Smoking vs Vaping Dry Herbs - Why vaporizing is better
Don’t smoke those dry herbs - save money and vaporize them! Your lungs and wallet will thank you the very next day. Pick up a dry herb vaporizer and enjoy herbal flavors and scents you didn’t know were buried under all that smoke. But that’s not all. Vaporizers are discreet, easy to use, and can give you different effects from the same herbs by using different temperatures. Not convinced? Let’s dig into the details.
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Vaping is the healthier alternative
There are many reasons to vaporize dry herbs instead of smoking them, but none more important than the health benefits. Most studies that compare vaporizing to smoking focus on the health risks of smoking cigarettes and tobacco instead of dry herbs. Those studies are pretty clear - the possibility for lung diseases like bronchitis, and other damage is greatly reduced by vaporizing instead of smoking. But it’s also clear that tobacco smoke and cigarette smoking is much worse for us than smoking dry herbs, so we can’t draw the exact same conclusions about vaporizing dry herbs.
There haven’t been many studies completed that compare smoking dry herbs to vaporizing them, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that vapor is considerably less damaging to our lungs. Vapor is a light mist that’s easier to take down. While heavy smoking addictions can be riddled with harmful toxins and byproducts (like carcinogens), and side effects and respiratory symptoms like coughs, hacks, and nasty phlegm, vaporists usually cough up just a little clear stuff. That alone says a lot.
Way back when I made the switch, it took two weeks for my lungs to clean up. I normally coughed a lot each morning from the smoke the night before. When I started to vaporize, the coughing continued but got cleaner each day until it leveled off and was barely bothersome. I went the extra step, because I vaporized daily, and added a water pipe to the mix to cool and clean the vapor. I have vaporized through water for nearly a decade now, and my lungs feel great.
I also discovered that I wasn’t lethargic the next day after I vaporized dry herbs, whereas I could be groggy the next morning if I smoked. In general, I felt more energetic with vapor, but drained with smoke. Vaporizers have started to take center stage with athletes who use dry herbs as part of their training regimens. It doesn’t make sense to train and fine tune your body while hurting it with smoke, and a vaporizer can sidestep the bad stuff.
Vaping saves money
When you smoke dry herbs, your money goes up in smoke, too. Fire destroys, and when it comes to smoking, it can eat up your dry herbs before they reach your lungs. In contrast, vaporizing liberates the compounds we want, without waste. And it adds up quickly! I cut my herb bill in half the very first month I switched to vaporizing.
Use the calculator below to figure out how much money you could save in just one year by vaporizing instead of smoking your dry herbs. This is an estimate, and will vary depending on your vaporizer and preferences. Remember, I saved even more!
Total spent smoking for a year:
Total spent vaporizing for a year:
Vapor is stronger than smoke
Vapor is more potent than smoke for the same reasons. Because we don’t destroy the goodies when we vaporize, each puff is more potent. That’s one of the reasons vaporizers have smaller bowls than pipes and bubblers - you don’t need to use as much. Storz & Bickel, makers of the legendary Volcano, performed studies years ago that followed the compounds all the way into the blood stream. It’s pretty interesting, and clearly shows how much more effective vaporizing can be than smoking.
Vaporizing is convenient and discreet
There’s nothing much easier than using a loaded dry herb vape. Just pull it from your pocket, click a button, give the heating element a moment to heat up and hit it from the mouthpiece. If you use lower temperatures, you can even quit mid-session and finish it off later. What’s left behind is biodegradable and can be thrown away anywhere.
Vapor is harder to see and smell, and usually isn’t detectable except on the breath. Bring some Mentos and the secret is yours alone. I like to push the limits, and I’m amazed at some of the times I’ve gone undetected with a vaporizer, when a little fire and smoke would have sounded alarms.
Vaping tastes and smells better
One of my favorite quotes to describe vaporizing is from researcher Arno Hazekamp, “Vaporizing is like smoking without the smoke.” Imagine your smoke, but without the smokey taste, smell, and visible cloud. All we’re left with is a mist that smells and tastes like the herbs smell.
Wouldn’t you like to taste the unique flavors of your lovingly curated herbs? You can with a vaporizer! Smoke tastes like smoke, and heavily masks your herb’s subtle nuances. But vaporizers release the natural flavors without any ashy taste. Get ready for a blast of floral, fruity, minty and earthy terpenes, just to name a few!
