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Vaping Whole Flower vs. Vaping Oil: What’s Better?


Vaping Whole Flower vs. Vaping Oil: What’s Better?

Vaping cannabis has increased in popularity over time, and the difference between vaping whole flower versus vaping oil has become a topic of debate. Both methods are beneficial in different ways and cause different effects, so which is better? Without there being one simple answer to this question, this article will explore each product and some points to consider.

For general information about whether medical marijuana (MMJ) is right for you, schedule an exam with one of our Florida MMJ Doctors. You may complete our eligibility survey in just 5 minutes to find out if you pre-qualify for a recommendation.

Vaping Vs. Smoking

Consumers of cannabis have varying preferences when it comes to individual needs and wants. Whether vaping flower or oil, there is no wrong way to use cannabis. That said, people tend to prefer vaping to smoking. Survey results taken from TVape show that 86% of 700 people surveyed agree they “felt generally better after vaporizing as opposed to smoking” [1]. The difference between vaping and smoking comes down to some history about the chemistry of the products. The Nixon Administration of the 1970’s classified cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug which led to underground sales of non-regulated marijuana. In the 1990’s medical marijuana arrived in states like California and Washington, making regulation necessary for quality products to be sold. This led to higher THC content, a greater focus on CBD chemical compounds, and greater public consciousness about the availability of various strains. Over time, people began to realize that higher THC content did not necessarily mean a better high, and instead, they developed greater respect for cannabinoids that are rarer. Enter cannabis oils and better chemistry compounds and concentrates. “The chemistry of most cannabis oils resembles nothing of the cannabis plant” [2].

Cannabis Oils that Resemble Flower

Still, there are some cannabis oils that offer more of a “full-spectrum” like the compounds found in cannabis flower. These oils contain similar terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids. Below are some things to look for in a full-spectrum product:

  • On the package is listed “processed with bud,” “native terpenes,” or “cannabis terpenes.” 
  • Some CBD content – If the package reads 0% CBD content, its profile is narrow.
  • Cannabinoids that are rare, such as CBG, CBN, CBC, and THCV.
  • A terpene content of 5-20%.
  • A darker color – if the oil is clear it isn’t similar to flower. A good color is pictured below [2]:

Oil Vaporizer by Fluent [3]

Vaping Loose Leaf Flower Vs. Oil

There are two main types of vaporizers used to vape flower: conduction or convention. Each heats the flower differently. Conduction vaporizers involve a metal-on-metal, motionless heat transfer, while convection vaporizers move energy via a liquid or gas much like steam. The more efficient of the two are conduction vaporizers which heat with hot air, since convection vaporizers use a metal chamber in which the flower touches the walls and receives uneven heat. This means the flower that touches the chamber walls receives more heat that leads to waste. This is an important distinction to realize when deciding whether vaping flower or oils is best. Overall, vaping oils (concentrates) is better for times when someone prefers one or two quick puffs on-the-go because no heating time is necessary. In addition, vape pens are typically small and inconspicuous. Vaping flower requires one to prepare it by grinding the flower and refilling the chamber before each use. Flower vaporizers require battery recharging and drain power while turned on, whereas oil vaporizers only use power when a draw is made from the pen. The loose-leaf has a stronger flavor than concentrates, but also a stronger smell. Both methods are cleaner and produce lighter effects, but this is neither positive nor negative depending on the desired outcome. For some people, vaping means clearer effects; for others weaker effects. In the end, the decision to vape flower, oil, or both comes down to a personal preference about the above mentioned facts [4].

Is Medical Marijuana Right for Me?

Whether medical marijuana will help your condition depends on many factors best evaluated by a medical doctor. If you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to take our eligibility survey. In just 5 minutes, you could pre-qualify for a recommendation. A Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor can then determine if you qualify during an in-person exam. For more information, visit