Should I Vape Or Should I Bowl?


Should you vape or should you bowl? For those that love smoking cannabis, it’s a valid question. 

But the options don’t end there, so as we do with anything cannabis related, we turned to our friends at Leafly to break down the benefits of the various cannabis consumption methods. Enter Leafly’s California Editor, David Downs (an award-winning journalist and best-selling author who covers cannabis policy and legalization), who walked us through the benefits of each option on the market. 

So let’s get straight to the point: Do different consumption methods lead to different benefits? Without a doubt. 

“Yes,” answers Downs, “edibles are literally a different drug than inhalation. When you eat weed, your liver turns Delta 9 THC into Delta 11, which lasts longer, is more body-focused, and people tolerate it differently. Some people are inhalation only, others are edibles only—because of the differing effects. There’s a bunch of pros and cons of all the different consumption methods too. Smoking offers the fastest onset and the tightest titration. Vaping eliminates carcinogens (smoke) but can take longer to hit. Edibles leave the lungs alone but take 90 minutes to effect and it’s easy to overshoot the mark. Topicals are godsend for seniors with bad backs and stuff.” 

When it comes to beginners, Downs advises to “keep it simple” by starting with a bowl or joint. “Take a one second puff off a joint and hold it in for one second. You get effects in less than a minute, so you can measure your dose very carefully. Repeat until you feel mood and sensation change. It’ll last for up to 90 minutes; very manageable.” 

In our opinion, there are few smoking methods as timeless as packing and smoking a bowl. It’s a pretty straightforward process, but for those that are looking for a more detailed breakdown – from history to etiquette – Leafly has the go-to guide for bowl smokers

One of the main benefits of smoking a bowl is flavor. Leafly tells us that smoking flower is the purest, most basic way of consuming cannabis, because it hasn’t been altered or turned into dabs, edibles, or other products. That means when you smoke a bowl, you’re actually tasting the authentic flavor of a strain.

Vapes marketed for low dose or beginner-use are great as well. “A ‘dose-assisted’ Dosist vape pen can also initiate new users very gently,” says Downs. Perhaps the most important benefit of vaping is the ability to control your dosage. For beginners and experts alike, this is an important tool for ensuring you hit the right high for your tolerance level. 

Expert secret: You can find a Dosist dose controller pen at SkyHigh L.A. for in-person pickup or delivery here. The dose controller is powered by a UL1642 certified 150 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and driven by an intelligent microcontroller unit (MCU) delivering a precise 2.5 mg dose of the Dosist targeted formula of your choice.

As arguably the most popular form of modern cannabis consumption, vaping is everywhere. But what you may not know is that vaping is the heating of cannabis without burning – since combustion does not occur, smoke is not created. In fact, there have been several studies in recent years which have shown that vaporizing produces fewer carcinogenic compounds than smoking marijuana. You can read more about these findings on Leafly

Now let’s dive deeper for the seasoned pot pros. 

Vaping also delivers a much different experience than smoking a bowl, packing a much more powerful punch! According to a recent JAMA study, which examined cannabis consumption in infrequent consumers, people who vaporized cannabis flower experienced more pronounced effects than those who smoked the same dose. 

“People who get used to THC will start trying methods that expose them to higher amounts of it,” explains Downs, recommending either a pipe or a bubbler. Advanced consumers “usually know where they want to take their hobby: usually to bongs, higher-dose edibles, and extracts, either as infused pre-rolls, or hash on top of flower in pipes, or bubblers designed for extracts called dab rigs, which can get you very high.”

Expert secret: You can find live resin badder at Coast to Coast DTLA, an extract type that’ll send you straight to the moon. Ordering on Leafly is free! HERB L.A. – which offers free delivery through Leafly – also carries products like the high THC content ( 80% +) vape pods for those that prefer vaping to smoking. 

While vaping and bowl smoking are some of the most popular forms of cannabis consumption, the landscape of cannabis is forever evolving. As a renowned cannabis journalist and expert source, Downs has seen cannabis change throughout the decades and anticipates it will continue to change. 

The methods of cannabis consumption look so much different today than they did twenty years ago. We asked Downs how he had seen the landscape of consumption change, and if he anticipates new innovations for cannabis consumer to enjoy coming up on the horizon: 

People just keep getting more and more options,” answers Downs. “I just saw an asthma inhaler type device. Smoking is the lowest common denominator of consumption, popularized in the late 19th century in Mexico and into the 20th century in the US South… We’re really only at day-one for technology of cannabis.” 

For the long, strange trip forward, the cannabis world has Leafly. 

“Leafly has become the ‘Healthline’ of marijuana,” says Downs. “We use real reporters talking to real experts to distill the most current knowledge about weed and its modalities and effects. We get millions and millions of readers per year, and no other site goes as deep as we do into these topics.”

 “If you have a question about pot, Leafly’s probably answered it!”

Head on over to to get the answers to all your cannabis questions and more! 

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