Is Vaping Cannabis Cheaper Than Smoking It?

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Capitalism, man. You know it just won’t leave you alone when even getting high comes down to economics.

Almost every weed smoker considering a jump to the vape side wonders about the cost of the transition. In fact, questions about the relative cost of vaping versus smoking are the second most asked by prospective vapers.

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(The number 1 topic is the relative strength and duration of vaping and smoking highs, a topic we addressed in our very first blog post)

If you want the short answer, here it is: Vaping weed is cheaper than smoking it. If you want to know how and why, our two cents will probably help you to save much more than two cents. Read on!

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My First Impressions of Vaping Weed Costs

My first impressions of vaping weed were very similar to what new vapers tell me today – that the whole thing just seemed so inefficient!

Firstly, the optics were all wrong. The chambers of all the vapes I tried seemed unnecessarily large, probably with enough room to squeeze in a few blunts worth of weed if I put my back into it.

Did I really need that much weed for just one session from a vape, I wondered. I was even more skeptical when my first few hits proved that the vapor was less dense and less flavorsome than what I got with a joint.

Those three factors, coupled with the fact that I would have to shell out considerably more for the vape hardware (compared to rolling paper) made the entire cannabis vaping scene seem like a scam.

Fortunately, I decided to take a closer look. My research helped me understand why vaping is, hands down, the cheaper alternative to smoking.

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The Research

At Vapes in the Hood, we are all about facts and figures – more reason and less emotion. Here is a breakdown of why we believe vaping weed is cheaper than smoking it.

Efficiency

It’s not easy to control a lit fire. From the moment you light a joint, the flame begins to consume the blunt and everything in it, regardless of whether you are taking a hit. When you inhale, it burns even faster.

This means that your weed (and every dollar you spent on it) is literally going up in smoke, even when you are not getting high.

Vaping, on the other hand, leaves all the control in your hands. Most decent vaporizers today come with temperature control and, more importantly, they can be switched off. Both these characteristics have a huge impact on the cost of your cannabis vape session.

Firstly, vapers can adjust the device’s temperature to the range that releases the THC from the weed. This temperature is always less than the combustion temperature (the point where the weed catches fire).

Because there is no fire, you are in complete control of your weed consumption.

Secondly, you can switch a vape off at any time. Whether you are interrupted by a nosy neighbor or focusing on your GTA heist, simply put the device aside and your weed won’t just burn itself up on its own.

In fact, a published research paper that analyzed the cannabinoid density concluded that vapor contains an 80% higher concentration than smoke.

So, even if the vapor seems less dense, it contains almost double the good stuff that sets you flying.

Summary: Smoking burns your weed even when you are not getting high, vaping does not.

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Cold, Hard Numbers

If the efficiency argument is too abstract, perhaps these real-life numbers will make things clearer.

I have taken the cost of cannabis to be $7 per gram, which is consistent with buying it in small quantities. I also factor in these assumptions:

  • The average pipe bowl gives an average of 4 tokes.
  • The same amount of weed in a vaporizer on a ‘Medium’ setting gives an average of 8 tokes.

The figures are based on my personal experience and you can extrapolate them to your own habits.


Pipe bowlVaporizer
Quantity (grams)0.1 g
Cost (average)$1.40
Hits (average)48
Cost per hit$0.35$0.17
Cost per session (5 hits)$1.75$0.85
Weekly Cost (7 sessions)$12.25$5.95
Monthly Cost (30 sessions)$52.50$25.50
Annual cost (365 sessions)$638.75$310.25

These are generic numbers based on averages but they indicate that a blunt-a-day smoker would save more than half their money each year by making the switch.

Summary: The most basic smoker can save hundreds of dollars every year by vaping cannabis instead of smoking it.

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What Price for a Better Life?

An often overlooked but perhaps most significant way that vaping is cheaper than smoking is its long-term impact on your health.

The research is piling up that vaping causes far fewer health complications in both the short and long term. So it can also save some funds when healthcare is concerned.

A university research paper revealed that cannabis smoke is a cocktail of chemicals, many of which are harmful to humans. These chemicals do not just affect you as the smoker but your family and friends, too. This aligns with studies which suggest that regular cigarettes are 95% more harmful than e-cigs.

There is a myriad of negative health consequences associated with smoking, even when traditional cigarettes and nicotine are not involved.

The American Lung Association has published research on some of these adverse effects.

The cumulative cost of all these medical complications can be staggering. Besides the financial consequences, smoking also comes with incalculable social and personal costs.

Summary: Your health is priceless.

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The Final Puff

There is no doubt that with a vape of reasonable quality, you can save a ton of money when it comes to making the switch to a marijuana vaporizer.

The initial costs of hardware can dissuade smokers. However, you recover the setup costs with every hit you take.

Is Vaping Cannabis Cheaper Than Smoking It? 1

I have personally made the switch, I no longer smoke joints, blunts or bowls and wouldn’t look back.

I did find it very difficult during the transition for various reasons but mostly due to buying the wrong devices.

Once I got that right, It was a game-changer.

Thanks for Reading

Stay Elevated

Jack OG


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