The biggest difference between vaporizing and smoking is that vaping involves heating the cannabis, but not actually to the point of combustion. This creates a vapor that is inhaled. Smoking cannabis involves inhaling the smoke from combustion. The marijuana is actually burning. Both deliver the effect, but which is better?
There are pros and cons to both. Which is right for you? Let’s take a look.
The Pros and Cons of Vaping Marijuana
Vaping is a healthier way to consume cannabis. If you don’t want to inhale smoke, the decision is an easy one. You are also able to notice more of a taste distinction between the different strains of weed. In effect, there is more flavour. Combustion alters the flavour of the weed substantially. Vaping instead retains the flavours of the terpenes and cannabinoids.
With vaping, you have more control over the temperature. By adjusting the heat, the user can control the effect, because of this the experience can be anywhere from mild and mellow to intense and euphoric.
Vaping is also more efficient. The weed can be used more than once for more vaping or used to make other cannabis consumables, like tea. Smoking leaves nothing left but ashes.
If you properly prepare, vaping can be more convenient and discreet. Vaping produces less odor, allowing the user more opportunities and locations.
There is a learning curve to using your vaporizer. You will need to develop the knowledge and ability to vape properly, like adjusting the settings of the vaporizer, or learning how to properly clean and maintain your equipment. You’ll have to remember to keep your vaporizer pen charged (if it’s out of power you’re out of luck).
Then there is properly grinding your weed (requiring a grinder). You need to make sure that you get “the right grind.” Grinders are important when vaping because it makes more of the surface area of the weed available to release the vapor.
An investment in a vaporizer and a grinder can be prohibitive. Not everyone makes that sort of commitment. There are less expensive vaporizers out there, but you have to be careful. Some cheaply made vaporizers pass the vaper through plastic, rubber, glue, or solder that are too near the heating elements, causing the user to inhale harmful fumes. The quality vaporizers are made of materials like quartz, stainless steel, and ceramics, that do not release harmful fumes.
Although vaping can get you ripped, the high isn’t considered quite as “heavy” as the effect from smoking.
The Pros and Cons of Smoking Marijuana
Smoking produces more intense effects. The combustion of cannabis instantly releases all of the cannabinoids (including THC) so the heaviness of a hit is more impactful than vaping. Many people are attracted to the “ritual” of smoking, whether it is the art of rolling a great joint, passing the pipe, or loading the perfect bowl.
You don’t have to invest in vaping equipment. Vaping can make the whole experience a bigger deal, in time, money, and overall commitment. Sometimes stuffing a bowl or rolling a joint is easier and is more social. Smoking is a simpler way to consume cannabis, not requiring getting up to speed, or a learning curve.
This is not tobacco smoke, but it is still smoke. Anytime you smoke plant matter, you are breathing in tar, carcinogens, and harmful by-products.
You also have less control over the effect when smoking. You can take smaller hits, roll a thinner joint, or find a particular strain of weed that suits your purpose, but vaping gives you more control over your experience.
The smell of marijuana smoke is also a bigger and more noticeable flag for others. The smell stays in your clothing. Smoke lingers for longer and is more difficult to clear out of a room than vapour.
By smoking, you burn through your stash faster. Once smoked, the weed is gone. When vaping, the weed is slow-cooked, you get more from the same amount. You also taste the more subtle nuances of the different strains. Terpenes are destroyed when combustion is used.
All Things Considered
It’s all up to what you value. Think of the pros and cons and decide what it is that suits you. If you want a safer, discreet experience, or you are strictly a medical user, then you might want to vape. If your goal is to get good and high without all the upfront cost and the equipment, go ahead and smoke.