Is Vaping Dry Herbs More Potent than Smoking?

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26 December 2022   •   4 min read

If you're considering switching from smoking to vaping, you may wonder whether vaping herbs are more potent than smoking. However, there is more to it than you may think!

Comparing Vaping and Smoking Temperatures

One of the main differences between smoking and vaping is the temperature at which the herbs are heated. When you smoke herbs, the temperature can reach as high as 900 degrees Celsius, which is hot enough to completely combust the herbs and create smoke. When you vape herbs, the temperature is typically much lower, around 160-230 degrees Celsius. The herbs do not combust at these lower temperatures and instead release a vapor.

While the lower temperature used in vaping may initially seem like a disadvantage, it may actually lead to a more potent experience. First, this is because the vapor can contain higher concentrations of the active ingredients found in herbs. Additionally, the vapor contains fewer impurities and toxins than smoke, and less desirable compounds are destroyed by excessive heat, which means that more active ingredients can reach the user's system and less of the things you don’t want to be inhaling. In other words, the lower temperature and lack of combustion in vaping may produce a more pure and concentrated form of the herbs' active ingredients.

It's worth noting that many vaporizers can be adjusted to vaporize herbs at different temperatures, so you may find a temperature that works best for you and your preferred potency. Additionally, different types and varieties of herbs may have varying potencies when vaporized, so it's important to experiment and find what works best for you.

Vaping Produces More Flavor

Terpenes play a substantial part in how your dry herbs taste when inhaled. However, most common terpenes are relatively delicate. As a result, much of the role they play in the taste of your herbs is lost through smoking due to the aggressive and excessive heat involved. Therefore, the delicate flavors and tastes you can experience when using a vaporizer, even when you are familiar with the specific material, can be surprising. At times, it may even seem like a completely new flavor profile. So if flavor is important to you, that’s all the more reason to look towards vaping as it’s more potent in this regard as well.

Feeling More Intoxicated When Smoking

While both smoking and vaping herbs can produce a feeling of intoxication, some people may feel more intoxicated when smoking due to the additional chemicals and toxins present in the smoke. These chemicals and toxins can irritate the respiratory system and create a sensation of being "higher", but this isn’t actually what is occurring.

However, it's important to note that this sensation of being "high" does not necessarily mean that you are getting more effects or experiencing the full impact of the herbs. In fact, many people actually feel less affected when smoking due to the increased presence of these additional chemicals and toxins and less desirable compounds, which can interfere with the absorption of the active ingredients in the herbs.

The difference can be especially noticeable when you are looking for effects that are more useful in a medical context, as often, the amount of useful compounds being delivered can be pronounced in terms of receiving the relief you are looking to achieve. The carbon monoxide and tar produced when smoking is one of the significant reasons you may feel a stronger but more negative feeling when smoking compared to vaping. Still, once people spend a bit of time vaping, they typically realize the results that are achieved can be far more pleasant.

In contrast, vaping herbs may produce a more pure and concentrated form of active ingredients, as the vapor contains fewer impurities and toxins than smoke. Suppose you’ve heard someone describe the feeling of being “cleaner” when vaping. In that case, it’s because it does indeed feel different, but not in a weaker way, just different with less lightheaded grogginess that can commonly occur when smoking.


When looking at potency, it’s more important to look at the type of effects you’re getting as opposed to the general intensity. For example, while smoking can feel stronger in some regards, it’s not in a way that is a positive experience, and something you’ll find you start to realize yourself after making a move to dry herb vaping. Why feel dizzy from smoking when you can vaporize it and extract primarily the best parts of your material, leading to a better experience, reduced potential for health consequences, less waste, and more of what you’re really looking for in the first place?