By Alex M.
Vaping weed is the process of slowly and precisely heating up your weed so that the active components of the bud (THC, CBD, and etc.) are released in the form of vapor without actually burning the herb itself.
Unlike smoking your dry herb where temperatures are unregulated and combustion takes place, vaping it allows you enjoy all the effects of smoking marijuana without inhaling any of the actual smoke that is released through burning the plant material.
It’s possible that your vape pen will need to be cleaned with some maintenance put into it, but it has way more benefits than smoking.
Benefits of Vaping
Control your dose
Vaping cannabis allows you to control how much you’ll be inhaling by heating up the bud at different temperature levels. The controlled heat and release of THC means that you can intake “micro-doses” of cannabis which can be beneficial to vapers that want to experience the therapeutic and medicinal effects of weed without getting too high.
Reduce the smell
Another neat side effect of vaping your buds instead of smoking it is a large decrease in the overall smell produced during the vaporization process. Instead of the usually very distinct, and often rank odor you get from smoking your bud, vapor produces a much milder aroma. This can be especially helpful for those who have neighbors with sensitive noses as the reduced smell of vaping will be a lot less noticeable. This is not to say that it won’t be noticed at all.
Just like smoking a tobacco cigarette, a majority of the harmful effects don’t stem from the nicotine ingested but from the inhalation of combusted plant material. Inhaling smoke, regardless of what you’re burning is never a good idea. The good news is that vaporizers are designed exactly for the purpose of NOT burning your bud. So you get to enjoy all the benefits of smoking weed without actually inhaling any of that nasty smoke.
Unlike your average bong, joint, or pipe that practically scream “THIS GUY SMOKES WEED”, a vaporizer is a lot less noticeable to the public eye. Especially coupled with the fact that many cannabis or dry herb vaporizers nowadays tend to look like electronic cigarettes. This allows you to own a vaporizer without fear of scrutiny and lets you carry on with your hobby discreetly
Almost unsurprisingly, inhaling properly heated vapor released from your bud tastes a lot better than inhaling smoke resulting from burnt plants. Properly vaporized bud tastes better than any hit you’ll ever take from a joint or bong. Regardless of how fancy your glass bong is. In fact, the difference is almost night and day. Most first time vapers are usually blown away by the actual flavor of marijuana compared to the usual burnt plant taste they’re accustomed to.
Drawbacks of Vaporizers
Even your cheapest vaporizer is going to set you back by at least $40-$60 bucks and that’s just for the entry-level models. Higher end devices usually sell around the $100-$200 range. This is obviously a lot costlier than any pipe or homemade bong that you can craft out of household materials. The initial investment tends to scare away a lot of would-be vapers.
Every modern day vaporizer is basically a portable electrical device. This means that it’s prone to failure from a wide variety of reasons. It could be improper use or storage, a defect from the factory, or just plain old wear and tear. While the chances of your vaporizer actually breaking down on you are pretty much on par with any electronic device, it’s always a point of consideration especially given the relatively high cost. Make sure you look into the warranty of the device. Every unit has a different warranty structure.
Benefits of Smoking Cannabis
While higher-end vaporizers have a much shorter heat up time to reach the temperatures required to properly vaporize cannabis. None of these devices are faster than simply lighting up your bud via a joint or pipe. The burning of cannabis however tends to burn up more THC in the process. However, the effects are more immediate in comparison where vaping your weed results in a more gradual yet prolonged hit.
Better for social events
Due to the sometimes lengthy heat up times of your average vaporizer, not to mention the limited window where temperatures are optimal for vaping, this makes vaporizing an unpractical solution for social events where multiple people are present. A pipe or joint is still the easiest tool to pass around between fellow weed smokers. This is with the exception of expensive high-end vaporizers such as the Volcano which are designed for large groups.
Done smoking that joint? Simply toss it in the ashtray after it’s out. Pipe too dirty? Just give it a good rinse or soak to make it squeaky clean again. Accessories for smoking weed is a lot easier to maintain compared to vaporizers where detailed and precise cleaning is often required. Often a brush is needed to clean out your vaporizers bowl or chamber safely without damaging any of the internal components so it might not be a viable option for those who lack the time.
Drawbacks of Smoking
Anyone who smokes weed will already know the characteristic odor. While this might not be a big issue for you personally, non-smokers around the area are always quick to take notice. While not as bad as tobacco smoking, the odor does tend to stick to the insides of your apartment or your clothes. This might make for awkward situations at home when non-smoker friends or relatives visit.
Regardless of what you’re burning, inhaling smoke is never a good idea where your health is concerned. Most cases of lung cancer aren’t linked to nicotine addiction (i.e. tobacco smoking) as many might assume. It’s actually the intake of carcinogens released when inhaling burnt plant material that leads to many potential health issues, so while you might not be a smoker. You’re likely to be at risk whenever you decide to light up that joint.
Irritates your throat
The high temperatures required to burn up a joint usually makes each hit uncomfortable and irritable to the throat. Vaporizing on the other hand, uses much lower temperatures to release the active THC compounds so the resulting vapor is a lot cooler and easier on the throat in comparison to the smoke resulting from your regular joint or bong.