Whether you’re a die-hard CBD flower smoker or value your vape over any other method, you’ve probably weighed the pros and cons of each at some point. Both smoking and vaping CBD can provide an advantage over other ways to consume CBD, from activation time to bioavailability.
However, you shouldn’t put them both in the same camp – beneath the surface, the difference between the two is greater than you think. As science progresses, vaping has evolved from a technical curiosity to a staple of many CBD users. Smoking CBD may still be hugely popular, but lung health concerns have led to it being scrutinized both figuratively and literally.
In this article, we want to look at both methods and think about the question: Vaping CBD vs. Smoking CBD – What’s the difference?
What is Bioavailability? When you consume CBDBioavailability is the proportion of CBD that enters your bloodstream and can interact with your body. The higher the bioavailability, the more efficient your CBD can be.
Both smoking and vaping CBD have a higher bioavailability than other methods, around 30%. This may not sound like much, but compare this to oral CBD on ash low as 6%, and it puts things in perspective. Inhaling CBD into your lungs is known as: pulmonary administration, which is believed to have a bioavailability comparable to the intravenous administration of CBD. So with smoking and vaping tied for pole position, what other factors could influence bioavailability?
In short, fire! A major difference between vaping and smoking is the way heat is applied. While lighting your blunt, you heat your CBD flower in a much more aggressive way. This leads to the loss of some of your CBD – it literally goes up in smoke. Vaping has the highest level here, with a consistent, manageable temperature and no major loss of vaporized CBD.
Both smoking and vaping CBD may have high bioavailability, but vaping manages to deliver that CBD more efficiently.
Start of Effects
When CBD is nebulized and inhaled into the lungs, it is not only processed in greater amounts, but also takes effect more quickly. Both smoking and vaping CBD can result in effects that kick in within 15 minutes.
Again, there’s not much to it if we judge each method purely on the speed of effects of your CBD flower. However, like bioavailability, vaping has the added benefit of retaining a greater amount of cannabinoids when heated. The self-contained chamber or oven doesn’t let anything escape and you don’t have to see your CBD floating in the air.
Let’s be clear: both smoking and vaping CBD can affect your health. Poor quality equipment, questionable CBD products and unscrupulous suppliers exacerbate the problem, but the simple fact is that neither method is 100% risk-free. With that in mind, there is still a difference between smoking and vaping CBD.
The downside of smoking is that it produces combustion byproducts which can irritate and in some cases damage the lungs. These include fluorene, pyrene, acrylonitrile and acrylamide. Not ideal, anyway. Other possible effects in extreme cases include an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections and a weakened immune system.
This doesn’t mean vaping gets squeaky clean – recent questions were set up to investigate links between vaping and lung disease. The jury is still out on the exact damage, if any. Research seems to focus on CBD oil as opposed to CBD flower, but new studies are always being published, so it’s best to stay tuned.
Speed or ceremony?
Personal preference plays a big part in using CBD, from the way you consume it to the strains you prefer. The CBD industry provides both CBD smokers and CBD vapers with all the equipment they will ever need, from high-end vapes like the Crafty+ to grinders and blunt wraps.
This means that at least part of the difference between smoking and vaping CBD is down to you and your relationship with CBD. Do you prefer a quick upgrade to offset your anxiety, or do you want to relax on the couch and make an elephant’s leg out of a bone?
Vaping CBD is usually convenient and discreet. With some foresight and preparation, you can be ready for a busy day and still meet your CBD needs. A few short puffs on the way to work won’t raise eyebrows in the same way as trying to avoid hotboxing your car in the parking lot.
On the other hand, the ritualistic nature of rolling a CBD joint or blunt has its own set of intangible properties. Your favorite grinder, the commonly used rolling tray, your go-to rolling paper. It’s a short moment between the daily chaos and stress where you can focus on yourself and the beautiful joint you are about to make. The familiarity and coziness of the process can be almost as soothing as the CBD itself.
Part scientific, part personal preference – smoking CBD and vaping CBD both have their ups and downs. Current advice tends to vape as a slightly healthier option, but studies are still in their infancy. A quick search online will give you a thousand different answers to the same question, and everyone has their own opinion on the subject. The final choice should be yours, and it doesn’t have to be set in stone!
Whatever your decision, you need a high quality CBD flower to test your chosen method. Check out the full CBD flower range in our online store and choose a bud that suits both your needs and your bank account. Read what others are saying, study the terpene profiles and lab results and find out why our CBD flower is considered one of the best in the industry.