Vaping vs Smoking Dilemma: Which Option Is Better for You?

Vaping vs Smoking

The whole vaping vs smoking debate has slowly but surely come close to the neverending rivalries: pizza vs pasta, football vs baseball, Star Wars vs Star Trek, and a whole bunch of others. However, what sets this dilemma apart is the fact that the differences are vital for our health. And in some cases, extremely detrimental.

Vaping vs Smoking Dilemma: Arguments and

As this is a cannabis-oriented source of knowledge, our primary focus will be on vaping marijuana vs smoking it. Still, we’ll take a brief look at nicotine effects as well.

We All Know Smoking, But What Is Vaping?

Vaping is basically simulated tobacco smoking. To vape, you need to use an electronic cigarette. This device consists of a battery, an atomizer, and a container. How does this electronic device work?  

It works by atomizing a liquid solution, i.e., e-liquid. To smoke an E-cigarette, you need to take a puff or press a button. E-cigarettes can look like traditional cigarettes, and most of them are reusable.

Is Vaping Healthier Than Smoking?

Let’s start off with the latest news. As of 2020, there have been 68 reported deaths and 2,807 hospitalized cases of severe respiratory illnesses due to vaping. 

What’s more, you know there must be something wrong if the FDA orders that over 5 million E-cigarettes must be put off the market

So, what exactly is the truth? Let’s take a look at some vaping vs smoking health-related pros and cons.

Both Have Harmful Compounds 

This is usually the number one concern for anyone who has ever entered a discussion about vaping and smoking. Here are some of the most common arguments.

Smoking Cons:

  • Tar percentage — vaping is much less harmful than smoking because it does not produce any tar. Smoking statistics report that smoking marijuana is almost as dangerous as smoking tobacco. The very process of burning cannabis releases similar carcinogens and toxins like tobacco burning. 
  • The difference in inhaling — scientists finding vaping safer than smoking also stress the characteristic holding of the breath during smoking marijuana. This is very damaging and can lead to lung disease

Vaping Cons:

  • Bronchial spasms — vaping is not entirely safe either. It can induce spasms in bronchial tubes. People suffering from asthma are strongly advised against it.  
  • Suspicious chemicals — tar may still be present even in vaping, too. Moreover, do you really know every single ingredient that goes into your vape cartridge? Cancerogenic chemicals may be found in vaping liquids as well. Some E-cigarettes contain high levels of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and even VOCs. The recent vaping deaths and an epidemic of vaping and smoking respiratory conditions seem to be chemical-related rather than bacterial. Remember, no vaping product is FDA-approved.
  • Dangerous materials — not all vaporizers are created equal. Unless you’ve bought it from a reliable manufacturer, the cheap version may be heating up plastic and glue along with cannabis. This way, toxins will enter your lungs. Ceramic, stainless steel, and quartz are the materials recommended for the best vape.

Vaping vs Smoking and Blood Pressure Issues

Research suggests that vaping increases blood pressure and heart rate, just like smoking cigarettes does. But what about marijuana?

Based on the studies, marijuana can also increase blood pressure and heart rate if used in high doses. Smaller doses can only cause mild damage. Therefore, people who have problems with hypertension need to avoid heavy marijuana use. 

In this case, marijuana would be a better option, but only in small doses. 

Does Vaping Cause Cancer, or Not?

Unfortunately, both smoking and vaping may be the culprits. While smoking tobacco or weed can, without a doubt, be damaging, vaping has raised some major health concerns, too. 

For example, cancer expert Dr. Diana Martins-Welch has no qualms about prescribing medical marijuana to her patients. Nevertheless, considering the latest vaping lung disease outbreak, she strongly advises her patients to start smoking cannabis (perhaps even with helpful guides on smoking marijuana).

Extra Arguments for Vaping vs Smoking

Now, let’s see how the two compare regarding second-hand smoking, environment, and some practical issues:

Second-Hand Smoking

Apparently, there’s no such thing as second-hand smoking if you’re using a vaporizer, so your environment won’t have to endure the smoke and inhale the hazardous gas or potentially get high. In this respect, vaping is better than smoking.

Environmental Concerns

If you’re environmentally conscious, then you must be worried about all those disposable vape pens. The environmental footprint of smoking a joint is tiny. Few toxic gases and a small, completely biodegradable residue.

In contrast, the multitude of vaporizers has lots of components that require special treatment. Batteries must be separated, and not all products have the label “recyclable” on them. Is vaping safer than smoking regarding our planet? Definitely, no!

Maintenance Issues

What does it take to make a joint? A piece of paper, some weed, and a little skill in rolling it up. And, that’s it! You don’t need anything else but that. Oh, and of course, a lighter or a match to spark it. 

