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Vaping vs Smoking Weed: What’s the Difference?

Published On:
June 7, 2023

Read time:
4 Minutes

A collage of vape pens, pre-rolls, and buds

To smoke or to vape? Well not exactly Shakespearean, that is the question.

Cannabis comes in many shapes and sizes. You’ll find it in vaporizers, pre-rolls, edibles, tinctures, and even skincare products. However, the topic of today is understanding and appreciating the differences between vaping and traditional smoking.

So, pack your imagination, inhale your curiosity, and let’s dive into the world of vaping vs. smoking weed!

Smoking Weed: The Classic Approach

Smoking weed has a long and studied history, dating back centuries and entwined with various cultural practice. In fact, studies suggest cannabis was smoked as part of rituals or religious activities in western China about 2,500 years ago.

In this classic method, cannabis flowers, also known as buds, are finely ground and packed into a pipe or blunt, or rolled into a joint. When ignited, the heat activates the cannabinoids and terpenes in the flower, producing smoke that is inhaled by the user.

The act of rolling a joint is an art form for many—and the ritual of passing it around after is the reward. This experience is especially ingrained in cannabis culture.

When you smoke weed, the effects are almost immediate. The cannabinoids enter the bloodstream through the lungs, quickly reaching the brain, resulting in a rapid onset of euphoria and relaxation.

Vaping Weed: The Modern Twist

What is vaping, anyways?

The earliest roots of electronic vaporizers for plant compounds can be traced back to 1927 when Joseph Robinson filed one of the first known patents of its kind. He had dreamed up an electric vaporizer—that looked a lot like a rocket ship—meant to make it easier to inhale medicinal compounds. He was truly ahead of his time. Some of the world’s best and brightest were hard at work creating early forms of e-cigarettes in the 1980s, but it didn’t really catch on until the 2000s.

Now, vaping has emerged as a popular alternative to traditional smoking, especially among those looking for a discreet way to consume cannabis.

A hand holding a vape pen

Rather than using a flame, vaping involves methods called convection and conduction. What this essentially means is that the cannabis is heated at a lower temperature than combustion, creating vapor that is inhaled by the user.

This is typically done using a concentrate pen, which can hold cartridges containing either oil or wax. Some devices have cartridges that can even be filled with unprocessed cannabis flowers—these are called dry herb vaporizers. Both types offer different experiences and cater to individual preferences.

Vaping vs Smoking Weed: The Differences

Now that you’ve learned a little bit more about vaping and smoking, let’s dig deeper into how they interact with the weed in question.

Flavour Profile

Smoking Weed:
Smoking allows users to experience the full range of flavours and aromas present in different cannabis strains. The combustion process releases a bouquet of terpenes, which are responsible for the distinct tastes and smells of various strains.

Vaping Weed:
Vaping is often praised for preserving the natural flavours of cannabis better than smoking. The lower temperature used in vaporization helps retain a more delicate and nuanced taste, making it more appealing to users who seek a flavourful and smoother experience.

Strain Effects

Smoking Weed:
Smoking provides an immediate onset of effects upon inhalation. When cannabis is smoked, the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream and reach the brain, resulting in a rapid and intense high (depending on the strain).

Vaping Weed:
Vaping also offers a relatively quick onset of effects, though it may be slightly slower compared to smoking. The vaporized cannabinoids are absorbed through the lungs and enter the bloodstream, leading to a similar range of effects as smoking.

Convenience and Portability

Smoking Weed:
Smoking may require more preparation, such as rolling a joint or packing a pipe, however, this can be mitigated if you prefer to smoke pre-rolls! Additionally, the smell of cannabis can be stronger and more lingering, which might not be ideal for certain situations.

Vaping Weed:
In terms of portability, many find a pen much more convenient to carry around as they can be preloaded and easily carried in a pocked or bag. It also produces a less noticeable odour, making it a more discreet option.


Smoking Weed:
The initial investment for smoking weed is relatively low. Rolling papers, pipes, and other smoking accessories are generally affordable and can last a lifetime. The amount consumed per session can be more difficult to control, potentially leading to slightly more frequent purchases—but this is entirely up to the method of consumption.

Vaping Weed:
The initial cost for vaping weed can be higher due to the purchse of a quality vaporizer. However, vaping tends to be more efficient in terms of cannabis consumption. Because it’s burned at lower temperatures, it can help conserve the product and make it last longer.

a container filled with cannabis flower with white matches surrounding it

Best-Selling Vapes and Smoking Devices

Interested in giving vaping a try? True North Cannabis Co. has got you covered with unique offerings that offer an elevated experience. Check out some of our top picks below:

Classic Vapes

Dry Herb Vapes

Our Favourite Accessories and Pre-Rolls

If this vaping vs smoking weed discussion has you leaning towards the latter, then make sure to check out True North Cannabis Co.’s best smoking devices and pre-rolls:

Pipes and Bongs

Experience the True North Cannabis Co. Difference

So what will it be, classic puffing or modern vaping?

Now that you know all about vaping vs smoking weed, it’s time to experience the True North Cannabis Co. difference!

We’re the fastest-growing retail store in Ontario, with over 50+ dispensaries across the province. Whether you’re interested in top-tier vaporizers, pre-rolls, flowers, edibles, concentrates, tinctures, or topicals, we offer amazing products at affordable prices.

To elevate the experience even further, enroll in our VIP program to receive exclusive member offers, store benefits, invites to VIP events, and so much more!

Find your neighbourhood True North Cannabis Co. dispensary to shop our products!

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