How Is Vaporizing Marijuana Different From Smoking it?
By Michael Jacobs
Did you know that you can vaporize cannabis? While many who smoke either recreationally or for medicinal purposes say that the traditional method of smoking is better, some cannabis vapors think that smoking a bowl isn’t the way to go anymore.
So, which method is better? Does science have an answer?
When it comes to the amounts of cannabinoids released for each method, it turns out that yes, science does have an answer. But first, we need to know what we’re looking for.
What’s in cannabis anyway and what are the effects on humans?
There are hundreds of active ingredients in cannabis. However, there are a few that have a decisive effect on humans.
THC – delta(9) tetrahydrocannabinol – the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. This is what gives most people that “head” high they get when using it.
CBC – cannabichromene – the third most common of the cannabinoids in marijuana overall. Some strains might have more CBC than CBD. Like CBD, CBC is non-psychoactive. It is an anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant.
CBN – cannabinol – this actually doesn’t emerge until the dried flower has degraded a bit or gone stale. This is what THC breaks down into over time. CBN can stimulate appetite, is a natural antibiotic, and an anti-asthmatic.
THCv – tetrahydrocannabivarin – this compound works in tandem with THC. Some studies indicate that THCv has about 20% of the psychoactive capacity of THC. Also, recent research seems to indicate that THCv may mitigate some of the negative psychoactive impacts of THC.
So which method gives you more cannabinoids?
Despite all of the different kinds of cannabinoids, recreational smokers are mostly interested in THC. A recent study conducted by Chemic Labs in Canton, Massachusetts tested the the Volcano vaporizer and compared them to the smoke created by combusted marijuana. The answer was overwhelming: the vapor produced via the Volcano consisted of 95% THC and a small amount of CBN (cannabinol). Compare that to combusted smoke. As much as 88% of combusted marijuana consisted of non-cannabinoids.
That’s a significant difference.
But is the high different? Yes and no.
The actual high is somewhat similar for both methods. The “head” high is present in both vaporizing and smoking marijuana. However, smoking also comes with the body high – that lazy feeling some may get after smoking. That is not as present in the high one gets from vaporizing marijuana.
However, the high from smoking marijuana lasts a bit longer versus the high from vaping marijuana. Heavy smokers report feeling sober faster after vaping marijuana compared to smoking marijuana.
What about time? Does it take longer to vape versus smoking marijuana?
Well, that depends. Most vaporizers today can be ready in a few seconds to just a couple of minutes. Loading a vaporizer takes about the same amount of time as it does to load a conventional pipe or a bowl. Smoking a joint can take longer than taking a few pulls on a vape-pen device. However, the tradeoff is that it continues burning even when you’re not inhaling. This translates to a waste of marijuana.
So, there you have it.
When it comes down to it, vaping weed may be healthier and contain fewer carcinogens, but it all comes down to how you feel. One high may last longer, but the other may provide more of the health benefits of the compounds found in cannabis.
In short, try both and see which one you prefer!
About the author
Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points