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// May 09, 2024 //

vape pen vs flower high: comparing cannabis experiences 









When it comes to marijuana, cannabis users have a lot of choices. But all of your choices narrow down to two major things. Do you want your high from the real thing or do you want to use a vape? There are multiple ways to use either of these options and both let you experience psychoactive effects, therapeutic benefits, or both.

That being said, they still have very different experiences. You may enjoy one more than the other or you may like to experience both. It will heavily depend on your preferences and your lifestyle. In this guide, we look at vape pens vs flower high to break down their unique qualities and differences.

man smoking a joint and another smoking a vape outside

vape pen: portable and discreet

A lot of people enjoy the vape pen just because it is discreet and portable. You can take it anywhere with you and nobody has to know you have cannabis in there. The thing is, it won’t even have much of a scent. Whereas when you smoke the flower, there is a very noticeable scent that will accompany you for quite some time.

Here’s the thing. Cannabis oil vapes are sleek, handheld pieces that will heat cannabis oil in them and release the cannabinoids and terpenes right to you in vapor form. There are no materials needed aside from the vape pen. When you inhale, you get vapor from the mouthpiece and the results are typically nearly the same — possibly better in some cases.

So what sets it apart?

Immediate onset

Discreet and portable

Precision dosing

Temperature control


So let’s break these down a little bit more to get the full effect of the differences between smoking and vaping.

immediate onset

One of the great things about a vape pen is that you start to feel the effects immediately and it usually takes less product. With a flower high, you might smoke a whole blunt to get the desired effects. On a vape pen, you can take one or two puffs and likely get a similar high.

The rapid onset is pretty nice, especially for someone who wants medicinal benefits. If you’re feeling pain, you can take a hit and start to get that relief very quickly. It makes it a great choice when you have nausea, pain, anxiety, and other ailments.

Of course, the rapid effects are also beneficial to someone who wants a quick high. It’s just nice to know that you can experience the benefits fast, no matter what you are looking for. Plus, you use a lot less product that way to achieve similar results.

discreet and portable

The detail that people appreciate the most about vape pens is the fact that they are discreet and portable. These bad boys seriously are about the size of a pen. Most of the time you can fit it into your pocket or your bag easily. Some of them even have neat little cases you can carry them in, like the pod designs.

But it’s more than just the size that makes it discreet. When you use a vape, you have very little vapor that you put into the air and very little odor too, unlike cannabis smoke. Don’t get us wrong, there is still some odor. But the difference is that with vapor, it dissipates quickly. Within a few seconds, the remnants of odor are gone. Plus, if you use flavors, the odors may not smell like marijuana anyway.

Maybe you enjoy both devices. You’re going out in public but want to be able to use your stuff. Smoking weed in public isn’t always an option and it’s often not socially acceptable either. But you can take your discreet vape and still enjoy your goods whenever you want to. That’s certainly a win.

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precision dosing

Some people worry that using a vape pen will mean they can’t get a strong high. That’s simply not true. You can get a strong high or strong pain relief and you can get it quick. It may take you a little bit of testing to figure out dosing, but you can be pretty precise. You have control over how much you take in from a puff or how heavy of a puff you take.

With the quality devices out there, your puffs will be consistent. Once you figure out how they hit you, you can determine how many puffs you typically need to achieve the results you want. You’ve got total control here. Control like this is something you simply won’t get with a flower high.

temperature control

Have you ever been able to control the temperature of your bong? Probably not. Most devices for smoking cannabis plants have little control of the precision details. Just like dosing, they likely won’t be temperature-controlled in most cases either.

But that’s where cannabis vape pens are different. Most vape devices do let you control the temperature. You can adjust it to be the perfect temperature for your needs at that time. The next time you use it, if you want a different temperature, that’s no problem. Now, to be clear, some devices don’t allow temperature adjustments. However, even those devices are set to heat to an appropriate temperature to vaporize without burning.

If you want incredible potency, you can bump the temperature up. And if you’re using this for medicinal benefits, you can get the ratio, heat, and dosage just right for your needs.


