Both smoking weed and edibles will provide you with a high. The nature of an edible high can vary due to the way THC is processed in your body.
There is a difference in the overall quality and nature of the edible experience. Your body absorbs the cannabinoids differently when you smoke cannabis versus when you eat it. This can lead to a more potent high.
There is an obvious difference in the method of THC delivery, but this is not where the differences end. Edibles may be a good alternative if you are using cannabis for something like pain relief. That way you won’t have to worry about inhaling carcinogens from the burning of plant material.