Comparing Vaporization and Smoking of Cannabis: Understanding the Distinctions

Are you still engaging in cannabis smoking? If so, take a moment to explore this comprehensive guide on vaporizing and determine whether you are ready to transition, just like the countless others who have already done so. Vaporizing offers not only a perceived healthier alternative to smoking but also numerous additional advantages.

In recent times, vaporizing, commonly known as vaping, has gained significant popularity. While ongoing research continues to examine the long-term health effects of vaping, it is generally regarded as a safer and more health-conscious choice compared to smoking. Following the trend of many individuals switching from traditional cigarettes to vaping e-liquids, vaping is now emerging as a popular choice among cannabis enthusiasts as well. What exactly is vaporizing, and how does it differ from smoking? What benefits does it offer, and is it truly as safe as it is perceived to be?

Understanding Vaporizing: A Comprehensive Overview

One notable distinction between vaporizing and smoking is that vaporizing does not involve the combustion of cannabis but rather heats it to a specific temperature. This controlled heating process activates the cannabinoids and terpenes present in cannabis, releasing them as vapor that can be inhaled. Unlike smoking a joint or a spliff, where smoke is inhaled, vaporizing offers several practical health benefits.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the advantages of vaporizing.

Exploring the Advantages of Vaporizing Cannabis


  • The Potential Health Benefits of Vaporizing over Smoking

While the absolute safety of vaping is still under scrutiny, it is widely believed to be significantly safer than smoking. This is primarily due to the fact that most of the harmful substances produced during smoking are a result of the combustion process, regardless of whether it involves burning weed or tobacco. In contrast, vaporizing cannabis does not involve combustion, eliminating smoke and reducing the presence of toxins and free radicals compared to smoking a joint.

Tobacco smoke, known for its notorious reputation, contains high levels of carcinogens—chemicals that are carcinogenic. Unfortunately, it is possible that smoke from cannabis may also contain these compounds, albeit potentially in smaller quantities. Additionally, smoke is associated with tar and detrimental effects on lung health, making it highly unsuitable for individuals with lung-related conditions. In a study conducted by the American Lung Association on marijuana smoking, it was found that weed smoke may release even more tar[1] into the body compared to tobacco smoke. This discrepancy primarily arises from the fact that cannabis smokers tend to inhale more deeply and for longer durations than cigarette smokers.

Making the switch to vaping immediately reduces the potential risks to your lungs. A study published in the Harm Reduction Journal in 2007 revealed that vaporizing cannabis can help alleviate respiratory problems[2] commonly associated with smoking marijuana.

The health hazards linked to smoking alone are often sufficient to persuade individuals to embrace vaping. However, apart from the long-term benefits, many people find vaping to be a smoother, cleaner, and more pleasurable experience for their bodies in the short term. Just remember to clean your vape regularly to maintain optimal performance and hygiene.


Unveiling Bioavailability: How Cannabis Interacts with the Body

  • Enhancing Efficiency and Maximizing Potency: The Advantages of Vaping for Bioavailability

The delicate nature of the active compounds in cannabis demands careful consideration. When these cannabinoids and terpenes are delivered into the body through smoking, more than half of these valuable compounds are lost even before you take a full puff from your joint. Additionally, between draws, approximately 15-20% of these compounds are further depleted as your bud continues to burn. As a result, smoking cannabis proves to be highly inefficient.

Vaporizing, on the other hand, operates at lower and more precise temperatures, ensuring the preservation and optimal utilization of these active compounds. Consequently, the vapor produced from cannabis is purer, more potent, and minimizes wastage of your bud. Moreover, by embracing vaping, you can also save money over time, as you make the most out of your cannabis without unnecessary loss.

  • Expanding Flavorful Delights: The Plethora of Flavors to Enjoy

Beyond the cannabinoids responsible for the potency of cannabis, the plant also harbors aromatic compounds known as terpenes, which contribute to its diverse flavors. However, these terpenes are highly volatile and susceptible to heat, making excessive temperatures during combustion detrimental to their preservation. In contrast, vaping can optimize the experience of individual terpenes. Interestingly, certain terpenes have different boiling points, causing them to be released as vapor at specific, lower temperatures.

For instance, beta-caryophyllene, a terpene characterized by its spicy and peppery aroma, is released at low temperatures around 118°C—and it prefers not to go much higher. Conversely, there are other terpenes, like linalool, that can withstand higher temperatures without degradation.

Vaping offers the advantage of temperature control, allowing you to customize your experience to a great extent. By adjusting the temperature settings on your device, you can finely tune the vaping process and unlock the complete spectrum of flavor and aroma nuances that are not attainable through smoking cannabis.

