Clearing the Air: Smoking vs. Vaping

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Time to read 8 min

As society evolves, so do our consumption habits and patterns. Inhaling aromatherapy dry herbs has been an activity humankind participated in for centuries, even before the written language. So naturally, with the availability of new technology, the methods have also gone through a few changes and iterations.


In this blog post, we take a closer look at the two main ways of inhalation: Smoking and Vaping. Is one better than the other? Why change something that's not broken? We delve into the differences between the two methods and attempt to demystify common misconceptions about dry herb vaping. Let's dive in!

What’s the difference between smoking vs vaping?

Smoking and vaping are two different methods of enjoying the benefits of legal aromatherapeutic dry herbs. When we say smoking, we're referring to the typical method of burning rolled-up aromatherapy dry herbs, typically called a ‘joint’, then inhaling the smoke. 

Smoking RAW papers

Vaping, on the other hand, is the inhalation of the vapor released from the resins, oils and active compounds from aromatherapy dry herbs through heating at lower-than-burning temperatures. A common misconception is that aromatherapy vaporizers work like conventional e-liquid vaporizers. No, they are totally different! 


Read up in detail on what is a dry herb vaporizer in our beginner’s guide and different heating methods of dry herb vaporizers.

Pros and Cons of Vaping vs. Smoking

When it comes to enjoying aromatherapy herbs, there are numerous ways to do so. Some people enjoy aromatherapy herbs in a hot tea, baked into cupcakes, diffused into the air, topically applied directly to the skin, or even consumed on their own. 


Smoking and vaping may sound similar at first, but they’re two very different paths to take to end at the same destination.

Vaping Dry Herbs

A man exhales smoke or vapor

VAPING PROS

Healthier : Vaporizing eliminates the harmful byproducts of combustion, including tar, carbon monoxide, and carcinogens, reducing the risk of respiratory problems. Plus, vaping requires lower temperatures which are gentler on the throat and lungs. 


If you often smoke around loved ones, vaporizing limits their exposure to harmful second-hand smoke. Even the Big Tobacco guys have come out with heated tobacco products and vaporizers like the IQOS.


Higher potency and cost saving : Vaporizing dry herbs at specific, controllable temperatures extracts essential oils and beneficial active compounds out of your dry herb more effectively compared to combustion. Due to that, the aromatherapy effects are stronger. This efficient extraction method means using less dry herbs each session, and cutting down costs.


Discreet : When you smoke, everyone knows what you’re doing. But using a dry herb vaporizer can be discreet. Dry herb vapes looks like any other gadget (gate remote anyone?), can be low profile, no ash or thick smoke production, which means no more suspicious looks from the busybody kepohchis!


Convenient : Not everyone can easily roll up a dry herb aromatherapy joint. Some may have injuries, disabilities or just never learnt how to. Using a dry herb vape is as swift as filling up a chamber and switching it on, making it the most convenient method of consuming dry herbs. Not to mention, newer laws in many countries prohibit smoking in many public spaces. A dry herb vaporizer’s ease of use lets you enjoy your herbs without hassle.


Better taste and smell : Vaping is said to preserve the natural flavours of dry herbs better than smoking, which can provide a more enjoyable experience for some people. With vapor, any scent dissipates quickly without lingering, and the clouds are less visible. In fact, your lips start tasting better from the terpenes!


Controllable effects : Vaporizers allow you to adjust the temperature to specific degrees which lets you tune the heating of differing aromatherapy strains and unlock the best effects out of each one. It gives more control over the particular effects you want to achieve, from mild relaxation to intense euphoria.

VAPING CONS

Cost : Quality dry herb aromatherapy vaporizers cost a bit upfront, but the long-term savings on herbs and health care can outweigh the initial cost. There may also be extra costs involved down the road due to wear and tear or adding on accessories to improve the experience.


Adjustment period & learning curve : Transitioning ain't easy, fam. Switching from smoking to vaping can take some time to adjust to, as the flavour and effects may differ. Additionally, some vaporizers have a higher learning curve as they can have more complex operating instructions than others. More info on how you can easily transition in the next section below!


Maintenance and care : A dry herb vaporizer will require maintenance. Regular cleaning, charging batteries, and ensuring that your replaceable parts are kept up to date can be a chore.


Flavour deterioration over time : The flavour of the vapor can deteriorate over time if the vaporizer is not cleaned and maintained regularly.


Limited accessibility : When you’re out and about, if you forgot your dry herb vape at home then you won’t be able to enjoy your dry herbs. Some vaporizers are battery-powered, which means they can run out of power at inconvenient times. 

Smoking Dry Herbs

A man passes a smoke to a woman

SMOKING PROS

Cost : Smoking doesn’t require any major spending upfront. It is super cheap to get papers and filters. 


