Vaporizing Vs Smoking | Growers Choice Seeds

Vaporizing Vs Smoking

Vaping cannabis is a relatively new way to enjoy marijuana. While smoking cannabis has been practiced for centuries, vaping has gained significant popularity in recent years. Below, we provide a glimpse into the history of these two popular methods, explore the key differences between the two, and provide recommendations for home growers interested in creating their very own smokeable buds or vape juice. 

Common Methods for Cannabis Consumption. 

Smoking dried buds is one of the most traditional and popular ways to enjoy cannabis. However, it is far from the only way. More than ever before, there are numerous forms of cannabis products and devices for enjoying your favorite strains. 

As a general rule, inhalation and ingestion are two of the most common forms of cannabis intake. The former can be achieved by smoking or vaping, while the latter involves consuming edible items containing cannabis oil or concentrated extracts. These typically include brownies, cookies, gummies, beverages, and more. Other routes include topical absorption through items such as balms and creams, and oral cannabis administration via sublingual products such as tinctures.

Yet even with the many innovations and rapid expansion of products, smoking and vaping remain two of the most popular methods. This may be because they are more readily available, but also, because they tend to be more efficient. Items such as edibles have delayed effects—but doses of cannabis via smoking and vaping produce these same effects much more quickly. 

cannabis smoke
A guide to vaping and dabbing
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Smoking vs Vaping Cannabis: What’s the Difference?

Individuals have been smoking cannabis for approximately 2,500 years. Vaping methods are much newer and have become a popular alternative to smoking as they are associated with (potentially) fewer health risks. The earliest cannabis delivery systems for vaping date back to the beginning of the 21st century, but have become significantly more commonplace in the past decade. Just as many have switched from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarette use, many habitual cannabis smokers have transitioned to vaping. 

The largest difference between smoking and vaping is that the former involves combustion while the latter does not. When flowers are heated to the point of combustion, they release cannabis smoke. Vaping, by contrast, involves much lower temperatures. As a result, no smoke occurs. Smoking also differs from vaping in that is a no-tech way to consume cannabis. 

Vaporizing Cannabis: How it Works

Vaping involves heating concentrates—or the dry herb itself—to a temperature that allows the cannabinoids and terpenes to turn into vapor—which the user then inhales. Additionally, many vaping devices provide the user with control over temperature (and therefore potency) through adjustable settings.

Vaping is also considered to be a more potent method of delivery. It tends to produce more intense effects amongst cannabis consumers, and as it involves a lower temperature, uses reduced amounts of the active compounds. Vaping is also reported to evoke more subtle nuances in flavor, which may be because the terpenes and cannabinoids are not burned off as with conventional smoking. As such, the effects of cannabinoids are preserved and used more efficiently thanks to the lower temperature. Anecdotal reports also claim similar subjective effects as to smoking—but without the stronger odor of smoke. All this said, every cannabis user will have unique tastes and preferences and favor different ways of receiving the effects of marijuana. Even with the many innovations in vaping, smoking remains a highly popular method. 

Perceptions of Vaping

Currently, vaping is widely perceived as a healthier alternative to smoking marijuana. However, this belief is largely based on anecdotal reports; the scientific community is still exploring this topic. The long-term health effects of inhaling smoke are established—yet because vaping is a relatively new way to consume cannabis, research is still emerging. 

Regardless, just as electronic cigarettes have spiked in popularity, so too have cannabis vape pens. Some studies state that vaping devices do produce fewer adverse effects—such as reduced amounts of carbon monoxide, chronic respiratory symptoms, and toxins while producing similar blood THC concentrations. As such, they may be a better choice for those concerned about the harmful effects associated with smoking cannabis. 

All in all, no definitive conclusion has been reached within the scientific community about whether vaping cannabinoid delivery systems reduce lung damage or respiratory disease. As research continues to emerge, more light will be shed on vaping vs. smoking and their respective long-term effects.

Vaping Products

Vaping devices are available to meet a variety of preferences—from regular users to infrequent users and everyone in between. Each has its own set of pros and cons. Below, we take a look at some of the most popular types of products.

Tabletop Vaporizers

Tabletop or desktop vaporizers can be a good choice for those who would like to maximize the effects of vaping—so long as they don’t mind the lack of portability. While other vaping devices are powered by a battery, desktop vaporizers tend to produce stronger effects as they are plugged directly into an outlet. However, heavy users who prefer a lighter, more convenient device may want to research options for portable vaporizers. 

