The Basics: Smoking vs. Vaping

When I used to walk through downtown Toronto looking for a dispensary near me, I would always come across so many vape shops. So every time I would pass cannabis stores, this would lead me to wonder, “What’s the difference between smoking and vaping weed?”. Roll a joint, peel the dutch, pack a bowl. Smoking weed has predominantly been the most common way to consume cannabis.

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In our previous articles, we’ve talked about the different ways to consume cannabis; you can roll a joint, eat an edible or even dabble with concentrates. Cannabis can be smoked, eaten, or vaped. With 420 day coming up, it might a good time to try something different. So what’s the difference between vaping and smoking marijuana? Is one better or safer than the other? Does one cost more? We’ll answer all these questions so you can decide what to do when you buy weed online (since we’re in a never-ending lockdown).

To kick this off, let’s distinguish the method of consumption: smoking marijuana uses dried plant parts and is burned whereas vaping uses extracts or ground dry herb and is heated without burning. Since combustion does not occur, there is no smoke created. Science Daily explains, “Vaping devices heat cannabis to a temperature in which the mind-altering compounds in the plant are released as a vapor that is inhaled. Vaping is thought to be safer for cannabis and tobacco use because it doesn’t produce many of the harmful components of burning material such as tar and other cancer-causing agents.”

Which one gets you more high?

A study was led by scientists at the John Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit in Baltimore where they brought in 17 participants and tested the effects of smoking marijuana versus vaping it. Long study short, they smoked and vaped a bunch of weed, not knowing what the strain was or the amount they were consuming.

According to this research, as published in the JAMA Network Open, “vaporized cannabis produced significantly greater subjective drug effects, cognitive, psychomotor impairment, and higher blood THC concentrations than the same doses of smoked cannabis.”

Basically, if you were to smoke or vape the same amount of cannabis, vaping would get you more high. Don’t believe it? Buy weed online at Black Rabbit’s online dispensary and you can see for yourself in a few hours.

Which one costs more?

Let’s break this up into two spending areas: equipment and cannabis.

When you smoke weed, most likely you’re going to either roll a joint or you’re going to smoke it with a bong or pipe. Rolling papers, lighters or a pipe are relatively inexpensive (unless you want to splurge on fancy bong contraptions) and only requires a small investment for all the things you need.

On the other hand, vape pens, cartridges, and vaporizers will require more of an investment up front. However, if you were to smoke or vape the same amount of weed, you’d save more in the long run with vaping since you get a more intense high while using less product.

Which one is safer?

Studies have shown that  marijuana vapor contains significantly less tar, carcinogens, and other toxic by-products than marijuana smoke. With that being said, you’re not totally in the clear as vaping doesn’t eliminate exposure to harmful compounds, it just reduces it. Also, vaping doesn’t produce the same secondhand smoke that burning marijuana does.

It’s also important to note that there is not enough research and evidence around the long term impact of vaping and that further studies need to be done to truly measure the effects.

Which one is better?

“Better” means something different to everyone, so it’s quite subjective. If you’re looking for a safer way to smoke weed, vaping is for you. If you’re looking for a more discreet way to consume weed without the smell, vaping is for you. If you’re looking for a more intense high, vaping is for you. If you’re looking to save money in the long run, vaping is for you.

In a recent 2014 study of about 100 subjects who both smoked and vaporized, consumers reported several advantages of vaporizing over smoking, including the lack of smoke smell and better taste. It was also reported that the same amount of cannabis product produced more effect with vaping. After the study, nearly all participants planned to continue vaporizer use.

Have you been convinced to switch sides yet? With same day weed delivery right at your fingertips, you don’t have to leave your home to get some cheap canna right away.

Smoking Pros and Cons


  • Can be less intense (compared against using the same amount to vape)
  • Less of an investment (no device required)
  • Low maintenance (minimal preparation and cleaning)


  • Harsher on the lungs
  • Obvious smell
  • Less flavour
  • Produces secondhand smoke

Vaping Pros and Cons


  • More intense high (compared against using the same amount to smoke)
  • Save money on cost of cannabis in long run
  • Extraction process leaves you with purest form
  • More discreet (less smoke, less smell)
  • More flavour
  • Does not produce secondhand smoke


  • Initial investment can be pricey (for quality devices)
  • Requires charging
  • Not enough research yet to show long term impact
  • Preparation (have to wait for it to heat up) and maintenance (you have to clean it afterwards)

How does vaping work?

There are vape pens and there are vaporizers.

With vape pens, there are different types so follow the instructions given. You’ll either turn it on or simply pull (inhale). Black Rabbit offers an assortment of vape pens that are disposable or can be reused with refill cartridges. With many options to choose from, you have your pick of sativa, indica, or hybrid flavours.

With vaporizers, they’re basically heating elements that turn cannabis into vapor, so you have wait for the device to heat up to a certain temperature before vapor is produced, at which point the vapor is drawn into the mouthpiece and inhaled.

In a 2009 study around variable temperatures and vaporizing, it shows that temperature matters. Most vaporizers heat cannabis to a temperature just below combustion, (180 to 200°C (356 to 392°F). The amount of compound released does increase as its boiling point is approached. Specific temperatures at which various compounds are released: 104°C for THCA, all the way up to 220°C, right under the combustion temperature of 232°C, for the non-psychoactive compound cannabichromene (CBC).

Weed delivery Canada-wide

So there you have it, a complete guide to vaping versus smoking weed. Did you learn something new? Want to experiment with vaping? Check out our latest strains to order weed online and put it to the test.

Black Rabbit has got you covered with same day weed delivery in Toronto and 15 other regions within the GTA. Don’t forget, we recently launched weed delivery Canada-wide with our new mail order program! See you down the rabbit hole.

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