No maintenance : Smoking does not require any maintenance, which can be appealing to those who are not interested in cleaning or maintaining equipment.


Simplicity and familiarity : Smoking is a common and well-understood method for consuming aromatherapy dry herbs. As long as you know how to roll one, and you have your herb, paper and filters on hand, you’re able to enjoy your herbs.


Wide availability : Smoking filters, papers and lighters are widely available and easily purchased at stores.


Instant gratification : Smoking provides an immediate effect, which can be appealing to some people.

SMOKING CONS

Health risks : Smoking is associated with a number of health risks, including respiratory problems, cancer, and addiction.Noticeable – Like I said before, if you’re smoking, people immediately know. Smoking is becoming more and more socially unacceptable nowadays, and it can get very uncomfortable under the public’s watchful eyes.


Uses more herbs : Burning quickly diminishes your dry herb material, so not all beneficial compounds are released during smoking. This means needing to smoke more, and costs you more in the long run.


Limited temperature control : Smoking does not allow for temperature control, so you may not be able to customise the effects or the flavour of the smoke.


Potential for unpleasant taste : Smoking can alter the flavour of dry herbs, which may not be appealing to everyone. Smokers, you also know how the aftertaste of smoke is like ash.

Both smoking and vaping dry herbs offer their own advantages and disadvantages. The best choice for you will depend on your individual preferences and priorities. If you are concerned about your health and want a more discreet and flavourful experience, vaping may be a better option. If you are on a tight budget or prefer a simple and familiar method, smoking may be a better choice.

Common Vaping Myths

Dry Herb Vaporizers are like e-cigarettes

This is a common misconception. Vaping/vapes is relatively new and a general term applied to all devices that produces vapor. Makes sense la horr. 


On Pocket Ovens, we refer to "dry herb vaporizers" which are devices that heats up dried botanicals to produce vapor. This is in contrast to the liquid cartridges method that you generally find with e-cigarette makers.

Vaping is just as harmful as smoking

Vaporizing is relatively new, so there has been fewer research on the long-term impact of vaporizing. In contrast, research has shown that smoking releases tar and carcinogens that are harmful to our body. These compounds are not found when you use a dry herb vaporizer correctly. Always consult with a medical practitioner to understand the health risks for you.

Vaping is an expensive hobby

Yes, initially you will be spending more on a device compared to buying rolling papers and tips. Soon, you'll find that you'll be using less dry herbs to achieve the same after-effects.


Most devices have a warranty between 2-10 years. Depending on the device you choose, within a year of vaporizing, you will start seeing your savings.

Vaping is "weaker" than smoking

Unfortunately, the market is full with low-quality vaporizers that keep this myth alive. With a reputable device and correct inhalation techniques, you'll find that the strength of vaporization effects can far surpass smoking dry herbs.

Vaping only works with specific herbs

Dry herb vaporizers - as the name suggest - works with any types of dried botanicals. This includes aromatherapy herbs that releases therapeutic compounds such as sage, eucalyptus, lavender and lemon balm.


Find the best dry herbs for you with our Herbathek organic collection. 

Coughing is required

We associate coughing as a signal that you're feeling the effects of your dry herbs. In reality, coughing is the result of smoke agitating your lungs and throat passageway. Vapor is less harsh to your body without compromising on the therapeutic benefits.

Vaping gives less clouds, so less effects

False. Similar to the "coughing = better effects" phenomena, seeing more clouds doesn't determine the strength of the therapeutic benefits.
Even without any vapor clouds, the beneficial compounds will be inhaled when you vape.

Already Been Vaped (ABV) dry herbs can be consumed

True. The by-product of vaporizing dry herbs can be eaten or steeped in tea to enjoy additional benefits.

You most definitely cannot do this with the ashes from smoking dry herbs!

How to switch from smoking to vaping?

Okay, gang, let's be real here. Changing a habit is extremely difficult to do and if you're embarking on the journey to switch to vaping, we got you fam!


Check out our comprehensive guide to switch from smoking to vaping where Chief Baker delves into the methods and expectations to have while going on your journey. Spoiler alert : it might be bumpy and will take time for some of you.

Switch from smoking to vaping
Switch from smoking to vaping

Conclusion

In a world where our choices impact our well-being, the decision between smoking and vaping dry herbs is a crucial one. At Pocket Ovens, we are passionate about the therapeutic benefits of dry herbs so we want to share all the possible ways you can enjoy them.


Just as driving a manual car requires more skill and attention than driving an automatic car, switching from smoking to vaping requires some adaptation. While both methods can transport you to a different world, vaping could give you a more nuanced experience for a more enjoyable ride to space. 


Better views and sights on the way my friends!