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Cannabis vaporizing has grown massively in popularity lately, and many more are considering the switch.

One of the top questions we get in our brick-and-mortar store, as well as in our live chat service is ‘What is the difference between vaping vs smoking weed?’

In this blog, we’ll be going over the main reasons why vaping is better (or different) than smoking weed, and why it might be a good idea to start! We’re admittedly biased here at the Tools420 Vape Store, but for good reason as we’ll be explaining as we go over the health implications, financial cost, and other aspects which separate vaping from smoking. See what we have to say down below!

Is vaping weed better than smoking?

When you’re smoking cannabis, you’re exposing the lungs to a whole variety or carcinogens and by-products of combustion such as Benzene, Carbon Monoxide, and tar build-up. While there’s no proven cancer risk, it’s impossible to deny that smoking is definitely not good for the lungs as you might have irritation, excessive coughing, and shortness of breath due to the high temperatures. In fact, some of the high from combustion in joints or bongs is often from the small dose of carbon monoxide which contributes to the ‘head rush’ of a smoking high. 

Vaping on the other hand avoids most of these health concerns by staying at a temperature below cannabis flower’s combustion point of 450 °F or 232°C.

Even some vaporizers like the Storz & Bickel Mighty+ are medically approved for use, and are certified to be safe from off-gassing and any other harmful compounds. People who swap from smoking to vaping often raved about their lungs and overall health, and we figure this is the biggest and best reason to switch from smoking weed to vaping. Definitely a win for the vaporization of herb in this comparison!

Storz & Bickle Mighty+ and Mighty front profile wider shot

Is vaping weed more discreet than smoking?

Ahh, the classic strong scent of skunky weed!

We love it, but also know it’s a double edged blade. While to stoners the smell is nothing but joy, a lot of places still have cannabis listed as illegal. There are plenty of situations where you won’t want to show up, reeking of a fresh session; Thanksgiving dinner, the movie theatres, or around your extended (or close) family.

Thankfully, vaporizing weed smells much less than smoked weed. Don’t get me wrong, vaping herb will still put out a significant amount of smell, however it’d be a fraction compared to smoking due to the process only boiling the essential oils from your ground flower.

In fact, it should air out of an open window within around 15 minutes and walking around the street won’t be an issue at all since it’ll disappear rather quickly. If you’re concerned about the smell of cannabis in general, be sure to check out our how to get rid of weed smell guide. There are now also cannabis scent killing candles which help to quickly eliminate the scent of your lingering session from rooms or cars. 

  • In general, rolling a joint and lighting it up is quite conspicuous and noticeable as well compared to carrying around an e-cig shaped device and puffing out small clouds of vapor. 

Most portable dry herb vapes are built with discretion in mind and even get very small like the Pax 3. If being discreet on scent is a priority for you, you might also consider a hybrid heated herb vaporizer like the Arizer Air MAX. Vaping weed vs smoking it? Definite win in the vaping category here.

Convection Vaporizers have Less Smell

There are three main kinds of Dry Herb Vaporizer heating systems, conduction, convection, and hybrid heating. Conduction in general is simply a hot heating surface, convection is hot air passing through the chamber, and hybrid is a combination of both systems. For the sake of discreetness though, Convection Vaporizers have much less odor during sessions! In fact, most of the time they’ll just produce a small smell like toast, which can be a great feature for anyone that has to worry about getting discreet sessions in. 

When comparing convection vaporizers to smoking weed smell, the difference is totally night and day. 

Do weed vaporizers save you money?

Initially, the cost of investing in a dry herb vaporizer is going to be more expensive, but the efficiency definitely pays off over time, especially if you invest in a quality vape. While the prices can range from around $50 all the way up to $700 or more, a very good device can be had for just over $100 like the XMAX V3 Pro, and we view it as an investment – it’ll pay off in no time.

XMAX V3 PRO ON HAND PORTABILITY

Vaping uses roughly 66% less weed than smoking does as only 10% of smoke contains cannabinoids, where vapor is almost purely cannabinoids!

