Vaping vs Smoking Cannabis - Why Are The Effects So Different

Posted by London Kelley on Apr 24th 2023

Vaping vs Smoking Cannabis - Why Are The Effects So Different

Smoking versus vaping - most cannabis enthusiasts feel stronger about one than the other. Lighting up the herb the old-school way will never die and will probably always be the most popular route of cannabis consumption. However, vaping has revolutionized the way we enjoy cannabis products, and some research has found it to be safer than smoking. Let's review the differences.

Why Does the High Feel So Different?

The first thing most cannabis consumers notice is that vaping produces a different kind of high compared to smoking cannabis. Here are some of the technical reasons this could be.

For one, it takes a lot of plant material to produce the oils, resulting in higher concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes, so more THC is ingested in a hit of vapor compared to a puff of a joint. Researchers note this is why some people get higher from vaping cannabis than smoking raw flowers.

How the cannabis or hemp plant is extracted and processed can result in different effects. Premium cannabinoid concentrates such as live resin, cold pressed, or solventless extractions deliver the consumer a clean, high-quality product with a complete profile of cannabinoids and terpenes.

These types of extracts are the gold standard for cannabis vape products because they preserve the subtle terpenes capturing the flavor profile of the strain and delivering more of the active ingredients in the plant for a more powerful effect.

When vaping a concentrate, the extract is heated at a controlled temperature, so there is no combustion, unlike smoking dry herb. The experience is smooth on the lungs and does not produce carcinogenic byproducts that are linked to an increased risk for lung problems.

Also, combustion burns up the terpenes and diminishes the flavor, whereas vaping preserves all those terpenes lending to a much tastier experience and a cleaner concentrated dose of cannabinoids.

These are some of the main reasons smoking produces a different outcome, but there is more to consider, such as how the plant compounds respond to your endocannabinoid system and the entourage effect that takes place.

Some Common Shared Experiences

Many people share a common experience when vaporizing cannabis oils.

Frequent consumers who vape cannabis have stated that it feels more mellow at first, but the high can peak 10 minutes after the initial puff. Although vaping actually delivers a higher concentration of THC oil and other active plant molecules, the effects are often described as less dramatic.

Flip to the other side of the coin, and we hear cannabis connoisseurs say that smoking weed has more intense effects felt through the body within seconds and can be described as having a more sedative effect.

Research on Vaporizing Cannabis Oils

Researcher shows vaping is more potent than smoking dry herb; however, each method has an almost immediate effect on the body.

A study conducted at Johns Hopkins found that infrequent cannabis consumers who tried vaping experienced much stronger psychoactive effects. Anotherstudy surveyed the acute effects of smoked and vaporized cannabis in healthy adults who infrequently use cannabis, and vaping resulted in a more potent dose and effects.

Due to higher amounts of THC and a lower tolerance to cannabinoids for infrequent users, stronger effects were recorded in both studies.

It's always best to start low and slow and wait a few hours to see how you respond to any new cannabinoid product. Having too much can lead to adverse physical and mental reactions.

Since we all have different tolerance levels and unique endocannabinoid systems, it is worth experimenting with doses and different strains to find that happy medium.

There are practical reasons vaping may be more suitable for your lifestyle if you want to take care of your lung health or enjoy cannabis in a discreet way.

Are Vaping Cannabis Concentrates Considered Healthier than Smoking?

You can’t put a blanket statement over vaping, stating it is healthier for you, because there are many variables at play and a vast difference in the quality and types of products on the market.

Vaping has been proven to be a better alternative to smoking weed because it reduces most of the carcinogenic byproducts produced by combustion. However, more research is needed on the subject, and a lot of studies out there reference vaping nicotine and smoking cigarettes, but there are not a lot of credible studies focused on cannabis products.

With limited data available, we don't fully understand the long-term health effects of vaping cannabinoids.

Many vaping studies out there are flawed because they generalize vape products, often putting them into the same container as other vape products that contain fillers and additives, which increases the risk of lung injury. However, a true clean, pure plant extract is totally different and is less risky because you are not ingesting all the chemical additives.

What you need to know is that there is a big difference in product quality and safety. There are lots of low-quality vape products out there containing chemical ingredients and cheap fillers, and these cannot be justifiably compared to a clean green true plant extract, like our live resin rare cannabinoid vape blends.

Much of the research out there lacks clarity on the product quality, ingredients and the likelihood of adverse reactions like respiratory symptoms resulting from the byproducts of certain additives.

