The moral debate over whether it's okay to consume cannabis is getting old - less so, the heated debate over whether vaping, edibles, or smoking reign supreme. Here's a quick look at the health pros and cons of each.
No smoke: Vapes heat up bud/concentrate to release THC as vapour: they don't actually burn anything. No smoke = decreased risk of cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, etc.
Super discrete: Almost zero smell: you can take it anywhere.
More efficient: Less THC lost in the air/in the roach. Plus, you can cook with the leftovers (although you'll need twice as much duff as you would virgin weed.) The high is equally efficient: comes on, then diminishes, relatively quickly.
Vape douches: People who blow huge clouds in public, or confined spaces (work bathrooms, theatres, near kids, in hospitals - c'mon) give vaping a bad name. This applies equally to e-cigs as it does to cannabis.
Varying strengths: Butane hash oil (BHO) can hover around 60 percent THC - whereas most weed is closer to 15 - 20 percent - so it can take a touch to get in over your head. First, try bud you know. Then, BHO.
Investment: A good vaporizer can set you back a couple hundred bucks, although there are cheaper models on the market all the time.
Discrete: Nobody's going to know that cookie's got a secret ingredient - unless they sneak a couple when you're not looking. Then they'll know...
Too discrete: Kids and pets can get into your stash, with predictably terrible results.
Extra potent: When you eat weed, it's metabolized by the liver, then converted into the active metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC - which is really, really good at crossing the blood-brain barrier. That means the high is more intense and different than smoking/vaping.
Requires patience: Can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to kick in, so plan ahead.
Calories: Sweet, fatty weed-infused treats can set you back on your fitness goals, especially if you're also prone to the munchies.
Classic: Joints, pipes and bongs are so time-tested, some seasoned potheads have never even tried anything else.
Easy: Anyone can get the hang of rolling.
The art form: Yeah, anyone can get the hang of rolling: only an artist can create perfection.
Cheap: A buck or two for papers - maybe a little more if you want to get fancy - and you're set.
Fast: The effects of smoked cannabis come on in the first 10 minutes, and dissipate over the next 30 to 60 minutes.
Obnoxious. The entire block's gonna know exactly what you're up to.
Passé: With so many other options in 2015, joints are quickly becoming as retro as smoking sections on airplanes.
Not super efficient: It's estimated that as much as 75 percent of the THC can be lost in side-stream smoke.
Health concerns: There is evidence to suggest smoking cannabis increases the risks of getting certain types of cancer (lung, throat, head, neck), though more research is needed to understand the risks.
So, What's Best?
Sorry, there's no objective standard, here: you've gotta do what works for you, and that depends on your personality, tolerance, what you're looking to get out of the experience, and loads of other factors. Whatever you choose, remember: all things in moderation - including moderation.