At no other time in history has the UK herb scene have a more diverse membership. Old barriers are being broken down as enjoying herb is finally being shown to be fun, safe, and something everyone can partake in. At the same time the has been an explosive proliferation in the ways you can enjoy herb and herb concentrates. The three most popular ways to enjoy herb in the UK scene are dabbing, smoking, and the newest addition to the scene; vaping. All three methods have their fans, but more and more people are leaving smoking and dabbing behind to join the UK vaporizer scene. Why is this? Is vaping really that good? Let's compare and contrast the three and find out!
Smoking herb has been the go to method of consuming herb for centuries, if not millennia. It delivers the THC and other active ingredients directly into your body, meaning that you should be able to feel the effects nearly instantly! There are myriad ways to smoke your herb but the three most popular are:
Bongs, or waterpipes can trace their lineage all the way back to Imperial China (if not even earlier!), they come in a staggering array of different shapes, sizes, and materials. However they all work on the same basic principle, when you take a drag the bong pulls the smoke from your herb through a reservoir of water to cool it down and deliver a smoother hit. The advantage of this is obvious, you can take more smoke in with each hit and feel the active effects of your herb quicker!
Modern bongs come with a host of add-ons, from percolators that cool your smoke even further, to ice catchers that allow you to drop ice cubes in that will chill your smoke for a fresh, cold hit.
Despite what many people think, the water of a bong doesn’t actually filter any of the tar or harmful substances out of the smoke.
Pipes, or bowls are another common way of enjoying your herb. Generally they work by packing ground herb into the bowl piece, lighting it and taking a drag. Unlike a bong you won't notice any cooling effect, but they are far more portable and resilient. There’s no pretense of filtration here, so you’re subjecting your lungs to hot, toxin laden smoke.
Probably the most common way to enjoy herb, joints use a mix of tobacco and ground herb wrapped into a cigarette. There’s no filtration here, and the more you smoke it the hotter the smoke going into your lungs will be. Also, the tobacco that’s often used to ensure the joint stays lit is generally packed with carcinogens.
Dabbing uses herb concentrates called oil, wax, or shatter. These categories describe the purity of the herb extract which gets more viscous the purer it is and shatter, it’s purist form, is solid and brittle like glass. To smoke extract you're going to need a dab rig which consists of a waterpipe, similar to a bong; a nail, usually titanium; and a butane torch to heat the nail up to incredibly high temperatures. The nail has to be hot as it’s intended to totally evaporate the concentrate. The resulting high from a dab is incredibly potent, as a single hit contains the same amount of THC as several joints!
While it eliminates all of the smoke and toxins usually found in herb, dabbing is not for the faint of heart. Even a seasoned veteran of the UK herb scene can be floored by the sheer power of a single hit.
Vaporizers use heating elements to vaporise (surprise, surprise) the active ingredients in dry herbs. This obviously means that any of the toxins, tar, and carcinogens are taken out of the equation when you vape. Vapes also don’t release the lingering smell of burning herb, which is perfect for those who value subtlety. Another advantage of vaporizers is that you can use the adjustable temperature to change the active ingredients that are released when you vape by exploiting their different boiling temperatures. Best of all you can even adjust the density of your vapor by manipulating the temperature. Finally, many vaporizers are capable of using other materials like oils and concentrates.
Personal preference aside vaping is clearly the best, and healthiest way to enjoy your herb. For a start it beats out bong, pipes, and joints by completely eliminating all smoke, toxins, and carcinogens present in smoke. Vapor is also far cooler than the smoke from a pipe or joint, and depending on the model, even cooler than bong smoke.
Compared to a dab it’s much more friendly to beginners and casual users; one hit isn’t going to floor you!
Of course your personal preferences may have an influence on your decision, but all other things considered equal, vaping your herb is best!