The last thing we want to take note of with a vape pen is the versatility. You will find an endless selection of strains, flavors, and cannabis concentrates to choose from. Maybe you want live resin, that’s ok. Perhaps you’re looking for something like indica or sativa. Well, you’re in luck because there is certainly something out there that meets that preference.

But it doesn’t end there with versatility. In addition to being able to choose the concentrate or distillate that has the strain or plant you want, you can also choose tons of different flavors. Want something natural and earthy? Stay away from the flavor options. However, you can find fruity flavors, candy flavors, intense flavors, and fun new creations too. Just be cautious of harmful chemicals like vitamin E acetate.

What flavor strikes your interest? You can probably find it out there somewhere.

 woman exhaling vape smoke outside near trees

flower high: classic and aromatic

We certainly do like the vape pen, but there is just something you can’t beat about the classic flower high. It’s got its benefits too and it will always remain a favorite. It’s perfectly ok to like both options, so don’t feel like you have to choose between them.

Smoking marijuana is an age-old tradition among friends. Of course, you can do it alone too. This is an experience for your senses and while vapes are good, they simply can’t replace it. It’s unlike any other experience out there. If you want something similar in a vape, you can try dry herb vaporizers. 

When you light up marijuana flowers and smoke those natural plant elements in rolling papers, the cannabinoids and terpenes are released through smoke, which you take into your lungs with every puff. Just breathe it in and enjoy the aromatic experience.

Now, here’s where the flower high stands out:

Full spectrum experiences

Rich aromas and flavors

Social rituals

Variety of options

Want a closer look? We thought you might.

full spectrum experiences

Any cannabis consumer can get a full spectrum experience using a vape, but it’s just not quite the same as smoking the cannabis flower. This truly is a full spectrum experience pretty much every time you smoke. You will find that all cannabis plants have great diversity. Since you are using the actual plant matter, you get the full array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds all coming together.

Consider the depth and complexity of the plants. Even when you use different strains or types of plants, you still have the full spectrum. It’s not like extracted cannabis oil that could lose some of the cannabinoids and terpenes or may even focus on just one element of these. We’re not saying there is anything wrong with that. We’re just saying sometimes that limits the overall experience.

When you use cannabis plants and smoke flowers, you get a multidimensional high. Even when used for medicinal benefits, the full spectrum experience can have some great benefits. Plus, it’s a holistic approach so you can’t go wrong there, right?

rich aromas and flavors

Alright, one of the benefits of the vape pen is that it typically doesn’t have much aroma. It will certainly provide you with rich flavor, but again if you’re looking for the total experience, the vape pen may not provide that way. Is the high any different? Probably not. This is just about what you want to enjoy while you’re smoking or vaping.

Even though the cannabis plant doesn’t necessarily come in flavors like bubblegum and cotton candy, there are still unique ranges from strain to strain and plant to plant. The cannabis flower has rich aromas and flavors that you can enjoy. The best way to get the full extent of those is to smoke the plant. Some strains are fruity and floral while others are earthy and piney.

Again, this goes back to a sensory experience where you can inhale and savor and it all lingers around you. The aromas and flavors simply can’t be matched in any other method. It’s a wholly different type of experience and it’s all natural.

social rituals

A lot of people who enjoy smoking flowers do so because it’s a ritual. When you’re sitting around with your friends, there is just nothing like the enjoyment of a “puff, puff, give” scenario or enjoying a bowl or bong together. You don’t get that in even THC vapes. Can you pass your disposable vape? Sure, but it does take away from the social ritual a little bit, doesn’t it?

This method has forever been a ritual that is shared among friends and you all get the same enjoyment out of it. Haven’t you ever watched That ’70s Show? It’s a great way to build connections and just enjoy doing something together that is just for you and the buds. That being said, you should know that the harmful effects of smoking can be much higher and cause more lung damage.

friends on a couch holding marijuana joints

vape pen vs flower high: what will it be?

When it comes down to it, there are great pros and cons to both methods. The differences between vaping and smoking are pretty strong. If we’re talking about just the high that you can get, the two are quite comparable. But when you compare the overall experience, you will certainly find some differences. What you choose to use will just depend on what you enjoy.

Looking for a great vape pen? Check out our selection of options today!

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