Vaping vs. Smoking Your Dry Herb
When it comes to inhaling your cannabis, your choices come down to smoking versus vaping. While using a dry herb vape is relatively new on the scene as tech has finally caught up with cannabis culture, it’s been growing in popularity like crazy. But why should you vape vs smoke, and which is better for your health, convenience and your wallet?
Read on as we demystify the differences.
Note: All information in this article is based on the opinions of the author unless noted otherwise. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own health decisions after consulting with a licensed health care provider.
Impact on Health
Whether you’re consuming cannabis for medicinal reasons or just for fun, you’ve probably wondered if it’s having any negative impacts on your body. This is especially true for cannabis consumers that choose to smoke, as the health impacts of smoking tobacco have really come to light in recent years.
Smoking Dry Herb
While cannabis doesn’t usually contain the same chemical additives as tobacco, the act of burning any plant product and inhaling it’s smoke is still toxic for your lungs. Why? Because the dry plant material is combusted (another word for burned), it creates chemical substances that come through in it’s smoke. The chemical bonds in the plant are broken down, producing by products called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). The buildup of these toxins in your lungs can cause serious health problems.
Smoking can cause:
- Congestive heart disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Damaged blood vessels and blood clots
- Chronic bronchitis
- Birth defects and reduced fertility
These are just some of the complications that can come from the negative health effects of smoking. Keep in mind that family history can also contribute to your likelihood of getting these diseases in the future if you’re a regular smoker, too.
What’s the alternative?
So, what’s the best way to get all the benefits out of your dry herb without smoking? If you choose to inhale your cannabis, but don’t want to smoke, your other option is vaping. Vaporizing heats your dry herbs at a much lower temperature, which are then converted into water vapor, not smoke. By using an electronic device called a vaporizer, products are heated just below the point of combustion, meaning your green doesn’t actually burn but produces a smooth vapor instead.
Check out our page on Dry Herb Vaping here to learn all the basics. Now, let’s tackle the benefits of vapor vs smoke when it comes to consuming your dry herb.
The advantages of vapor vs. smoke
When vaping and smoking go head to head on the health front, vaporizing your cannabis will always emerge the clear winner. Here’s why.
1. Lower temperatures are less harsh on the lungs
When you burn your dry herb at a super high temp, the combustion effect creates a lot of toxic by-products in harsh smoke that can be horrible for your lungs. Vaporization of cannabis happens between 350℉arenheight and 450℉arenheight, and produces vapor that’s much easier on your body.
2. You inhale more cannabinoids and fewer carcinogens
Carcinogens are the toxins created from combustion, so vaping drastically reduces the toxins you inhale from your cannabis. Instead, the vapor you inhale is packed with cannabinoids, which are the elements in cannabis that carry the medicinal and recreational effects that you feel from the plant. Essentially what you’re getting when you vape is a more clean, pure delivery of your cannabis.
3. More control over your consumption
When you vape your cannabis, it’s actually easier to take smaller hits of healthier vapor, to dose the exact quantity you’re looking for. On the other hand, when you smoke cannabis, the dry herb has to be headed to such a high temperature that it can continue to burn after you’re done consuming, wasting your herb or even encouraging you to take a bigger hit than you’d like.
4. Less extra impact from paper or butane lighters
When you smoke your cannabis, there are often other factors at play that you have to consider. With joints, you’re also inhaling smoke from your rolling papers and any adhesives which can be toxic. If you’ve ever smoked a blunt, you’re inhaling cannabis smoke plus smoke from your cigar wrappers. And while smoking from a glass piece takes the paper elements out of the mix, using a butane lighter adds in a host of chemicals to your green as you inhale. When you vape, your cannabis is heated in herb chamber and designed to produce vapor that’s much cleaner and without other factors impacting its quality and flavor.
Convenience of vaping over smoking
For most cannabis consumers, convenience is key. Being able to set up quickly, smoke easily, and consume on the go makes it a breeze to get your medicine when you need it, or to enjoy your cannabis recreationally without a lot of hassle. Here are the top ways that vaping is more convenient than smoking weed.
Vaping is less messy
Handling your dry herb will always bring a certain level of mess into the equation, but vaping is a game changer for a couple of reasons. Once your green is clean and ground up with a quality dry herb grinder, you can simply load it into your herb chamber and you’re good to go. If you’re someone that makes a giant mess trying to roll a joint, this will save you both time and cleanup.