  • Tailoring Your High: The Ability to Personalize Your Cannabis Experience

Similar to how different temperature settings can influence the flavor of your cannabis, they also allow you to customize the intensity of your high. Vaping at higher temperatures releases more cannabinoids from your weed, resulting in a more potent and faster-acting effect. To achieve a mellow high, set your vaporizer to a low temperature around 150°C. For a slightly stronger impact, adjust the temperature to a medium range of 166–187°C. If you desire maximum potency from your weed, opt for the highest temperature setting. However, it is important to avoid exceeding 229°C as this approaches combustion temperature, leading to a decrease in both potency and flavor of your cannabis.

  • The Significance of Temperature in Vaporizing Cannabis

In a notable scientific study conducted in 2009, researchers examined the effects of vaporizing cannabis at various temperatures. The study[3] involved vaporizing cannabis at three different temperatures: 170°C, 200°C, and 230°C. The researchers measured the cannabinoid-to-byproduct ratio, which indicates the purity of the vapor produced at each temperature.

The findings revealed that even at higher temperature settings, the vapor contained significantly fewer harmful toxins compared to smoke. Additionally, the study demonstrated that most therapeutic cannabinoids, including cannabichromene (CBC), were released into the vapor just below the combustion temperature of 232°C.

Conversely, individual preferences can differ when it comes to vaping cannabis. If you prioritize flavor or prefer a more subtle high, opting for lower temperatures may be your preference. Therefore, when embarking on your vaping journey, it is crucial to select a vaporizer that offers temperature adjustment capabilities. By doing so, you can fully capitalize on the diverse advantages that vaporizing has to offer and tailor your experience according to your specific needs and preferences.


Optimal Temperature Ranges for Vaporizing Cannabis

Comparing the High: Vaping vs Smoking Cannabis

In addition to providing a cleaner and healthier smoking experience, the rising popularity of vaporizers can be attributed to the distinct high they deliver. While the effects of cannabis vary for each individual, many users who have tried vaping concur that it offers a “clearer high” compared to smoking cannabis from a pipe or joint.

Drawing from our own experiences and the feedback of cannabis enthusiasts, here are some of the key distinctions between the highs experienced from vaporized and smoked cannabis:

Vape High

  • Reduced Cognitive Impairment.
  • Enhanced Focus and Productivity: Many individuals attest to experiencing improved focus and productivity after vaping cannabis in comparison to smoking it..
  • Elevated and Energizing: Many individuals discover that vaporizer highs are often more uplifting and energizing in nature.

Smoke High

  • Increased Cognitive Impairment: Some individuals observe that smoking cannabis tends to result in more pronounced “brain fog” compared to vaporizing.
  • Heightened Relaxation or Sleepy Effects: It is common for individuals to experience a more relaxed and couch-locking high when smoking cannabis.

It is important to note that the primary influence on your high is the chemical composition of the strain you are consuming. However, due to the absence of combustion when vaporizing concentrates or flower, there is a possibility that it can result in a cleaner and clearer high.

Insights from Research: Exploring the Effects of Vaporizing Cannabis

Fortunately, the discussion around cannabis consumption has become less taboo over time. Many individuals now utilize cannabis for medicinal purposes, and even recreational use is increasingly accepted, if not fully legalized. This progressive shift in cannabis regulations not only benefits consumers but also paves the way for research opportunities and a thriving industry. With the evident advantages of vaporizing compared to smoking, scientific investigations are delving into the specific outcomes of vaporized cannabis as a consumption method for medicinal users.

In a notable 2015 study[4], researchers surveyed 2,910 cannabis users spanning different age groups (18-90) to gather insights on cannabis use and vaporizing. The findings revealed that 61% of participants had used a vaporizer at some point in their lives, with 37% reporting recent vaping within the past 30 days. Additionally, 20% reported vaping for more than 100 days in their lifetime, while 12% expressed vaporizing as their preferred method of consumption. The study indicated that individuals who vaped perceived it as “healthier, better tasting, producing more favorable effects, and providing greater satisfaction.” However, it is important to note that only a small percentage (14%) of cannabis vapers completely stopped smoking as a result.

In a significant 2016 study[5], researchers aimed to explore the preferences of cancer patients utilizing cannabis for symptom relief. The findings revealed that vaporizing ranked as the third most favored method of consumption, following tablets and mouth sprays. This indicates the growing acceptance and popularity of vaporizing among individuals seeking relief from cancer-related symptoms.

