In most states, cannabis flower is the highest-selling form of cannabis.
However, as consumers become more health and terpene conscious, they may opt for non-combustible methods like vaporizing cannabis flower and oil. But does that mean it’s a better method of consumption?
What to know about vaping cannabis flower
Let’s talk about smoking versus vaping cannabis flower, and which method may be best for you.
People may prefer vaping to smoking cannabis flower for multiple reasons.
For one, vaporizing cannabis doesn’t burn the bud, so you aren’t inhaling smoke, which is bad for the lungs and body.
For two, when you burn the buds, you sacrifice a certain amount of terpenes in the flower. Butane flames in disposable lights can be as hot as 4,000 degrees. Most terpenes hit a boiling point between 300 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you preserve the terpenes, you preserve your experience and the entourage effect.
The entourage effect basically suggests that weed works best when you maintain the product’s full chemical profile, versus isolating compounds.
Putting flames to your weed might somewhat contaminate the flower with butane. Butane will alter the plant’s flavor profile (picture solvent-based vs. solventless concentrates). This is why people light joints and bowls with hemp wicks.
Vape pods vs cartridges vs pens
Vape pens are an overarching term for cannabis oil vape cartridges and pods in general. Vape pens are always oil pens, never flower pens.
They are called pens because of the pen-like shape of vape batteries that connect to universal 510-thread cartridges.
510-thread cartridges are the industry standard for vape cartridges. They are cylinder-shaped and screw into any universal 510-thread vape pen battery.
You can buy any generic 510-thread battery for cheap, or you can invest in a high quality one with different temperature options.
There are also cylinder-shaped disposable pens that you throw away as soon as the oil inside is gone. They differ from 510-thread batteries because with 510s, you can replace an empty cartridge with a fresh one. Disposables are one-and-done. The same goes for disposable vape pods.
Vape pods are pre-filled pods that only work with a brand’s specific, proprietary battery system. STIIIZY’s proprietary battery and pod system is a great example. STIIIZY’s vape pods are only compatible with STIIIZY batteries.
The differences between vape cartridges and pod systems comes down to cartridge-battery compatibility and airflow technology.
The advantage to 510-thread cartridges is that you can use them with a bunch of different batteries, so if you lose one, you can use any of your back-ups.
However, while 510 carts tend to be the most budget-friendly option, you’re subject to a lot more variability in quality from different manufacturers.
Pod systems are seen as a better option to 510 cartridges due to their battery attachment styles that best prevent leaks, and their airflow technology.
Most vape pods are magnetic and snap right into place with their battery and can be held, laid, and carried in whatever position. Some 510-thread batteries will leak if you lay them on the side.
Pod systems feature advanced airflow technology that vaporizes (never burns) your oil, and also allows you to get every last drop out of the pod. There is also a little bit more quality control with pod systems, because the companies that make them tend to be pretty selective with the cannabis brands they work with.
Vape pods and cartridges can be filled with various types of cannabis oils. These days, most of them are either made with distillate and added terpenes or live resin. As technology and the industry advance, rosin carts and pods are becoming increasingly popular.
Vape pods and cartridges can be filled with pretty much any type of cannabis oil.
Vaping dry cannabis flower
Vaporizers for cannabis flower are called dry herb vapes. Dry herb vapes are a great way to experience all of a strain’s compounds.
Vaporizers heat your plants versus burning them and allow you to take big pulls of flavorful terpenes.
The biggest advantage of dry herb vapes is their temperature control. You can adjust the temperature to each different cannabis strain you consume.
The disadvantages of dry herb vapes are their battery life, and how loud they smell once you’re done consuming them. You really need a carrying case for them if you’re going to be discreet.
Vape pods that go with specific types of batteries.
Is it better to vape dry cannabis flower or oil?
There are many advantages to vaping both dry cannabis flower and cannabis oil. The best way to figure out what’s right for you is to experiment, but here are some things to consider.
The best way to figure out what’s right for you is to experiment, but here are some things to consider.
The advantage of vaping dry cannabis flower
The main advantage of vaporizing cannabis flower is that you can get those tasty terpenes in your body without inhaling smoke along with any potentially harmful byproducts.
This is why the Volcano vaporizer was so popular in the early medical days of cannabis. It fills a big bag with terpene-full vapor and provides the safest consumption method.
The advantage of vaping cannabis oil
The pros of vaping cannabis oil are the same safety measures as a dry herb vaporizer, but with the added fact that you don’t have to use plant matter.
It makes the experience solely about the terpenes and cannabinoids, versus the flower matter plus these compounds.
Vape pens are also incredibly easy to use and convenient to carry around. You can even get away with vaping indoors where you would never be allowed to smoke.
The best way of smoking cannabis flower
As with everything else in the cannabis world, when it comes to determining the best way of smoking cannabis flower, it all comes down to consumer preference.
Smoking pre-rolls or joints and hitting pipes are the most traditional methods.
How high you get from these methods depends on your tolerance levels to cannabis.
If you only smoke on occasion, a joint will get you a lot higher than it will someone who smokes every day.
Instead of thinking about how high, focus on the cleanliness and smoothness of hits. Pipes and bongs tend to produce pretty smooth smoke if you’re using high-quality flower that wasn’t grown in a way that produces harsh smoke.
Joints provide a harsher experience because they’re also burning paper. There is also less heat mitigation like you get with water pipes, bubblers, and bongs, which have percolators and systems that filter smoke over water (or ice, if you’re an ice bong person).
From that, you get a much cooler hit of smoke out of water pipes and bongs, versus the hits you’ll get from a joint or blunt.
That is the difference between smoking flower with pipes and bongs versus pre-rolls. Additionally, pre-rolls get old from sitting on dispensary shelves at whatever random temperature for whatever random period of time.
From that, you get degraded cannabis flower and terpenes, which will make a much harsher smoking experience.
What's your favorite way of smoking cannabis flower?
The best cannabis experience: vaping weed vs smoking weed
Another entirely subjective discussion with considerable debate. Some prefer vaporizing dry herb because it doesn’t burn your flower. Instead, it just heats up those trichomes with the potent cannabinoids and flavorful terpenes cherised by cannabis users.
In fact, you may hear people saying that vaporizing both cannabis flower and cannabis oil are the safest methods of consumption because you're not inhaling unwanted plant matter and smoke. Instead, you're just taking in vapor from boiling cannabinoids and terpenes. This promotes a high-quality experience for the more health-conscious.
Still, smoking cannabis flower joints remain popular because you get BLAZED from smoking joints. It’s a bit harder to get ripped from dry herb vapor than it is from rolling up a fatty.
Joints allow you to consume a much higher volume of cannabis at once than vaporizers like the Volcano or Crafty do.
Regardless of whether you choose to vaporize or smoke your cannabis flower, just make sure that you’re purchasing it from companies that are known for their superior quality.