Why vapes just don't hit the same as joints, pipes, or bongs

Published Sep 3, 2022 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Noahrr25

Battery-powered vaporizers and pre-filled cartridges are often the first things new consumers try, as they come highly recommended for those who are still searching for their ideal dose but could vaping actually be less effective than smoking? Here we break that question down to explain why vaping cannabis typically results in effects that don’t last as long or hit as hard as smoking.

What’s in a vape?

The majority of pre-filled vape cartridges are made using concentrates with high percentages of THC, which is why so many include isolating rather than other more flavourful, slightly less potent alternatives. This, of course, results in a high dose of THC, and not much else to support the experience, so consumers will still be getting high, the buzz just won’t feel as intense, long-lasting, and full-body hitting as smoking flower or other concentrates.

Why smoking weed gets you higher

Cannabis flower may look simple, and many consumers only think of the THC or CBD that lies within, but there is so much more to this beautiful plant like terpenes, and lesser known cannabinoids such as CBN or CBG. When consumers are smoking weed, they’re enjoying the entourage effect of all the elements coming together in a way that hits the body and mind uniquely. Vaping often lacks that unique boost, changing the way it makes consumers feel, and that is why many budtenders refer to cartridges as the TV dinners of cannabis.

There are exceptions to this rule


Vaping is an incredible option for many enthusiasts with pre-existing health problems, difficulty dosing, and more, and some cartridges and vapes are exceptions to this rule, so if you’re not happy about missing out on part of the experience, you won’t necessarily have to switch to smoking. Vaporizing full spectrum concentrates like budder or wax may still provide all of the benefits you know and love, without turning to flower to achieve them.

Though most pre-filled vape carts come with isolate or some other highly processed extract, there are options out there that utilize some of the concentrates we just mentioned above. In some cases, you might even find that these are cheaper options at your local dispensary because they don’t offer the same high dose of THC, making them less appealing in the average consumer's eyes.

Not everyone has the same experience

If you’re an avid user of isolate vapes and don’t see an issue with how these products perform, then there may not be a need to switch to something with a higher concentration of other cannabis compounds, and some decide to move to vaping because they feel that it works better than smoking, and we can’t explain them. Every consumer's experience is unique, and for that reason, there is no way to know for sure how well each one works until you try them. However, if you are feeling disappointed with the effects of your vape products, then it might be time to consider trying something different, and this is why.

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