Portable Vaporizers

Portable vaporizers are smaller and more nimble than desktop vaporizers. Typically, they include a heating element, a chamber to hold your cannabis buds, and a battery. These devices usually come with temperature settings as well and can reproduce the effects of smoking cannabis without—well—the smoke. 

Vape Pens 

This type of vaporizer can be used with cannabis distillates and oils. They are by far the most convenient and lightweight option for vaping cannabis. Typically, they’re quite small and contain a battery and cartridge. The cartridges contain cannabis concentrates and vape juices. Just as nicotine vape juice is replaced, cannabis vape juice can be too.  Some types of vape pens also have refillable cartridges. These devices are a particularly good choice for home growers looking to create their own vape juice.

Purple cannabis plant
Browse the Growers Choice selection of high-THC seeds
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Smoking Cannabis for Home Growers

Cultivating your own cannabis plants is a fulfilling and highly cost-effective way to produce your own smokeable buds. This practice involves harvesting healthy, mature plants, and then drying and curing them. If you’d like to try this for yourself, this helpful guide from Growers Choice provides a step-by-step breakdown of how to navigate the process. 

Vaping for Home Growers

 As a home gardener, you have full control over the quality of your growing experience—from the health of the seeds to the cultivation process,  to how you actually consume your cannabis.

Having access to a wide range of cannabis seed brands via a good seed bank allows you to truly customize and fine-tune your process. In short, good-quality cannabis will result in good-quality, homemade products. As a general rule of thumb, check that your seed bank has features such as a germination guarantee, an in-depth cannabinoid profile for every product, speedy shipping, and plenty of other educational information. 

If you’re a vaporizer user already, but would prefer a more cost-effective way of producing your own vape juice, the good news is that it’s entirely possible! There are several different ways to go about this. Below, we’ve highlighted one of the more popular and easy methods. 

Rosin Extraction

This is a particularly quick method. All you’ll require is some resinous cannabis buds, a hair straightener, some parchment paper, a small glass vial, a clean syringe, natural flavoring or terpenes, a lighter, and a toothpick. 

Step one: Take a few of your resinous buds and press them between your parchment paper. 

Step two: Set your hair straightener at a low setting (approximately 250 degrees F — and no hotter than 300 degrees F.)

Step three: Clamp down on your wrapped cannabis buds with the hair straightener. As you apply pressure, the resin will be released from the flowers. Repeat this process with new parchment and buds until you have approximately half a gram of rosin. (Enough to fill a standard vape container.) 

Step four: Place your rosin in the refrigerator and allow it to cool for approximately twenty minutes. 

Step five: Use your toothpick to scrape the rosin into a heat-safe glass vial. 

Step six: Add 8 drops of terpenes per half a gram of rosin. 

Step seven: Heat the container by holding a flame underneath it for a few seconds. When your mixture begins to bubble, remove the flame. Mix the solution with your toothpick and inject it into your vape cartridge using your clean syringe. 

dried cannabis and papers
Explore the top 10 cannabis strains to smoke or vape 
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Popular Strain Recommendations

Just as with any other method of consuming cannabis, everyone’s tastes will differ regarding preferred aroma profiles, effects, cannabinoid content, and more. Frequent cannabis users may already have a go-to list of favorite strains. However, if you’re new to the world of cannabis and unsure where to look first, we recommend taking a peek at the following strains. These have emerged as particularly popular in general, and may serve as a good jumping-off point if you’re looking for good cannabis varieties to grow and vape. 

OG Kush Feminized Seeds

Vaporizer users looking for a heavy dose of euphoria may enjoy this strain. While its intermediate growing difficulty may be best suited to home gardeners with a bit of experience under their belt, its resin-rich buds are excellent for rosin extraction and will likely be worth the extra effort.

Blue Dream Feminized Seeds 

This strain has a reasonable flowering time and generous yields. It is also an excellent fit for vape users with a sweet tooth. Many describe its taste as similar to sugar-dusted blueberries with hints of herbs and spices. 

Granddaddy Purple Feminized Seeds

A classic and beloved strain, this indica is excellent for those looking to melt away stress. It’s famous for its sweet, fruity, grape-like taste and potent, relaxing effects. Beginner growers may also enjoy this strain as it is quite easy to cultivate.

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