Vaping vs Smoking Cannabis Flower – Which is Stronger?

Cannabis users have had it made in recent years. 

From pre-rolled joints and dry herb vape pens to edibles and elaborate water pipes – if you’re into marijuana, the world is your smorgasbord!

That said, so much choice often leads to analysis paralysis.

Three of the biggest question experienced and newb users often ask are:

·What will produce a stronger effect — vaping marijuana or smoking it?
·Does vaped cannabis act faster than smoked cannabis — or vice versa?
·Should I expect different effects or physical reaction times with these methods?

These are all great questions… and I’d love to answer them for your right now.

In the end, it all boils down to you — your constitution, your experience, whether are not you’re using this holy plant matter for recreational purposes or if you’re medical cannabis patient, how often you smoke or vape cannabis, are you into high doses or low doses… and those are just a few examples of things that go into it!

So, no — I can’t give you a definitive answer on what’s the best option here. 

What I can – and will – do is tell you what others are saying online so you can evaluate their cases and see if you might be more comfortable with vaping cannabis or you’ll still give your cannabis buds the light ’em up treatment.

Let’s dive in.

Will You Get More High From Vaping Weed or Smoking It?
So let’s get into what makes for a stronger high — vaping or smoking cannabis.

In 2018, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conducted a small study of infrequent cannabis users. Basically, this recent study took 17 volunteer participants who have not used marijuana in the last 30 days and gave them a choice – smoke or vape. The dosage of THC – the active component they were measuring – was pretty tame — 25-milligram THC dosage and 10 mg of THC. [Some CBD and CBG were thrown into the mix here.]

And even at these tame doses of the psychoactive ingredient [because these THC levels are pretty minimal] these healthy adults reported hallucinating and vomiting, as well as memory loss and other adverse effects.

Yikes — all that from 25mg of THC?

But, get this… those who vaped cannabis reported worse overall drug effects. They reported that vaping weed affected them stronger than smoking weed.

So what did the research team do?

Well, they went ahead and concluded that vaping delivers a more potent & longer-lasting high than smoking cannabis with a prolonged peak high time.

So – vaping makes you higher?

I’m not so sure about that….

To me, that sounds like jumping to conclusions when all you have is a statistically small sample of young adults who almost never use either marijuana or THC oil.

Of course, people are going to get higher on vapes than on doobies. Of course, vaped weed hits them stronger. Especially people who are not accustomed to smoke of any kind. A vape device makes it easier to inhale [ smaller surface area of vaporization, best temperature, smoother hits] and overdo it… hence the increase in reporting the negative effects. On the other hand, weed smoke is harsher — people inhaled less and didn’t get as stoned. 

But… dig a little deeper, and you’ll find a lot of tokers who swear by their pre-rolled doobies. While vaping is still a popular alternative, the assumption is that most use it for health effects. We don’t have any recent research — or nearly enough research, to be honest — into this, but from what I can tell from being a consumer, I have higher blood THC concentrations when smoking than I do when vaping.

Mostly though, we’re not talking about very significant differences here. 

These two different ways of consuming weed result in subtle nuances, not radically different experiences. So as a cannabis consumer, know that this will not play a huge part in your high. What will play a huge part is how much cannabis you vape/smoke, what type of strain you use and what are the active ingredients in there, and what’s your overall THC tolerance.

Which Hits Faster – Vaping or Smoking?
Now, when it comes to how fast these two delivery methods hit… I’d say it’s about an even split here, with vaping lagging behind a bit.

There are a few reasons why smoking has a pretty immediate effect, but the biggest one is temperature. As this one Reddit users notes, vapes are slower at going through your bud:

Devices that heat cannabis work with a lower temperature and without combustion, so it takes a while — even at higher doses — for the THC and cannabis concentrate to cook and get into your system.

Marijuana smoke, on the other hand, is produced at higher specific temperatures. And although the bioavailability with smoking cannabis is lower, the doses of THC that you do get come on quite rapidly.

So that means that — if you smoke your weed — you’re going to get higher faster than if you vape it.

Are the Highs Different?
The euphoric psychological effects linked to cannabis use have been extensively studied and recorded.

Smoking, followed by edibles and then vaping, is connected with the greatest beneficial psychological benefits, according to studies on the positive and adverse reactions of cannabis use. 

Still, we mostly rely on anecdotal evidence when talking about the type of high here.

Most users say that cannabis vaping produces a more aggressive, more primal high. Since the product burns, it’s mixed with other chemical compounds that may add to that. So the euphoria is more euphoric… the couch-lock is more couch-locky and so on. But, this also comes with a scoop of negative health effects because cannabis smoke isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, so keep that in mind.

Dry herb vaporizers are generally credited with a more subtle high. Everything is a bit more subdued, even if you are ingesting higher concentrations of THC. Of course, this is all highly debatable — it depends on you and the only way to know what works best for you is to test the effects yourself. Still, most users report a less powerful effect with vaporizers, in addition to being able to function more than when smoking weed. 

A lesser-powerful, monophonic effect with fewer users reporting it also misses some of the complexity you get with complete combustion (again, likely a function of vaporization temperature).

So Why Should You Be Vaping Weed?
Smoking vs. vaping weed seems to be pretty equal, at least on the intensity and the duration of the high fronts.

So why should you consider vaping? Especially if vaporizers cost an arm and a leg?

But, on a closer look, vaping does beat smoking by a mile.

For one, the flavor is considerably clearer, and there is greater flavour differentiation between the various strains. When flavor chasers start vaping, it will be difficult for them to go back to burnt flavor.

Also, on the health side of things, vaping weed is a safer alternative. You’re not ingesting smoke. You worry less about harmful effects such as chest pain and cancer risk. And you get to function during the day.

What can beat that?