Of the different ways of administering hemp, smoking and vaping are the two most popular options. Both methods may seem similar to one another, but there are key differences between the two. Let’s dive into what makes smoking different than vaping.
Smoking vs. Vaping Hemp Flower
How to Smoke Hemp
When smoking hemp through a pipe, a bong, or a joint, the hemp flower has to be burned through a process of combustion. The act of combustion occurs at 600 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which can burn off a portion of the cannabinoids and terpenes. This not only can alter the taste of the hemp flower but can diminish some of the therapeutic effects hemp can deliver.
How to Vape Hemp
When vaping hemp, a vaporizer is used to turn the herb or concentrate into vapor instead of smoke. Initially, vapes were large vaporizers, but have been upgraded to convenient and easy-to-carry vape pens that exist today.
There are two different forms of vaporizers:
- Dry-Herb Vaporizers: This form of vaporizer uses a low temperature to transform the herb into a vapor. The hemp is packed into a chamber, which is heated up by a battery. When done vaping, the flower is decarboxylated and can be repurposed to make edibles and tinctures.
- Concentrates: Concentrate vape pens are meant for extracts and concentrates, and they come in cartridges or self-contained disposable devices. There are two types of concentrate vape pens, wax vape pens and oil vapes. Wax vape pens are meant for thicker extracts, while oil vapes are intended for thinner oils and concentrates.
Though the goal of smoking and vaping hemp is the same, there are key differences between the two.
Hemp has a very distinct, potent scent. Smoking hemp flower produces a strong scent that can linger for quite some time. Vaping hemp also produces a scent, but it is more subtle, and it disappears faster.
Vaping hemp ignites the cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp flower at a lower temperature than smoking hemp, often times delivering a more aromatic flavor. When hemp is heated up at high temperatures, some of the terpenes and cannabinoids are heated past their boiling point, so the user doesn’t get to experience the same taste and effects.
Vapes are often made with extracts of cannabinoids that have a higher cannabinoid and terpene content when compared to whole hemp flower.
Smoking and vaping hemp also require different levels of maintenance. For smoking it, the joints and bowls used to inhale hemp are fairly low maintenance; joints are finished off completely, and bowls can be cleaned by hand.
Vaporizers do require a degree of maintenance. Not only do they need to be charged, but their chambers need to be cleaned, generally with specific cleaners.
Smoking and vaping hemp are popular forms of hemp consumption, because inhalation is the fastest route of administration to deliver the benefits of hemp to the body. Inhaling hemp smoke or vapor passes the first-pass metabolism, which is when the concentration of a drug is reduced before reaching circulation, specifically when the drug is orally consumed. When inhaling and vaping hemp, the effects are felt in an average of only five to ten minutes and can last between two to four hours dependent on the individual.
Both vaping and smoking hemp has advantages, and many consumers use both, dependent on their needs at a specific time of day.