Smoking vs. Vaporizing

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Categories : Cannabis news

Smoking vs. Vaporizing

Vaporizing's popularity continues to expand at a significant rate. Is it really a better option for your health and how does it differ from smoking?

When it comes to consuming your weed, nowadays we are faced with a vast myriad of methods. No longer just the case of a quick rollie behind the bike sheds the different forms of weed and the ways it can be taken into the body are expanding at a rapid rate. One particular method that has seen a particularly sharp uptake is the means of vaporizing or vaping. Is it simply just the latest trend in consuming cannabis or is there a real benefit to this form of consumption over the good old-fashioned rollie?

Before we get to into the pros and cons of vaporizing versus smoking it helps to understand what the basic concept is of both consumption types and how they differ.


Both methods start with a heat source. smoking involves combustion of your weed as well as anything else you have present at the time. The heat source is used directly on the matter you wish to smoke. Now this is important because when you smoke weed you're not just inhaling the plant matter. You will also be inhaling the paper you've used to roll with and any tobacco if you have mixed that in as well. Combustion creates smoke and this is probably the single biggest difference to vaporizing.

Combusted smoke gasses will consist of non-cannabinoids, not ideal when trying to get high. Smoking brings with it its own unique flavors that many will be accustomed to, often being a key enjoyment of the much-loved herb. The smoke has, however, been linked to increased respiratory symptoms. remember that coughing and spluttering the first time you smoked a joint? Whilst there is much talk of smoking cannabis being key as a contributor to potential cancers as smoking cigarettes the truth is that at present the research is not vast enough to give us a definitive answer.


We start with the same heat source, only this time the heat is applied to a heating element. The heat source itself is not applied directly to the matter you wish to ingest. The heating element then vaporizes the cannabis usually at temperatures around 285°C, this is before the point of combustion which is around 392°C. As we have described previously when smoking cannabis your body also absorbs additional compounds through the smoke created.

No such compounds exist when vaping, instead, you are purely inhaling the vapor from the weed and as such vaping has a typically higher THC content per inhale. Up to as much as 95% of the THC in cannabis is absorbed in the first few seconds of inhaling rather than being diluted in the smoke from smoking. From a discretion point of view, there are also a few additional benefits in that the vapor produced in near odorless as well as the size of vapor pens being easily carried in a pocket or purse.

One of the biggest additional benefits to vaping is being able to use dried herbs as well as cannabis oils. Butane hash oil and similar concentrates can also be used with the majority of vaporizers which makes them a significantly more versatile means of ingesting cannabis. This is especially prevalent where users consume cannabis for medicinal purposes and may require a stronger dose of cannabinoids.


Honestly, the answer to that question lies as much in the reason why you are consuming the cannabis as it does in personal preference. Whilst many users hail vaporizing as being significantly better for you there is still no long-term research to back this up. Although in principle the removal of the smoke aspect is shown to decrease any respiratory side effects the long term effects on our body remain to be seen.

Some users will prefer the distinctive taste and flavors that come from smoking cannabis, often the aroma is a key part of the enjoyment and a sign of distinction. Whilst others users will prefer the discrete, portable nature that vaporizers bring, subsequently removing what may be harmful chemicals from being ingested with the lack of tobacco and rolling papers. One fact remains true, though, more research is needed to say clearly whether vaporizing cannabis and inhaling the vapor has less detrimental effects than smoking. Although given smoking incorporates additional materials it is important that future research identifies the specific health risks relating to each compound.