Vaping vs Smoking: What’s the Difference?

The complete guide
Nicole Richter Nicole Richter / Updated on August 12, 2018

Smoking vs Vaping

With marijuana becoming steadily more accessible and acceptable, many people who would have never considered using marijuana might be convinced to give it a try. Once they have made that decision, they might then begin to wonder what is the best method of using marijuana.

For people who are not comfortable smoking marijuana, using a cannabis vaporizer is an alternative; and for those who do like smoking marijuana, vaping might be a better choice – at least to incorporate periodically.

There are stark differences between the two methods, and we will clarify them for you here. Enjoy 🙂

To Smoke or to Vape?

The quick and simple answer is that vaping is the better and more efficient method of using marijuana. The reason is that up to 30% of the THC in marijuana is destroyed during the combustion process when using a joint. The vaporization process preserves most of the THC making for a more potent experience.

Vaping is also safer because all forms of smoking produce harmful substances, like carcinogens, that are bad for your health. Vaping exposes the user to far less of the harmful toxins than smoking. This can mean fewer respiratory problems for people who vape.

This is useful because many patients with serious illnesses such as cancer or HIV/AIDS use marijuana for pain relief. If someone is sick or has a compromised immune system it is best to expose them to as few harmful substances as possible.

Vaping also offers more convenience and discretion than smoking marijuana. Vaporizers come in a variety of forms that are portable and easy to use. They might require some assembly and need to be cleaned occasionally, but in the long run they are more efficient.

How Do Vaporizers Work?

Vaporizers work by passing heated air over the dry herb instead of burning it; there are two methods of doing this.


The herb contacts a heated surface to produce vapor. This method is quick, but it can sometimes heat up the marijuana unevenly which can lead to some of it being wasted if you are not careful.


This method passes heated air over the dry herb without it contacting a heated surface. This method is more efficient because it heats the marijuana more evenly resulting in more and stronger vapor. This is the preferred method but it is only available in larger vaporizers.

Different Types of Vaporizers

There are three different type of dry herb vaporizers; vape pens, portable vaporizers, and dry herb vaporizers.

KandyPens Galaxy

The KandyPens Galaxy

Vape pens

These are the smallest and most inexpensive type of vaporizer. They are highly portable, discreet, and simple to use. They use the conduction heating method because they are too small for convection. They are a good choice for people new to vaping and are compatible with wax and concentrates.

Arizer Solo 2 vs crafty vs pax 2 vs firefly 2

From left to right: the DaVinci IQ, Pax 3, Arizer Solo 2, and Crafty – some of the best dry herb vaporizers ever.

Dry herb vaporizers

They are larger than vape pens but can still fit in one hand, and are portable and discreet as well. They can use either conduction or convection – which results in a richer vaping experience. They offer more precise temperature regulation allowing you to control the intensity of the vapor.

Desktop vaporizers

The most advanced and most expensive option. These are meant to be used at home and offer the largest herb capacity and the most precise temperature controls. They often come with a bag that gets filled with vapor as the marijuana heats up. Once filled you can inhale deeply and luxuriate in the purest, richest vapor available.

The Benefits of Vaping

Vaping is more advantageous than smoking because it:

  • Produces fewer toxins
  • Wastes less THC
  • Is more discreet
  • Poses less of a fire hazard
  • Has a better taste
  • Does not produce any marijuana smoke

Final Thoughts

Some might balk at the fact that they should pay money to use their marijuana when they could just get a piece of paper and roll it up. However, the advantages of vaping are clear to see; vaporizers are easy to use and produce fewer toxins and waste than smoking.

Vaping is the superior method of ingesting marijuana for new users or for patients suffering from incapacitating medical conditions. As the use of marijuana becomes more mainstream, so will the use of vaporizers; whether you want to be ahead of the curve or to jump on the bandwagon, there is an affordable vaporizer out there for you.

  1. Alice R. Sturges

    Yay, I also find vaping to be the better method for consuming marijuana. I think it’s healthier too but that’s just my opinion.

  2. Katherine M. Conway

    Thanks for briefing the difference between vaping and smoking. Any suggestion which is the best to deal with insomnia?

  3. Marie Blackburn

    Vaping is an excellent way of consuming marijuana and you can extract the most out of the bud. Switched years ago

  4. Chameka Smith

    I was wondering what is the best bait to use for wax only?

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