Marijuana is legally allowed to be consumed for medicinal and recreational usage throughout Canada and a good portion of the United States. Now, many consumers have questions about the ways to consume the cannabis they have bought.

There are only two ways to consume cannabis by inhalation: smoking and vaping. Smoking is the more traditional way to enjoy marijuana but over the last decade vaporizing has become almost as popular. 

Many people don’t understand the differences between the two and how they affect your enjoyment of the marijuana you bought at your local dispensary. Most people have their prefered method which they stick with while others enjoy both methods, but which way is the better choice?

The following are some of positive and negative aspects of each method that you should consider.


This is far and away the most common method for consuming cannabis. Smoking cannabis requires heating the plant matter above 451 degrees so that it combusts. There are numerous ways to smoke marijuana, from small amounts in a one hitter to large hand rolled blunts.

Smoking bud is similar in some ways to smoking tobacco, as the high temperature needed to burn the plant matter causes tar and other carcinogens to be inhaled. Another issue with smoking herb is that it causes the active ingredients in marijuana (the cannabinoids and terpenes) to be destroyed, so you won’t be enjoying your smoke as much as you could. 

Despite these negative aspects to smoking, the different ways of smoking bud each have positive qualities as well:

  • Bowls and One Hitters – One of the most basic ways to smoke herb is to use a pipe or one hitter. Pipes are typically made of metal, glass, stone or wood while most one hitters are made of metal or glass.
    These are perfect for people who want to smoke small quantities of herb. Glass pipes are easy to clean and they won’t impact the flavor of the bud.
  • Water pipes, Bongs and Bubblers – These are all smoking devices that filter the smoke through water before it is inhaled. Many people will also add a little bit of ice to the water so that the smoke is cooled down before inhalation.
    These types of smoking apparatuses are designed to reduce the amount of tar inhaled while minimizing the damage to the lungs that heat can cause. These devices are also very easy to clean
  • Rolled Cigarettes and Blunts – This is the perfect option for when you want to smoke with a group of people. You can either roll a cannabis cigarette (joint) with a rolling paper, or a blunt using an inexpensive cigar.This is easily the most social form of smoking. 


Vaping cannabis is much healthier since there isn’t any combustion involved.  Instead you are heating the bud just enough so that vapor is released containing the beneficial cannabinoids. Because the temperatures involved are lower it doesn’t damage the lungs as much as smoking will. The cooler temperature allows you to inhale the majority of the active ingredients in your bud.  And dispensaries sell portable and tabletop vaporizers so that you can smoke whenever you like.

Vaporizing also has the benefit of not leaving the strong, pungent scent on you and your clothes because all you will exhale is a small aerosol like cloud that dissipates quickly. Research has shown that vaporizing marijuana not only is healthier for you, but it also will get you more stoned than smoking will – especially shatter, being more potent than flower. Concentrates are generally consumed with a vaporizer, learn more about concentrates.

Which is the Best Way to Inhale?

The decision of whether or not to smoke or vaporize your herb is deeply personal; first deciding what to use in your vape. While vaporizing is the healthier way to enjoy inhaling marijuana, smoking can be just as enjoyable and traditional.

The best option is to try both methods to determine the one you prefer. Then to stick with the method you enjoy the most.