What Is Smoke?

Smoke is left-over carbon or other lighter-than-air particles that remain after a substance has experienced combustion (i.e. has been burnt). Even though we think of something being destroyed after it has been burnt, smoke will continue to carry many active particles from whatever you were burning. For example, if you are allergic to poison ivy, the smoke can still cause rashes. Another example, if you burn tobacco, which naturally contains nicotine, the smoke will still carry nicotine your body can absorb into its bloodstream.

How, exactly, are the substances in what your smoking able to enter your bloodstream, to begin with? When you breathe normally, oxygen travels into the lungs and comes into contact with the alveoli. These are tiny little sacs filled with air that pass oxygen from the air coming into your lungs to your bloodstream. This is the same method that substances like nicotine or cannabidiol (more commonly known as CBD) are introduced into the bloodstream when smoked.

When you exhale the smoke, the chemical composition will be different from when you inhaled it. How exactly it differs will depend on who is doing the smoking (for example, short puffs vs. long puffs, how long each drag is, etc). However, in general, the composition of smoke being inhaled will be similar to the smoke exhaled, minus whatever your body was able to absorb.

Vapor vs. Smoke

Vapor vs. Smoke

Vapor and smoke are two substances often confused and, while similar, they are the products of very different chemical process.  As we have said, smoke is produced when something is burnt, a process called combustion. Vapor is produced through a process called convection, where a substance is heating to the point of creating fumes or vapor. Those fumes can be inhaled, like smoke, and your body absorbs the chemicals the same way as it does with chemicals being carried by smoke.

Why would one choose to vape instead of smoke, or vice versa? For starters, vaping is usually much easier on your lungs, as convection can produce fumes at a much lower temperature than combustion produces smoke. The vapor produced from convection also dissipates very quickly, making it an ideal choice if going outside or a private location is not an option for you.

Smoke is not without its benefits as well. Namely, you will get the full strength of what your smoking much more easily than vaping. Smoking brings the full strength of the substances you are using. For example, smoking hemp (the plant from which most CBD is derived) will bring much more CBD into your bloodstream at a time than vaping it would. If you are looking to get hit as fast as possible, smoking will always have an advantage over vaping.

Types of Smoke vs Types of Vapor

Types of Smoke vs Types of Vapor

For the recreational smoker, there are several kinds of smoke you may come in contact with. The following list has some different kinds of smoke you may encounter:

Dry Herb Smoke/Vapor

Dry herb smoke is produced when burning dry herb. If you are using glass pipes or a combustion vape pen, smoke is what is being produced. To vape dry herb, you will need a dry herb vape pen that uses convection heating.  This will produce fumes that can be inhaled without ever actually burning the dry herb.

Dab or Wax Smoke/Vapor

Wax concentrates are another popular way to consume some of your favorite substances. The general setup includes a dab rig (visually similar to a bong), and an exposed heating nail (called a dab nail). The nail is super-heated and then the wax is applied, producing wax smoke to inhale. Vaping wax will also require a wax vape pen.  A wax vape pen will have powerful heating coils but will still top short from actually creating smoke.

Oil Smoke/Vapor

Though less common than the other two, there are oils that can be smoked. Some are oil concentrates that can be applied to a dab rig, while others are oils that work with a traditional bong or other glass pipes. Vaping oil, on the other hand, is one of the most common vaping products you will find. You can use pre-filled cartridges or fill your own oil tanks with your oil of choice. Common products include e-juices (which often contain nicotine), CBD oil, and other products. Devices that can vape oil include vape pens, box mods, and any hybrid device that can fit an oil tank or has a 510 threaded connection.

Each substance offers a unique experience depending on how it’s being consumed. If you are brand new to vaping, consider getting a hybrid device that can handle multiple kinds of products.