Furthermore, a separate study conducted in 2015[6] focused on measuring blood levels and corroborated earlier research highlighting the effectiveness of vaporizing as a delivery method for THC. The study’s outcomes provide further evidence supporting the efficacy of vaporizing as a reliable route for delivering the therapeutic effects of THC.


The Ultimate Vape Buying Guide: Selecting the Perfect Cannabis Vaporizer

Unveiling Vaporizers and Safety: Exploring the Safety of Vaping

In 2019, the usage of e-cigarettes and vaporizers became a significant public health issue, triggering widespread alarm. During the period between August and September, there was a sudden surge in hospitalizations linked to the use of these devices in the United States. By February 2020[7], the US Centers for Disease Control reported approximately 2,800 hospitalizations and/or fatalities associated with E-cigarette or Vaping Associated Lung Injury (EVALI).

Dr. Lynn D’Andrea, a pediatric pulmonologist at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, highlighted some of the most troubling symptoms observed in cases of vaporizer-related lung injury[8]. These symptoms included rapid and difficult breathing, unintended weight loss, chest pain, and persistent coughing. Additionally, CT scans of affected individuals often revealed an unusual diffuse “ground glass” pattern within the lungs.

The primary suspect behind the EVALI outbreak in 2019 is thought to be vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent occasionally utilized in the manufacturing of THC vape cartridges and “vape juice,” particularly those obtained from unofficial sources such as online vendors. In a study conducted by the CDC[9], vitamin E acetate was detected in more than 50% of the e-cigarette/vape liquid samples tested across various states, as well as in lung fluid samples from individuals diagnosed with EVALI.


Fortunately, national data indicates a consistent decline in EVALI cases since mid-September 2019. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put forth several potential explanations for this positive trend:

  • Heightened Awareness: Understanding the Risks of Vaping
  • Cracking Down on Illicit Vape Products: Law Enforcement Takes Action
  • Eliminating Vitamin E Acetate: A Safer Approach to Vape Products

The EVALI outbreak raised significant concerns regarding the safety of vaping, and these concerns are valid. It has ignited debates surrounding the true safety of vaping as a smoking alternative.

Overall, we strongly believe that vaporizing cannabis can be a healthier option compared to smoking. However, we also recognize that vaping is a relatively new phenomenon. It took several decades for scientific research to fully understand the health consequences of smoking, and similarly, vaping is still in its early stages of evaluation.

We also hold the belief that vaporizing cannabis flower may be a safer option compared to concentrates or e-liquids, as the latter products could potentially contain small amounts of chemical solvents or other substances that could pose risks when heated and inhaled. However, it is essential to acknowledge that conclusive evidence regarding vaping’s safety can only be obtained through more extensive research.


Maintaining the Cleanliness of Your Vaporizer: A Guide to Cleaning and Why It’s Important

Exploring Additional Health Concerns Associated with Vaping

In addition to the concerns surrounding EVALI, there are other potential health risks associated with vaping. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised alarms about e-cigarettes exploding due to battery malfunctions, resulting in severe injuries and even fatalities. A study published in the journal Tobacco Control highlights that between 2015 and 2017, there were over 2,000 emergency room visits attributed to e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries.

Furthermore, the FDA has initiated investigations into a possible connection between vaping and seizures. Although limited data is available on this topic, the FDA is exploring the potential link, particularly regarding nicotine poisoning, which has been associated with seizures in the past. However, further research is necessary to establish a definitive correlation between vaping/e-cigarettes and seizures.

Exploring the Use of CBD in Vaping

The presence of vitamin E acetate, believed to be a contributing factor in the EVALI crisis, has been primarily associated with cannabis vape products containing THC, according to the CDC. However, it is important to acknowledge the potential presence of vitamin E acetate in other vape products, including nicotine vape juice or CBD cartridges.

Comparing Vaping CBD Flower to Vaping CBD Concentrates

If you have concerns about the health risks associated with vaping discussed in this article, we strongly advise opting for vaping CBD flower instead of concentrates, particularly if you reside in an area with minimal regulations on vape products. CBD oils and vape juices are produced using solvents and other substances, and although many reputable manufacturers produce safe and clean products, lower-quality options may contain trace compounds that could potentially pose health risks.

If you still prefer to vape CBD concentrates, it is essential to use products from trusted companies or manufacturers that provide reliable guarantees of quality and safety.

Understanding the Different Types of CBD Vape Products: Vape Juice/Oil, Dabs, and Cartridges

There are three primary categories of CBD vape oil available today: vape juice/oil, dabs, and cartridges.

