Did you know that vaporizing cannabis is a growing trend in Hawaii and in other parts of the world?

In general, among the different ways to consume cannabis, recreational vaping has become more popular over the years. Part of the vaping subculture affects cannabis use as well.

There are a variety of ways to gain medical benefits from cannabis. Many people find it hard to understand what the pros and cons of the various approaches are. You may even find conflicting advice online.

In the following paragraphs, you'll learn all about the differences in smoking versus vaporizing cannabis and their respective pros and cons.


How do you vaporize cannabis?

To vaporize cannabis, you need to use a dry herb vaporizer that heats the cannabis to a temperature below its point of combustion. During this process, the cannabinoids and other substances turn into vapor. When you use the vaporizer, no part of the vapor dissipates as you can directly inhale it from your mouth. The plant material might be too coarse for most portable vaporizers. In most cases, you need to turn the cannabis into a medium to fine grind using a designated device.


Pros of vaporizing

1: More control

Many vaporizers allow you to adjust the heat. When you gain more control over the temperature, your whole session may become more enjoyable. You can pick the temperature according to your personal preferences.


2: Higher efficiency

Vaporizing cannabis is a more efficient solution. When you use a vaporizer, the vapor travels from the chamber directly into your mouth. No unwanted dissipation into the air. Lighting up a rolled cigarette leads to part of the cannabis simply burning away. Also, the vapor may have a higher concentration of cannabinoids compared to smoke.


3: Privacy

The strong smell of cannabis may garner some uninvited attention.


When you vape cannabis, you'll discover that the associated smell is more discreet compared to cannabis smoke. That is especially true when you use lower temperature settings.


4: Less toxic by-products

Vaping isn't equal to drinking cannabis tea in terms of harmful compounds. However, cannabis vapor contains a smaller amount of carcinogens and tar compared to the smoke. The exact differences between the exposure to dangerous chemicals remain unclear as more research is underway.


Cons of vaporizing

1: Learning curve

Experienced cannabis vapers know that it takes time to reach the peak potential of this approach. Finding a proper vaporizer, setting the right temperature, and inhaling the correct way takes a bit of trial and error. Smoking is much more straight-forward.


2: Maintenance

If you want to keep your vaporizer up and running, it's important to conduct general maintenance. For example, you'll need to clean your vaporizer after every 2-3 sessions. Doing this ensures good performance and durability.


3: Investment

When you start out, rolling a cannabis cigarette is much cheaper than buying a vape device.


However, you may see buying a vaporizer as an investment. Vaporizing is a more efficient method, possibly making it cheaper in the long run.


4: Might need a grinder

Keep in mind that most vaporizers won't create proper vapor when the cannabis isn't at least medium grind. You'll experience the best results when it's fine ground. This is especially important if you use a portable vaporizer.


How do you smoke cannabis?

Two of the most common ways to smoke cannabis involves rolling a cigarette (called a joint) or using a large pipe (called a bong). Smoking a cannabis cigarette is a straightforward process. Nonetheless, using a bong means you have to fill it with water, add the cannabis, and then light the plant material while pulling from the mouthpiece. The bong fills up with smoke, after which you can inhale all the remaining fumes.


Pros of smoking

1: No investment

Rolling papers cost almost nothing compared to a vaporizer. That's why smoking your medical cannabis means a much lower starting cost. Smoking could only become expensive if you buy an expensive glass bong.


2: Less time-consuming

You won't have to start experimenting with an entirely new method. Smoking saves you time: not a single minute lost on finding the vaporizer, maintaining the device, and climbing the learning curve.


3: Faster effects

On average, smoking tends to quickly produce the desired effects.


The burning temperature is higher compared to the typical vaping settings, which means that you'll experience the simultaneous release of the cannabinoids.


Cons of smoking

1: Lower efficiency

When you smoke, it's easier to burn quickly through the cannabis. Vaping has the added benefit of a slower combustion time of the plant material.


2: Strong smell

Smoking cannabis produces a strong, distinct smell that can linger around for hours. This is especially true for poorly ventilated spaces. The associated odors make smoking a significantly less discreet option.


3: Bigger health risks

While vaporizing cannabis isn't risk-free, smoking plant material creates more carcinogens, tar, and other harmful substances. Smoking can produce a substantial amount of benzene and toluene that pose worrying health risks.


The bottom line: vaporizing cannabis or smoking cannabis?

Smoking and vaporizing are two popular ways for medical cannabis use. Both options have important pros and cons.

Smoking consumes less time and money, whereas vaporizing produces fewer toxic by-products and offers more control throughout the session. However, smoking comes with higher health risks and lower efficiency. Using a vaporizer means you have to spend time on maintenance and typically need to buy an accompanying grinder.

Weigh the various benefits and downsides of the two methods. Also, discuss their pros and cons with someone who has first-hand experience with both approaches. Then you can make the ultimate decision on which way to go.

If you have any further questions or need clarification on aspects covered in this blog, don't hesitate to contact us at Malie Cannabis Clinic.