One of the biggest benefits to marijuana becoming legal in many areas is that you now have choices as to how to consume it. It used to be that your choice was limited to rolling a joint and smoking it or crafting your own pipe. In some places you might be able to buy a bong, but you could run into legal trouble simply for having this type of paraphernalia. 

These days, the choices are amazing and you are not even limited to lighting it up. You can also vape it in many forms. Which one is better is too much of a subjective discussion. What’s better for one person is not better for another. What the real question is what is right for you?

If you look through an online head shop you’re going to see a lot of choices that can be pretty overwhelming. So, this article is here to help you understand what the differences are so you can make an informed decision regarding smoking weed vs vaping. 

What is vaping?

Vaping has been around a long time now with many people using it as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. The concept is that instead of smoking or combusting material to smoke, you can use a liquid heated with a battery to create vapor which you then inhale. It can contain nicotine or not. Most people wean themselves off of smoking by using gradually decreasing levels of nicotine in their juices.

More recently, these devices have started being used to vape marijuana or cannabis concentrate. There are two major varieties of vaporizers for marijuana. There are dry herb vapes that actually use authentic weed. The same marijuana that you would use in a joint or bong. 

The difference is that the combustion happens in a different way so that you aren’t burning the weed but vaporizing it so you are not inhaling smoke so much as it is a vapor of the weed. Rather than use a flame to light it up, it uses the electrical current from a battery in a heating chamber to do the job. The result is less harsh and a smoother experience. Plus, it also makes less smell so you can be discreet about vaping.

The other method is to vape a concentrate that has a percentage of THC in it from marijuana. This more resembles a classic vaping mod that uses the battery to heat a substance to turn it into vapor to inhale. The substances can be a type of wax, which has the lowest percentage of THC to a substance called shatter which is like a glass made out of THC and is the highest concentration. 

Is vaping healthier?

One of the reasons that people are starting to vape weed now as opposed to smoking it is that when you combust it, tar is produced. This is the same tar as is produced when smoking tobacco.

Now, there is far less tar produced in marijuana but it is still something that happens. When it can be avoided it should be. Even using the dry herb vaporizers doesn’t actually combust the weed so no tar is produced this way.

Even though there have not been any studies specifically on how vaping might be healthier, this is one aspect that is known to be the case. There may be other problems that arise from vaping, but the fact that tar is not produced is at least a positive step in the right direction. 

One problem that does come from vaping weed is that many people mistake CBD or even THC oil off the shelf that is meant to be consumed orally as being suitable for vaping. This is not the case as that oil is deadly if used in a vaporizer. There has been at least one documented death from vaping this oil so make sure you only vape approved substances and in the proper device for that substance to be safe.

Why vape instead of smoke?

Aside from the possibility of being a healthy alternative to smoking weed there are some other advantages. 

For starters, it is a much smoother experience as vaping doesn’t produce harsh smoke that puts you in a coughing fit after toking. Not only that, but you get much more taste out of vaping then you do with smoking. The harshness of the combustion masks the flavors of all the terpenes and other compounds in the marijuana. 

Most of this comes with the control over the temperature that you have with vaping. With a flame you can’t control anything. Vaping puts control over temperature and other factors literally into your hands. 

Lastly, a lot of people like to toke discreetly. When you smoke you are very limited to your own home and even then it is risky if it is not legal where you live. With vaping, there is very little smell of marijuana and that is only when you dry herb vape Vaping with wax or shatter doesn’t produce a distinct pot smell so you can vape it on the go very easily without getting noticed. 

Why smoke instead of vape?

It may seem like there is no argument for smoking weed but that is not the case. There are some advantages to smoking.

Mainly, the benefit is that there is no learning curve. You have to learn how to use many devices and it can get complicated. There is nothing complicated about rolling a joint or packing a bowl. 

The other big benefit is that the effects are more intense when you smoke. Vaping does get you high, but the high you get from smoking is much harder than vaping. If you don’t care about the harshness and are not looking to taste the subtle flavors of the terpenes then there isn’t much reason to vape. 


As you can see, there is no system that is better than the other. There are only differences. And these differences are to be evaluated before you can make a decision.