Vaping Vs. Smoking Weed: What's The Difference?

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Because weed isn't just weed. It's an experience.

Ladies, nonbinaries, and gentlemen, it’s a great time to be alive if you’re a pothead. Laws haven’t been this relaxed towards cannabis is decades, and to make things even better, tech has allowed people to enjoy cannabis in a wider range of methods than ever before.

If you're a "cannaseur," you already know this and have probably partaken in your fair share of ganja. It's easier than ever to do so; legal weed and cannabis companies have made tons of goods and products to boost your cannabis experience. 

One of the newest ways to “smoke” is vaping, making potheads weigh vaping vs. smoking as their choice. But is vaping better than smoking? Well, this method uses electric conductivity to vaporize cannabis, e-juice, or concentrates in a cartridge.


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Smoking weed isn’t the same as vaping weed. When you smoke it, you’re using a pipe or a joint. Vaping is a bit different. Here’s what you need to know about vaping vs. smoking weed in a traditional method...

1. Vape pens are more versatile.

Though this isn’t true across the board, it’s a good rule of thumb. When you’re smoking weed, all you can do is deal with dried up bud. Vape pens can use concentrates, bud, or in some cases, e-juice. If you live in an area where a dispensary is available, it’s a good way to get a wider range of options.

2. Traditional smoking burns the cannabis, while vaping just heats it without burning it.

When you vape, the active ingredients that give you a high (plus flavor-filled terpenes) are vaporized and then inhaled as a steam. Since it’s not being burned, no real smoke is being released.

3. Vape “smoke” is a bit cleaner.

If you roll a blunt or use a bong, there will be slight impurities in your smoke. With blunts, the impurities comes from the rolling papers. With bongs, it’s usually whatever minerals are in the water — or, you know, gunk that hasn’t been fully cleaned out from last smoking session. Vapes are just pure cannabis, which makes the inhaled gas a lot purer.

4. Studies show vaping is a bit healthier than smoking.

Though the jury is still out, a number of studies have shown that vaping is healthier than regular smoking. Burning marijuana still causes tar and other cancer-causing elements to be created, and that goes in your lungs. Vaping doesn’t make those, because weed isn’t being burnt.

5. The flavor isn’t as charred.

Most of us who have inhaled a lit joint know what I’m talking about. Smoking weed gives off a smoky flavor, because, duh, smoke. When you’re using a vape that’s properly maintained, the flavor is less smoky and more herbal. If you’re a major cannaseur, this is a huge perk.

6. You have more control over your smoking experience.

Vape pens often allow you to control the temperature of the burn. Some really high-end ones will even tell you the exact temperature of your vape burn.


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7. Smoking weed isn’t discrete, while vaping is.

Weed vape pens are very small in size, can fit in a pocket, and also don’t produce the skunky smell of a rolled joint. Obviously, this is a huge perk for anyone who wants to smoke without raising too many eyebrows.

8. Though vaping may cost more initially, it’s cheaper in the long run.

Vapes are a little pricier than rolling papers and a tray, sure, but they do offer a lot of savings long-term. A cheap vape can cost as little as $40, and if you’re a frequent smoker, that means you’ll soon get that return on investment in savings on rolling papers.

9. Setting up your vape can be trickier and more involved than a regular joint roll, though.

The big drawback with vaping is the setup and the cleanup. Some vapes can be tricky to get used to, or may be difficult to clean. You also will need to be careful to grind up your herbal goods into a much finer texture. It’s a small sacrifice, all things considered.

10. Most people also note that they can taste the herb better in a vape, too.

This makes sense, since the vapor carries many of the flavor and aroma-producing terpenes along with it.

11. Vaping cannabis will let you absorb 95 percent of the THC in the inhale within seconds.

You can thank Australians for finding this cool gem out. If you’ve ever smoked a blunt, then you already know that inhaling traditional cannabis smoke means it can take a while before you feel the effects.

12. Oh, and if you vape, you’ll also get more THC from your bud.

It’s true. Just rolling a regular joint will only allow you to ingest around 25 percent of the available THC. Vaping, on the other hand, will give you closer to half of all the THC in the plant.

13. Finally, one of the more striking differences between traditional smoking and vaping can be seen in the communities.

This is just a personal observation, so take this with a grain of salt. Traditional blunt-smoking communities tend to value good rolling skills, smoke tricks, and tend to be more “old school” about their weed. Vapers, on the other hand, tend to be more gear-oriented and view themselves as cannaseurs.


RELATED: What Is Juuling — And Why Are Teens So Tempted By It?


Ossiana Tepfenhart is a Jack-of-all-trades writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. When she's not writing, she's drinking red wine and chilling with some cool cats. You can follow her @bluntandwitty on Twitter.

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