Vaping Versus Smoking It – Which is Better?


One question that we consistently field here at Mission Cannabis is this: “is vaporizing cannabis ‘better for you’ than smoking it?” So, we decided to research more about the two modes of enjoying herb to find out the subtle differences between the two. 

What is Vaping?

Vaping is the act of vaporizing cannabis products – flower or concentrates – to produce and inhale a THC-rich vapor, rather than smoke. Smoking refers to the act of combusting marijuana to produce a THC-rich smoke that is inhaled by the user. Most cannabinoids and Terpenes – the therapeutic compounds found in cannabis – boil in the range of 315-440°F. Cannabis combustion occurs at 451°F, so vaporizing allows the user to enjoy marijuana without actually igniting the product.

Vaping Vs. Smoking

Many cannabis consumers enjoy both smoking and vaporizing marijuana, but there are some key differences between the two. The biggest difference is that vaping cannabis produces fewer carcinogens than smoking cannabis. This is because vaping does not create a smoke that is inhaled, but instead produces a THC-rich vapor that is far easier on the lungs. This has lead to theories claiming that vaporizing cannabis is a far healthier way to consume THC than smoking herb, but there have been no clinical studies to assert anything concrete.

Is Vaping “Healthier” than Smoking?

It’s difficult to say whether or not vaping is “healthier” than smoking cannabis, because technically inhaling any substance isn’t necessarily healthy. (If you want to enjoy cannabis without affecting your lungs, we suggest trying any number of edibles to experience marijuana without inhaling!)

When cannabis combusts as a result of smoking, the smoke contains more carcinogens and toxins than marijuana vapor. In fact, marijuana smoke contains traces of tar and carbon monoxide, both of which are unhealthy for your lungs. Furthermore, THC vapor is 95% carcinogen free, whereas cannabis smoke is diluted with as much as 90% of non-cannabinoids and carcinogens which may irritate the respiratory system. Marijuana vapor doesn’t contain these compounds, so it’s theorized that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking simply because it doesn’t expose the lungs to these unhealthy compounds.

The Smoke Can Be Problematic

Marijuana smoke contains irritants that can harm the lungs. The American Lung Association claims that long term cannabis smoking can lead to chronic bronchitis and can harm the cell linings of the large airways. This has led many cannasseurs to choose vaping as their primary means of enjoying cannabis, and reserve smoking for the weekends or special occasions.

Does Vaping Create the Same High as Smoking?

It is difficult to say whether or not vaporizing creates a stronger high than smoking. In fact, THC vapor contains a higher concentration of cannabinoids than cannabis smoke, but many cannabis users report that vaporizing marijuana does not create the same intoxicating high as smoking does. There are no definitive studies that prove either way which high is more euphoric, but the general consensus is that smoking creates a more intoxicating effect than vaporizing.

The Benefits of Vaping

Vaporizing does offer users many different benefits over smoking cannabis. The high is typically milder, which is perfect for more social situations and those looking to feel euphoric, but not get intoxicated. Vaporizing also allows users to enjoy the flavor and aroma of the Terpenes more, because the smoke isn’t masking the smell of the plant. More than that, vaporizers are often far more discreet than joints or pipes or bongs when you’re at a concert or movie theater, which makes vaping an awesome option for enjoying cannabis in incognito mode. 

The Wonderful World of Vaporizers

The great thing about vaporizing is that there are countless tools and technologies that provide us with great vaporizing options. The most popular option right now are vape pens, which provide users the chance to enjoy concentrates in a pre-loaded cartridge. There are two parts to vaporizing, the pen, which is actually the battery, and then a cartridge. There are disposable batteries that should last as long as the oil, and then there are batteries that need to be charged but you can reuse with new cartridges. Vape pens are the most mobile and discreet way to vaporize THC.

Visit Mission Cannabis for More

We invite you to visit Mission Cannabis to learn more about your THC vaporizing options. Our team of Budtenders are the leading cannabis experts in San Francisco, and we are happy to answer and questions about marijuana or vaping that you may have. Together, we can help find the right products for you so that you can enjoy cannabis more thoroughly, and safely.

Alexa Jesse

My name is Alexa and I am a New York native that moved to San Francisco, California in October of 2015. Gypsy Universe is a reflection of my personal wellness and creative journey, inspired by the loss of my best friend and my own near death experience.  I have been a closet singer my whole life and I finally decided to stop dreaming and start living. I am a singer, a writer, a traveler, a sister, a lover, and a planet earth activist. I am also a certified Health Coach and Pilates instructor. Follow my journey for travel tips, plant-based lifestyle how-to's, original music and more!