Vaping vs. Smoking Weed: What Are the Real Differences?

by Emjay
photo by jeff w on unsplash_Vaping vs. Smoking Weed: What are the Real Differences

There are two types of people in this world: those who vape, and those who don’t. It’s very easy to tell them apart. The people who vape generally live like their vape battery is attached to their hand. This isn’t to say that they’re annoying. They aren’t. They’re simply taking advantage of the convenience a vape has to offer. They’re highly portable, very efficient, and easier to use indoors without stinking up the place.

Then you have your smokers. These people are devout about the way they consume their cannabis. It’s the old-school way to enjoy weed, and they probably have at least half a dozen smoking devices that they take great care of. 

Both groups are usually devout to their method, and neither of them is wrong for having their preferences. Different consumption methods will impact people differently, and some people prefer the high they get from one method over the high they get from another. 

Vaping vs. smoking in potency

Potency and THC concentration can be very different between whole flower and vape carts. Many people who have been smoking weed for a long time switched to vaping because the concentration is a better fit for their tolerance. Occasional weed smokers may do well sticking to flower over time, but gradually introducing stronger strains into their rotation. 

How strong is the weed you smoke?

The strength of weed is measured in percentages, and these percentages refer to how many milligrams of THC there are in every gram of weed. There is 1,000 mg in a gram, so a weed that’s 16% THC contains 160 mg per gram. 

It used to be that all weed was relatively low in THC, but as breeders continued to experiment with genetics, powerhouse strains started popping up. Some weed goes to just below 30% or 300 mg per gram. These are not beginner-friendly strains. 

There are also gentle strains like Harlequin that are as low as 7% THC. People who have been smoking weed for years would likely have no use for Harlequin, but newer smokers or people who like a gentle high every so often will gravitate towards these strains. 

The simplest answer is that the weed you smoke is as strong as you want it to be. Choose a THC percentage that you’re comfortable with, and it’s easy from there. 

Cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the cannabis flower and made into vape concentrates. Your vape cart isn’t a few hits of the same thing. It’s usually the equivalent of about 4 or 5 grams of weed, but can sometimes be even more. It’s important to note that a vape cartridge isn’t a single serving deal. A cartridge can last indefinitely depending on how often you smoke.

Cannabis vape products can go as high as 90% THC per cartridge, which is three times stronger in concentration than even the highest THC flower. Newer users or casual users find that it only takes one or two puffs from a vape cartridge to elevate them to brand new heights, where they may have to smoke an entire gram of flower to feel the same effects.

The efficiency and concentration of vaping weed will get you higher than smoking weed. If potency is your greatest concern, vaping is the winner in this scenario. 

Is smoking weed safe?

Smoking anything at all isn’t good for your lungs. It doesn’t matter if you’re smoking weed or you’re smoking tobacco. Although cigarettes typically contain a lot of chemicals and known carcinogens that exponentially add to their damaging potential, there are still commonalities between smoking weed and smoking cigarettes.

In both cases, you’re inhaling hot, burnt plant material directly into your lungs. It’s not a coincidence that a huge bong rip makes you hack and wheeze your face off, and there’s a reason why they call it Strawberry Cough

In the interest of fairness, we can’t declare it safe to smoke anything. Most people indulge in things that are unsafe or unhealthy from time to time, and smoking weed is one of those vices that people should choose to make with the full knowledge that it’s not exactly on par with eating a smoothie bowl. 

It does pose risks to your health, and if you notice that it creates an uncomfortable sensation in your body, you should find a different way to use weed. 

photo by chiara summer on unsplash_vaping vs smoking weed: what are the real differences

Is vaping weed safe?

There’s a huge debate over whether or not vaping anything is safe. Initially, vaping was marketed as a safer alternative to smoking. Parents were letting their teenagers puff away on disposable nicotine cartridges, assuming that it wasn’t as harmful as cigarettes. And then the popcorn lung debacle began. 

Popcorn lung refers to a condition called bronchiolitis obliterans. The condition is called popcorn lung because it’s usually caused by inhaling a chemical called diacetyl, a flavoring that used to be used in microwave popcorn and candies to add a buttery sweetness.

Many vape manufacturers were flavoring their products with diacetyl, which is extremely dangerous to inhale. This led to the inevitable, with popcorn lung cases going through the roof after flavored vapes became popular.

Complications and illnesses were also linked to vapes that used dangerous vitamin E acetate in the base of their formulas, which put up another red flag. This left many people terrified to vape, and many parents were vigilant about their teens’ habits. 

The best way to play it safe is to avoid vapes that contain these ingredients. Only purchase cannabis vape products from reliable and reputable suppliers who utilize third-party lab testing to verify the contents of their cartridges. 

Which is better, vaping or smoking?

The obligatory disclaimer: it’s not good to inhale anything that isn’t air or doctor prescribed medicine designed to be administered through inhalation. With that out of the way, there are several reasons why vaping may be better than smoking for some people.

The concentration of vape cartridges means that you’ll ultimately get more of a high for your money. They’re extremely potent and they last a lot longer than an eighth of flower is going to last you. 

Vape cartridges from reliable manufacturers shouldn’t contain any ingredients known to cause illness when inhaled. In addition to that, you won’t be inhaling burnt plant material when you vape. The hit will feel gentler and it won’t be as hot. 

Vaping is also easier to do discreetly. The smell doesn’t last long, there are no ashes, and vaporizer batteries are very small. You don’t need a designated hiding spot to vape or store your vape supplies. 

That having been said, there’s something about the tradition of smoking weed the old-fashioned way. It brings people together and sets a certain atmosphere. It’s the way your parents (and grandparents) enjoyed their weed. It’s something time-honored, and we respect that. 

How else can I use weed?

If you don’t want to smoke or vape your weed, you don’t have to do either. You can use cannabis edibles in the form of a tablet, a candy, or a baked good. The THC is processed by your digestive system, and therefore, you eliminate any of the negative side effects associated with breathing it in.

The downside is that it can be difficult to determine when edibles will kick in and when they will wear off. It’s often a surprise when they begin to work, and it isn’t out of the ordinary for an edible to last as long as eight hours. If you choose to use an edible, make sure you understand the commitment you’re in for.

Cannabis tinctures are an excellent alternative for people who are too nervous to try edibles and are also uncomfortable with smoking or vaping. Tinctures are THC (and other cannabinoids) infused drops that you place under your tongue. Your body absorbs the cannabinoids through your soft tissue and begins to use them. Tinctures usually begin to work within 30 minutes, and it’s easy to administer a very low dose if you aren’t looking to get too high. 

The takeaway

We’re just here to share some important information. The way you choose to consume your cannabis is a personal decision, and we’re here to support you. Don’t use a consumption method you aren’t comfortable with. Both smoking and vaping come with potential downsides that you may not want to experience. Choose what feels right to you.

Emjay offers flower to smoke, cartridges to vape, edibles to eat, tinctures to drop, and many other forms of cannabis. We want you to have it the way you like it, and we’re ready to deliver it in about half an hour

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