Whether you’re a die-hard CBD flower smoker or prize your vape above any other method, you’ve probably weighed up the pros and cons of each at some point. Both smoking and vaping CBD can offer the edge over other ways of consuming CBD, from activation time to bioavailability.
You shouldn’t place them both in the same camp, however- under the surface, the difference between the two is larger than you think. As science progresses, vaping has progressed from a technical curiosity to a staple of many CBD users. Smoking CBD may still be extremely popular, but concerns regarding lung health have found it being put under the microscope, both figuratively and literally.
In this article we want to take a look at both methods and ponder the question: vaping CBD versus smoking CBD- what’s the difference?
What is bioavailability? When you consume CBD, bioavailability is the proportion of the CBD that enters your circulation 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, at around 30%. This may not sound like a lot, but compare this to oral CBD at as low as 6%, and it puts things into perspective. Inhaling CBD into your lungs is known as pulmonary administration, which is considered to have a bioavailability on par with administering CBD intravenously. So with smoking and vaping tied for pole position, what other factors may affect bioavailability?
In a word, fire! A big difference between vaping and smoking is the way that heat is applied. During the process of lighting your blunt, you’re heating your CBD flower in a far more aggressive manner. This leads to the loss of some of your CBD- it literally goes up in smoke. Vaping has the high ground 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.
Onset of Effects
When CBD is atomized and inhaled into the lungs, not only is it processed in greater quantities, it also takes effect faster. Both smoking and vaping CBD can result in effects coming on in as little as 15 minutes.
Again, there’s not much in it if we judge each method based purely on the speed of effects from your CBD flower. However, just like bioavailability, vaping has the added advantage of retaining a greater quantity of cannabinoids when heated. The self-contained chamber or oven lets nothing escape, and you don’t have to watch your CBD float away into thin air.
Let’s be clear- both smoking and vaping CBD have the potential to affect your health. Poor quality equipment, dubious CBD products, and unscrupulous vendors exacerbate the issue, but the simple fact is neither method is 100% risk-free. With that in mind, there is still a difference between smoking and vaping CBD.
The downside to smoking is that it produces combustion by-products which can irritate and, in some instances, damage the lungs. These include fluorene, pyrene, acrylonitrile, and acrylamide. Not ideal, by any measure. Other possible effects in extreme cases can include an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections, and a weakened immune system.
This doesn’t mean that vaping gets off squeaky clean- recent inquiries have been set up to investigate links between vaping and lung disease. The jury is still out as to the exact damage, however, if there is any at all. Research seems to focus on CBD oil as opposed to CBD flower, but new studies are always being published, so it’s best to keep informed.
Speed or ceremony?
Personal preference is a huge part of using CBD, from the method of consuming it to the strains you prefer. The CBD industry offers both CBD smokers and CBD vapers all the equipment they will ever need, from high-quality 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 top-up to offset your anxiety, or are you looking to relax on the couch and construct an elephant’s leg of a blunt?
CBD vaping tends to be convenient and discreet. With some foresight and preparation, you can be ready for a busy day while still addressing your CBD needs. A few short puffs on your way into work aren’t going to raise eyebrows in the same way as trying to avoid hotboxing your car in the parking lot does.
On the other hand, the ritualistic nature of rolling a CBD joint or blunt has its own set of intangible qualities. Your favorite grinder, the well used rolling tray, your go-to rolling papers. It’s a brief moment amongst the daily chaos and stress where you can focus on you, and the gorgeous joint you’re about to create. The familiarity and coziness of the process can be almost as calming as the CBD itself.
Part science, part personal preference- smoking CBD and vaping CBD both have their ups and downs. The current advice leans towards vaping as a slightly healthier option, but studies are still in their infancy. A brief search online will give you a thousand different answers to the same question, and everybody has their own opinion on the subject. The final choice has to be yours, and it doesn’t have to be set in stone!
Regardless of your decision, you’re going to need some high-quality CBD flower to put your chosen method to the test. Check out the entire CBD flower range on our online store, and choose a bud that suits both your needs and your bank account. Read what others are saying, scrutinize the terpene profiles and lab results, and see why our CBD flower is considered some of the best in the business.