Dabbing vs. Smoking

Dabbing vs. Smoking

The main difference between dab smoke and dry herb smoke is flavor and strength. Concentrated waxes are just that: highly concentrated and potent. This means that the flavor will be more apparent and the strength will be far greater than just smoking dry herb. Dry herb smoke also tends to be strong, but not as strong as dabbing. Smoking dry herbs does allow you to taste the full flavor profile of the smoking material in question. You will also ingest different compounds than if you were dabbing. For example, hemp flower, though mostly CBD, will still have trace amounts of other compounds, including THC (the active component that gets you high in marijuana). However, there is not enough THC to get you high, but there may be enough for you to experience the entourage effect (different compounds interacting to increase pain relief). 

Smoking with Water

Smoking with Water

Smoking with water is a popular method that helps smooth out hits from smoking dry herb or dabs. When used properly, the water filters the smoke, not only cooling the hit down but also filtering out ash and other small particles that get passed along through the smoke. Bongs, bubblers, and small water pipes are common pipes you can use to give you the cool, smooth taste that many have grown to love with water pipes!

Smoke Shop

Smoke Shop

Smoke shops have a rich history in providing customers with a wide variety of smoking tools and accessories. In the past, they largely specialized in tobacco products and pipes. Some shops, called head shops, would also cater to the “hippie” style, so it would not be uncommon to find music, tie-dye art, as well as many different kinds of glass pipes.

However, as the internet opened the door to new retail spaces, smoke shops were not far behind. It is easy to find online retail options to find glass pipes, vaporizers, and all different kinds of smoking accessories. Of course, this includes nyvapeshop.com, where anything bought comes with FREE U.S. shipping with no minimum order required. 

Smoking Pipes

Smoking Pipes

Though it may seem like smoking pipes have recently exploded in popularity, they have actually been around for thousands of years. Chillum and spoon style wooden pipes are some of the earliest style pipes we have evidence for, and they can be found in all different kinds of cultures. 

Of course, we have moved far beyond simple wooden or clay pipes. Glass pipes have taken off since the 1960's, and with the online retail spaces, the kinds of pipes that you can find are overwhelming. Bubblers, bongs, spoons, chillums, steamrollers, and many others can now be easily found for your smoking pleasure.

Smoke Buddy

If you have a hard time finding a discreet place to smoke and prefer not to vape, a Smoke Buddy could be a great solution for you. A Smoke Buddy is a filtering accessory that helps remove particles and smell from your smoke, making it easier to more discretely smoke. It’s also a great choice if you really enjoy smoking at home but do not like stinking up the inside.

Vape Pens

Vape Pens

As we have mentioned, vape pens have exploded in popularity in the past decade.  They have become an attractive alternative to smoking for a lot of reasons. They produce far less smell than smoking, and the vapor they produce dissipates much more quickly than smoke. Vapor is also cooler than smoke, so if smoke is too harsh for your lungs, vaping might be a painless alternative. Vape pens are hassle-free to use (you generally just press a button to begin), and you can vape oils, dry herb, and wax concentrates. 

Though there are all different kinds of vape pens, there are some staple categories that you will usually find when shopping:

  • Oil Vapes: Oil vapes use e-juice or other oils to be vaped. They can be compatible with oil tanks that you fill yourself, or they can be compatible with prefilled cartridges.
  • Dry Herb Vapes: Dry herb vapes use convection heating to produce vapor from dry herbs. The dry herbs never combust, so they never produce smoke.
  • Dab Vapes: These vapes also use convection heating to produce vapor from wax concentrates.
  • Box Mods: A box mod is a large, powerful vape battery that usually has a bunch of customizable options. Because of their customization options, they can usually be fitted with attachments for smoking oils, dry herb, or wax concentrates.

Dry Herb Vapes

Dry herb vapes are vaping devices that are becoming increasingly popular.  They still use normal dry herb, which satisfies many that want to stay away from oils or waxes, but they allow you to vape discreetly. The vapor dissipates very quickly, and the vapor is generally much easier on your lungs than harsh smoke. Not to mention that since the dry herb never reaches combustion, you never denature the dry herb. This means fewer carcinogens that may otherwise be present with traditional smoking. 

Dry herb vapes can be small like vape pens, or they can be larger like attachments to box mods, and even powerful hybrid pens that can handle a combination of dry herbs, oils, or wax concentrates. In fact, some can even handle all three!


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