The only downside could be that if you’re smoking it indoors, your premises will absorb the smell. Generally, in this vaping weed vs smoking duel, the latter is the obvious winner.

In contrast, vaping has quite a to-do list if you wish to vape as soon and often as possible.  

  • Cleaning — when you’re done with a joint, you’re free to go (or stay and just enjoy the high). A vape pen, on the other hand, will have to be cleaned after several sessions if you are to repeat the indulgence. In short, vaping is not for lazybones.
  • Grindingis vaping better than smoking weed? Hardly. To make a joint, you just put some weed on the paper. To start vaping, you have to grind it well, add a solution, or use a concentrate such as hash oil, which again should be dissolved in the exact ratio, and so on…Bored yet?
  • Battery — admittedly, you don’t need a lighter for your vape pen. Still, unless the battery is charged or you’re sitting next to a wall socket, you can’t do anything with it. In this case, the point in the vaping vs smoking weed battle goes to the former.
  • Chances of breaking down — can a joint be out of order? Of course not. A vape pen, however, can even blow right into your face.

For all these reasons, if you still opt for vaping, do your homework and find the best vaporizer for yourself. All of these vaping factors can vary quite a bit across different brands.

Privacy Concerns

If the previous section was in favor of smoking weed, then this one is clearly pro vaping. 

If you’re smoking cannabis, everybody around you will be able to acknowledge the fact. There are the recognizable looks, plus the treacherous cloud around you, giving out that distinctive smell. Basically, it’s like waving a red flag.

Vaping, however, gives you all the privacy you need. Everyone will just assume that you’re taking your daily dose of nicotine. 

Again, in this vaping weed vs smoking weed showdown, vaping takes the clear win. Vaping weed will not only let you hide the fact that you are high, but it will also be extremely convenient for those using medical cannabis. 

For example, if you have your prescription and wouldn’t like to be seen swallowing pills or dropping CBD oil under your tongue, then vaping is a sure way to take your cannabis dose regularly.

The only downside here why one could consider vaping worse than smoking is that the overall availability and discretion have made it easier for teenagers to get hold of it. 

While cannabis is extremely beneficial regarding a myriad of issues such as cancer, depression, anxiety, opioid addiction, ADHD, and even autism, it is not made for teenage brains as it can have a detrimental effect on the young organism.

Vaping vs Smoking High

Vaping is reported to give you a “cleaner” high, but what does that mean exactly?

The combustion method is what makes all the difference. The ability to regulate the temperature allows you to enjoy the terpenes and cannabinoids more while vaping marijuana

Some of them are destroyed by the fire in a joint, so you get less of the entourage effect that way. This is also the reason why there’s a difference in flavor. 

As more taste-pleasing terpenes are saved via vaping, you will get a richer taste by using the vaporizer. In a nutshell, you’ll feel more active if you’re using vape pens.

So, who is the winner in the vaping vs smoking high contest? Well, if you wish to get so stoned that it’s hard to get off the sofa, you will probably achieve it faster with a joint. 

As those previously mentioned harmful chemicals are released, they also make our bodies slightly weaker, so you will feel that THC kicking in more intensely. Plus, all cannabinoids are released simultaneously, as opposed to heating them gradually when vaping fine quality CBD oil.

Is Vaping Cheaper Than Smoking?

Opinions differ on the matter. First, buying rolling paper and some cannabis is all the investment you need for smoking. As opposed to this, there are all the financial vaping data to consider. Is vaping better than smoking in this respect? Probably not. 

For example, what kind of vaporizer would you prefer? Do you wish for a desktop vaporizer, which will set you back a few hundred dollars? Or perhaps your preferences lie with dry herb vaporizers? 

Maybe you want to try out a pen vaporizer instead? The prices for the best vape pen vary from $35 to $200. Also, those cartridges can be costly too.           

Yet, some argue that if you’re a heavy user, it will pay off more to vape than to smoke! These are two main arguments for considering vaping better than smoking:

  • The vapor contains up to 80% more cannabinoids than cannabis smoke. Therefore, you are getting more CBD, THC, and the rest for your buck.
  • The vapor goes directly to your mouth without any contact with the surrounding air. Thus, you should be using less cannabis to reach the same effect.

To sum up, if you’re a diligent pot user, vaping will save you more money. For occasional cannabis consumers, smoking is the more affordable option.

Skills Needed for Vaping & Smoking

Indeed, everybody around you is waving their E-cigarette or a vaporizer, but that’s only after they’ve practiced at home.

Learning how to smoke is much easier than learning how to vape. Even when you master the technique of inhaling and exhaling, there are plenty of overwhelming choices. 

