Smoking vs Vaping Marijuana: the Tale of the Tape

As you probably know, vaping began as an alternative to cigarettes. It was what they call a “cessation tool”—or a product, like nicotine gum, that is supposed to help you quit smoking. Vaping is still sometimes marketed this way (and many health experts continue to tout it as a safe and effective tobacco substitute), but it has also become a widespread recreational activity. People of all ages are turning to vaping for a host of different reasons. It’s also a lot cheaper than smoking too.

One such reason is to administer marijuana. More and more cannabis users are curious to know how vaping weed differs from smoking it. We’re here to help. In this article, we will take a look at the various differences between the two methods. To be sure, using a vaporizer is quite a bit different from smoking a joint, but that’s not to say that one is necessarily better than the other. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

So without further ado …

Is vaporizing healthier than smoking?

In general, yes. Smoking involves combustion, many of the by-products of which are extremely harmful. When you light a cigarette, a chemical substance called tar is produced. This tar, according to the National Cancer Institute, contains the majority of the carcinogenic agents responsible for smoking-related cancers.

Burning cannabis may not be as toxic as burning a cigarette, but doing so is going to produce tar nevertheless (even burning fire wood is damaging to your health, per the American Lung Association).

The nice thing about vaping is that there is no combustion at all, and thus none of those harmful chemicals. Based on that fact alone, vaping weed is generally going to be better for you than smoking it. With that said, certain vape liquids have been shown to contain toxic additives that can do serious injury to your lungs, so it is important to know what you’re buying. Always do your homework before purchasing vape products.

Vaporizing high vs Smoking high

Admit it—this is the one you were really wondering about. For those considering making the switch to vaping, there’s some good news out of Johns Hopkins University. According to a 2018 study, vaporized cannabis delivers a greater amount of THC and ergo a more potent high. The researchers observed that all of the effects of cannabis were intensified. That includes the adverse ones: anxiety, paranoia, nausea, etc.

It should be noted that the 17 individuals who participated in the study are infrequent cannabis users, and had not smoked for at least 30 days when the study commenced. So the results are not necessarily applicable to the cannabis crowd as a whole. More research is needed in order to have a definitive answer to this question.

Vaporizing taste vs Smoking taste

If you’re vaping weed, expect to be impressed by a more refined and identifiable flavor profile. Think about it this way: if you scorch your food while cooking it, you kill off a lot of its natural flavors. The same rule applies to cannabis. Burning the flower is inevitably going to suppress its taste.

With vaping, the cannabis is heated at a much lower temperature. The result is more subtlety and variation on your palate. Cannabis is chock-full of terpenes like beta-caryophyllene that lend the plant a spectrum of intriguing aromas and flavors. By vaping your weed, you will be in a better position to appreciate them.

What are Dab/Wax Pens?

Dab/wax pens represent a sort of subsection of weed vaping and are favored by seasoned users seeking an especially powerful high. These devices resemble wax, hence the name, and contain a highly concentrated form of cannabis. To give you an idea of what you’re getting into with these bad boys: the concentrates they deliver sometimes contain as much as 90 percent THC. That’s about 65 points higher than the strongest natural cannabis strain. Vaper discretion is advised!

There you have it: the key differences between smoking and vaping weed. As you can see, there is a lot to be said for giving the latter a chance. What do you have to lose?

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