May 4, 2023

What is Cannabis Vapor? Vaporizer vs Smoke

A time before vapor: vapor history

Vaporizers designed for cannabis consumption are widely used in western countries and throughout Europe where cannabis is legal. Cannabis vaporizers are available in various sizes, vaporizer types, capabilities, and special features. Some are considered smart vaporizers because of their features which stem from other smart devices through software applications. Their popularity today can be traced back to thousands of years of recorded history. However, with the introduction of portable electronics, vaporization has taken on new heights. Despite this, the exact origins of vaping remains unclear and not easily defined when addressed.

Portable vaporizers offer an enjoyable and unique experience

The actual date of the invention of vaping is difficult to determine as there are different accounts and interpretations of its origins. The use of vaporizers and vaping-like devices has been recorded in history, dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and people from the Middle East and India. These early methods were used for various purposes, including meditation, cleansing, and smoking tobacco mixed with fruit. While modern vaping relies mainly on electronic devices, the invention of the first successful electronic vape is also challenging to pinpoint, with various patents and prototypes developed between 1927 and 2003.

What is cannabis vapor through means of high temperature (but not burning/flame)

What is the definition of vape smoke? You may have pondered on the contrast between vaping and smoking. If you’re not igniting something while vaping, what do you call that cloud-like substance that’s produced once you breathe in? That puff is vapor, more closely related to an actual cloud than what you see after setting fire to plant material.

While it is common for the two terms to be used together or even interchangeably, that is technically incorrect. Smoking and vaping are completely different from a scientific point of view. Vaporizers are specifically designed to prevent any smoke-inducing combustion, and this significant difference affects the vaping experience, from taste to the desired effect. In this blog post, we will look at the difference between smoke and vapor, and explain why “vape smoke” is not the appropriate term to use.

What is cannabis smoke through means of combustion/flame

Smoke is the visible gaseous product of organic material burning, caused by small carbon particles. Combustion is defined as the process of material burning, which produces smoke. Incomplete combustion, due to insufficient oxygen supply during combustion, generates smoke. Initially, there is usually more smoke during the early stages of combustion, as volatile organic compounds called hydrocarbons evaporate. Complete combustion, on the other hand, breaks down hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water, resulting in little or no smoke.

How is cannabis vapor different then cannabis smoke

To put it briefly, vapor is a substance in its gaseous form, distinct from the liquid or solid state. Vaporizing materials involves heating them up to release vapor without combustion, unlike smoke which contains various hydrocarbons and broken-down compounds. Hence, the use of vapes does not produce undesirable smoke like a campfire would when utilized appropriately.

What is conduction and convection heating methods

The two popular types of vaporization of the cannabis plant are done by using either conduction or convection heating methods. Conduction is heating through surface heat, while convection is heating through hot air that gets clouded around the material needing evaporation. Convection vaporizers are thought to be more of a healthier alternative since they are less likely going to combust the plant material which can create smoke opposed to vapor.

Does cannabis vapor smell different then cannabis smoke

If you have ever been in the presence of burning materials for a substantial period, for instance, the blazing wood in your campfire, you are aware that the smoke tends to stick around and leave an identifiable odour for hours if not days or even weeks. After returning from a camping expedition, it is possible to still detect the strong scent of the previous night’s campfire on your clothes. When clothing or other materials remain in contact with smoke for an extended duration, eliminating the smoky aroma may require time and cleaning.

What causes smoke to stick around is the “coating effect.” This effect is produced by the residual volatile organic compounds that remain in the air even after combustion has ceased. Depending on the type of compounds from the combusted material, the lingering smell might suggest the accumulation of toxins in the nearby area. Since these sticky compounds are challenging to eliminate, the smoky odor is often tough to remove.

On the contrary, vaporizing substances typically does not leave behind a long-lasting or pungent smell that is difficult to remove. Vaping, on the other hand, is similar to boiling water in that it produces a slight scent that is detectable when the water comes to a boil. However, once the heat source is turned off and the boiling stops, the scent vanishes completely. Unlike a blazing fire in a fireplace whose smell is strong and unforgettable, boiled water does not leave a persistent aroma in your home, making a significant difference between smoke and vapor. This is excellent news for customers who wish to avoid the well-known lingering smell that is caused by smoke.

Cannabis vapor vs smoke inhalation on the body

Vapor is generally considered less harmful than smoke because it produces fewer harmful byproducts compared to smoke, which is formed when substances are burned. However, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of inhaling vapor. It is important to note that inhaling any foreign substance into the lungs carries some risk, so it is essential to use caution and make informed decisions when using vaporizers or other alternative modes of ingestion.

You can view some of the top portable cannabis vaporizers here.


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