Today, even with the vast array of options for consuming cannabis, smoking a joint is still one of the most popular methods. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, and it’s a classic. For many smokers, there’s something cathartic about grinding fresh bud and rolling the perfect joint. For those looking for something similar but different, vaping offers an effective alternative. Both methods involve inhalation and exhalation. What you exhale depends on the method of consumption. There’s a big difference between joint smoke and a vapor cloud.

Smoking Vs. Vaping

Smoking is the classic method of cannabis consumption. Many users who partake in this method find it to be the purest and optimal way to enjoy the various compounds in the cannabis plant. The act of grinding buds and rolling a joint are all essential parts of the process.

There’s a lot to love when it comes to smoking a joint. It’s affordable, it’s accessible, and it’s easy. You also don’t need a lot of equipment. However, smoking does come with some downsides, most notably the odor that joints produce. The smell clings to everything, including you and your belongings.

Vaping is a more recent alternative. The most common way to vape is by using a specialized device called a vape pen. The pen often vaporizes cannabis oil, although you can find some dry herb vaporizers, too. Vape pens are portable and much more discreet than joints. They don’t produce a noticeable odor, so there’s much less to worry about there. However, the equipment can be expensive, and there is a slight learning curve.

vape pen

Joint Smoke and Vapor Clouds

Joint smoke and vapor clouds might look similar at first glance, but they’re two very different things. Smoke occurs when you burn cannabis. Burning causes the buds to combust, and it drastically alters their chemical composition. So, in addition to cannabinoids, you’re inhaling (and exhaling) carbon and other byproducts of combustion. Many of these byproducts are actually dangerous to inhale.

Vapor clouds are a bit different. Instead of combusting the cannabis oil or dry herb, the process of vaporizing uses a lower temperature. While vaping does alter the state of your oil or herb, the vapor has the same molecules as the substance in its original form.

How Smoke and Clouds are Different

There are some significant differences between joint smoke and vapor clouds. One of the biggest differences is the chemical composition of what you inhale. When you smoke, you combust your buds. You inhale carbon, carcinogens, burnt plant bits, and more. These compounds can be quite harsh on your lungs.

When you vape, you vaporize the cannabis oil or herb. Since it doesn’t combust, you’re not inhaling the same chemicals. Nor are you inhaling ash. You inhale the vapor and the beneficial cannabinoids. The result is a much smoother experience for your lungs.

Other differences between smoke and vapor clouds include:

  • Smoking involves much higher temperatures than vaping.
  • Joints produce a noticeable odor that clings to your hair, skin, clothes, and personal belongings. Vaping doesn’t have an odor.
  • Smoking isn’t the cleanest method of consumption. Not only do you have to grind and roll buds, but the chemicals you create when you light up can leave a sticky residue. When you use a vape pen with cannabis oil, you contain the mess to the device. Keep in mind that if you do use a vape pen, you will need to clean it periodically to ensure smooth hits every time.

While smoking joints and taking hits from a vape pen both involve inhalation and provide fast-acting benefits, these two methods of cannabis consumption are quite different. Smoking may be the classic way to enjoy all of the benefits that the plant has to offer, but it’s often much harsher on the lungs. Vaping, on the other hand, offers a smoother, more discreet alternative. Still, the choice of which method is best is entirely up to your personal preference.