People are always asking--is using a vaporizer better than smoking? The initial response should be--what kind of vaporizer, and what are you smoking? There are vaporizers for herb oils and e-liquids which may or may not contain nicotine. There are vaporizers for dry herbs such as eucalyptus, passion flower and the well known herb buds. Lastly, there are vaporizers for use with wax concentrates. So when asking or answering this question, know the details--but first, learn them here.
If you’re talking about e-cigs and the vaping of e-liquids versus smoking cigarettes, there is no concrete evidence to declare either side a winner. Cigarettes are no good for you says the CDC, and there are also advocates who claim e-liquids contain harmful ingredients. In time there will be a larger sample size of e cig users and at that point we may have more clarity on the debate. But until then, the answer to this will depend on who you are talking to.
When a joint, blunt, bong, or bowl is being smoked, the buds are being heated by the flame of a lighter. The direct, high heat of the flame breaks down the molecular structure of your buds and turns them to ash--this process is called combustion. During this process, as you are taking a pull from the bowl, THC is inhaled, but along with it will be carcinogens.
Vaporizers such as the AGO dry herb vaporizer will turn your buds to ash just like smoking a bowl. However, when using a portable vape like the Titan 2, the buds will evenly bake in a ceramic oven-like heating chamber—as the buds heat up, the THC content lifts from its surface and travels upward in the form of vapor as you inhale. The buds will only brown and will not turn to ash, therefore limiting the amount of carcinogens released. Less carcinogens means that you are getting a healthier experience with the herbs from a vaporizer.
Wax concentrates can be mixed into a joint, dabbed on a domeless dab nail or packed into a vape pen. With either methodology, in order for the wax to be inhaled or consumed, high heat is applied to combust the wax into vapor/smoke form. Wax concentrates are a processed product--sometimes processed with butane; even worse, amateurs are producing sub-par product and distributing it on the black market.
Vaping herbs is definitely healthier than vaping or dabbing your wax concentrates--herb buds are straight plant, and during vaporization they only brown and do not combust like the wax.
Oil and wax concentrates are derived from the herb plant and are created during a distillation process. Methods involving butane, co2 and other technologies are used to produce the oil and wax. Some methods produce higher quality product than others. The difference between vaping oil and wax is minimal if both products were produced using a high quality distillation process--so the healthier option is always the better quality option. Want more info? Read more about how to make cannabis distillate here!