The Science Behind Vaping vs. Smoking Cannabis and Its Effects on the Body


People have been smoking for many centuries, since the times of discovering fire. Both cannabis and tobacco have been among the most preferred dried flowers and leaves appropriated for smoking, so there’s nothing new about the practice of drying hemp flowers and inhaling their smoke to achieve pain and stress relief, unwind, and get other therapeutic benefits in one go.

A more recent technological advancement is vaping; it emerged a couple of years ago with a promise to substitute the harmful smoking practice with safer, less intrusive vapor inhalation with no carcinogens and tar emitted during paper and leaf burning. But is vaping indeed safer? And why do some smokers still stick to their years-old practices? Let’s compare these two forms of smoking in more detail to see what makes vapers and smokers choose one of these methods in favor of the other.

The first thing to remember is that CBD offers many health benefits to users, regardless of its form of consumption. Thus, the discussion of vaping vs. smoking in this article is for purely educational purposes, meant to help each user make an informed choice depending on their individual tastes, preferences, and risk-benefit evaluations. You can find more nuanced and detailed information on this subject at

Vaping vs. Smoking: Comparison

Smoking is still considered one of the modern population’s greatest legal addictions. Millions of people smoke around the globe, and CBD users also prefer CBD pre-rolls as a traditional way of CBD consumption. So, what makes people smoke and vape, and how do they choose between these two options? Here is a breakdown of common parameters that affect the choice of smoking over vaping and vice versa.

Variety and Customization

CBD vaping has become immensely popular recently, with a huge spectrum of options and tastes available in the market. Users like this CBD consumption method because of the ease of consumption and dosing, the ability to take a shot of CBD on the go, and the availability of numerous mouth-watering tastes and flavors. The level of customization is undeniably higher than that of CBD smoking products, and people love exploring new flavor mixes to diversify their CBD use routines.

Discreetness and Convenience

Smoking pre-rolls and cigarettes always comes with a large amount of stinky smoke that anyone around you will detect. Besides, smoking is forbidden in many public places exactly because of the unpleasant odor of tobacco or hemp flower and the inability to dispose of your snipe. Vaping devices offer unlimited convenience in this regard; you can turn on the device and take a couple of shots, exhaling a flavorful smoke that dissipates in seconds. Thus, your smoking won’t trouble anyone.

As a result of using a vape, people may not need to smoke the entire cigarette or pre-roll; they may take as many shots as they find necessary, turning the vaping device off after they’re done. Things are more complicated with smoking, as you need to smoke the full pre-roll or waste your money by throwing its large part into the trash bin.


Another criterion affecting the choice of vaping devices is the elegance and esthetic appeal of the modern, sleek vaping pens and cartridges. CBD users are spoiled for choice in this regard, with many brands specializing in high-quality, striking vaping equipment that can become a wonderful extension of your image. Some of them cost a fortune, also implying your status to knowledgeable people. So, similarly to the world of posh cigars and extra-expensive ashtrays, vaping devices can also be stylish, expensive, and luxurious.

Authentic Experience

One thing that vaping cannot provide is an authentic smoking experience. Though it’s technologically superior, discreet, and odorless, no vaping device can substitute the feeling of inhaling the smoke of burning hemp flowers. Thus, it’s vital to keep in mind that some users simply don’t want something better than the pre-roll they’re used to. Weed has been smoked for decades, if not centuries, and it remains the good old classic many users don’t want to let go of.

Side Effects and Health Risks of Vaping and Smoking

Now, what about the health risks of vaping versus smoking? Which of these CBD use methods is safer for your lungs and general health? Here are some considerations you should know:

  • Vaping is actively promoted as a safer variant for smokers as the vaping smoke doesn’t contain carcinogens and tar emitted during paper and flower burning. Yet, there is inconclusive evidence of these claims, with vaping generally regarded as hazardous for the lungs as smoking.
  • Vaping involves the inhalation of synthetic components, such as flavors, aromatic mixes, vegetable glycerin, and propylene glycol, among others. So, vaping comes with a greater risk of developing allergies.
  • Flavors in vaping liquids have higher risks of severe lung damage, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory problems.

According to a recent study published by Bhat et al., vaping can be even more dangerous than smoking. So, it’s critical to choose a high-quality CBD liquid and study the data about ingredients in the certificate of analysis (CoA). Otherwise, vapers hunting for novel experiences with CBD use can end up with disastrous lung effects and problems.

How to Choose Safe Products for Smoking/Vaping?

With this data in mind, you might grow more suspicious about smoking or vaping the first-best product that you come across. That’s the right conclusion to draw from our review, as not all CBD products are the same. To avoid counterfeit and low-quality products with high risks of lung damage, you should keep the following criteria in mind:

  • A certified brand;
  • A certified dispensary;
  • A medium-level price;
  • Positive reviews from other users;
  • A certificate of analysis and third-party lab testing results.

Once you check all these points and tick them off the list, you may be sure that the product you’re smoking or vaping is of reasonable quality. In this case, your chances of developing severe allergies or lung problems are much lower.

So, Which Variant Is Safer?

As our review suggests, vaping and smoking are both pretty hazardous for the user’s health, as each of these methods involves inhaling hazardous substances into the lungs. Smoking CBD flower is a much more established practice that scientists have been researching for decades, so the lung health dangers for smokers are well-understood in the clinical community.

Vaping is less hazardous in terms of carcinogen inhalation and the temperature of the inhaled smoke; yet, it involves using synthetic components that can harm people’s health in many ways. So, the golden rule is to exercise moderation, regardless of which method of inhaling CBD you choose. Buy products only from licensed providers, read the contents on the package’s label, and make an informed decision about each item’s use.

The author of this article is Denys Svirepchuk. Denys is working full-time at AskGrowers as a researcher and writer, so he always keeps pace with the latest weed research and clinical studies of cannabis-derived products with people and animals. He always shares his findings and updates the audience about the latest clinical data on CBD product choice, use, and dosage.

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