam coffeeshop. 

This is what a block of hash looks like! Image: DutchReview

READ MORE | The best hash in Amsterdam: ultimate high guide [2022]

The effects of smoking hashish are a bit different from smoking cannabis. The high you’ll get is milder and more relaxing. It’s generally preferred by people who perceive weed highs as too stimulating and stress-inducing. 

Eating edibles in Amsterdam: what you need to know

Now that we’ve covered all you need to know about smoking weed or hash — let’s delve into the ABC of eating edibles in Amsterdam

It’s a fun one!

Some words of caution: just like with smoking joints, you should consume edibles with care. We’ll dive into a few tips below, but remember that just because it’s sweet, sugary and delicious — this space brownie of yours can have a serious kick!

How to avoid getting too high off edibles:

Because it takes longer for you to feel the effects of an edible and they’re usually stronger than joints, there are a couple of things to keep in mind to avoid getting too high:

  • There’s no need to finish an entire edible in one sitting! Eat a quarter, maximum one half, and store the rest away in a cool and dry place for later.
  • Ask your budtender how much you should eat of a given edible. Different edibles have different weed concentrations, so you’re better off asking an expert than taking a wild guess or relying on past experience. 
  • Give yourself time. Not only does it take up to two hours for you to feel the effects of the edible, but it’ll also last you quite some time! So, don’t make any crazy plans and leave yourself plenty of time for rest and relaxation.

What kind of edibles can you eat in Amsterdam?

When thinking of edibles, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the classic weed brownie. Delicious, fudgy and laced with cannabis, these chocolaty treats have risen to represent all edibles.

If you’re looking for one of those, you’ll be happy to hear that Amsterdam has plenty. The very best you can find it the whole city is from the Coffeeshop Boerejongens chain, which has multiple shops spread throughout Amsterdam.

But there is so much more than brownies out there! Think: cakes, bonbons, gummies, cookies, muffins, pralines, truffles, and more. 

There really are no limits in the space bakeries of Amsterdam. From gold leaf-covered carrot cakes with a serious kick to gooey (and weedy) chocolate chip cookies. You name it, you can find it!

Where to get the best edibles in Amsterdam?

But then again, the question always remains: where? Sure, you can find a dry piece of space cake in almost every Amsterdam coffeeshop but where do you get the really good stuff?

We’ve got some scrumptious recommendations for you that’ll have your mouth watering and your mind blown in the best possible ways. 😋

Coffeeshop Boerejongens

Mouth-watering, weed-infused Red Velvet Cake at Boerejongens. Image: Supplied

The Boerejongens coffeeshops are already famous for their excellent weed selection but their edibles should seriously be talked about more!

First off, we all know that you eat with your eyes first and their treats sure are a visual feast. A lot of times you’ll find edibles wrapped up in messy, unappealing plastic packaging. Here, you can buy your red velvet or exotic travel cake, and not to forget: Amsterdam’s best space brownies.

Truly, if you gotta try anything, try their space brownies. Chocolaty, fudgy and rich, these guys took us to a whole different planet. We’d even go as far to say that they’re the best in Amsterdam. 🎆

Can I bring edibles back home?

Just before you get any wrong ideas: no, you can’t. Sure, an edible doesn’t look as ambiguous as, say, a plastic bag of weed stuffed in your jacket pocket.

To the drug hound, however, it’s all the same. So before you end up at the customs control of your local airport, just make sure your edibles have been disposed of (or eaten). 😇 

Ideally, eat them at least a day or two before your flight — you don’t want to be high on a plane, trust us.

Whether you’re about to smoke weed or get high eating an edible in Amsterdam, we hope that these tips and tricks will safely guide you along your trip! 

Do you prefer smoking weed or edibles? Tell us in the comments below!

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in June 2022, but was fully updated in September 2023 for your reading pleasure.

FAQ: Smoking or edibles: what is the best way to get high in Amsterdam?

Why is the high more intense with edibles than with smoking?

Where can I buy the best weed in Amsterdam?

Where can I buy the best edibles in Amsterdam?

How long does it take to get high from edibles?

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara moved to the Netherlands at fifteen and she is here to stay! After all, there is so much to love about it, except maybe the bread (as every German will tell you). Next to finishing up her bachelor's degree in European politics (dry), Cara loves to do yoga, swim, and cook delicious veggie food.

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  1. “Obviously, smoking or ingesting cannabis makes you high” – this is only partially true. You can eat marijuana and NOT get high. This is because the psychoactive chemical in marijuana is initially in an unusable form called THC-A.

    You need to heat up the THC-A to activate it. That process is called “Decarboxylation”. This happens easily when smoking. Not as easily when cooking. You need to give it enough time at the right temperature. It also needs to be in contact with the right kinds of fats. That’s why most brownie recipes have a step that asks you to first cook your herb in butter.

    If you want the BEST results, you’ll want to cook your herb at 110C for 110 minutes. Here’s the scientific paper explaining how they got to that answer:

    Another pro-tip: put your herb in an oven bag before putting it in the oven. That will prevent everyone within a square kilometre from smelling what’s in your oven.


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