Medicinal marijuana is now legal in many states, and more and more doctors are recognizing its health benefits and prescribing it for their patients. Cannabis has been shown to ease pain, address symptoms of neurological disorders, fight depression and anxiety, and offer numerous other clinically proven benefits.
If you're about to begin treatment with medical marijuana, you likely have two main ways to benefit from cannabis: by vaping it or by smoking it. What's the difference between the two and how do the two methods of using medical marijuana compare? Read on to find out:
Smoking and Vaping Defined
Before you can really understand the comparisons between using a dry herb vaporizer and smoking marijuana, you need to know how each method of using cannabis works. When you smoke, you light marijuana on fire, causing it to combust and give off smoke that you inhale. When you vape with an herb vaporizer, you heat up the material until it gives off vapor, a carbon-less gas. With both methods of using marijuana, you end up inhaling the cannabis, and your lungs absorb the active compounds like THC and CBN that are present in marijuana; however, one delivers those compounds as smoke and the other delivers them as vapor.
Smoking vs. Vaping: a Side by Side Comparison
So how does smoking really compare with using a dry herb vaporizer pen or portable vaporizer? Let's take a look at different points of comparison:
- Toxin Exposure. Studies have found that smoke from marijuana contains at least 6 potentially harmful compounds and that 88 percent of it is impurities. Vapor only harbors one potentially harmful compound and is 95 percent pure active compounds with only 5 percent other substances. In other words, you're exposed to significantly fewer toxins when you use an herb vaporizer.
- Irritant Exposure. With more impurities found in smoke, smoking is harder on the lungs than vaping. Studies have found that you're more likely to end up with symptoms like coughing and wheezing when you smoke than you are when you vape.
- Taste and Aroma. Smoke has a very strong, unpleasant scent due to the burning of the herbs. It is often harsh and hot. The best dry herb vaporizer models produce vapor that is smooth, cool, and very flavorful. There is also very little odor associated with weed vaporizer use.
- Potency. Because 95 percent of what you're inhaling with vapor is active cannabinoids, like THC and the CBN that gives cannabis its medical benefits, vapor is more potent than smoke. This means you'll feel noticeable effects more quickly with fewer hits when you vape.
- Cost. A weed vaporizer does cost more upfront than a basic pipe, bong, or rolling papers; however, the fact that you can get results with fewer hits can save you money in the long run. Once you have purchased a weed vaporizer, costs are minimal. You may have to purchase replacement screens periodically, but otherwise, there is little cost to continuing to vape beyond the price of medical marijuana.
- Privacy. Vapor dissipates quickly and has very little smell, so vaping is more discreet than smoking. Many dry herb vape pen models look like electronic cigarettes for vaping nicotine liquids, meaning you can use one without people realizing what you're doing.
- Convenience. Because vaping is discreet, it can be done virtually anywhere if you live in an area where marijuana has been legalized, however state laws typically restrict using pot in public. Smoking weed, with its telltale smell, is not as convenient as vaping. Also, vaping is simpler, because you don't need to worry about lighters and matches. This also makes vaping safer from a fire risk standpoint than smoking.
At the start of this article, it was said that you "likely" have the option to either smoke or vape. That's because in New York, it's actually only legal to use medical marijuana in an herbal vaporizer, because lawmakers believe it to be so much safer than smoking. If you'd like to learn more about weed vaporizer products, you can check out our reference guides. For help selecting the best dry herb vaporizer for your medical needs, feel free to contact our customer service team.