Smoking has long been the way of consuming cannabis. Today, however, this popular method has some competition. Vaping has grown significantly in popularity in recent years. While both methods involve inhalation, they are very different from one another. Here’s what you need to know about vaping vs smoking weed.

How They Work

Smoking cannabis involves a process called combustion. The use of a lighter exposes the ground flower to high heat. The process creates smoke, which you then inhale into your lungs.

When you vape, you still heat your cannabis, but to a much lower temperature. With less heat, your cannabis flower or concentrate vaporizes. Instead of inhaling smoke, you’re inhaling that vapor, along with the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds.

vaping vs smoking cannabis

Effects on the Lungs

As mentioned above, smoking cannabis involves inhaling smoke, while vaping involves inhaling vapor. When you inhale smoke from a joint or pipe, you get more than the cannabinoids and other desired compounds. You also breathe in charred plant matter and harmful carcinogens, which can lead to chronic cough and other serious lung issues.

With vaping, cannabis doesn’t combust. As such, it doesn’t create burnt material or carcinogens. You breathe in the compounds you want, leaving out the harmful ones. While research is still limited, vaping cannabis appears to be a healthier alternative to smoking.

Pros and Cons


When it comes to smoking cannabis, one of the most significant benefits is that it’s a much smaller financial investment. Unless you’re buying an expensive pipe, you only really need to buy the flower and rolling papers.

Other benefits of smoking include:

  • It’s low-maintenance
  • It provides fast-acting effects

On the flip side, the biggest downside to smoking is the effects that it can have on your lungs. Other cons to consider include:

  • You have much less control over the temperature
  • You’re more likely to go through your stash faster
  • Combustion destroys some of the flavors of the strain
  • The smell of cannabis seeps into everything, from your hair and clothes to your furniture

Vaping vs Smoking Weed

When it comes to vaping, one of the main draws is that there’s no combustion, which means that there’s a lower risk of negative effects on your lungs. Other benefits include:

It’s more discreet than smoking and produces a much less noticeable (if any) odor
The process is much cleaner
It’s more efficient
Flavors are more pronounced and nuanced

Cons of vaping include:

  • Dry herb vaporizers require a medium to fine grind, so you need to have a good grinder
  • If you have a rechargeable vape pen, you have to remember to plug it in, so it doesn’t stop working in the middle of a session
  • You need to do more maintenance
  • Vaping can be more expensive
  • There are limited studies about the long-term health effects

While vaping tends to be easier on the lungs, the equipment costs more and requires more maintenance. Smoking is more affordable but has more negative effects associated with it. When it comes to deciding which one is right for you, it comes down to personal preference. You can also speak with one of our cannabis experts for recommendations.