Transparency and Quality

The Standard BlackMarket Rare Cannabinoid Blends

The Standard by BlackMarket Rare Cannabinoid Blend Disposables

Purchasing products from a reputable brand that is transparent about their extraction process and has thorough lab tests to back up the quality of the final product is very important.

This is one of the biggest factors that inspired The Standard BM to get involved in cannabinoid and THC vape products because we love to enjoy a good high, but finding high-quality delta-8 extracts and quality cannabinoid blends was almost non-existent.

The market is still dominated by low-quality, cheap cannabinoid vaping products that lack transparency. Some do not even test out to contain the cannabinoids and levels of THC stated on the label. You also have to watch out for cheap thinning agents and fillers, which degrade the plant's natural, desirable effects and purity of the formula.

Our diligence led to countless hours of highly detailed scientific work with extraction experts to formulate a pure live resin delta-8 extract derived from hemp to achieve those strain-specific desirable effects.

The result: quality, purity, and consistency.

Other brands won’t invest the time and resources needed to provide these blends for you. We don't cut corners, and we won't compromise quality.

Dangers of Untested and Unregulated Vape Products

We advise you to always do your research when shopping for cannabinoid vape products rather than buying on impulse.

The vaping industry has been under attack recently for many reasons, like adult tobacco products being marketed toward kids and illicit and  tainted THC cartridges circulating through the market, sparking outrage amongst consumers.

People were getting sick from unregulated products containing vitamin E acetate, pesticides, and other toxins that have severe health risks causing lung damage and pose a greater risk of developing respiratory diseases.

The good news is that more regulations and quality control checks are now in place, mitigating some of these issues in the vaping industry. However, we still see many cannabis vape products out there cutting corners to save a dollar by using lower-quality biomass and solvents in the extraction process, adding thinning agents, and providing insufficient lab test results with missing data.

Educating consumers on the risks and doing a little research on product quality is always worth it. Instead of saving a few dollars, look for quality first to ensure you are not compromising your health.

Vaping Cannabis vs. Smoking

Smoking cannabis has ritualistic aspects with meaningful social appeal, and preparing the weed is part of the fun that most tokers love. However, vaping cannabis also appeals to certain settings due to the discreet experience, low odor, clean taste, and potent dose of cannabinoids.


  • No Combustion - Less harsh on the lungs and results in a more pronounced flavor, capturing the taste of subtle terpenes.
  • Concentrated Amount of Cannabinoids - A little goes a long way. Cannabis concentrates contain higher levels of cannabinoids like THC that may result in a stronger fast-acting effect.
  • Flavor - Vaping a quality extract maintains the integrity of the plant so you can enjoy the true flavors of the strain through its terpene profile.
  • Temperature control - Heating the oil or resin is a cleaner way to consume cannabis or hemp extracts and results in a smooth hit without the carcinogens and byproducts that come when you burn weed.
  • Discreet - Hassle-free way to ingest cannabinoids with a low odor that dissipates quickly.
  • Potency - Vaporized cannabis oil can produce strong effects because it has all the plants active parts concentrated into a small amount of oil.


  • Less Potent - Smoking dried hemp and marijuana flower have a relatively less concentrated cannabinoid profile resulting in a lower amount of THC per puff.
  • Different Effect - Smoking weed has a distinct high sensation that is felt immediately. It can have sedative and euphoric effects that peak and then linger for hours.
  • Inefficient - If you want to enjoy some cannabinoid therapy when you are out socializing, smoking requires you to prepare the flower to roll or carry a pipe.
  • Stronger Odor - Smoking weed is not discreet and produces strong odors that can be smelled from far away. Obviously, this ingestion is not ideal in some settings.
  • All Natural - Many tokers love the organic way of smoking raw flower that has not been processed or enhanced. Smoking is still the way most people enjoy their cannabis use.
  • Combustion Effects - When any plant matter is combusted, it produces tar, carcinogens, and other by-products. However, studies show cannabis is much less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Final Thoughts on Vaping vs. Smoking Cannabis

To sum it up, vaping or smoking the herb may come down to the setting you are in, your lifestyle preference, and your priority.

Remember that with any consumption method, starting low and going slow is important to find what dosage works best for you.

Our final word of advice is to avoid purchasing illicit vape products and vapes from brands that are not transparent about lab results, ingredients, and extraction methods.

Purchasing products from reputable sources is imperative to decrease the risk of vaping harmful additives.

If you are searching for a premium cannabinoid vape product, The Standard BlackMarket specializes in the only true-to-strain delta-8 cannabinoid vape blends. We are the gold standard for purity, with no dilutes or fillers added.

Written by London Kelley