Vaping means less paraphernalia
Smoking your cannabis can sometimes mean you need a laundry list of accessories, like rolling papers, trays, filters, lighters and more. With your dry herb vape, all you need is your green and your vape, and you’re good to go.
Vaping means less smell
Beyond being cleaner and less accessory intensive, vaping is far more discreet than smoking because there’s much less of a smell. This goes back to the fact that your weed is being activated at a lower temperature, creating a lighter vapor than heavy, smelly smoke. Many smokers will choose not to smoke inside because of it’s harsh, lingering smell, but find that vapor has nearly no smell and dissolves away instantly.
Vaping is easier on the go
If you’re someone that likes to consume cannabis when you’re out and about, vaping is the way to go. Charge up your portable vape and load your herb chamber and you’re ready to tackle the day. There’s no need to pre-roll a bunch of joints, or worry about having to stop what you’re doing to prepare your cannabis to smoke.
Vaping is more discreet
For many cannabis consumers, this one is so important. Being able to medicate with your dry herb or smoke recreationally in public is a lot easier with a vape, because portable and pen style vapes can be easily carried in a pocket or purse on the go. When you’re ready to vape, it can be as simple as pressing a button to inhale. As a bonus, the vapor you inhale and exhale has very little smell, and the clouds will dissipate quickly, meaning that less attention is drawn to the consumer.
Vaporizers are simple to clean
If you’ve ever tried to clean a pipe or bong, you know the struggle of using fancy soaps, salts, brushes and lengthy soaks to try to get your glass shiny and new. Not so with vaping – herb chambers and mouthpieces are designed to be easily cleaned and durable, too.
Cost of vaping vs the cost of smoking
Now you know that vaping is much better for your health and much more convenient than smoking, but which is better for your budget?
Here’s what to consider when you’re comparing the costs of vaping vs smoking your dry herb.
Vaping has a higher startup cost, but long term savings
What we mean by this is that you’ll have to invest more initially to get started with vaping, in the form of buying a vape to use. This can range anywhere from $40 for a basic model to upwards of $250 or more for a high end unit like the Pax 3, depending on the quality of the unit you’re buying. What to look for when you’re purchasing a new vape is:
- Read reviews of the best dry herb vapes to price shop and compare
- Think about your needs and what type of vape will fit them best
- Remember to save your vaped weed for cooking and infusing to give it a second life
Additionally, you’ll save money in the long run by saving on all of the smoking accessories you need, such as expensive glass pieces, rolling papers, filters, cleaning supplies, lighters and more.
Vaping gives you 8x more cannabinoids
Because smoking your weed means you’re also inhaling toxins and carcinogens, you’re getting more – but not in a good way. Studies show that just 12% of cannabis smoke contains cannabinoids, with the other 88% containing carcinogens and toxins. Cannabis vapor, on the other hand, has been shown to contain nearly 95% cannabinoids, which means 8x more medicinal and recreational benefits per hit which is essentially 8x more cost effective.
Vaped weed has a second life
Don’t toss out that vaped dry herb, save it! Pro vapers know that the vaped weed that’s left over in your herb chamber can be repurposed into edibles because it still holds some potency that can be activated by cooking it into weed butter or oil. This can be done by hand or with an infuser like LEVO. Then, you can use your butter or oil to make a variety of baked goods, drinks, dishes, or even use as a topical cream for on the spot effects. If you consider the second life that you’ll get from your vaped herb, this is another 2x return on vaping vs smoking.
The Last Word on Vaping vs Smoking
When it comes to consuming cannabis in the form of dry herb, vaping wins over smoking in every category – from being better for your health, more convenient, and nicer on your wallet, too. In addition to the points we listed above, vaping can also enhance the flavor and aroma of your cannabis, because there is no additional paper being burned along with your cannabis, or harsh butane fuel being used to heat your green. Lastly, many consumers that choose to vape love the clean high they feel from their vaped dry herb, vs the harsh feeling that lingers from smoking and the less pure high.
That being said, any time you’re applying heat to plant matter and inhaling it, there are health implications, and each person is different in terms of what they prefer when it comes to vaping vs. smoking. Always comply with your doctor’s instructions and the laws in your area, and keep in mind that consulting with a healthcare professional is an important step in addition to experimenting yourself.
If you are someone that prefers consuming cannabis in dry herb form and have yet to try vaping, we hope you consider this alternative as a way to inhale healthier, while getting better effects and saving money, too.