  • Vape oil (or vape “juice”):This fluid is utilized for filling cartridges or refillable vaporizers, and it comes in a variety of flavors and CBD concentrations.
  • CBD cartridges: CBD cartridges are convenient, pre-filled devices intended for use with vape pens. The availability of CBD cartridges may vary depending on your location, offering a diverse selection of options that feature distinct terpene profiles, cannabinoid compositions, and other characteristics.
  • CBD extracts (dabs): CBD extracts, commonly referred to as shatter, wax, and crumble, among other names, are concentrated forms of CBD derived from various cannabis plant varieties. These extracts are obtained through the extraction process, which involves isolating CBD and other cannabinoids. Specifically designed for use with vaporizers or dab rigs that are compatible with concentrates, these CBD extracts offer an alternative method of consumption.


Understanding CBD Concentrates: Exploring Their Advantages

Exploring Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and CBD Isolate: A Comprehensive Guide

CBD products are typically classified into three categories: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Let’s dive into the meaning behind each of these terms:

  • Full-spectrum CBD extracts encompass all the essential compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant. This includes various cannabinoids (including trace amounts of THC), terpenes, and more.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD products are similar to full-spectrum extracts, with one significant distinction—broad-spectrum extracts are completely devoid of any THC.
  • CBD isolates, as the name implies, consist solely of isolated CBD, making it the purest form of extract available.

As a general recommendation, we encourage the use of full-spectrum products as they provide the complete range of benefits from the cannabis plant. However, if you are subject to random drug tests and want to avoid any potential positive results, it may be advisable to explore broad-spectrum or isolate products. It’s important to note that even small traces of THC can sometimes trigger a positive drug test.

Distinguishing Between CBD Vape Juice and CBD Oil/Tinctures

CBD vape juice is specifically formulated for vaporization and inhalation into the lungs. When inhaled, the active compounds are quickly absorbed through the alveoli, allowing for rapid onset of effects within 5-10 minutes. However, the effects of vaporized CBD tend to diminish relatively quickly.

On the other hand, CBD oils/tinctures are intended for sublingual or oral administration. When placed under the tongue or inside the cheek, the compounds in the oil are absorbed by the mucous membranes. Alternatively, if swallowed, the digestive system processes the oil. CBD oils typically take effect within 20 minutes, with a slower and more gradual release. This can be advantageous for those seeking longer-lasting effects.

When it comes to bioavailability, research has indicated that orally administered CBD has relatively low absorption rates[14]. This means that you may require a higher dosage of oral tincture compared to vape juice to achieve the desired effects. However, it’s crucial to remember that bioavailability is just one factor influencing the effectiveness of CBD.

It’s important to note that CBD oils designed for sublingual or oral use are generally not suitable for vaporization. The carrier oils used in these formulations are not intended to be heated and inhaled.

The Bottom Line: Vaporizing vs. Smoking Cannabis

At Royal Queen Seeds, we offer a variety of vaporizers to suit every budget. Whether you’re looking for a simple and affordable vape pen like the Storm Vaporizer Pen or a top-of-the-line desktop vaporizer like the renowned Volcano Hybrid, we’ve got you covered.

If you prioritize a healthy, pure, flavorful, and potent cannabis experience, vaporizing is the way to go!

External Resources:
  1. Marijuana and Lung Health | American Lung Association
  2. Decreased respiratory symptoms in cannabis users who vaporize | Harm Reduction Journal | Full Text
  3. Cannabis smoke condensate III: the cannabinoid content of vaporised Cannabis sativa – PubMed
  4. Online Survey Characterizing Vaporizer Use among Cannabis Users
  5. Clinical trials of medicinal cannabis for appetite-related symptoms from advanced cancer: a survey of preferences, attitudes and beliefs among patients willing to consider participation – PubMed
  6. Controlled Cannabis Vaporizer Administration: Blood and Plasma Cannabinoids with and without Alcohol – PubMed
  7. Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Products | Electronic Cigarettes | Smoking & Tobacco Use | CDC
  8. How Vaping Became a Public Health Crisis
  9. Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Products | Electronic Cigarettes | Smoking & Tobacco Use | CDC
  10. Vape pen explodes, shattering teen’s jaw amid rising concerns over batteries
  11. Deadly vape explosion highlights safety gaps – The Verge
  12. Electronic cigarette explosion and burn injuries, US Emergency Departments 2015–2017
  13. Some E-cigarette Users Are Having Seizures, Most Reports Involving Youth and Young Adults | FDA
  14. What is CBD Bioavailability (and Why Should You Care?) | CBD Awareness Project