vaporizing marijuana vs smoking cloud organicnewsroom

Recreational marijuana has come to America, even if some laggard State Legislators are dragging their feet. Legalization will open up many new avenues of study, as well as experience, for all things marijuana related. Recently, researchers have shown that those choosing to vaporize their marijuana rather than smoke it are likely getting stronger highs.

The Research

When it comes to enjoying marijuana there are many ways to partake. You can smoke it, vape it, eat it, and probably even have the opportunity for commercially-available marijuana-laden beverages in the near future. One age-old question is how one can get the most “bang” for their buck, so-to-speak. In other words, how can one get as high as possible off the marijuana they have on hand?

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University set out to understand the difference that vaping marijuana, as opposed to smoking via conventional means, might have on the strength of the overall high. Turns out, it makes a huge difference! They found that vaporization increased increase in impairment as well as the severity of any reported adverse reactions (R). That might sound bad, but that’s to be expected if one is getting higher than expected, right?

Vaping vs. Smoking

One of the strongest arguments in favor of vaporization is purported lower damage to the lungs. This claim has been the cornerstone of many marketing campaigns over the years. There still isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to make a call one way or another, but initial research tends to back this up (R).  It’s certainly a perspective that makes sense; less carcinogenic inhalation leading to a less-damaging effect on one’s lungs.

Vaporizers have become increasingly popular in recent years with rise of e-cig popularity. What was once a very niche industry has blossomed into a nearly $30 billion per year industry. Whereas consumers were once only afforded whatever options their local headshops had, companies such as slickvapes now provide high-end vaporizers that can even connect to smart devices. Oh how far we have come.

So What’s Better? Vaping or Smoking?

There are not likely many marijuana enthusiasts out there that will be surprised about this research. Vaping has long-since been regarded, albeit a word-of-mouth consensus, to offer cleaner and more potent highs. Vaping has been the next step in smoking evolution after the water bong in many ways. It concentrates the delivery of THC and removes many of the harmful compounds associated with burning something. So what’s not to love, right?

If marijuana is a new experience for you, or you’re used to smoking relatively small amounts, vaping might take you off guard. The overall experience will set on faster, stronger, and may take you by surprise. The same can be said for edibles also, which tend to give even the most seasoned marijuana smokers more than they bargained for sometimes. There’s no way to know how your vaping will compare to smoking for you until you try. Just don’t jump in head first and expect everything to go smoothly.

Advice for Beginners

As with anything that could have an impact on your health, you should ease into vaping. This recent research helps describe one of the biggest reasons for such caution: vaping will get you higher than you’re used to. Reported side effects of marijuana are minimal compared to other narcotics like alcohol, cocaine, or opiods. Still, being too high can become unpleasant fast. Here are some tips to get started vaping:

  1. Familiarize yourself with vaporizers
  2. Carefully record how much marijuana you normally smoke (i.e. .25 grams)
  3. Decrease dosage by roughly 4x for initial vaporizer use
  4. Gauge the difference for yourself, plan accordingly

Final Thoughts

Vaporizing has been long-held as a way to get more potent and healthier highs compared to smoking. This recent research helps confirm what everyone pretty much knew already but still, it’s nice to have it on paper somewhere? As marijuana legislation continues to evolve expect many new insights from researchers across the world. Also, continue to expect exciting new consumers goods amidst the skyrocketing marijuana and vaping markets.


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