When you smoke, you just pick a specific strain, and that’s it. As opposed to this, there are so many different cannabis cartridges with oils and various added ingredients. You’ll definitely be spoiled for choice.

The Side Effects of Vaping  

Regardless of the way you consume your weed, by smoking or by vaping, these are the most common adverse effects:

  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Mouth and throat irritation
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

Moreover, as we mentioned before, vaping has been recently linked to lung injury, causing symptoms such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Rapid onset of coughing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

What Happens When You Quit Smoking and Start Vaping

Switching from smoking to vaping causes the following changes in your body due to the fact you are not inhaling harmful smoking residues:

  • In the first 8 hours, the amount of oxygen in your blood will start returning to normal levels, given that the vapor doesn’t contain carbon monoxide.   
  • In the next 24 hours, your body will get rid of the residual carbon monoxide in your system. 
  • Within 48 hours, your sense of taste will improve.
  • Within 72 hours, your breathing will become more natural.
  • After 3–9 months, your wheezing and coughing will be reduced.

Vaping Facts vs Myths

Here are some of the most popular myths regarding vaping:

  • Myth: Vapes don’t contain traces of nicotine.

Fact: 99% of vape products contain nicotine, even the flavored ones.

  • Myth: Vaping is less harmful than smoking.

Fact: Since vaping products aren’t controlled by the FDA, you can’t always know what you’re inhaling. 

  • Myth: Vaping doesn’t cause side effects.

Fact: Vaping can cause similar adverse effects as smoking (coughing, headaches, dry mouth, throat irritation).

Final Verdict

Is there anything perfect in this world? No, afraid not. Are we all the same? No, we aren’t. Our habits and lifestyles differ as doest the ways we react to cannabis. Therefore, it’s difficult to say if there is a real winner in this debate. 

Perhaps we’re a tad more inclined to vaping for now, as long as the use is moderate.  


Is it better to vape or smoke weed?

The answer depends on what your final goal is. If you wish to achieve an ultimate, overwhelming high or preserve the environment, go for a joint. For a special flavor, choose to vape. 

To avoid the risk of getting cancer caused by chemicals triggered by combustion, steer clear of both of them.

In case you’ll be getting ready for a drug test any time soon, bear in mind that vaping will probably give you more THC content.  

What are the health benefits of vaping vs smoking weed?

When you are vaping, you will be exposed to a smaller amount of toxins (provided you have a high-quality vaporizer and cannabis material). Furthermore, your body will absorb a greater quantity of terpenes and cannabinoids with all their precious benefits.

Moreover, vaping is less dangerous to your lungs since most marijuana smokers hold the smoke in their lungs much longer, exposing their lungs to tar.

What does vaping do to your lungs?

According to one study, vaping can cause wheezing. People using vapers are two times more likely to suffer from wheezing (occurrence of abnormal or narrow airways). This may lead to lung cancer or sleep apnea.

In addition, inhaling the oily substances found in e-liquids can cause lipoid pneumonia and obliterative bronchiolitis (aka popcorn lungs), i.e., the inflammation of small airways in the lungs.

Can you get lung cancer from vaping?

There is a possibility for this to happen. Remember that vaping is a recent invention, and it takes more research to fully determine both the good and bad sides of it. At the moment, research suggests vaping exposes you to some toxic, cancer-related materials.

On top of that, teens who vape are more likely to switch to smoking traditional cigarettes, which increases the chances of developing lung cancer. 

Which is better for lungs, vaping or smoking?

The short answer is — neither. Both vaping and smoking can cause serious danger to your lungs. However, if we need to pick one side, vaping would take a slight lead. How so? 

First of all, people who smoke inhale roughly 7,000 chemicals, while vaping involves inhaling a much lower number of chemicals. Secondly, cigarettes have more contaminants than vaping liquids.

Is vaping worse than smoking weed?

On the contrary. Most cannabis users believe that vaping weed is, in fact, better than smoking a joint. Why? For starters, vaporizers can minimize the smell of cannabis, they are easy to use, and you waste less weed.

Moreover, you avoid second-hand smoke, vaporizers are accessible in more places, and (for some people) most importantly, you’ll get a cleaner hit. In other words, vaping will sometimes get you more high.

How many people have died from vaping?

Based on the latest available information, as of February 2020, 68 Americans have died due to vaping, while 2,807 individuals developed severe respiratory illnesses and were hospitalized. 

The deaths have been reported in 29 US states and the District of Columbia. The median age of the deceased was 49.5 years.

The highest percentage of hospitalized people belonged to the 18–24 age group (37%). 15% of the patients were under 18.

In contrast, in the vaping vs smoking showdown, cigarette smoking is estimated to have about 500,000 Americans in 2020.

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