The practice of cannabis vaping is very popular among cannabis consumers these days. Its popularity only accelerates due to increased legalization of marijuana and the influx of new products relating to its use. Vaporizers of all sizes and designs are now readily available for cannabis enthusiasts looking for a healthier method of consuming the plant.
Some vaporizers are designed to work with flower and others with concentrates, but an increasing number of them designed for both are hitting the market. Vaporizing is a great option, and any blunt, bong, or joint lover who hasn’t tried it owes it to themselves to give vaping a try. They just may find that it becomes their preferred method for enjoying or medicating with cannabis. Is it better than smoking? That depends on your criteria for what makes a rewarding cannabis experience. Let’s consider the pros and cons of vaping versus smoking, and how vaping oil compares to vaping flower.
Vape Pens: Small-Scale Potency
Of all the vaporizer models available, vape pens may be the most popular. These handy little devices have taken the cannabis world by storm. There are multiple reasons for their popularity. The small size—about as large as an average writing pen—is portable, convenient, and discreet. Vape pens fit easily into any pocket or purse and are ready to use in seconds—with no loading necessary, which immediately makes them more convenient than a small pipe. Since no flame is necessary to use them, vape pen owners can leave their lighters at home. And because no lighting is necessary, vape pens are extremely inconspicuous to use when cupped in the palm of a hand. The vapor that results and is exhaled has less odor than the distinctively strong odor of cannabis smoke, which takes discreet usage one step further.
Vaporizer pens for hash oil are the most popular variety. These types of pens come in two parts: an oil cartridge (popularly known as “pen carts”) and a battery. These batteries are rechargeable, and most are sold with a recharger included. The cartridge screws on, and the pen is ready to use—it’s that simple. The potency of the oil these days is remarkably high, and getting higher and purer all of the time through improved extraction methods like CO2 and distillate extraction (which contains nearly pure cannabinoids). With oil routinely reaching purity levels in the 80- and 90-percent range for THC content, there is power in those little pens. For most consumers, a little is all that’s necessary to attain the desired effect.
Vape pens for flower are increasing in popularity. Although they contain only a small amount, they can work quite well. As expected, flower pens don’t pack the power of oil pens, but they are handy little devices nonetheless.
Also increasing in popularity are disposable vaporizers. These contain a specific amount of oil, just like pen cartridges (usually 250mg or 500mg). Disposable wax cartridges are beginning to hit the market as well. These vape pens are exactly what you’d expect. Use them until they’re empty and throw them away. Disposable pens are especially handy during outdoor activities like hiking or concerts.
Some pens have added terpenes, while others retain the natural flavor of the oil. Distillate extraction results in nearly pure cannabinoids, and the terpenes are eliminated during the distillation process, resulting in a nearly pure oil with little flavor. To remedy this, natural cannabis terpenes can be reintroduced or other terpenes and flavors, like various fruit flavors, can be added to the oil. Fruit-flavored oil is a matter of personal preference. Some people love it, and others hate it. Fortunately for the haters, natural terpene options are available. For some, there’s no substitute for the natural cannabis flavor.
While vape pens usually use oil, desktop vaporizers typically use flower to create vapor. Anything but portable, some of these desktop devices can accommodate multiple hoses so more than one person can enjoy the vapor experience at once. The Volcano is a popular desktop model for a group setting. For use with a group, the Volcano has special bags that the users can fill with vapor and pass around, somewhat like how cannabis smokers will pass a joint or blunt.
The best desktop vaporizers produce outstanding vapor and are worth the consideration of any cannabis consumer. More than one avid marijuana smoker has been converted due to a high-quality desktop vaporizer experience.
A handheld vaporizer is another discreet way to enjoy vaping. Like desktop vaporizers, these handheld devices are primarily used to vape ground flower, although an increasing number of brands are also being made for use with concentrates like oil, wax, crumble, or shatter. The Pax 3 is one such device. By simply changing chambers, the Pax 3 goes from a flower vaporizer to one that does a decent job of vaping concentrates, too.
These portable, hand-held vaporizers aren’t as compact and discreet as vaporizer pens, but they come close. Many of them—like the Pax models—fit easily into the palm of a hand and create high-quality vapor for use while on the go. The Pax Era is made specifically for oil consumption and is sleek in design. The only drawback is that it only accommodates special Pax oil attachments sold through specific dispensary dealers, unlike vape pens, which work universally with cartridges from a variety of sources. That difference aside, the Pax Era produces outstanding vapor and delivers it in a compact device that’s great for mobile use.
Vaping Flower Versus Oil
As far as whether it’s better to vape flower or oil, it simply comes down to personal preference. Certainly, vaping concentrates is a more profound cannabis experience than vaping flower. With the extreme potency of hash oil currently on the market, a dab rig—a great vaping device in its own right—is no longer the sole method of vaping potent concentrates. Although less extreme as a dab rig experience, vaping hash oil through a pen is more than adequate for even the most seasoned concentrate vape enthusiast.
Vaping flower doesn’t have as strong an effect as smoking it. If you want a strong cannabis experience from flower, a good bong is exactly what you need. The water cools and filters the smoke, providing a stronger and healthier option to the hot, harsher smoke from a pipe or joint.
When it comes to the terpene experience of vaping flower versus smoking it, vaping wins, hands down. The delicious flower terpenes are much more enjoyable through a vaporizer than a smoking device. The terpene experience from select flower ranks very high in importance with a great number of experienced cannabis connoisseurs, and vaporizers definitely deliver. This is reason alone for many people to appreciate vaping flower so much. With a vaporizer, there’s no reason to corner the bowl like so many people do when smoking from a pipe. With a vaporizer, every person in the cannabis session gets a great terpene blast, not just the first and second person. Not only do the terpene flavors last much longer, but they’re superior to the terpene flavors from smoking. Once you’ve used a vaporizer for flower for an extending period of time, hitting a pipe pales in comparison.
When vaping cannabis flower or hash oil, both have definite appeal, but for different reasons. One is not superior to the other. Personal preference is really what matters the most. Both flower and oil deserve a place among a selection of prime vaporizer products.