When you combust weed, a lot of your flower’s THC gets lost due to the very high heat. This destroys our precious cannabinoids, which get wasted. To get the same level of high, you’ll use roughly 1/3rd the weed you used to! This means 3 grams lasts as long as 10 would, if you have the self-control!

So what is the best temperature to vape weed

Long term, you can easily save hundreds or even thousands from vaping. A personal experience goes like this; myself and three friends, all with portable weed vapes, had a whole summer of shenanigans and stoning. We used a grand total of 13 grams, combined. That’s around 130 sessions of getting baked. We would’ve used ~39 grams of herb if we were smoking instead. You can do the math to see how much $ that translates to. 

As you can see below in our Zeus Arc GTS Hub Review, vaporizers that utilize the accessory of dosing capsules are also highly time efficient compared to rolling your own joints or packing bowls!

You can also save the herb after it has been vaped to make ABV or AVB (semantics). This already-vaped bud is actually decarboxylated weed, still with active compounds inside. Save a gram of this, put a tablespoon in milk, yogurt, or on toast, and fly to space with an easy weed edible! Be careful – this stuff can get seriously strong! Certainly an easy win for the pros of vaping weed camp in this aspect. If you’re interested in this side of vaping weed, you can read about it more in our best AVB recipes guide

terpene food pairing header

Vaping vs smoking weed comparison

Smoking vs vaping actually does produce different effects. Some will always prefer the high from smoking, however some (like myself) prefer vaping. Here’s why;

Depending on the temperature you vape at, you’ll get different effects. Low temperatures (160-180°C / 338°F~) will give you great flavor and a gentle head high, which allows you to remain functional and energized throughout the day. In general, the higher temperature you vape at, the more cannabinoids you’ll activate and get the effects of from your high, as you can see in our chart below. 

vaping temperature guide

High temperatures of 200-210°C will produce a more heavy body high, and couch-locked effect. This is more reminiscent of the high from smoking and better left for the evening or when you have nothing to do. The flavor will probably be darker/spicier, and maybe even taste like roasted popcorn, depending on the vape that you use.

Smoking doesn’t really allow for any temperature control, so you’re a bit limited in the effects that you can get. While this isn’t a bad thing by any means, we much prefer being able to control the effects, flavor, and experience that we can get through a vaporizers precision temperature control. Some people like to vape one session at low temperature, and then have a session at high temperature later on – two sessions from one bowl! If you want to learn more about cannabinoids and vaping, you can read more about the best temperature to vape weed at.

Focus V Carta 2 display

An example of a vaporizer’s precision temperature control

Are weed vaporizers sharable? 

Part of the fun of smoking weed is the easy ability to share your joint – As the old saying goes: Puff, puff, pass. 

We all have come to know and love the act of rolling a joint, sparking it up, and passing it around. 

Honestly, it’s not as fun passing around portable dry herb vapes, however there are a few exceptions. Desktop vaporizers like the Arizer Exteme Q and Volcano Hybrid are able to fill balloons that are super fun and unique to share at a party. 

volcano classic vapor quality

Filled balloon from a Volcano Classic Vaporizer 

Replicating the experience and ritual and smoking is definitely a hard one and we will admit that smoking takes the win here, however you may come to love the ritual of vaping as well, just as we do. One other fun thing about vaping is that you’ll be able to taste your cannabis much better than smoking, so that you can really tell the differences between your strains. 

Final Thoughts

To wrap things up, both smoking weed and vaping have their own distinct vibe and advantages.

However, vaping has far more advantages than smoking in the long run.

Call us biased, but saving hundreds, preserving our health, and being far stealthier are our favorite aspects of it. Health, wealth, and stealth we say!

When you can really distinctly taste the differences of Lemon Haze and Tangerine Dream, then we’re sure you’ll be convinced too! Check out our page to the best portable dry herb vaporizers around if you’re keen on getting started.

If neither options seems appealing, there are other alternatives available as well, like Cannabis Infusers and Decarboxylators

Until next time, to health and high times!