With all of the information circulating out there on the potential benefits CBD can offer us all, it is only right for someone newly introduced to CBD and interested in trying it to think of the next follow up questions: “what is the difference between all of the ways to take it and which way is the right one for me?”

Well don’t worry perspective and soon to be informed and valued customer, that’s why we’re here- to give you information that gets you one step closer to making habitual CBD use go from a distant wish to a full-blown reality!

There are quite a few ways to get CBD into the body, and in this article we will be comparing the pros and cons of 3 major methods: from smoking, from vaping, and from ingesting it.

What Constitutes as Smoking CBD (or Combustion)?

Smoking is defined as a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke is breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. In case you didn’t know, you can get physical CBD that you can burn and smoke at your leisure.  

The Pros and Cons of Smoking Hemp/CBD Oil


  • Almost-Instant Circulation. The beneficial effects can be felt pretty instantaneously as it is absorbed through the lungs and directly transported into the bloodstream.
  • Relatively Inexpensive. All that’s needed is the hemp-based CBD flower, a smoking apparatus (paper or a bowl) and a lighter.
  • Safer than Smoking Cigarettes. This study done by Robert Melamede, published in 2005, called “Cannabis and Tobacco Smoke are not Equally Carcinogenic” states that CBD smoke and Tabasco smoke are not the same.


  • Still a Risk of Inhaling Toxins. When substances of any kind are burned, combustion causes the release of toxins that can be inhaled along with the smoke, possibly causing cellular damage.
  • Potential to Irritate the Lungs. Smoke contains other components in it that although aren’t carcinogenic, they are irritants to the lungs and could cause discomfort and inflammation through prolonged use over time.

What is Vaping?

Vaping is short for “vaporizing”, which uses a stream of heated air to vaporize the active ingredients in a substance without combustion. Vaping CBD oil simply means vaporizing the cannabinoids into a vapor that can be inhaled just like smoke.

The Pros of Vaping Hemp/CBD Oil

  • Almost-Instant Circulation. Many users describe an almost instantaneous effect when they first vape CBD as opposed to waiting as long as 30 minutes for digested CBD to start circulating (a bit more on this later). This is a great way to take CBD for those looking to use it to help treat conditions such as seizures, chronic pain and bouts of anxiety, where you would want the CBD to start doing its thing as quickly as possible.
  • Reduces Toxic Compounds Found in Smoking. A study done by California NORML and MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) called “Cal NORML/MAPS study shows vaporizer can drastically reduce toxins in marijuana smoke” shows that vaping reduces formation of toxic compounds.
  • Less Irritation. Vaporizing eliminates irritants that are present when smoking.
  • Very Subtle. You can remain very discrete with a vape pen and take CBD with you on the go if need be.
  • Can Compliment Your Personality. You have a large variety of sizes, colors, and designs to choose from!

The Cons

  • Can be Pricey. Maybe a bit more costly depending on the type of vaporizer you are in the market for. Pen-style vapes can range anywhere from $10-$15 online or at local shops (depending on where you live) all the way to the higher end of things at around $80. The difference in price will effect materials used during production, battery life, design, features such as variable voltage (increase or decrease voltage) and variable regulation (automatically adjusts the power output depending on the temperature defined by the user).
  • Occasional Need for Replacement Parts. Periodically Pen-style vapes need their metal heating coil replaced when it burns out, which usually runs for about $20.
  • Possible Metal Inhalation. As the heating coil breaks down and oxidizes through prolonged use, metal nanoparticles can potentially mix into the vapor being inhaled. While this study conducted by Palazzolo in 2013 called “Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping: A New Challenge in Clinical Medicine and Public Health. A Literature Review” suggests that vaping could be used as a possible “harm reduction” tool when compared to smoking, it is a new source of exposure to “non-smokers”. Understanding where you are buying your products from and buying from a reputable source are ways to ensure that you are getting high quality products that are made from quality materials that will last. 

What Constitutes Ingesting Hemp/CBD Products?

This may seem like a silly question but as our old elementary school teachers used to say, the only silly question is the one that doesn’t get asked. Ingesting CBD just means eating a product containing it and going through your digestive system before circulating through the body. Not to be confused with the sublingual intake method, where you buy a tincture and place drops of CBD underneath the mouth and left there to be absorbed through the mucus membranes in the mouth.

The Pros of Ingesting CBD

  • Versatile, Tasty and Easy for First-Timers. We should all be mindful of the fact that not everyone views smoking and vaping in a good light, even if it is something as beneficial as CBD. Oftentimes we not only buy these products for ourselves, but we buy them for friends and family when we understand the potential good that could come from it. It’s nice to know that we are able to start taking CBD by simply taking a small capsule in the morning, adding a honey stick to your tea or by giving into your sweet tooth with a CBD-infused brownie or gummy bears. This is also a great way to start revving up your body’s endocannabinoid system without the hassle of smoking or vaping it if uncomfortable with those options- and they are always there if you want to diversify your intake methods at a later point in time.
  • Long Lasting. When ingested, the edible/capsule/beverage moves from the stomach to the digestive tract, where it is shipped through the hepatic portal vein into the liver. After the liver the CBD compounds enter the bloodstream where they are circulated around the body. The slower rate of digestion compared to the inhalation methods previously discusses will have CBD circulating in your body for a good while longer!

The Cons

  • Low Bioavailability. Ingesting CBD allows for the least amount of CBD to be absorbed by the body because of the enzymes reacting with the compounds during its trip through the stomach and liver. This means that if you are looking to hit a particular range of absorbed CBD per day, you will probably need to consume more with ingestion than if inhaling it through vaping or smoking it.
  • Longer to take effect. This can either be good or bad, depending in the individual’s needs and preferences. Because of the pit stops ingested CBD makes in the stomach and liver, it can take as much as 30 minutes to an hour before it makes its way throughout the body.
  • Low Ability to Perceive Effects. Since it’s slow to act and is less bioavailable than other methods, people sometimes wonder if it is doing anything at all. Although this is good for people looking for something to help with light aches and pains and as an all-around health aide, this may not be the best way to go for those looking for more immediate effects.

For a little more detailed information on different intake methods check out CBD Bioavailability and Methods of Intake

Rest assured that the CBD in whatever form you take it in IS doing its job and reacting to your natural endocannabinoid system, but understand that you will need to weigh the pros and cons of CBD products out there and see which ones address your ailments, preferences, and overall health goals. With a little thought, an open mind, and a bit of experimentation, we’re sure you’ll be able to find the perfect assortment of CBD products here at CBD Vape Genius for your life!

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