Vaporizing vs Smoking Cannabis

Last Updated on June 10, 2022

Vaping. In today’s society vaping is a popular act amongst many, especially targeted teens. With many forms of vaping, whether its vape pens, mods, hookahs, pod mods, juuls, etc., consumers use it as an alternative to regular smoking habits. Many use vaping as an anxiety reliever, a high, for relief within social settings, or even as a route on their journey to eventually quit smoking overall. And much more. Does it still have effects like smoking does? Of course, however many think it’s healthier than standard smoking. But is it?

What is Vaping?

Vaping is the act of a user orally inhaling vapour, which is created within a vaping device such as:

  • Vape pens
  • Standard vapor
  • Box mods
  • Pod mods
  • Mods
  • Hookahs/E-hookahs
  • E-cigs (E-cigarettes)
  • Juuls, etc

The way this works is, each vape device is equipped with a cartridge where liquid (vape juice) or oil is placed. These liquids are flavoured, but still contain nicotine and chemicals as any other smoke-related device would. There is a wire coil inside each device that heats up the desired liquid, causing it to vaporize, thus what the consumer inhales. 

How to Vape Cannabis

Vaping cannabis is just as simple as using the liquids and the process is similar as well. Except, with vaping cannabis, this requires you to heat the cannabis flower in the cartridge rather than a flavoured liquid. Once the flower is heated to the necessary temperature, it vaporizes and is ready for inhalation. As for which devices are proper to use for vaporizing cannabis, the top three are tabletop vaporizers, portable vaporizers, and vape pens. 

  • Tabletop vaporizers are essentially hookahs and are the most common way to vape cannabis. These devices are well-known for its temperature control and flavour focus and they range from $150-$600 and up. Fresh cannabis is best for this vaping process due to needing to finely grind the product so that it fits inside the devices chamber. Once the chamber has been packed, the user would generally set the temperature somewhere between 356-410°F. As the vaporizer heats to the desired temperature, the cannabis will convert to vapour and be ready to be inhaled orally through the tube.
  • Portable vaporizers are essentially e-cigs and range from $20 and up, depending on the quality of the device. These $20 ones do still get the job done regardless of the low price and basic design. Similar to the process of a tabletop vaporizer, for this method, the cannabis will need to be finely grinded as well. With these vapes, the hot air is pushed through the smaller chamber and needs to be able to still reach the surface area inside said chamber. Hence why the cannabis needs to be fine and firmly, but not tightly packed inside. This design of vape generally is set at a heating temperature of between 375-430°F and is ready for inhalation once heated to desired temperature.
  • Vape pens are the final method of vaping cannabis and the most seen being used within today’s society due to being so compact. These are quite possibly the easiest to obtain as they are sold in a variety of gas stations. Depending on where the user shops for these, the prices range from $40 and up. For this method, grinding the cannabis isn’t necessary because this device simply has a variety of different product-infused cartridges that can be bought. Therefore, to vape cannabis with a vape pen, the user would just purchase a cannabis cartridge and connect it to the pen. Vaping cannabis with this device is simple. Just power on the device and once it lights up hold the power button to power on the atomizer, which is what produces the vapor. Vapor is produced instantly with these, so once it’s powered on it’s ready to be inhaled.

Vaping vs Smoking Cannabis

In order to determine whether or not vaping is in fact a healthier alternative to smoking, the two choices have to be compared. As mentioned before, the two acts do indeed have negative effects on human bodies and health. It’s commonly known that smoking cannabis can lead to lung problems, thus caused due to the nicotine inhalation leaving what are essentially pockets of air between the chest wall and the lungs itself. 

Along with this, smoking cannabis can also trigger chronic bronchitis, coughing/wheezing, mucus build-up, and a weakened immune system. The worst part is, cannabis smokers are actually inhaling tiny, burning hot pieces of debris with every puff. Similarly, vaping cannabis has been known to cause excessive coughing and harm to one’s lungs as well. However, impaired memory and an increase in one’s heart rate are also common factors of vape usage. 

Is One Safer Than The Other?

Now, onto the most anticipated question – which one is safer, if any? As mentioned above, we know that both actions are extremely harmful to the consumers overall health. Based on the comparison of vaping and smoking cannabis, it’s safe to say that neither are safe. However, studies have shown that vaping has in fact caused more damage to the consumer’s body than smoking. Sure, smoking is inhaling debris and damaging multiple functions of the body, but overall vaping not only harms users lungs, but their mind as well. Therefore, the short answer to this question would be that neither is a safe alternative but if a user were to choose, it seems as if smoking cannabis would be the slightly-less impactful way to go.

Benefits of Vaping

Although vaping has some seriously negative effects to using and is very harmful towards the consumer’s body and functions, there are some benefits. Vaping cannabis is beneficial in that:

  • It can be used as a calming agent for those with severe anxiety 
  • Has less smell due to having flavours added
  • It’s simple to use/doesn’t require a lighter
  • Less cannabis needed so users can save money
  • Cleaner than smoking/fewer toxins being inhaled
  • Easily obtainable as they are sold at gas stations

Risks of Vaping

Vaping negatively impacts brain development. The addictive chemicals and nicotine have a negative effect on the brain development and functioning. Essentially, these chemicals attack the prefrontal cortex of the brain, thus affecting decision-making, better judgment, ability to plan, and many other functions that were once simple. 

Another risk of vaping is damage to the lungs. Vaping has been linked to irreversible lung damage and lung disease in users. This happens when there is a build-up of white blood cells and oil formed within the lungs. Mouth and gum disease is a third high risk of vaping. 

While vaping and entrapping the nicotine within the body, the nicotine could actually cause swelling and gum inflammation. Thus causing gum disease. Consumers don’t usually pay much attention to this risk but it’s very easy and likely to happen. The most common symptoms of gum disease are bright red and irritated gums followed by horrible bad breath. 

The final and most serious risk of vaping is heart issues. Vaping increases the chances of the consumer having a heart attack by causing an increase in blood pressure, adrenaline, and heart rate. 


Overall, taking part in vaping or smoking cannabis will indefinitely cause many bodily risks. Neither form of inhalation is safe, however it’s all based on preference when it comes down to which act a consumer will choose, if they choose one at all. If you or someone you know is a cannabis consumer of any kind, hopefully this information has been helpful to you and your journey. Stay safe!

Related Questions:

How long does it take to feel the effects after vaping cannabis?

This depends on the amount of cannabis being vaped by the consumer. Vaping cannabis has been known to have a slight delay in effects, however consumers have started to feel the effects anywhere between 2 to 10 minutes after inhalation. 

What is the price for a THC vape cartridge? 

Depends on where the consumer shops and how much THC they are looking to purchase. For example, 1 gram would range between $35-$75, a half gram would range between $20-$45. To view our collection of vaporizers, click Cannabis Vapes here.

Does vaping cannabis leave a smell?

Vaping cannabis leaves off a much lighter, less intense smell. About 20% of the smell from smoking cannabis. However, because it is still cannabis, there is still a chance of getting a whiff of heated cannabis, but it is similar to the smell of slightly overcooked popcorn. 


Also Read:

head high vs body high
hash vs kief
5 ways to smoke weed without papers
how to clean a grinder

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