As more states begin to legalize many people are experimenting with combusting cannabis vs. utilizing a vaporizer, however, many are unsure of the health benefits associated with each method. 

One of greatest benefits of Colorado being a cannabis friendly state is that those who have medical issues have access to cannabis without having to obtain a Med Card. Some can find relaxation or relief from muscle tension or minor pain through various modes of administration through cannabis. While a large majority of consumers enjoy combustion, many have medical issues and personal preferences restricting them from doing so. 

Edibles are another good alternative, however, they are associated with a “heavier” body high that might not be feasible in all situations. Vaporizing is another method that is being considered as a healthier alternative to combustion and a more effective form of consumption.

The question is, how do smoking and vaping actually differ and why are people choosing to vape their medicine? 

Combustion Of Cannabis


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When a heat source is applied to cannabis in excess of around 460 F (most lighters do about 3500 F) the combustion process will begin, which converts THC-A which is non psychoactive into THC (psychoactive) which is then released in conjuction with CBD and many other related cannabinoids. While these cannabinoids are sought out for absorption into the body, these chemicals make up only a small percentage of the plant itself. This means that everything that is not ash has been inhaled by the smoker, things like carbon, lighter butane, and other related chemicals can potentially be absorbed from burning plant matter.

These other chemicals are what irritate the lungs significantly and as benign as marijuana smoking has proven to be long-term, the healthiest way to live is trying to breathe the purest air possible, burning and inhaling any plant matter is bound to have some side effects.

Still, many people enjoy the process of smoking marijuana as much as they enjoy the effects of marijuana. For others, coughing or pre-existing medical issues cause them to avoid smoking if possible. 

Vaporization Of Cannabis

The exact vaporization temperature for THC, the most sought out constituent of cannabis, has not been narrowed down precisely at atmospheric temperature but is thought to be in the range of 250-400º F. Other desirable compounds like CBD vaporize at around 320º F and many lesser known cannabinoids come along for the ride as well, all at their own varying temperatures.

Because the inclusion or exclusion of any number of these compounds can change the effects of resulting vapor, most vaporizers operate on a range from 260-410º F and allow the user to fine tune it vaporizing until they find the temperature that works best for the type of relief they’re looking for.

The effect of vaporized cannabis is intoxicating much like smoking cannabis but easier on the lungs as well as having a different dimension, since the temperature can exclude cannabinoids that vaporize at a higher temperature than whatever the device was set to. The high itself is similar, but slightly different.

Those with a more medicinal perspective in mind rest easy knowing they did not put their body through the stress of smoking and know they received the absorption of cannabinoids and no other plant material. For another growing group of people vaporizers are being employed to only receive the chemicals that make their cannabis experience pleasurable and excluding lots of the other chemicals. THC will sublimate off of the buds even at temperatures lower than the true vaporization point, as a result vaporizing takes some trial and error to get temperature levels to an ideal setting.

Does Vaping Sound Right For You?

If vaping sounds like something that might interest you or someone you know who’s having trouble finding the right way to administer their marijuana for medicinal purposes, it’s not prohibitively costly to get a kit and give it a try. There are many weed vaporizer websites that can help narrow down the list of available options since choosing a vaporizer can be daunting as it has evolved into a very bustling industry.

There are many different types of vaporizing on the market depending on one’s budget, preference in size, and convenience. 


Consumers have the ability to decide the best method of consumption for them, however, it is important to know there are many options available. For more traditional consumers combustion may reign supreme; for those more interested in medicinal benefits of consumption vaporizers may hold preference. Cannabis consumption is a purely individualized experience and should be treated as such when making decisions about how and when to consume.