The same holds true for the smell of vapor. Smoke has a distinctive smell that spreads, lingers and clings to spaces and clothes. Vapor smells like your herbs, instead of that distinctive, easily recognizable smell that turns heads when you smoke. And the vapor smell is not as heavy or pervasive as smoke. It usually goes away on its own within thirty minutes in a closed room, and in a moment with an open window.
Dial in specific effects with vaping
Did you know you can have two separate sessions that feel completely different, from the same bowl? That usually blows people’s minds, so give this a try. Pack a bowl in your favorite variable temperature control vaporizer, like the POTV ONE, and have a session at 360F or lower. The vapor will be light, and the effects can be energetic - perfect for daytime. Fire up that same bowl in the evening set to 410F or higher (I go to the highest temperature setting), and get ready to relax - my favorite nightcap!
Vaporizers are an investment
A reliable, good quality vaporizer can initially set you back anywhere from $70 to $700. The sticker price can shock some, but remember this is an investment that will pay off immediately. Your herbal bill will drop from the first puff, and your long-term health is priceless.
A good glass pipe or bubbler can cost much more than a vaporizer. The only time smoking is hands-down less expensive than vaporizing is when smoking “roll your own”. But even that savings is questionable when you calculate how much is wasted from smoking.
Tips to switch from smoking to vaping
A lot of smokers ask us for help when they struggle to give up smoking for vaporizing. It can be hard, but won’t take long if you apply a little discipline for two weeks. If you weren’t able to switch cold turkey and still crave a good smoke, or find yourself doing both because you want to vape but love the effects of smoking, follow these tips.
- Commit to a two-week break from smoke. It usually doesn’t take longer than that to fully make the switch if you only vaporize. But if you vape and then smoke because it didn’t fulfill, you’ll sabotage your efforts.
- Take a break from all dry herbs for two weeks before you try to switch. It’s much easier after a break.
- If you’re a heavy smoker, you may need a vaporizer with a bigger bowl. A lot of vapes hold between 0.1 and 0.2 grams of herbs, which isn’t much. Try something with a bigger bowl like a Volcano Hybrid, Mighty+, Boundless CFX, or a PAX 3.
- Some of the effects associated with smoking are best felt vaporizing at the higher temperatures (just under 450F). If you aren’t satisfied, turn it up for a potent vaping experience.
How to pick a vape
Our goal at Planet of the Vapes is to provide you with everything you need to pick the best vape for you the first time, and a second chance if you miss. We test every vape device we can find to curate a catalog worthy of your confidence. Our blog is full of reviews and guides for all the vaporizers we carry. And we give you 14 days to try it out risk free with our satisfaction guarantee.
Before you search our reviews and catalog, take a minute to think about how you will use this vaporizer.
- Will you use it alone, or with others?
- Will you use a lot of herbs per session, or little?
- How often will you use this vape?
- Do you prefer dry herbs or concentrates?
- Where do you like to vape?
- What’s the most you want to spend?
Think through these questions first and it will be easier to sort through the advice and options while you research.
If the thought of more research than this blog post took makes you cringe, try one of these popular vaping products and get on with your life:
- DynaVap M - Fire powered. Goes anywhere, with a learning curve.
- POTV ONE - Portable, affordable, versatile. Use with glass bubblers!
- Mighty+ - The Mercedes of portable vaporizers.
- Arizer XQ2 - The best value in a desktop vaporizer with pure, convection heat.
- Volcano Hybrid - I would argue this is the most potent vape we sell.
Benefits of Vaping vs Smoking: Pros and Cons
- Saves money
- Tastes great
- Multiple effects
- Initial cost
- Some can struggle to switch
- Most vapes and vape pens have to be charged
- No initial investment required
- Simple and easy
- Lung damage
- Abnormalities (ex. abnormal heart rate)
Smoking vs Vaping FAQs
What’s stronger, vapor or smoke?
Vapor is stronger than smoke, because smoking destroys compounds, while vaporizing liberates them. Smoke might kick in a little quicker, but five minutes is all it takes for the effects of vaping to catch up. A vaporist will run through fewer hebs than a smoker, but still get to the same place.
Is it better to vape or smoke dry herb?
There are many reasons to vaporize plant material (like cbd) instead of smoke them, including better long term health effects, lower cost, easier use, more discretion, better taste and smell, and a variety of effects.
What happens when you give up smoking and start vaping?
The most obvious effects are the next day. Smokers can wake up the next day groggy with a nasty cough. Vaporists wake up energetic with very little phlegm to cough up.